Channel and group registration

This document aims to explain how to register a channel or group here on Libera.Chat as well as our policies surrounding channels and channel namespaces.

Registering a channel

When joining an unregistered and empty channel, you will automatically be given channel operator access on the channel. After verifying that your channel is in the correct namespace, you should register it with ChanServ in order to establish long-term control over the channel. We recommend that you choose the appropriate namespace to avoid a disruptive move later.

Should the channel already exist but is expired or otherwise unused, Libera.Chat staff may be able to assist you in taking over the channel. For channels in the on-topic project and community namespace, this may involve proceeding with a formal group registration with us. For informal channels, we will check if it is expired and if there is consensus within the channel’s existing community for you to take it over.

Once your channel is registered with ChanServ, regardless of channel namespace, you are free to use it in accordance with network policy. You do not need the explicit approval of Libera.Chat staff in order to register a channel and start using it on our network. Formal group registration is not required to make use of channels in the on-topic project and community channel namespace, and we recommend that new initiatives do not immediately attempt a formal group registration.

Channel namespaces

Our policies outline that channels on Libera.Chat fall into one of three categories and two namespaces. Channels that begin with only a single # character are for on-topic project and community channels (e.g. #linux). Channels that begin with two or more # characters are for informal channels (e.g. ##chat).

Registered groups additionally have their own channel namespaces that they control. This includes the “main” channel for that namespace (e.g. #libera) as well as all channels beginning with that name followed by a hyphen (e.g. #libera-dev). A registered group may have control over multiple channel namespaces. To check if a registered channel belongs to a particular group’s channel namespace, you can use the /msg ChanServ INFO command on that channel; if it is, you will receive a line like the following towards the bottom of the output:

The #libera namespace is registered to the project

What is on-topic?

Projects considered to be on-topic for Libera.Chat are primarily free and open-source software projects, and other peer-directed projects, for instance Linux User Groups (LUGs), student societies, hacker- or makerspaces and other collaborative efforts. At staff discretion, it can also cover projects or companies of general interest to our user base.

If your channel fits the above criteria and you are or have the official blessing of someone who is able to speak for the project or group, then you would qualify for an on-topic project channel. If your channel fits the above criteria but is otherwise unofficial, then you would qualify for an on-topic community channel. If your channel does not fit the above criteria, and it is not otherwise off-topic for Libera.Chat, then you would qualify for an informal channel.

Expiration and disputes

On-topic project channels and on-topic community channels do not expire. An official claim to the name of an on-topic community channel is not needed, but not having it bears the risk of losing the channel should an on-topic entity with a valid claim start an official presence on Libera.Chat. Staff will try to find a good solution for both parties in such cases.

Informal channels are claimed on a first-come, first-served basis. They will expire if unused for a long time, see our policies for details regarding when this occurs. You can contact a staff member on IRC with a request to take over an expired informal channel; they are not automatically deleted once they expire. Such requests are not automatically granted; we will ask you to work with the channel’s other members to determine if you are the best person to take it over or not.

Staff reserve the right to reassign control over any channel, regardless of which channel namespace it was registered in and regardless of its expiration status. This is not an action we take lightly, but may become necessary if disputes regarding channel control cannot be resolved via other means.

Formal group registration

Established on-topic projects and communities are able to formally register their project or community with Libera.Chat. This typically happens after the channel is already registered with ChanServ and both the channel as well as the project have existed for a while, and the channel decides it wishes to establish a larger IRC presence on Libera.Chat. There is no requirement for on-topic projects and communities to formally register with us.

A formal project registration is done for on-topic project channels, and requires someone who is able to speak on behalf of the project to reach out to us to initiate the registration. This could be:

A formal community registration is done for on-topic community channels, and does not require the registrant to have an official claim to the channel’s name. Libera.Chat staff will assist in determining which type of formal registration is appropriate for your project or community.

Benefits of group registration

On-topic projects and communities who have formally registered with Libera.Chat have extra tools at their disposal to help manage their IRC presence:

Group contacts

Group contacts are the people ultimately responsible for your project here on Libera.Chat. They are empowered to claim channels within your namespace, assign cloaks to other users, and act as liaisons between Libera.Chat staff and your project. We strongly recommend having between 2-4 group contacts and that at least one group contact is publicly listed to act as a point of contact for any users interested in your project.

Group contacts must have registered accounts with NickServ on Libera.Chat. Usually, you will want to establish yourself as one of the group contacts if you are formally registering a group with us. The list of group contacts for your project or community can be modified later by sending an email to as the need arises.

Group contacts can be either publicly listed or hidden, and this choice can be made individually per group contact. Publicly listed contacts will be shown in /msg ChanServ INFO output for all channels within your group’s channel namespaces. Hidden group contacts are known only to you and Libera.Chat staff.

Registering a group

The Projects & Community team will act as your liaisons during the formal group registration process and throughout your tenure on the Libera.Chat network. If you wish to discuss the registration process, find out if Libera.Chat could be a good fit for your group or register your group, please feel free to drop any of the team members a line on IRC. If none are online, feel free to reach out to staff in general and they will forward your request to the team, which will get back to you as soon as possible. Once you have discussed your project or community with a staff member, you’ll be asked to email with the details of your request.

Do not email us without having first discussed your registration on IRC with a member of staff. This helps ensure that your project or community is deemed to be on-topic, that we have a chance to answer any questions you may have about the group registration process, and that you have a point of contact throughout the group registration process to ensure your email is not overlooked or forgotten.

Please note that we only register established projects and communities. If your project or community does not yet exist, you are still free to register a channel with ChanServ to discuss and bootstrap your project or community. Once you feel your project or community is established enough to move forward with a formal registration, reach out to us.

To ensure the registration process goes as smoothly as possible, please be prepared with the answers to the following questions: