A cloak is a custom hostmask that replaces your client hostname or IP address,
as shown in IRC operational messages or
For example, the hostmask
firstname.lastname@example.org might appear
with a cloak as
A cloak can help other users and bots identify you simply and consistently. It can also help limit the exposure of your IP address on the network, although it does not necessarily provide anonymity or prevent the discovery of your IP address, see below.
As an individual, you can get a generic user cloak in the form of
user/username. If you are involved with a well-known project or community,
you may be able to get a cloak that indicates your affiliation with that
You may also sometimes see some temporary or
gateway cloaks associated with
gateway services, such as when using our
tor hidden service. These only
last for the duration that the user is connected through that service and help
users of the service be differentiated from each other. You cannot request
Generic user cloaks
You can request a generic user cloak from the bot in
cloak will be in the form of
user/<NickServ username>. Registration with
NickServ is required.
Requesting a self-service user cloak
Please note: This process may change in the future.
- Register with NickServ if you have not already done so. You will also need to be identified.
The bot will give your account a generic user cloak and then — because its work is done — politely kick and ban you from the channel.
Your new cloak takes effect immediately. It will automatically activate each time you log in to your nickserv account in the future.
If it does not work
If you already have a cloak and wish to change the nickname in it, you will need to have a staff member update it. This is to prevent abuse.
Also for abuse prevention, accounts sometimes get flagged. When this happens it will require a human to approve the cloak. Please contact a staff member directly if the self-service channel does not cloak you.
Generic bot cloaks
If you run a bot on the network, you should also get the bot cloaked. While
you can simply obtain a self-service user cloak for the bot, it is
encouraged to get a proper bot cloak by
contacting staff. These look
user/<your username>/bot/<bot's username> and help others to find
you if something goes wrong with the bot.
Project or community cloaks
Projects and communities that are aligned with our mission are eligible for group registrations. One of the perks of group registration is the ability to request cloaks for participants.
Getting project or community cloaks
If you are involved with a registered project or community, you may
request a cloak indicating your affiliation. Rules and procedures for project
or community cloaks vary by group. For help with this, ask a group contact for
your project or community. If your project has listed group contacts publicly,
they will be listed as “Public contacts” in
/msg ChanServ INFO <channel>. If
not, ask for help in the relevant channel.
Instructions for Group Contacts
If your project or community has had an official group registration approved, then you are probably able to request cloaks for your users and contributors. Registered projects are represented by Group Contacts (also referred to as GCs). Only these people have the right to request cloaks for group members. If you are a GC, then you will have a standing invite to #libera-communities where you may request cloaks for projects that you are a registered GC for.
While it is not mandatory, we do recommend having some internal standards for your users to meet to be eligible for your project’s cloaks. Bearers of your cloaks are seen by others as representatives of your community and as such the bearer’s behaviour will reflect onto the reputation of your project or community.
Re-identifying with NickServ
Assigned cloaks must be associated with an account and will not appear if you
are not identified. If you are not using SASL or a server
password in your client, you may need to re-identify with
getting cloaked or before the cloak is active. See
/msg NickServ HELP IDENTIFY for more information.
Checking your cloak
You should see your cloaked hostmask in
/who <yournick>, in
/whois <yournick>, in
/part messages, and upon connection to
You may see your own IP address when you
/whois yourself. This is visible
only to you and network staff, and is not part of the hostmask visible to
Removing your cloak
Cloak removal is not automated. To remove your user cloak, ask someone on staff for help. To remove your project or community affiliation cloak, ask the group contact for your project or community.
Anonymity and privacy
While a cloak helps limit the exposure of your IP address, other tools can more reliably provide a greater degree of privacy protection, including bouncers, cloud-based hosts, and Tor. To connect to Libera.Chat via Tor, see Connecting to Libera.Chat.
Additionally, your IP address can be exposed if your client features a link preview feature, DCC functionality or similar.
Limitations of cloaks
Before your account has been assigned a cloak, your IP address or
hostname will be visible, especially if you have joined any channels.
Even when you have not joined any, your connecting host will be
/whowas <yournick> once you disconnect.
When using a cloak, it is strongly recommended to use SASL
/msg NickServ identify to log into your account.
SASL allows you to automatically log in and be cloaked before
your connection is visible to the rest of the Libera.Chat network,
which prevents IP address exposures like this from happening:
--> jsmith (~email@example.com) has joined #channel <-- jsmith (~firstname.lastname@example.org) has quit (Changing host) --> jsmith (~jsmith@user/jsmith) has joined #channel
When using SASL, consider ensuring that your client disconnects if
it doesn’t authenticate; some clients do not do this by default and
must be specifically configured to do so. This ensures that your
IP address will not be exposed whenever
briefly unavailable due to maintenance.