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Setting up matrix-appservice-irc on debian

matrix-appservice-irc is tool for bridging IRC into Matrix communication network.

matrix-appservice-irc have not been packaged for debian use, so here goes a guide explaining how to set it up on current Debian GNU/Linux.

Debian Buster

matrix-appservice-irc is written in Node.js and uses npm for installation. npm's integration into Debian is not really good, so we will need to make some extra action to make it fit.


So, to install it, you will need git and npm to set it up, and postgresql to run it

$ sudo apt-get install git npm postgresql

Then we will need to create a user that would run bridge service

$ sudo adduser --system  matrix-bridge-irc

Please notice that we do not set --no-create-home option here, as npm will need this user home dir for installation process.

Then you will need to precreate path that where matrix-appservice-irc will be installed, and change it's owner to matrix-bridge-irc user

$ sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/lib/node_modules/matrix-appservice-irc/bin/matrix-appservice-irc
$ sudo ln -s /usr/local/lib/node_modules/matrix-appservice-irc/bin/matrix-appservice-irc /usr/local/bin/matrix-appservice-irc
$ chown -R matrix-bridge-irc: /usr/local/lib/node_modules/

Then switch to matrix-bridge-irc user and run installation process

$ sudo su matrix-bridge-irc
$ npm install matrix-appservice-irc --global
$ cd /usr/local/lib/node_modules/matrix-appservice-irc
$ npm install
$ npm test  # make sure these pass!

If you have good karma, you might get it installed well.

Then you will need to create an empty database that will be used by matrix-appservice-irc

$ sudo su postgres
$ createuser --pwprompt irc_bridge_db_user
$ psql

and in the psql console type

CREATE DATABASE irc_bridge_db
OWNER irc_bridge_db_user;

This will create a database for you.


For bridge configuring please follow upstream instruction at Do not forget to change database connection options in the end of config file

Running as a systemd service

When you make sure you can run this daemon manually, it is good time to make it run automatically. To do it we will need to create a systemd service file:

$ sudo editor /etc/systemd/system/matrix-appservice-irc.service

And add following content to the file

Description=Matrix AppService IRC
ExecStart=node app.js -c config.yaml -f my_registration_file.yaml -p 9999


Start a service, you've just created

$ sudo systemctl start matrix-appservice-irc

Make sure it is up and running

$ sudo systemctl status matrix-appservice-irc

And then enable service autostart

sudo systemctl enable matrix-appservice-irc

Reboot, if you can, make sure it still works. And have a nice IRC<->Matrix chat!