Statement regarding Freenode/Libera IRC

Leah Rowe

20 May 2021

News article published on 20 May 2021 by Leah Rowe. Return to index


Libreboot has long used Freenode for providing IRC chatrooms. Freenode is one of the most popular IRC networks, and one of the oldest. Recently, there has been some controversy about its leader, Andrew Lee, and some staff members have quit to form a new network named Libera. I want everyone to know: I’m completely neutral about the whole thing. I have no strong feelings one way or the other. I wish success to both Freenode and Libera.

Libreboot now has a #libreboot IRC channel on both the Freenode and Libera networks. The Libera one is to be considered unofficial, but it is owned and operated by myself at the present time. I use the same leah nick on both networks. The only reason I’m there right now is to protect the names of my projects, and also to protect myself, so that someone cannot impersonate me or my projects.

Plans for self-hosted IRC

I’ve had a plan on the TODO for a very long time, to self-host an IRC server at I’ve concluded that the best decision for Libreboot would be for me to now press ahead with this plan. The channels on Freenode and Libera will remain open, but the self-hosted one will become the official channel.

I have nothing against Freenode or Libera, but I would like to have more control over my infrastructure. My next target is Git; I will set up a Git repository, mailing list and (very likely) a SourceHut instance directly on However, self-hosted Git is not currently a high priority due to the decentralized nature of Git.

An IRC bot will be erected, bridging the 3 channels (freenode, libera and the one hosted on such that messages are relayed between them. This way, it won’t matter which one you join. You can use any of the servers! I have also registered an OFTC channel. Right now, the future of IRC networks is rather precious, so I’m taking every precaution to protect the Libreboot in the future. It is my intention that all users on all #libreboot channels will be able to talk to each other. This bridging solution is one that I have concluded is best, to mitigate current political instabilities that exist. I do not wish for my projects to be involved in anyway. Libreboot is neutral!

About the Freenode controversies

I was offline for several days. I came online again on 20 May 2021, which was apparently a whole day after the events transpired. What I can gather is this:

Basically, the most natural thing for a Free Software organization is currently in progress: someone is unhappy, so they made a fork, and the people left behind now get to run things however they like. The result? Now there are two organisations, who can both conduct themselves without tension or restraint. Is that a bad thing?

Relationships, professional or otherwise, break down all the time. It’s life. However, I do hope that peace can be restored, and that all sides can begin to cooperate once things calm down. We are all in the same fight, namely, the Free Software movement!

Life moves on very quickly indeed. I’m here to tell you: Freenode is not the world, and neither is Libera. Neither will be. Neither is OFTC. Neither is rizon. Neither is snoonet. Neither is EFnet. Neither is that weird IRC server you found one day on a forum. IRC is IRC. It can sometimes be a very crazy and chaotic place.

Anyway, yeah. That’s all for now. I really don’t have much to say. The rest of this article will link to external resources, where you can learn more about the recent events. I only wanted to tell everyone how I feel, so that I can put this issue to rest. I believe that I have now done this!

Learn more about recent chaos

I was going to write more, but I don’t think it’s needed. Instead, you can simply refer to the following pages and make up your own mind. I’m only linking them here so that people have an idea as to what I’m talking about.

I value my neutrality, so I will not make any statement either way about the contents of these articles. I haven’t read them, precisely because I don’t care but I know you will want to read them, if you’re interested enough to read this article. So here they are!

News articles

Every link below will work with JavaScript turned off, but some of them are running non-free JavaScript if you have JavaScript turned on. I assume you already have LibreJS installed anyway, if you care about that.

The following news articles are from media outlets and other people, not from the people in Freenode and Libera. however, those people also wrote articles and they are linked in the next sections on this page.

First though, read these articles:

Andrew Lee’s article

Here is Andrew’s article:

I also spotted this article, which seems to be from Andrew aswell:

From Libera (former freenode) staff

The following articles are from those individuals who recently resigned from their posts at Freenode, and moved over to Libera IRC instead.

NOTE: for github-hosted links, I’ve linked to the raw pages, because these pages are plain text and therefore do not force you to run any non-free JavaScript code.

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