Using Open Source software you get used to being on IRC freenode be exact, more or less 24 hours a day 7 days a week. People talk/collaborate/work together there and it’s important to stay informed.

I’ve used IRCcloud for this lifestyle for the past year, love it, but having to do everything through a web browser has been frustrating. I’ve used Nimbus and even fluid to make a fake desktop application. None of these options seemed to ever feel right, I still felt like I was looking at a web browser. Before IRCcloud I used weechat and before that irssi I really miss the chance to use these amazing IRC clients. Though I think the main reason why I’d stuck with IRCcloud for so long was due to the push notifications to my phone. No matter what the ability to get ping’d when a community member needed some help was invaluable, but I still missed my clients.

I chewed on my options for a while, then talking to John Vrbanac on a train from NRT to the Tokyo OpenStack summit he mentioned he uses a Docker container as his IRC bouncer. This idea was brilliant, but there were quite a few options for IRC bouncers out there. I came to the conclusion, which was to spin up a Docker container with znc inside of it. As one of my main points for using IRCcloud was push notifications so I had to have a way to send pushes.

In a previous $JOB I had purchased Pushover and the application was still on my phone, so I choose it as my main notification layer. Luckily there is a znc-push plugin, and it has support for Pushover. Now all I need to do was create the container and find a place to run it.

I extended the code from docker-znc after discovering that, as I was trying to build znc, Jim Myhrberg had already done it. He hadn’t created an easy way to get a plugin installed inside the container so that’s where I could extend it. I wrote up docker-znc-pushover which build in the which was all this container was missing.

I tested the container, deployed it to my development docker host, worked as I suspected. I even pushed the container to which was good luck, because where I decided to run it required a place to pull from.

I spent some time looking for place to run this container from, I thought my development docker host, but it didn’t seem right. I wanted a place that wouldn’t rely on my 2 gig laptop having power. So I decided to look into Carina which was announced at the Tokyo Summit. I went through the setup and had a working Docker Swarm cluster. Now I needed to get my container on this cluster. I did some head desk movements, some debugging, but eventually it came out to these steps. These are the actual commands I ran, and now, I have a working znc bouncer in Carina now.

~$ mkdir ~/carina
~$ carina create znc-pushover --wait --nodes=1
~$ carina credentials --path=/Users/jasghar/carina/znc-pushover znc-pushover
~$ source ~/carina/znc-pushover/docker.env
~$ docker info # to confirm everything is talking correctly
~$ docker create -v /zncdata --name zncdata training/postgres /bin/true # creating a Volume Container
~$ docker run -d --volumes-from zncdata --name znc-pushover -p 36667:6667 jjasghar/znc-pushover

The /zncdata container was the most challenging part for me, but as soon as I got my head wrapped around the concept of a Volume Container, the rest was easy.

I went to the IP address that came back with docker info on port 36667 and I saw the glorious znc login. I set everything up from the web browser, and spun up irssi. I connected to the IP:36667 and saw the glorious znc welcome MOTD.

I set up push notifications via these commands:

/msg *push set service pushover
/msg *push set username your-username-token
/msg *push set secret your-secret-token
/msg *push set target your-device-name-if-you-have-multiple
/msg *push send test
/msg *status connect

I got my test message on my phone and smiled.