Omnipresence reads its configuration from a YAML file passed in on the twistd command line:

$ twistd -no omnipresence settings.yaml

This page details the syntax and basic directives of configuration files. For information on the settings provided by Omnipresence’s built-in event plugins, see Built-in plugins.

See also

The Wikipedia article on YAML gives a rundown of the basic structure and syntax of a YAML file.


A directive is made up of a command and associated value, which are represented in the YAML format as a mapping key and value, respectively. Each command is a string made up of an initial keyword and zero or more arguments, which are parsed in a shell-like fashion (see shlex.split), while the value’s type depends on the directive.

The directives for plugins, variables, and ignore rules cascade down into individual channels unless explicitly overridden. For example, given the configuration file:

set foo: 12345
channel redstapler:
    set foo: 67890

the variable foo is assumed to have the value 12345 everywhere except for the #redstapler channel, where it is 67890.

The particular order of directives at the same nesting level does not matter; in other words, there is no concept of “earlier” or “later” in a file, only “shallower” and “deeper.” This means that the following configuration is equivalent to the last one:

channel redstapler:
    set foo: 67890
set foo: 12345

Avoid giving the same directive more than once inside a block. The configuration parser may choose to use the value of either one depending on the whims of the YAML parser.


The following directives are only valid at the root of a configuration file, and specify the details of the connection to the IRC server:

  • host is the hostname of the server. This directive is mandatory.
  • port is the port to connect to on the server. It defaults to 6667.
  • ssl determines whether to use SSL. It defaults to False.
  • nickname is the bot’s initial nickname. It defaults to "Omnipresence".
  • username is the username to use in the bot’s hostmask if one is not provided by identd. It defaults to the value of nickname.
  • realname is the bot’s “real name,” visible in WHOIS. It has no default value.
  • password is the server password to use. It has no default value.


The channel and private directives give settings specific to a channel or direct messages for the bot, respectively:

    plugin .nickserv: on
channel foo:
    plugin foo.specific: [foo]
channel bar:
    enabled: off

Like the connection control directives, these directives are only valid at the root of a configuration file.

The channel directive takes the name of a channel as its sole argument. The # prefix is optional and is automatically added if no other known channel prefix is present. As # is also used to indicate comments in YAML, the directive must be quoted if it is given:

"channel #foo":
    plugin foo.specific: [foo]

Needless to say, leaving it off is generally easier.

Inside a channel block, the value of the enabled directive controls Omnipresence’s automatic join and part behavior. If it is true, the default for all explicitly configured channels, the channel is automatically joined on bot start and configuration reload. If false, the channel is not joined on bot start, and is parted from on reload if the bot is present there. If set to the string "soft", the default for all channels not explicitly mentioned in the configuration, the channel is not joined on bot start, but is not parted from on reload.


The plugin directive enables or disables a plugin in the current block and all blocks below it, unless overridden:

plugin .rss: on
plugin .wikipedia: [w, wp]
plugin .wikipedia/Random: [wr]
plugin foo.custom: [foo]

It takes the plugin’s configuration name as its sole argument. Names that begin with a period (.) refer to built-in plugins, while others are custom plugins provided by third-party packages. If a package provides multiple plugins, alternatives are available by adding a slash and a second name (/Random).

The value is either a list of command keywords to use for plugins that provide a command, or Boolean True or False. False disables the plugin.


The set directive sets the value of a configuration variable:

set nickname: Omnipresence
set google.key: 0123456789abcdef

It takes the name of the variable to set as its sole argument. By convention, names not containing a period (.) are used for Omnipresence core settings, while those with a period belong to plugins. The value depends on the specific variable being set. Note that Omnipresence does not parse directives inside variable blocks, so the following configuration syntax is valid:

set deliberately.unused.variable:
    channel example: hello world

(You should use data blocks instead of abusing variable blocks to store arbitrary data for later reuse, however.)

To unset a variable, set it to None using a tilde character (~):

set rss.feeds: ~

The following variables affect Omnipresence’s behavior:

  • command_prefixes is a list of prefixes Omnipresence searches for in public channels to indicate a command. It has no default value.
  • direct_addressing allows the bot’s configured or current nickname, followed by a colon or a comma, to be a command prefix. It defaults to True.
  • reply_format is a format string used for replies to public channels. The strings {target} and {message} are replaced by the target nickname and content of the reply, respectively. The default is "\x0314{target}: {message}", which colors the response text gray.
  • encoding is the name of a Python character encoding used to encode and decode messages. The default is "utf-8".

Ignore rules

The ignore directive tells Omnipresence to not pass messages from certain user hostmasks to certain plugins:

ignore no_google_for_you:
    hostmasks: ["*!*@foo.example"]
    include: [google]
ignore otherbots:
    hostmasks: [foobot, barbot]
    exclude: [.chanlog]

It takes an arbitrary name as its sole argument. This name can be used in nested blocks to disable the ignore rule:

channel mercy:
    ignore no_google_for_you: off

The value is either Boolean False, or a mapping containing a hostmasks directive and at most one of include or exclude. The value of hostmasks is a list of hostmasks the ignore rule applies to. If include is given, its value is used as an exhaustive list of plugins that should not respond to events from the given hostmasks. Otherwise, all plugins except those given in exclude, if present, ignore those hostmasks. If more than one ignore rule applies to a particular user, any rules with exclude take precedence over those with include; in either case, all values for each are combined.

Data blocks

The data directive opens a block that can store arbitrary data. Its contents are not parsed at all:

    ignore totalanarchy:
        channel thismakesnosense: hello world
    but_here_are_some_defaults: &defaults
        plugin .help: [h, help]
        plugin .more: [m, more]

This feature allows the use of YAML references to define repeated configuration templates where they will explicitly not be parsed. For example, the defaults value from the data block above can now be used for specific channel settings:

channel bar:
    <<: *defaults
channel baz:
    <<: *defaults
    plugin baz.plugin: [quux]


To reload the bot configuration, send a SIGUSR1 to the running process. Omnipresence will join and part channels according to the channel configuration. Changes to connection directives are ignored; they require a full restart of the bot.