Comicbot Installation & Configuration How-To


For this guide we will be using PPF (Pirc Plugin Framework), which is essentially a more beefed up and nifty version of Pircbot.

As for our OS will be using Windows XP to run PPF in a Java environment. PPF is cross-platform due to it being written entirely in Java, which means the steps for installation and configuration are fundamentally the same for any other OS.

PPF Homepage (hosted by sourceforge):

If for some odd reason you are browsing this page and still do not fully understand what a comicbot is.. then let me quote the author's website.

“Comic Bot is an IRC bot based on the PircBot framework. It sits quietly in a channel, observing what people say. When it sees something that may have been amusing, it quickly generates a cartoon comic strip which can be viewed on the web. The frequency at which this page updates is obviously dependant on how busy (and how funny!) the channel is.” ~

With that out of the way we can now dive into the Installation process.


Perquisite - Java Runtime Environment (aka JVM):

Download Link:

Once you've got Java installed on your platform you may proceed to installing PPF, first head on over to:

Download the latest build archive and extract it anywhere, it doesn't matter as long as you know where it is. (doesn't really matter where as long as its on a hard disk or equivalent storage device.)

You should then have the following files and directories:

  • (Linux bash script for configuration)
  • docs (html document ion)
  • JavaService.license (GNU software license)
  • Jaxen-License.txt (library license)
  • JDOM-License.txt (yet another license)
  • License.txt (main PPF license)
  • PircBot-License.txt (pircbot license)
  • PPF.bat (batch script for PPF execution under windows)
  • (bash script for PPF execution under *nix)
  • removeService.cmd (batch script for removal of the PPF windows service)
  • runAsService.cmd (batch script for adding of the PPF windows service)
  • src (directiory that contains all of the PPF source code in an archive format)
  • system (system folder which contains various plugins and the “master” PPF folder where the all important configuration files are)
  • Xerces-License.txt (yet another “fracking” license)

Optional - Add PPF as a windows service:

For Windows just execute the “runAsService.cmd” batch script and your done, further configuration of this service can be accessed via the services console. (Control Panel/Administrative Tools)

This will make it so PPF starts up every time windows starts up and will allow you to add a layer of fault tolerance..

Well that about wraps up the Installation side of things.


Let's start by executing the “PPF Config Editor” via config.bat batch script. You will be presented with six different tabs with various options you may need to tweak.. since we're already at the main tab lets start here.

Most of these options are probably already familiar to you (or should be if you've ever used a full featured IRC client), the only thing out of the ordinary would be the password authentication system PPF takes advantage of for remote/real time administration.

The authentication system is pretty straight forward, each level grants the user(s) certain permissions to plugins and administration features, trusted being the lowest level, admin being the highest and master somewhere in between. (of course this is all dependant on how PPF is configured)

A quick example of how a user would authenticate to PPF with his/or password is as follows:

/msg $botname $password

This could then be added to your client's preform instructions to prevent one from having to manually authenticate each time you connect to a server.

After thats all over and done with, configure your “Servers, Nicks and Channels” tabs, this is all pretty standard stuff you shouldn't need me to spell any of this out.

Now head to the “Plugins” tab, choose the plugins that you wish to use by enabling them to automatically load up on startup, if you want a no frills “comic bot” nows the time to set that up by just enabling that one plugin (comicbot) to load at run time.

(see for plugin documentation!)

PPF also comes bundled with a nice light weight http server which will allow you to share your comics with the whole world (or at least to the parts that are connected..) go ahead and set that up in the “Web server” tab if you wish to use it.

The final piece of our configuration lies within (\Pircbot Plugin Framework\system\ComicBot), locate the config file “ComicBotConfig.xml” Open her up in wordpad and start editing the example configuration. (everything is well documented and easy to understand)

Here's a sample of what my config looks like:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <!-- where to place the strips - a directory per channel name will be created under this dir -->
    <createdMessage show="true">New comic created</createdMessage>
    <!-- upload information and message -->
    <upload enable="yes">
      <!-- ftp details -->
      <ftp ip="" port="1337" username="comic" password="ComIx9452" dir="www"/>
      <!-- where the uploaded image will be visible (added to the end of <createdMessage> -->
      <viewingURL showFilename="true"></viewingURL>
    <!-- the words that will trigger the creation of the comic strip -->

After you've customized the config to suit your needs you can go ahead and fire up your PPF bot and test things out. (repeating the trigger words is great for testing the comics)

Additionally you can configure the PPF service (if you installed it) via the services console:

Press the windows key + R on your keyboard to bring up the run dialog box then type:


Once that services console window appears proceed to the “PPF” service, right click and select properties and from there you can set the startup type and recovery options.

Congratulations you now have yourself a comicbot! *yay*

Final Notes:

/msg $botname diekills the bot.

net start ppfstarts the bot via the windows service. (this option is to be used from a command line or run dialog box)

net stop ppfkills the windows service. (and so too the bot) (this option is to be used from a command line or run dialog box)

For further documentation on how to take full advantage of PPF's powerful features please take a look at the user guide: (A must read)

And for those of you who wish to be creative and create your own comics, i recommend you check out “Comic Life” from Plasq. ~

Stay tuned for my guide on how to create your own comics..


You can reach me @ The_Rebel52@hotmail(dot)com

Or via IRC at #xbox-sky (nick: The_Rebel)

P.S Thanks goes to nhinja for helping with the editing. :-DThe_Rebel 2008/02/28 19:43