Channels & users#

Knowing how to talk is good for a bot, but you may be wondering what the bot knows about the channels and their users. For that, you can use the bot’s channels attribute.

For example, to list all channels the bot is in:

for name, channel in bot.channels.items():
    # do something with the name and the channel


Sopel doesn’t know about channels it didn’t join first, and it forgets everything about a channel when it leaves.

Getting a channel’s information#

To get a channel’s information, you need to know its name, with its channel prefix (usually #), such as this:

channel = bot.channels['#channel_name']

With the trigger object, you can also access the channel object directly (assuming the message comes from a channel, which you should check first):

channel = bot.channels[trigger.sender]

The channel object is an instance of Channel, which provides the following information:


To check if a message comes from a channel, you have two options:

  1. use the require_chanmsg() decorator on your plugin callable

  2. use an if block in your function to check trigger.sender:

    if not trigger.sender.is_nick():
        # this trigger is from a channel

    See Identifier.is_nick() for more information.

Getting users in a channel#

To get a list of users in a channel, you can use its users attribute: this is a map of users you can iterate over to get all the users:

for nick, user in channel.users.items():
    # do something with the nick and the user

You can access one user in a channel with its nick:

user = channel.users['Nickname']

With the trigger object, you can also access the user object directly:

user = channel.users[trigger.nick]

Manage channels#

Like any IRC client, Sopel uses IRC messages to join or leave channels, to kick users or to set channel modes. It provides methods you can use to send those commands:

Join & Part#

If you want the bot to join or leave a channel, the solution is straightforward:


For example, you can recreate the .tmpjoin command like so:

def my_custom_join(bot, trigger):
    channel, key =,
    if not channel:
        bot.reply('I need a channel to join.')
        bot.join(channel, password=key)

To use that command:

<Admin> .tmpjoin #channel

And then the bot will send the following message:

JOIN #channel

When the server replies to that message, Sopel will automatically update its list of known channels and may send other IRC commands to know more about its users. The part method works exactly like the join method, but the bot will leave the channel instead of joining it.


Both join and part methods send an IRC command to the server, but they don’t update the bot’s configuration file: when the bot restarts, unless bot.settings.core.channels has been updated manually, the bot won’t remember the channels joined or left from these methods alone.


You should always consider security when allowing the bot to join or leave a channel: in this example, only admins are allowed to use the .tmpjoin command thanks to the require_admin() decorator.

Kick users#

Sometimes you don’t want a user in your channel. The IRC message would be:

KICK #channel xnaas :You know why!

You can use bot.kick() to achieve the same result:

bot.kick('xnaas', '#channel', text='You know why!')


Be responsible: you should ensure that your plugin limits the potential for abuse as much as possible. For example, consider limiting who can trigger a kick by checking privileges, and/or limiting kicks to an explicit set of reasons.