How to connect to Campfire using your favorite IRC client

Published 2013-10-12, 17:08

The team of a new project uses Campfire for group chat. Campfire is 37signal’s web based chat solution from back when they launched a new product every few months.

I don’t like chatting in a browser. And I’m a Windows guy and all the native Campfire clients for Windows work, but are not very pretty. You could probably even say they are a bit ugly. That’s why I went on a hunt to get Campfire into a Jabber or IRC client.

I’m in IRC all the time on freenode for several development channels, so I was really happy to find a small script that builds a brigdge between the Campfire API and IRC: https://github.com/zerowidth/camper_van

Here is a small ‘how to’ on how to get it to work on Windows:

  1. Download Ruby Installer: http://rubyinstaller.org/downloads (I would suggest using the 1.9.3 version.)
  2. Use these options for the installation:
  3. Download the matching Development Kit from the same site.
    The installer is a bit crappy, make sure to extract to a new folder on your HD (e.g. “C:/Ruby Devkit”).
    Run the following commands in a command prompt in this directory:
    ruby dk.rb init
    ruby dk.rb install
  4. Now you can install the camper_van Ruby gem:gem install camper_van(Will take a while)
  5. Run camper_van to start the Campfire-IRC-bridge

Now you can connect to 127.0.0.1 on port 6667 using “##campfire_subdomain##:##your_api_key##” (You can find both on your member site of the Campfire chat room) in your favorite IRC client. After connecting, /join #channelname to join your channel and you’re done.

camper_van translates all nicknames from “Foo Bar” to “foo_bar” so you can use it to reply to people in chat and your client can inform you if you were mentioned. Same for images or tweets, should all work.

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