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RookChat is an open-source HTTP/CGI-based chat room that webmasters may download and install on their web sites. It features dynamic multi-room capabilities, public/private/moderated rooms, multi-lingual support by user, many administrative levels, memos, memo lists (similar to mailing lists), graphical smileys, bot games, and over 75 commands for chatting and administration. RookChat requires a UNIX or Windows NT/2000/XP with Python 2.1 or greater.

Summary of Features

  • Dynamic multiple rooms. Users can create rooms as they desire.
  • Room types. Rooms can be public or private, with free or moderated discussion.
  • Administrative permissions. Four administrative levels -- moderator, operator, administrator, and owner -- allow you to have fine-tuned control over what permissions different users have, and where. Users can manage their own rooms by default, but you can explicitly grant individual users privileges over main rooms and/or system-wide.
  • Administrative powers. There are a host of functions to take care of unruly users: kick them, quiet them, evict them, ban them, possess them, shrink them, or turn them into morons.
  • Private messages and memos. Send private messages to user(s), or send memos to off-line users for when they log in next.
  • Memo lists. Create your own "memo lists" (mailing lists, except through memos instead of email) for subscribing users.
  • Transcripts. Users can record and download transcripts of conversation automatically.
  • Graphical smileys. A small sample:
    smile sad wink mad anime crafty surprise yawn
    dog orc horsey smile horsey sad horsey wink horsey tongue horsey surprise horsey mad
  • Multi-lingual support. Individual users can adjust what language instructions, error messages, etc, will appear in.
  • Lots of customization options. RookChat is fully customizable with dozens of installation options, plus lots of options that individual users can set to adjust the behavior and look-and-feel of the chat room.
  • Automated password recovery. Users can get forgotten usernames and/or passwords emailed to them.
  • Bad word moderation. Optionally, you can prohibit bad words by replacing profanity with more politic alternatives.
  • Dice roller. Users have a dice roller available to them in the chat room, which will roll any number of any-sided dice on command.
  • More About Features

Summary of Bot Games

RookChat is more than just a chat server. It comes with games that can be played in the chat rooms, too. "Bots" -- programs that run inside RookChat chat rooms -- can conduct games for chatters to play. There are a lot of bot games that come in the basic package. Here are just a few of them:

  • MatchBot - Compete with other players to match the best noun with a randomly chosen adjective, then vote on the best or funniest match from the other players.
  • AcroBot - Make up what randomly generated acronyms stand for, then vote on the cleverest or craziest submissions from the other players.
  • StoryBot - Players collaborate on writing a story by taking turns writing a few words at a time. Results can be hilarious and surprising.
  • BlitzBot - Be the first to name items in a given category (e.g., "things with wheels") and get a point for each one you get first.
  • WordBot - Make letters from words, words from other words, unscramble words, etc. Unlimited randomly generated questions about English words.
  • CountryBot - Race to answer questions about national capitals, bordering countries and oceans, languages, and more, and identify national flags.
  • WhizKid - The bot that plays bot games. WhizKid will play other bot games, such as MatchBot and AcroBot, automatically. Plus, randomized sentence construction lets you hold bizarre sorts of conversations with it outside of the games.
  • More About Bot Games


  • 6/10/08 - Version 4.0 of RookChat has been released! This version contains 9 more bots (30 total), macros, new commands, and extensive usability enhancements.


Try RookChat out now!


Download RookChat now!


To use an installation of RookChat (such as the demo above), all you need is a web browser with javascript enabled.

To install RookChat on your own web site, you need:

  • A web server running UNIX or Windows.
  • A web hosting account that allows you to run your own CGI processes.
  • Python 2.1+ installed on the web server.
  • Web hosting accounts with very low bandwidth limits are not recommended.
  • Some shared hosting accounts may not allow sufficient CPU usage for a heavily-used installation of RookChat.


Main Programmer / Maintainer.......Samuel Stoddard
Win32 Port.......Jody Burns
Misc. Development.......Ciaran Hamilton
Misc. Development.......David Leverton
Horsey Smileys.......Darleen Stoddard
Traditional Smileys.......John Kanost
Mousie Smiley.......Heidi Linn
British English Translation.......Ross Thompson
Finnish Translation.......Joona I. Palaste
Latin Translation.......Paul Zetler
Norwegian Translation.......Jørn Støylen
German Translation.......Sebastian Hülsmann
Pirate Translation.......Eric McGill