I found the instructions on the other page didn't work for me, and although the whole process of setting up secure IRC on Windows isn't too tough, it's difficult to find a clear, step-by-step set of instructions. Here's what I did:

* Downloading the software (Windows) *

  • Go to http://www.stunnel.org/download/binaries.html
  • Download two files:
    • the latest stunnel file (will have a red asterisk beside it probably)
    • scroll down to the bottom of the page and download the file openssl.zip
  • Make a new directory (folder), maybe call it "working" or something
  • Copy the "stunnel-4.05.exe" into the "working" folder. The file may be called something a little different, like "stunnel-4.06.exe" if there have been updates since this was written.
  • Copy the openssl.zip file into the "working" folder
  • Unzip the openssl.zip file in the "working" folder. If you get a folder as a result, maybe called "openssl", copy the files inside it back out into the "working" folder and delete the empty "openssl" folder.

You should now have a folder called "working" with the following files in it:

  • stunnel-4.05.exe (or something similar)
  • libeay32.dll
  • libssl32.dll
  • openssl.exe

Installing the software (Windows or GNU/Linux)

Now, open up a text editor (you can use Notepad). Paste the following text into new (blank) window:

cert = C:\WINNT\system32\stunnel.pem
key = C:\WINNT\system32\stunnel.pem
client = yes
accept = 6994
connect = irc.indymedia.org:994

This assumes you are running Windows 2000 or something, if you are using Windows XP it is quite possible that the file paths in the above should be changed to something like

cert = C:\WINDOWS\system32\stunnel.pem
key = C:\WINDOWS\system32\stunnel.pem

If you are using GNU/Linux, you will need to do something different again. Try maybe

cert = /home/yourusername/.stunnel/stunnel.pem
pem = /home/yourusername/.stunnel/stunnel.pem

This assumes that you are going to create a snazzy hidden directory called ".stunnel" (no quotes) in your home directory. If you don't want to create a hidden directory just leave the dot "." out before the "stunnel" in the above example.

So, to get back to the main flow of things here. Save this text file in the "working" directory, calling it "stunnel.conf" (no quotes). Make very sure that when you save the file, that you have ".* All Files" selected in the little pull down box at the bottom, otherwise Windows may try to call the file "stunnel.conf.txt" and all your hard work will have been in vain.

The last thing to do is to go to http://www.stunnel.org/pem/

This page has a form on it.

  • Fill in all the fields (don't feel too constrained by bourgeois standards of accuracy)
  • where it says "Certificate Valid Time", enter a value like "10000" (no quotes) so that your certificate doesn't expire in a year, forcing you to do this all again in 365 days time
  • hit the "Generate Stunnel PEM File" button at the bottom. Wait a few seconds and you'll be presented with a page with all kinds of scary-looking stuff on it.

Halfway down the page, there will be a text box. The text inside it will start with something like

"-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----MIICXAIBAAKBgQCk3AYoXUZMXKjnE/UBr1CCHhvqW6lCIbbHpmpS2sUDpAplNeSP Tdzv5p0pJmHuFtyV5DWlIXu0wz9tWjt2+gGpf/vOKzoO8N9s"

Do not panic.

  • Copy all of that text into a new file in Notepad.
  • Save the resulting file in the "working" directory as "stunnel.pem"

Again, make very sure that when you save the file, that you have ".* All Files" selected in the little pull down box at the bottom, otherwise Windows may try to call the file "stunnel.pem.txt".

Nearly done now. The "working" directory should now have the following files in it:

  • stunnel-4.05.exe (or something similar)
  • libeay32.dll
  • libssl32.dll
  • openssl.exe
  • stunnel.conf
  • stunnel.pem

Copy all of these files to


If when you open the C: directory you don't see a "WINNT" directory, look to see if there is a "WINDOWS" directory instead. If there is, and the file path in the "stunnel.conf" file still says

cert = C:\WINNT\system32\stunnel.pem
key = C:\WINNT\system32\stunnel.pem

then make sure you change these file paths to

cert = C:\WINDOWS\system32\stunnel.pem
key = C:\WINDOWS\system32\stunnel.pem

So. You copy all of the files to the C:\WINDOWS\system32\ directory. If you see a notice telling you that Windows doesn't want you to see your operating system files, just click the "show files" link on the bottom left hand side.

You have now successfully installed all the stuff. Congratulations! Now to use it.

Right click on the "stunnel-4.05.exe" file in C:\WINDOWS\system32\ and say "Create Shortcut". Copy the shortcut out onto your desktop. You only have to do this once.

Double click the shortcut on your desktop. If all goes well, you should see the stunnel icon appear in your system tray (that little area on the bottom right hand side of the desktop beside the clock).

At this point, you can fire up your favorite irc client (maybe Chatzilla?) and type in:

/server localhost 6994

You should then be connected to irc.indymedia.org via a secure encrypted connection. To find out, say something in a channel and then roll over your name (this is a test for Chatzilla, not sure what other clients do). If you are connected securely, your IP address should show up as "localhost:6994" rather than "millionsofdeadcops@" or whatever you normally log in as. Or you could just ask somebody if it worked.

Good luck!

PS Please note that whenever you restart your computer, you'll have to doubleclick the stunnel shortcut on your desktop again to make the secure connection with irc.indymedia.org before you can login in securely using your irc client.

-- YosSarian - 23 Nov 2004
Topic revision: r2 - 16 Dec 2004, YosSarian
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