Basic IRC Guide

A Quick Guide to IRC

What is IRC?
What are Networks, Servers and Channels?
How do I connect to IRC?
How do I find channels that are interesting to me?
How do I join a channel?

Username Registration
What is nickname registration and why is it important here?
Registering a nickname
Identifying your nickname upon login
Grouping nicknames
Changing your password
If you have forgotten the password to your nickname
What to do if a nickname registered to you is already logged in

Using Private Messages and Memos
What is the difference between a PM (Private Message) and a Memo?
How to send a Private Message
How to send a Memo

Channel Registration
Registering a Channel
Adding a network-provided bot
Adding people to your channel access list
Giving temporary channel access to people in your channel

What is IRC?

IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat, and is an online chatting system that contains various networks and channels which you can access by using an IRC client. You can utilize IRC to chat with people all over the world in real time about any subjects that suit your interest.

What are Networks, Servers and Channels?

Networks on IRC can be compared to websites on the internet- each network has a unique address that IRC clients can be pointed to in order to connect. Within each network are one or more servers that host the users and channels that are utilizing the network to communicate. Channels are the names of the various chatrooms that are hosted on the servers of a network, and are the final destinations of anyone visiting IRC networks. Each channel hosted on a network is also unique- 2 channels with the same name on two different networks will have completely different users, so people often look for networks with channels hosting users or subjects that are favorable to them.

How do I connect to IRC?

Connecting to IRC requires a client, which may vary from a downloadable standalone client such as xchat or mirc to a web-based client like Mibbit and Qwebirc. Some recommended clients to access this network are:

For Windows
mirc - Free to use, but after 30 days a paid-registration request screen displays before use.
Xchat - Free to try for 30 days, then requires paid registration
Hexchat - Similar to xchat, but is free and kept up to date.

For Mac
Colloquy - A great IRC client for the Mac platform.
Limechat - Another good IRC client for Mac platform
Codeux - Free to try for 30 days, then requires paid registration

Web-based clients:
Mibbit - available to use either on the mibbit chat site or via site widgets.
Qwebirc - Clean and simple web interface
KiwiIrc - Quick and easy to use
ChatZilla for Firefox - An IRC client extension for Firefox.

The basic information needed to connect to an IRC network is the network address and port number. For AtomicEdge, the network address and port number is: port 6667 (or 6697 for SSL connections)

Setting up a connection and connecting using Xchat/Hexchat:

1. Click to open the Network List window
2. If this is your first time using Xchat or Hexchat click on the Add button to add a new network name and type in "BitsJoint".
3. Click on the Bitsjoint network name to highlight it, then click on the edit button.
4. In the server field at the top of the window that pops up, click on "add" and type in the following:
5. In your "Favorite Channels" setting at the bottom type in the name of the channel (or type #net if you have none).
6. In the Nickserv password field type in your nickname's password if you have one registered.
7. Press Close to close that window then on the Network List window press the "Connect" button at the bottom.

For all future connections you can press "Connect" as soon as you open it because all your settings will be saved.

Connecting using the Mibbit web client:

1. On the connection menu click on the link titled "server", and in the server address field that appears enter:
2. Type in your nickname and list any channels you would like to join (ie. #net).
3. To auto-identify your password upon joining click on the link titled "auth" and in the empty field next to Nickserv type in your password.
4. Press connect.

Connecting using the Qwebirc web client:

1. Click on AtomicEdge's Qwebirc addressed web client.
2. Fill in your nickname and channels you would like to join.
3. To auto-identify your username upon joining select "Identify to Nickserv" from the Auth menu and input your password in the password field.
4. Press connect.

Connecting using the KiwiIrc web client:

1. Input your nickname, channel(s) and fill in a password for your nickname if you have one.
2. Click on the link near the bottom of the log in screen titled "Server and Network".
3. Type into the server field and 6667 into the port field.
4. Press Start.

How do I find a channel that is interesting to me?

Not sure what channels to find on a network? You can type /list to view a full list of public channels on this network or use /list *<keyword>* to find any public channels that contain that specific keyword.

How do I join a channel?

Once you found a channel you want to join, use the JOIN command.
/join <#channel name>

Once you're settled into a channel you like, it is a good idea to register your nickname for future use.

Username Registration

Use /NS help or /msg nickserv help for a full range of nickserv help topics.

What is nickname registration and why is it important here?

Registering a nickname secures the name for your personal use and by default requires a password to be input before it is properly identified. This prevents others from using it, and allows you to take part in any channel maintenance and moderation you may be involved in. Registered nicknames are required to register channels.

Keep in mind that a nickname will automatically de-register if it is not logged into for 21 days.

Registering a nickname

If the nickname of your choice is not already registered by someone else, you may use the following commands to register the nickname for yourself:
/ns register <password> <email>
/msg nickserv register <password> <email>

If you would like to check if a nickname is already registered, you may use the following command:
/ns info <nickname>
/msg nickserv info <nickname>

If a nickname is registered, the INFO command will provide basic registration information for that nickname, otherwise it will return with a message stating that the nickname is not registered. You may also change your current nickname to another nickname by using:
/nick <nickname>

Identifying your nickname

Most IRC clients will provide a field for password input before logging in, but if there isn't or you need to manually identify you can use the IDENTIFY command:
/ns identify <password>
/msg nickserv identify <password>

Grouping nicknames

Grouping nicknames are useful if you would like to have several different nicknames with the same access and permissions as your main registered nickname. To group a nickname, first make sure the nickname you are grouping is not already registered, change your nickname to the nick you would like to group to your main nick, then use the following command:
/ns group <nickname you are grouping yourself to> <password of the nickname you are grouping yourself to>
/msg nickserv group <nickname you are grouping yourself to> <password of the nickname you are grouping yourself to>

Changing your password

You may change your password if you are currently logged into that nickname.
/ns set password <new password here>
/msg nickserv set password <new password here>

If you have forgotten the password to your nickname

You may go to #help to request assistance from network staff to recover your password. Alternatively, you can wait 21 days for it to de-register on its own.

What to do if a nickname registered to you is already logged in.

There are two main reasons why a nickname registered to you may be already logged in: Your connection to the network was unexpectedly interrupted which left a "ghost" copy of the nick you were using, or that someone is using your nickname without your authorization. There are a few things you can do to remedy the situation.

A) Waiting it out
If your nick remained online due to a connection interruption, the nickname will usually disconnect on its own after a few minutes.

B) Using the GHOST command This command force disconnects the target username, and is useful if someone may be impersonating you or you just want that nick to go offline.
/ns ghost <username> <password of that username>
/msg nickserv ghost <username> <password of that username>

C) Using the SIDENTIFY command This command is similar to the ghost command, except that after disconnecting the target username your current nickname will be automatically changed to the nickname you just disconnected.
/ns sidentify <username> <password>
/msg nickserv sidentify <username> <password>

Private Messages and Memos

If you ever want to commuicate with someone on IRC without the prodding eyes of a public channel, the private message and memo options are there for you to use.

What is the difference between a PM (Private Message) and a Memo?

PMs are are person-to-person messages that are sent in live time and are only visible between yourself and the person you are messaging (as opposed to being publicly posted in a channel). Both parties need to be online at the same time in order for a PM to be successful. Memos are private messages that can be sent to a person who is currently offline, and the recipient will be able to read it when they log in. The person you are sending a memo to must have a registered nickname in order to receive it.

To send a Private Message:
/query <username> <message>

Depending on your client settings, the message will either appear in its own tab, its own window, or be displayed in your current chat screen in a different color.

To send a Memo:
/ms send <username> <message>
/msg memoserv <username> <message>

For further information about memos, use /ms help or /msg memoserv help.

Channel Registration

Please see /cs help or /msg chanserv help for a full range of chanserv help topics.

Registering a Channel

Channel registration requires you to be using a registered nickname that you are currently logged into and identified.

First make sure the channel you want to register is not already registered by someone else. You can check to see if a channel is registered by using the following command:
/cs info <#channelname>
/msg chanserv info <#channelname>

If the channel is unregistered the reply will be that the channel is not registered, if it is registered you will be presented with the channel's registration and topic information.

Join the channel. You must have channel OP (channel operator) rank or higher in the channel in order to register it, and you will be automatically given channel OP if you are the first person to join an unregistered channel. If the unregistered channel you join already has people in it and you do not have the temporary OP rank you will not be able to register it. Use the following command to register the channel:
/cs register <#ChannelName> <Channel Password> <Channel Description>
/msg chanserv register <#channelName> <Channel Password> <Channel Description>

Helpful tips for channel registration:
A. Do not use your nickname password as the channel password. This is for password security purposes.
B. Refrain from sharing your channel password with anyone. If you share it with others there is a risk that others may abuse or compromise your channel and channel settings.
C. A channel will de-register if no one joins it for 14 days.
D. A channel will de-register if you are the founder and all of your group nicknames de-register, regardless of how many people are in the channel on a daily basis.

Adding a network-provided bot

Once a channel is registered many choose to install a network-provided channel bot. These bots help automate some channel processes such as kick, flood and badword list enforcement, and fantasy-command-based channel management if these features are turned on. Network channel bots are not mandatory and your channel can run fine without one.

To view the names of available bots on the network use the command below. All of the bots do the same thing, and the variation of names are for personal preference.
/bs botlist
/msg botserv botlist

Once you have chosen a favorable name, use the ASSIGN command to call it into the channel:
/bs assign <#channel> <name of the bot>
/msg botserv assign <#channel> <name of the bot>

You may want the bot to take over channel functions such as OPing and DeOPing people who join. This is usually done by default but if it is off for any reason you can use the SYMBIOSIS command to activate it.
/bs set <#channel> symbiosis on
/msg botserv set <#channel> symbiosis on

For a large range of botserv related help subjects you can use /bs help or /msg botserv help.

Adding people to your channel access list

If you want others to help maintain your channel you can use access commands to assign a permanent channel rank to them. A permanent channel rank here means that the user will be automatically assigned the specified channel rank every time they join the channel and are properly identified. For a list of help topics related to access levels please see /cs help access or /msg chanserv help access.

To assign an access rank use:
/cs access <#channel> add <nickname> <access level>
/msg chanserv access <#channel> add <nickname> <access level>

If you prefer to add access via a fantasy command use:
!Access add <username> <access level>

To delete the access of someone on the list use the following:
/cs access <#channel> del <nickname>
/msg chanserv access <#channel> del <nickname>

If you prefer to delete access via a fantasy command use:
!Access del <username>

Default channel access levels:
3 (Voice)
4 (Channel half-OP)
5 (Channel OP)
10 (Admin/Protected)
9999 (Founder/Owner)

Giving temporary channel access to people in your channel

Temporary access refers to the chat commands that give nicknames a temporary channel rank, and do not require the target nicknames to be registered. Once the nickname exits the channel the specified rank(s) will be automatically removed. These commands can only be used if the ranks you are temporarily assigning are lower than your current rank in the channel.

A) Via Chanserv
/cs <rank> <#channel> <username>

Available ranks:

To de-rank a username, use the following ranks:

B) Via Modes
/mode <#channel> +<chat rank abbreviation> <username>

to remove the rank use
/mode <#channel> -<chat rank abbreviation> <username>

Chat rank mode abbreviations:
v = voice
h = halfop
o = channel operator
a = admin/protected
q = owner

These are the basics of using IRC. If you ever need help with IRC, feel free to drop by #help or use one of our support e-mails to get in touch with us.