- This page is about the IRC protocol. For details on the IndieWeb IRC chat rooms, see discuss.
What is IRC
Internet Relay Chat (abbreviated IRC), in particular the #indieweb channels on the irc.libera.chat server, is the primary community discussion forum for IndieWebCamp and anything about the IndieWeb.
- 1 What is IRC
- 2 Install an IRC app
- 3 Freenode Services
- 4 Getting started with IRC
- 5 Clients
- 6 Personal domain whois
- 7 Troubleshooting
- 8 Voice
- 9 Advanced / Admin notes
- 10 bot development
- 11 Advantages
- 12 Criticism
- 13 Brainstorming
- 14 See Also
Install an IRC app
You can use an IRC application for more convenience. See the section Clients for clients commonly used in the community which you can download and install.
IRC applications are convenient for automatically reconnecting you to the discussion channel, with your chosen nickname, and offer more configuration and alerting options than the web interface.
The #indieweb IRC channel is hosted on the freenode.net server. See Joining a server and channel for info about configuring additional services (authenticated nicknames, etc.).
Use a browser to quickly join the live discussion chat using the freenode webchat:
Getting started with IRC
Please note: These directions relate specifically to the services that Freenode offers. Other IRC servers may differ with the services they offer and how to operate them.
Joining a server and channel
Most clients will offer you a connection dialogue showing the required fields for connection. The details to connect to the server are:
You should also fill in any fields to set your alias, real name and email address. If available, save these settings for later to speed up connecting in future.
More on setting a password protected alias can be read here.
Once connected, you will most likely be presented with the "MOTD" (message of the day). For the first visit, it is advisable to read this to find out about the server's policies and other important pieces of news and help, otherwise it can be ignored and you can either authenticate your alias or join a channel.
Your client may display to you a listing of all available channels. Locate
#indieweb and select to join, or type
/join #indieweb into the command line available to you in your client (where you've just been shown your connection).
Assuming you've connected correctly, you should now find youself in the #indieweb channel!
More detailed, but general, advice can be read here. Irc help currently has many missing pages; the link is to a copy in the Internet Archive.
Creating a registered nickname
Registration means that a password becomes associated with your alias/nickname/sign-in name and from the point of registration authorisation is required to communicate using that alias.
Registration of a nickname is required for some channels, and should be done to protect your identity.
To register with Freenode, you must communicate with their service known as NickServ. The two basic command you will need to get started are:
/msg nickserv register password email
For authentication (login):
/msg nickserv identify password
password being a value of your choice and
The command looks something like
/msg NickServ VERIFY REGISTER yournick mbarbwytaspq. Enter this command to verify your email with the nickserv.
Your client may offer you an option to set your alias and password, so that you will not have to manually enter this information on each join. Refer to your client's help files for more on this.
These commands can be typed directly into the server window upon join, or whilst in a channel, just as you would normally send a message.
More detailed user registration command information can be found in Freenode's FAQ
Requiring nickname authentication
You can set an option requiring authentication of your nickname within 30 seconds. If not authenticated in that time, the nickname will automatically be changed.
Once authenticated to Nickserv,
/msg NickServ SET ENFORCE ON
Sending a message to a channel may be as simple as joining the channel and typing into the window, just as you would with an Instant Messenger. You can refer to your client's help files for quicker/alternative methods of doing the following. For all clients the following commands are available (the parts in bold must be used, but are not seen by others):
Sending a message to the entire channel you are currently in:
Command: /msg Hello world!
Result: <Bill> Hello world!
Sending an action/emotive/3rd person statement:
Command: /me dances a code jig
Result: Bill dances a code jig
Sending a message to one person only (private chat):
Command: /msg Bob Hi, would you like to code jig?
Result (for Bob only): <Bill> Hi, would you like to code jig?
The following clients are recommended by #indieweb participants:
- HexChat — Actively developed fork of X-chat. Windows and Linux binaries available.
- mIRC — Popular Windows client. Trial version only.
- AdiIRC — Simple C# based IRC client.
- Miranda — Lightweight, muti-protocol instant messenger.
- Adium — open source, free, multi-protocol
- Colloquy — open source, free
- Fire — open source, free, no longer under development
- LimeChat — open source, free
- Minerva — free, no longer under development
- XChat Aqua/Azure — open source, free
- Snak — commercial ($29)
- Textual — open source, commercial ($4.99)
- Igloo — commercial ($4.99)
- HexChat — Actively developed fork of X-chat. Windows and Linux binaries available.
- Chatzilla — Cross-platform IRC extension for Firefox
- Pidgin — Popular open-source multi-protocol windows client, using libpurple
- Irssi — Unix client, often run from a shell, typically in conjunction with 'screen'.
- Instabird/Thunderbird — An instant messaging client built by Mozilla!
- CIRC on ChromeOS or in the Chrome browser
- WeeChat - Full-featured terminal-mode IRC, with IPv6, SASL authentication, nicklist, DCC, and many other features. Like irssi, usually used on a server, in conjunction with tmux instead of screen
- ZNC — A fully developed IRC bouncer with many add-ons, including colloquy mobile push via apple push notification service. IRC on your phone!
- irssi-proxy — A light weight bouncer for irssi
- The Lounge — self-hosted web-based IRC client
- Quassel — client-server based IRC client for Windows/Mac/Linux/Android (custom protocol between server and clients). Standalone version also available (uses local sqlite database)
Personal domain whois
If you connect to IRC in some fashion so that the reverse dns points to your domain, then it will show up when others /whois you.
For example, /whois rascul
Here are some possible scenarios:
- Run ZNC on your server (for example, rascul.io) and connect to it through your tinc VPN.
- SSH to your server and run Irssi inside GNU Screen. Take a look at Guide to using Screen and Irssi.
- Use WeeChat's Relay protocol to use WeeChat on your server as a bouncer.
Need to identify via SASL
If you get an error message like:
*** Notice -- You need to identify via SASL to use this server
- If you're on Colloquy on Mac, there are two possible fixes in increasing difficulty:
- If you're on Colloquy on iOS, you need to configure the SASL support in the Advanced options.
- (stub - need more description here about how to find the Advanced options and what to enter, screenshots would be nice)
Scenarios - the above error has been encountered when:
- Using a Virgin Mobile MiFi to access the internet. (2011-193 Tantek)
- Using a tethered T-Mobile Internet connection (Npdoty.name 15:47, 14 March 2013 (PDT))
Anyone who has added themselves to the chat-names list will be automatically given "voice" (+v) in the IndieWeb channels by Loqi as a way to indicate that you have access and are listed in the wiki. This "user mode" is often represented by a + in front of the persons name in many IRC clients.
You will be given voice even if you are not authenticated with Nickserv, as it does not pose any sort of security problem and is not considered a reliable way to authenticate you.
Note: "voice" has nothing to do with who can/can't talk. Everyone abiding by the Code-Of-Conduct is free to speak their (on topic) mind. Want voice too? Feel free to add yourself to chat-names or ask for help.
Advanced / Admin notes
Freenode uses the Atheme IRC Services for ChanServ and NickServ. Channel administrators will mostly interact with the former, users with the latter. These are the systems administrators are going to be communicating with.
The below configurations probably will not work on networks that use a different set of services.
See ChanServ FLAGS for the full list of possible privileges to give a user on a channel. Below are just some quick reminders for things that happen semi-frequently or are required for new channels.
Giving someone ops
/msg chanserv op #indieweb Loqi
Granting auto op to Loqi
/msg chanserv flags #indieweb Loqi +O
Turning off auto op for yourself (or anyone), to avoid seeing spam messages before Loqi kick spammers
/msg chanserv flags #indieweb tantek -O
Setting channel to allow anyone to set topic
/msg chanserv flags #indieweb +t
Lock the +t option on
/msg chanserv set #indieweb mlock +t
Ban and kick someone
/msg chanserv akick #pdxbots add *!*email@example.com
Check access list for a channel
/msg chanserv access #indieweb list
Grant all flags you can to a user, except Founder status (
+F) and auto-op (see above)
/msg chanserv flags #indieweb aaronpk +*-O
Prevent ChanServ from syncing user modes. Sometimes ChanServ tries to sync its own ACL with the channel, you can turn this off with:
/msg chanserv set #indieweb nosync on
/msg chanserv help /msg chanserv help flags /msg chanserv help set mlock
Currently running a test on #indieweb-chat with the following extra settings to hide the channel from others on the IRC network. Like above, these are set by sending them to ChanServ. This might be able to further lessen the amount of spam we’re seeing.
- SET #indieweb-chat MLOCK +sp
This makes the channel secret and private. The channel should not longer show up in channel lists anywhere. See Freenode’s channel modes for explanations.
- SET #indieweb-chat PRIVATE ON
This “hides various information about the channel”. One example is to hide the channel from LIST commands issued to ChanServ .
To see which modes and flags have been set, query ChanServ with:
- INFO #indieweb-chat
(Note: it looks like this will not display all flags, e.g.
NOSYNC is known not to be displayed.)
Ban user based on "real name" field
/mode #indieweb-meta +b $x:*permaweb.io
- see extbans for details on
- 2020-04-21 the discord bridge invite page at permaweb.io/discord is down, and we cannot get in touch with the people who set it up. additionally, it appears only two people have ever used the discord bridge, one of who connects via other means as well. we are disabling the bridge via IRC ban because most of the users are idling and it makes the channel look bigger than it is, increasing the amount of spam or random off-topic messages we get. ~ Aaron Parecki
- IRC is built on open protocols so you can build your own clients and servers that interface with IRC.
- IRC has been extensively documented over the years.
- There are many tutorials available online on how to write IRC bots in various languages.
- IRC is text-only so you can focus on text without seeing images that may disrupt your flow.
- Most IRC clients do not abstract away from technical details like connecting to a server. This means it can be difficult to understand how to join an IRC community if you are not comfortable in technical environments.