Internet Relay Chat information


What is IRC

IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. It is a means of communication where people from all around the internet can join in with real time conversations. For more detailed information you can look at the general FAQ or the Hypertext Undernet FAQ or alternatively the IRC manual which is distributed with server.

For Beginners

Ensor (Dennis Holmes - has written the above document for beginners to IRC. It contains useful information about how to use the IRC protocol. What follows after these links is just a simple get_you_started bit of text, but for more information, look at the IRC Primer Or the three part tutorial Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3

You may wish to find out about the Undernet IRC and its Operators

A page containing a list of all the IRC Networks in the world has been kindly donated to this archive by Joe Abbot aka Slowbean.

Here is the IRC Manual. I am currently working on a hypertext version of the /help

Technical Bits

You can read about the technical side of the Internet Relay Chat in the IRC Protocol (RFC1459) or the DCC Protocol or a document detailing the CTCP You can look at what all the server numerics are.

You can view the latest list of Undernet IRC servers or a list of EFNet IRC servers. Taiwan BIG-5 network servers and IOA Net servers.

Channels and Peoples

You can find more information about #Wasteland or the Undernet Operators

There is a growing database here for IRC users WWW pages and pictures and IRC channel WWW pages.

Outside of the Network

Believe it or not, the Internet Relay Chat has more 'uses' than what you might expect. The one that most people use it for is simply communicating with other people from all over the world. It is common for people to have IRC Relationships without actuall y meeting each other. It is rare that this is taken further, but it has been know and here is an article from an Australian Newspaper called 'The Great Love Byte'. People have commented on this type of relationship and you can s ee an article entitled 'To be in touch' or there is a study on computer mediated communication by the name of 'Electropolis'

Another use of the IRC was highlighted in the recent earthquake of Southern California in Janruary 1994. Here is another report from a Newspaper based in San Fransisco entitled 'Computer Network Weathers Big Jolt'.

IRC has also been used within the classroom environment. Here is a article that was posted on one of the UseNet newsgroups entitled 'IRC for classroom use'.

On a lighter note, IRC has been used as a medium for a theatrical (netatrical) production... PcBeth was performed on 23rd April 1994.

Of course there are articles written about the IRC itself, here is one from Kimba (aka Deborah LaMere).

David Barberi has put together a nice page of 'Chats'. This contains various logs of IRC conversations ranging from the Californian Earthquake in January 1994 back to the Gulf War and 1992 Russian R evolution and beyond.

Bots or Robots

A (ro)bot is simply either a collection of /on commands that are loaded from a script (text) file into the irc client, or a C program. They appear in two forms: As far as how does one use it, well that depends entirely on the way it was written. the person programming it can make it recognize user@host or it may require some sort of identification (password) before recognizing the user. Every bot programmed by each different person will be different. (may be simular since people seem to copy off of other peoples ideas)

For detailed information on the bot, you must contact the person that wrote the bot.. (unfortunately, many people run the bot that was written by someone else without understanding what it does. This isnt good since there have been many problems in the pa st with people writing scripts or bots that have secret doors in them that allow people to access your account.

For best results, try to first learn how ircII scripts work you can do this by reading the /help on if you want more detailed information, you can view the manual

For more detailed information you can read Undernet BotDoc

Other General bits

Here are the usenet newsgroups alt.irc*

Other IRC WWW Links

You might like to look at other IRC links, which I will add here as and when I find them.

Quick Start

You can log quickly into the IRC networks by using a telnettable client, these are available at the following sites. Up to date details about the Undernet telnet services can be found at WildThangs telnet services page.
For futher information here is a page on connecting to IRC.


Each user needs to have access to a client. There are various public clients around, but you can install your own client easily or take the compiling your own approach. The source is available fr om various ftp sites (these are just a few of the many sites that carry the program):- The latest version of the ircii client is 2.8. How to install IRC.

There are also different sorts of client available. For instance, Zircon is a x-interface for IRC. This is available from Or you could ask zirconbot for it on the EFNet.

To connect to the network, a client must connect to a server. Normally a client would only wish to connect to fairly local servers, but for differing reasons, this is not always the case.

Once connected to the Internet Relay Network, to be able to be heard, the client must join a channel. Typing /list will show the user all the channels which are currently formed. To join a channel, the user must type /join channelname. Normally, channels are prefixed by a # symbol. This indicates that the channel is a global channel and everybody anywhere can read it. Sometimes, channels may be prefixed by a &. This shows that the channel is local to that server only. The # and & must be entered as part o f the channel name.

Once on a channel, anything that is entered into irc without a / in front is treated as speech and is sent to the channel where everybody on that channel can see it. To tell somebody something privately, you need to msg them. This is done by typing /msg <nick> your message here. Where <nick> is the nickname of the person you wish to send to. Nicknames or nicks can be changed by typing /nick <nick >. This is what other people on the channel see as you. An example of a conversation:-
	<Brad> ok
	<Brad> :)
	<Gunman> I think we are already Red
	<seft> no thanks shes scary enough as it is
	<lleu> IRC speaking?
	<Brad> c u soon
	<Brad> how r u ?
	<Novocaine> IRC speaking?
The other thing that you might wish to do is what is called an action
	* RedRum waves
	* lleu Punches Brad
	* lleu breaks Brad's nose
	* Brad starts a brawl.
	* lleu throws brad across bar.....where he collides with saxon
	* Brad should go for dinner instead of fighting in the bar at 1 p.m.
This is done be typing /me followed by the action you want.

Index of IRC documents on this Web server

Access statistics for my archives are now available
Please take time to fill in the 'Reader Response and Survey' to help me improve these pages.

Last Update: 22nd May 1995
These IRC pages were reformed around the 18th 19th 20th February 1995, here you can view the changes that were made.