This page was last updated on February 27th, 2019(UTC) and it is currently May 31st, 2020(UTC).
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Preface
The purpose of tis is to help you get set up with my IRC server. I'll go through a little, but it is by now means extensive. If you're in a hurry, and just want to talk to someone for a few moments, feel free to use a webIRC client such as this or this. This is not recommended for long term use, however, as webIRC clients tend to get banned when abused. If that client has trouble connected, it might currently be banned. If that happens, I'm probably on the lookout for a new one to update this page with. I'm always open to suggestions (hint hint).

What is IRC?
IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, is a simple protocol (at least as of right now, but there seem to be people trying to "modernize" it, which is weird when people are busy demanding avatars and such when we can't even get a simple delayed command in all clients), that benefits from decentralization. The extent of this is that people can all have their own IRC clients (programs to use IRC), IRC servers (programs that clients connect to), IRC networks (interconnected servers), and a number of other things. Long story short, if the policies change at, say, Facebook, and I don't agree with these changes (actually, I don't like the current facebook), I don't have the ability to just go somewhere else and use the same interface: I'm stuck dealing with the policy changes. IRC isn't entirely decentralized, as everyone still has to connect to the same networks (not servers) to chat, but we have the freedom to take our client program (and most settings) to another network.

If you remember the 1990s, odds are that you probably used IRC already, as it was common then, and in the 2000s, to make a program and use IRC as the "chat feature." This, too, was how I was first exposed, as eventually I would just end up using an IRC client when I wasn't using the programs for their other purposes (whatever it was that they were). A lot of chat programs today are even heavily based on IRC. As such, it's also great for people with pricey data plans, as, say, Skype or Discord (which are bandwidth hogs, especially with that Opus Codec when in calls), as it's mostly just "plaintext." While the focus is on multiuser rooms, private messaging is also possible.

How to get started
If you know what you're doing already (scroll down if you don't, everything looks scarrier than it is):
Server: kohlrak.sytes.net
Port (plaintext): 6667
Port (SSL): 6697
Authentication: NickServ
main channe: #lobby


Getting a client
Generally, you have to have a client. My girlfriend's iPhone seems to be having trouble finding anything resembling a decent client for free, which is no surprise given how one must go through so many hoops just to become an Apple developer. Android support is better, and I'm currently usnig AndChat for that, however google is telling me that the program isn't even on GooglePlay, anymore. For you mobile people out there, I'm sure there's something for you, if you look. I'm actually going to be setting up HexChat for Windows while writing this. Almost any client will do, but you want to be sure you can find an option to "autorun on connect" or something of that nature. The iPhone clients seem to require a ZNC, which I could I could probably give you access to mine, but I need to be able to trust you first.

Configuring your client
I'm going to base what I say here on out assuming HexChat is the client, but almost all clients basically work the same way. So, Upon startup, I see this window. Yours will look different, as I've already started the process of adding my own network, and deleting all the others from the list (aside from Freenode, 'cause I like Freenode). I recommend doing the same thing, in fact I ended up clearing the list simply by repeatedly spamming alt+r and enter, which seems to have either accidentally canceled, or caused the program to crash, so i'll slow down. Once you're done spending the next minute or so doing that, consider your Nick, which is the name you'll appear as. Only one connection can use a nick at any given time, which is why you have alternative choices.

Now, go ahead and add my network, calling it whatever you want. Highlight and click "edit," and you'll find this. In this case, the format is domain/port, so I set it to "kohlrak.sytes.net/6697" and I put a check in the box for the two SSL boxes (since my ticket is self-signed, it's considered invalid). For now, that's all you need to set. That's all you need to set for now. Go ahead and connect, and you'll have a bunch of scary info shoved at you and it'll be flying by. It's OK, you don't have to understand it all. This is my scary screen. What you're seeing at this point is my server's MOTD (Message of the day). I set my nick to kohlrak_tutorial for this, so it would look more like what you see on your screen, instead of showing you the login demands from NickServ. For now, you need to learn how to use commands.

Basic IRC commands
In IRC, commands begin with a "/" while some bots have other methods for invoking them, you don't have to worry about that for right now. Usually "arguments" are "passed" by adding spaces after the commands. IRC has tons of commands, and not all clients and servers support them all, but there are a few reliable ones. I'll outline them below, where "[]" surrounds optional arguments.

/msg target [message]Sends a message to the user or channel (specified by target). Some channels will let you send messages to them without actually being in the room, too.
/join channel [password]Allows you to join the channel. Channels can contain any sort of prefix, but usually all channels begin with "#" which separates them from users.
/nick nameAllows you to change your nick at will.
/part [reason]Allows you to leave the room, with an optional reason that gets broadcast to it.
/quit [reason]Like part, except it's for closing the program. Some clients just disconnect you instead.
/listShows a list of channels and their topics.
/away [message]If no message is specified, you become "available" again, otherwise it sets you to "away" and sends the message to anyone to tries to get your attention.
/topic [topic]Changes the topic if one is specified, otherwise it tells you what the current topic is. Some rooms lock this to use the topic to hold rule lists and such.
/namesIf you're in the room, it tells you who all is in it, which is useful for clients that don't have a userlist on the side.


Protecting your nickname Now would be a good time to take nickserv's advice and register, otherwise anyone can use your nick. For this example, I'm going to use the password "kittykitty" as an example. To register with NickServ, so no one can simply use your name and special permissions (if you end up with any), you would type "/msg nickserv register kittykitty your@email.com" and you'll end up with a confirmation email. Make sure you type it right, though, as I have it set up to only let you send out an email every so often, to make sure people don't use this to spam people and get my email address blacklisted. My emails tend to get blocked by most email providers, sort of like everyone else who tends to end up sending emails that get lost in over-zealous spamfilters that still manage to let spam through. If you're 100% sure the email didn't send (and it tends to send within 10 minutes), join the lobby and talk to me about it. Don't bug people to register for you, as I sort of need to know what all email providers are blocking me. Once you've confirmed your email, we can work on getting you logged in automatically.

Next you're going to want to find that server settup thing again, and look for the "connect commands." You're going to want to make a few commands. For most people, you're just going to do something like the following:

/msg nickserv recover [yournickhere] kittykittySometimes, when your connection gets messed up, you can end up with a ghost. Since only one person can use a nick at a time, the server sees the ghost as a user who's still connected (eventually it disconnects, but you might want to feel like yourself again rather quickly. This command will kick your ghost off the server and change your nick accordingly.
/msg nickserv identify kittykittyIf you didn't ghost, that recovery command isn't going to log you in with nickserv. Using this command, it'll automatically log you in if nothing went wrong in the first place.
/join #lobbyYou might choose a different room, but this is a good starting location. You can have more than one, too. I recommend making sure the login commands work, first, otherwise if you keep screwing your password up, you may annoy people in the lobby with your constant connecting and disconnecting just to get the nickserv sorted out.


As you get more used to the server, you'll find that you'll end up adding other things here, especially for joining channels locked via invites. As of writing this, I actually have one such channel called #bedroom, which is meant for me to talk to my girlfriend privately but still have the conversations logged by my logging bot. It's also a nifty way for me to invite people that we need to discuss personal things with, such as personal disagreements. Please keep in mind that those with IRCOP (not channel op), which basically is me and the bots, can override all locks on the rooms, which is necessary. I do believe in respecting peoples' privacy, but if there's reasonable suspicion that you're using such a room for something like drugs, child porn, or something like that, I'm probably going to take a peek to make sure you're actually not. If you want to do such things, there are ways to ensure that, but that's not in the scope of this page (it's called DCC, or Direct Client Connection, which allows people to privately message each other without using the server as a middle-man).

Anyway, one last thing before moving onto channels. Once you have all your setting secure, I suggest messaging nickserv with "help" and learning more about what you can and can't do. Most importantly, and make sure your auto-login is working before you do this, "/msg nickserv set kill quick" which will cause nickserv to force people off your name after 20 seconds, which might be rather important for you. IMMED is disabled largely, because of something called a "race condition." Personally, I'd like to lock to 5 seconds. It is possible to identify with nickserv before switching to the nick, if need be.

Channels
Channels/Rooms usually begin with "#" to help tell them apart from users. Other prefixes exist, but they mostly revolve around interconnected servers, and on Kohlrak Land, there only is one server, so the others are essentially useless. Channels can have various "modes" that determine what can and can't be done with them, and generally only the Channel Operator can change the modes. Whenever you are the first person to join a channel, you become the channel operator. As soon as all people leave, the channel with disappear. If you enter, someone else enters, you leave, and then return, there will be no channel operator, and the channel is essentially rogue. You can use privately created channels like this to experiment with channel modes.

The most important thing to notice in a channel is that channel rankings usually have prefixes prepended to names to identify what a person's status is, which also determines what they can do to you. Pay special attention to the ones beginnin with @, as they are tasked with choosing the rules of a channel, as well as have the ability to forcibly remove (kick) you from the channel for breaking those rules. If you're using something like mIRC, you want to make sure that you aren't sending colored messages, as this is considered impolite on most channels.

That's about all the more I can think of at the moment that one would need to know when starting out, so go do it.

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