- Q: What exactly is this IRC thing?
A: IRC is a fairly simple text chat system that has existed since 1988. IRC is organised in so-called channels. A user can join multiple channels and chat with other participants on the channel or via private messages. An IRC network consists of multiple servers that are linked together. People connect to the network by picking and connecting to one of these servers.
- Q: How do I find a channel for a topic I am interested in?
A: The old solution to this is the
/LISTcommand, which lists all channels on the network without any filtering. A new approach is the Alis service which filters for specific criteria.
- Q: What is IRCnet?
A: In the beginning of IRC history, there was only one network. Since IRC is an open standard, and the server software it uses is available under an Open Source license, anyone could start a new network, which meant that in order to distinguish the networks, they were given names by their operators. The original network split into EFnet and Anarchy Net in 1990 over a disagreement on who should be allowed to link new servers to the network. As you might guess by the name, Anarchy Net allowed anybody to link without prior notice, which made the network very unstable, so that it quickly disappeared again. IRCnet split from EFnet during 1996, therefore both IRCnet and EFnet are considered descendants of the original IRC network. The split happened between the european and american part of the network when the trans-atlantic network link had died down (which happened way more often in the early days of the internet) after another fight about a technical topic that’s no longer relevant but well-preserved in the history books of the internet. The european administrators chose the name IRCnet because the first server along with the creator of IRC were linked to the european half of the network.
- Q: Does IRCnet offer nickname and channel registration?
A: No, not since 1994. IRCnet staff believes that nicknames and channels are not owned and that if yours gets “taken over”, you have to pick a different one. If you want to prevent channel takeovers, use
!channelsor mark one of your trustworthy channel operators with the reop-mode
/mode +R <channel> *!<ident>@<hostmask>such that ircd can re-op them as soon as your channel loses all ops. For more information, see the article on reop.
- Q: Why is this page semi-official?
A: IRCnet – unlike some other networks – has no centrally organised steering committee. This means there exists no such thing like an official representation of the network as a whole, and any site claiming to be such a resource would be blatantly lying to you. However, some servers operate a website accompanying their IRC service. This website was started in 2013 as an attempt to create a more central resource on information concerning the network after a previous website fulfilling such a purpose (ircnet.com, there are still some outdated links to the site scattered around the internet) had been taken over by a domain squatter.
- Q: Where can I learn more about IRC?
A: irchelp.org has been the number one resource on IRC documentation since 1996. If you need help getting started, take a look at their website. If you still have questions afterwards, join
- Q: Where is the technical documentation about IRC to be found?
A: The documentation of the original IRC protocol can be found in IETF RFC 1459. However, IRCnet’s ircd software uses an extended version of the protocol, which is documented in RFC 2810, RFC 2811, RFC 2812 and RFC 2813.
- Q: Who maintains ircd?
A: Maintainership for the IRC server codebase has changed a few times over the decades, a full list of the authors and contributors is available as part of the code base. ircd is currently maintained by Piotr “Beeth” Kucharski since the 2.11 release series.
- Q: Who made this site?
- A: The website was created by ente using jekyll.