September 2007 Archives

IRC'ing the night away

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IRC is a "chat" protocol which is fairly popular with the open source crowd. Most of the time getting an answer over IRC can be quicker and less painful than searching the internet, or posting to a mailing list, newsgroup, or forum.

Because IRC is such a ubiquitous communication channel, it is extremely useful for maintaining contact with others. Often the creator of an open source project will create an IRC channel to facilitate communication with the users of his or her software. I plan on showing you all how to safely create just such a channel.

My example makes a couple of assumptions:

  • IRC client knowledge

  • Connection to the Freenode network

Let's create a new channel for our fictional open source project -- GreatProject.

First, we need to make sure we have a registered nickname I won't go into great detail about this but you need to run a command like this one:

[freenode] /msg nickserv identify supersecretpassword

You should see output like this in your client:
20:59 -NickServ(NickServ@services.)- Password accepted - you are now recognized

To learn more about the NickServ service, and about registering your nickname visit the Freenode FAQ page about setting up your nick

You need to first create your new channel, on Freenode at least this is as easy as joining your channel:

[freenode] /join #greatproject

That command should create the following output:
21:34 -!- friocorte [] has joined #greatproject
21:34 -!- ServerMode/#greatproject [+ns] by
21:34 [Users #greatproject]
21:34 [@friocorte]
21:34 -!- Irssi: #greatproject: Total of 1 nicks [1 ops, 0 halfops, 0 voices, 0 normal]
21:34 -!- Channel #greatproject created Fri Sep 28 21:38:21 2007
21:34 -!- Irssi: Join to #greatproject was synced in 0 secs

Now you should register your channel:

[freenode] /msg chanserv register #greatproject supersecretpasswordtwo

Here's what you should see:
21:57 -ChanServ(ChanServ@services.)- The channel [#greatproject] is now registered under your nickname.
21:57 -ChanServ(ChanServ@services.)- Your channel password is [supersecretpasswordtwo]. Please remember it for later use.
21:57 -ChanServ(ChanServ@services.)- Channel guidelines can be found on the freenode website
21:57 -ChanServ(ChanServ@services.)- (
21:57 -ChanServ(ChanServ@services.)- freenode is a service of Peer-Directed Projects Center, an IRS 501(c)(3)
21:57 -ChanServ(ChanServ@services.)- (tax-exempt) charitable and educational organization.

Don't forget your password, you'll need it to make any future sessions.

Tomorrow, we'll show you how to control your channel and the users who will connect to it. So stay tuned.