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Note: This page is under construction and improvements are being made continuously. If you have any suggestions for this page, please feel free to mention them in the channel #lizardirc. Registered LizardWiki users may edit the contents of this page using the link at the bottom.

Welcome to LizardIRC! This page will introduce you to IRC and familiarize you with the basics of using IRC, as well as some advanced topics such as creating your own channels. The first section should teach you enough to allow you to chat on IRC, and simply read further down to learn more!


IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat, and is a text-based protocol allowing real-time communication between users, sometimes thousands of them. The fundamental unit of IRC is the network, a group of servers that are linked together and send messages to each other. Users connect to these servers to join the network. On each network, there are channels which users can join. Users can send messages directly to other users (and in this case only the other user will see the message), or to channels (and everyone in the channel will see the message). To see the conversation happening in a channel and to send messages to it, a user must join a channel; to stop participating in the channel and stop receiving messages sent to a channel, a user parts it. Users can also be forcibly removed from channels (kicked) by the channel operators (or ops). Ops include the person who created the channel as well as any people he or she has chosen to also hold the position, and are usually identified by an at sign (@) in front of their nickname, the (changeable) name users pick to identify themselves on the network. Ops can also ban users from channels, preventing them from joining it. Each channel maintains its own list of ops, though a user can be an op in an unlimited number of channels.

Similar to channel operators, there are network staff, or simply staff, responsible for maintaining the integrity of the network. They can force users to disconnect from the network (kill), and ban users from connecting in the first place (usually called a g-line, but also referred to as z-lines and k-lines - the distinction is unimportant). Note that staff are sometimes referred to as network operators or opers (note the "er" in "opers"; opers shouldn't be confused with ops). They also have channel operator powers in all channels.

To connect to LizardIRC (or any other IRC network), you'll need a piece of software called an IRC client. There are many different ones, each with different features and designs but supporting the same protocol in the end. Though you'll probably want to experiment with different IRC clients when you become more familiar with IRC, for now, try installing one of these:

  • HexChat. Full GUI, works on Windows, Linux, and Mac.
  • Mac OSX users might want to try LimeChat for Mac or Colloquy.
  • If you use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, try LimeChat for iOS or Colloquy Mobile.
  • AndroIRC is the accepted standard IRC client for Android devices.
  • irssi is the IRC client of choice for Linux shell users and those who like the command-line environment.
  • mIRC is a very popular IRC client on Windows, seen by many as the industry standard for Windows users.

Or, if you don't want to try any of these, try using one of these in-browser IRC clients, no installation required:

Finally, before beginning, ensure that you've read the LizardIRC Network Rules.

Connecting to LizardIRC

To connect to LizardIRC, you need to enter these details into your IRC client. Unfortunately, they all differ in how this is done, so check your IRC client's documentation for more information. In general, though, you just have to follow the prompts. Note that the in-browser clients listed above are preprogrammed for LizardIRC, so all you need to do is choose a nickname.

  • LizardIRC's address is
  • LizardIRC's port is 6667. If you are given the option to use SSL (encryption) and wish to take advantage of it, use port 6697.

Before connecting, you'll also have to choose a nickname, username, and realname. Nickname is how you'll primarily be identified on IRC and is the name that will be shown to other users (it can be changed later). Try not to choose a vulgar or inappropriate nickname, as this can get you kicked from channels. Username and realname are shown in what's called your whois information (this will be discussed later); suffice it to say that this is information shown if a user requests more information about you. Both can only be changed while disconnected from IRC, and despite the names, username doesn't have to be your username, and realname doesn't have to be your real name - they can be anything you want.

IRC client basics

Now that you've connected, let's cover the basics of an IRC client. An IRC client window consists usually of at least four distinct things: The nickname list, the text entry box, the channel list, and the main area where messages are shown. In general, the nickname list is on the left or right side of the window, and will probably be blank since you haven't joined any channels. The text entry box is almost always at the bottom of the screen, and allows you to type text into it. This is how you send messages and commands to IRC. The channel list is usually presented as a list of channels you are in/networks you are connected to either on the left or right side or as a list of tabs at the bottom above the text entry box. This is how you switch between viewing different channels, since you can be in many.

Joining a Channel

Once you've connected, you'll probably want to join a channel. Channels all start with one or more hash signs (#), and no, they aren't hashtags. If you're new, consider joining the channel #lizardirc which is the network's lobby channel. To join a channel, in the text entry box, type /join #channelName, then press <Enter> on your keyboard. Note the forward slash (/) at the start of the line you entered; this tells your IRC client that you're entering a command, not text to be sent. For example, to join #lizardirc, you'd type /join #lizardirc into your client.

You can see a list of popular channels on the LizardIRC homepage, or you can run the /list command to see a list of all public channels. Feel free to join them to see what they're about! When you join a channel, some text called the channel topic will be shown in the main window as well as at the top of the screen. For example, when you join #lizardirc, you might see something like this:

-!- FastLizard4 [fastlizard4@lizardirc/staff/wikipedia.FastLizard4] has joined #lizardirc
-!- Topic for #lizardirc: (☞゚∀゚)☞ Welcome to LizardIRC | | LizardIRC Network Help: #help | ...
-!- Topic set by FastLizard4 [] [Mon Apr 21 19:05:51 2014]

Other users in the channel will also see a message indicating that you have joined it.

Now, you should be able to see a list of nicknames in the nickname list (if your client doesn't have one, try running the /names command) as well as any messages being sent to the channel. To send a message to the channel, simply type it in the text entry box and press <Enter>. For example, to send the message "Hello, world!" to the channel, you'd just enter Hello, world! and press enter. That's it! Your own message should then appear in the main window to confirm that you sent it:

< User39> Hello, world!

As you can see, every message is annotated with the nickname that sent it, usually in angle brackets (< and >).

Leaving a Channel

To leave a channel, also called parting it, simply run the command /part #channelName. All users in the channel you are leaving will be notified that you've left, and you'll no longer be able to send messages to or receive messages from that channel. You can also include a note in your "part message" to the channel by doing /part #channelName note. The note can contain spaces.

Disconnecting from IRC

You can disconnect from IRC by simply running the /quit command. This usually also closes your IRC client. All users in all channels you are in will be notified that you have disconnected by what's called a quit message. You can include a note in this quite message by doing /quit note. The note can contain spaces.

Registering Your Nickname

If you intend to stay a while on LizardIRC, conside registering your nickname - it will prevent others from impersonating you and allow you to hold channel operator privileges, for example. To register, type the command /msg NickServ REGISTER password email-address. Note that your password cannot contain spaces, and you must supply a valid email address. This will register the nickname you are currently using.

The /msg command allows you to send a private message (or PM) to another user; in this case, we're sending a message to the special user NickServ, who is what's called a "services bot", an automated program that exists on the network as a user.

The system will send you a verification email which will allow you to confirm your email address by executing a command provided in the email. Note that we don't recommend that you use Hotmail/Outlook/Windows Live Mail email accounts with LizardIRC as they may prevent you from receiving the email.

You only need to use this REGISTER command with NickServ once. Once you've registered, your account is created. In the future, to login after each new connection to IRC, run the IDENTIFY command like so: /msg NickServ IDENTIFY password, where password is the same one you set when you REGISTERed. Once logged in, you can change your password using the command /msg NickServ SET PASSWORD new-password. You can see all NickServ commands by doing /msg NickServ HELP.

You are automatically logged out of NickServ when you disconnect from IRC.

Sending Private Messages

If you registered your nickname following the steps in the above section, you're already familiar with sending private messages, or messages that are sent directly to another user and that are only visible to you and them. The general way to send a direct message is with the /msg target message command. Target cannot contain spaces (since nicknames cannot), but the message can. How outgoing and incoming private messages are displayed depends on the IRC client. Some will show them inline with channel messages (but marked differently), others will create new tabs for private messages. Check your IRC client's documentation.

Changing Nickname

To change your nickname, run the /nick new-nickname command. This will change you to your new nickname immediately. Note that, by default, new nicknames you use are not protected by NickServ, but you can add your current nickname to your NickServ account by doing /msg NickServ GROUP while logged in (though there is a limit to how many nicks you can "own" in this manner).

When you change your nickname, all users in all channels you are in will be notified that you have changed nicknames, with this nick message containing both your old and new nicknames.