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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 | | ...
-!- 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.


Once in a while, you'll probably see a user "emote", or perform an action in the third person. Emotes are formatted differently in most IRC clients, looking something like this (the line by "KingArthur" is an emote):

< TheBlackNight> None shall pass.
* KingArthur is Arthur, King of the Britons!
< TheBlackNight> ...None shall pass.

To perform an emote, simply use the /me command, like this: /me is Arthur, King of the Britons. As always, press <Enter> to send your line to IRC.

Setting away

If you are going to step away from IRC and want to let people know this, but don't intend on disconnecting, use the /away command to set an "away message" which will appear to other users in various ways. One such way is in WHOIS information (see Whois section below, under Advanced), and some clients will gray out nicknames that are marked away in their nicklists. To set away, run the command /away away message, where away message is the message you want shown to other users. You must specify a message of some sort. To unset your away status (i.e., "return"), run the /back command, or if your client doesn't recognize /back, run /away again, but this time with no arguments.


Sorry, that's probably been quite a bit to read. But you should now know all the basics of IRC and should be ready to jump right into the fray! If you'd like to learn more about IRC, though, for example creating and managing channels, please continue reading!


Now this guide will cover advanced IRC topics. Before reading this section, you should of course read the Basics section above, and maybe use IRC for a couple days so you can get a feel for how it works.

Joining Password-Protected Channels

If you get a message that looks like this:

-!- Cannot join channel ##Test (Bad channel key)

It means that the channel is password protected. If you know the correct password, enter it as the second argument to the /join command and the network will allow you to join the channel (e.g., /join ##Test swordfish).

Channel Permissions and Prefixes

If you've been on IRC, especially #lizardirc, you've probably noticed that some people have symbols in front of their name, or an icon of some kind. These represent channel permissions, and are reflective of what a user is allowed to do in a channel. On LizardIRC, they work like this, from least privileged to most:

  • (none) - Regular user.
  • + - Voiced. Allowed to speak when the channel is in restricted mode. Usually a grey symbol in most clients; dark blue in HexChat.
  • % - Halfop. All privileges of voiced users, plus the ability to kick, ban, change the channel topic, set/unset channel modes, and make other users voiced (or take voiced from users). Can only kick halfops and lower. Usually a blue symbol in most clients; light blue in HexChat.
  • @ - Op (channel operator). All privileges of halfops, plus the ability to kick other ops and lower, and the ability to make or take ops, halfops, or voiced. Usually a green symbol in most clients, including HexChat.
  • & - Protected (also called "admin"). All privileges of ops, but cannot be kicked by ops or lower. Can kick other protecteds and lower. Can also take (but not grant) protected status. Usually an orange symbol in most clients, yellow in HexChat.
  • ~ - Owner. All privileges of protected, but cannot be kicked by protected or lower. Can kick other owners and lower. Can grant or take protected, and can take (but not grant) owner. Usually a violet symbol in most clients, orange in HexChat.

Basic Channel Modes

Channel modes are single-letter options that are set and removed on channels, changing various behaviors. Halfops and above can change modes in their channel. A mode change is broadcast to all clients in that channel, and looks like this:

-!- mode/#lizardirc [+m] by TLUL
-!- mode/#lizardirc [-mi+c] by DoctorPain99

In the first line, the user TLUL has set mode m in #lizardirc. In the second line, the user DoctorPain99 removes modes m and i and sets mode c in #lizardirc.

Modes are set using the /mode command. For example, the command DoctorPain99 would have run in the above example is /mode #lizardirc -mi+c. As noted above, each character has a meaning. Some modes take arguments, like the k mode that sets a channel password. For example, to protect a channel with the password "swordfish", you'd do /mode #channel +k swordfish. This, of course, would require anyone who wanted to join the channel to supply the channel key of "swordfish" (/join #channel swordfish).

We'll explain more about what exactly each mode does later. But first....

Basic User Modes

Much like channels, users can also have mode flags set on them. Unlike channels, though, users can only change the modes on themselves, and users' mode changes are not broadcast to anyone. Also like channel modes, user modes are set and unset using the /mode command, but instead of specifying a channel name as the second parameter, you specify your own nickname (for example, /mode RAN1 +i-w).

We'll also explain more about what exactly each user mode does later.


Hostmasks are unique identifiers of IRC clients connected to IRC servers. Hostmasks are used by IRC servers, services, and bots to identify and keep track of specific IRC sessions.

IRC hostmasks follow the format nick!user@host. The "nick" portion of a user's portion is simply their current nickname. The "user" portion is the either username reported by the ident server on the user's machine (see below), or when no ident is available, a tilde followed by the username specified by the client when connected. The "host" portion either is the hostname of the computer the client is connecting from, or, if the hostname cannot be resolved by the server, the user's IP address. The "host" portion can also be the user's vHost or "cloak", a consistent string that hides the user's IP address in favor of some information about the user (see network rules, "vHosts/Cloaks" section).

Most IRC clients display a user's hostmask in their WHOIS output (see "Whois" section below) and when a user joins a channel; some also display it when a user parts or quits. For example:

-!- FlightTime|Away [~chatzilla@lizardirc/user/FlightTime] has joined #lizardirc

In this example, the user's full hostmask is FlightTime|Away!~chatzilla@lizardirc/user/FlightTime. Note that this user has a vHost hiding his true IP address, which would normally be after the @ sign.

Finally, note that some channel modes take a hostmask as an argument.


You can find out some information about a user by whoising them. This is accomplished by running the /whois username command with the target user's nickname as the argument. For example, /whois Rav3n|afk. This command in particular might result in this output:

* [Rav3n|afk] (znc@lizardirc/staff/Guncraft.CM.Rav3n): Quoth the Rav3n, Nevermore...
* [Rav3n|afk] &#lizardirc #devops #metroid ~#rav3nznc @#help 
* [Rav3n|afk] - LizardIRC - Fremont, California, United States of America, Earth, Sol System, Federation Sector 001, Alpha Quadrant, Milky Way Galaxy
* [Rav3n|afk] is away (Auto away at Tue Jun 10 18:51:11 2014)
* [Rav3n|afk] is a SithLord on LizardIRC
* [Rav3n|afk] is logged in as Rav3n
* [Rav3n|afk] is using a secure connection
* [Rav3n|afk] idle 31:08:02, signon: Tue May 20 18:24:48
* [Rav3n|afk] End of WHOIS list.

As you can see, the command displays quite a bit of information about a user. The first line is the user's hostmask (Rav3n|afk!znc@lizardirc/staff/Guncraft.CM.Rav3n, note again the use of a vHost) and their realname ("Quoth the Rav3n, Nevermore..."), a list of channels they are in (with prefixes indicating their status, the specific server they are connected to, their away message (since they are away), their network staff status (SithLord), who they have logged in as with NickServ, the fact that their network connection is encrypted, and how long they have been idle. Some information that is not applicable may not be displayed (for example, users not using an encrypted connection simply have no "is using a secure connection" line, as opposed to having a "is not using a secure cnnection" line). Every client displays this information in slightly different ways, but it should be easy enough to figure out after running the command a few times.

Note that some clients may not show idle and signon time by default; if this is the case, try running the /wii username command instead of /whois username. If /wii isn't recognized by your client, try running /whois but add the username twice (for example, /whois Rav3n|afk Rav3n|afk).

Other Commands




Full Channel Modes List

Here is the full list of channel modes supported by LizardIRC. Note that other networks will probably have a different list, and the mode flags may do different things.

For modes that take arguments, the argument will be italicized following the mode flag.

  • +v nickname - Gives voice to nickname, allowing them to speak while the channel is +m.
  • +h nickname - Gives halfop status to nickname.
  • +o nickname - Gives op status to nickname.
  • +a nickname - Gives protected status to nickname, preventing them from them from being kicked (+q only).
  • +q nickname - Gives owner status to nickname, preventing them from being kicked (Services only).

  • +b hostmask - Bans hostmask from the channel. Omit hostmask to see a list of bans.
  • +e hostmask - Excepts hostmask from bans. Omit hostmask to see a list of these exceptions.
  • +I hostmask - Excepts hostmask from +i, allowing matching users to join while the channel is invite-only. Omit hostmask to see a list of these exceptions.

  • +c - Blocks messages containing mIRC colour codes. Compare to +S, which silently strips color codes.
  • +d time - Blocks messages to a channel from new users until they have been in the channel for time seconds.
  • +f *lines:sec - Kicks on text flood equal to or above the specified rate. With *, the user is banned - omit the * for a kick only.
  • +i - Makes the channel invite-only. Users can only join if an operator uses /INVITE to invite them.
  • +j joins:sec - Limits joins to the specified rate.
  • +k key - Set the channel key (password) to key.
  • +l limit - Set the maximum allowed users to limit.
  • +m - Enable moderation. Only users with +v, +h, or +o can speak.
  • +n - Blocks users who are not members of the channel from messaging it. Unless you know what you're doing, this should always be set.
  • +p - Make channel private, hiding it in users' whoises and replacing it with * in /LIST (compare with +s).
  • +s - Make channel secret, hiding it in users' whoises and /LIST (compare with +p).
  • +t - Prevents users without +h or +o from changing the topic.
  • +u - Makes the channel an auditorium; normal users only see themselves or themselves and the operators, while operators see all the users.
  • +w flag:hostmask Adds basic channel access controls of flag to hostmask, via the +w listmode. For example, +w o:R:Brain will op anyone identified to the account 'Brain' on join.
  • +z - Blocks non-SSL clients from joining the channel.

  • +A - Allows anyone to invite users to the channel (normally only +h or above can invite).
  • +B - Blocks messages that are all-caps.
  • +C - Blocks any CTCPs to the channel.
  • +F changes:sec - Blocks nick changes when they equal or exceed the specified rate (changes per sec seconds).
  • +J seconds - Prevents rejoin after kick for the specified number of seconds. This prevents auto-rejoin.
  • +K - Blocks /KNOCK on the channel.
  • +L channel - If the channel reaches its limit set by +l, redirect users to channel
  • +M - Blocks unregistered users from speaking.
  • +O - Channel is restricted to network staff (opers). Can only be set by network staff.
  • +P - Makes the channel permanent; Bans, invites, the topic, modes, and such will not be lost when it empties. Can only be set by network staff and should be used sparingly and only for network critical channels. Setting +P unnecessarily can increase server overhead.
  • +R - Blocks unregistered users from joining.
  • +S - Strips mIRC colour codes from messages to the channel. Similar to +c, which outright blocks messages containing color codes.
  • +T - Blocks /NOTICEs to the channel from users who are not at least halfop.

  • +X mode - Makes channel operators immune to the specified restrictive mode. Omit mode parameter to see list of modes channel operators are immune to.

Full User Modes List

  • +c - Blocks private messages and notices from users who do not share a common channel with you.
  • +g - In combination with /allow, provides for server side ignore.
  • +h - Marks as 'available for help' in WHOIS. Network staff only.
  • +i - Makes invisible to /WHO if the user using /WHO is not in a common channel. Also hides non-common channels in a user's /WHOIS output.
  • +o - Marks as network staff (oper).
  • +s mask - Receives server notices specified by mask. Network staff only. Use of +s is not recommended; use the output in #opers instead.
  • +w - Receives wallops (less important global notices) messages.
  • +B - Marks as a bot.
  • +R - Blocks private messages from unregistered users.
  • +S - Strips mIRC colour/bold/underline codes out of private messages to the user.
  • +W - Receives notification when a user uses WHOIS on them. Network staff only.