RFC 2812

Network Working Group                                            C. Kalt

Request for Comments: 2812                                    April 2000

Updates: 1459

Category: Informational



                  Internet Relay Chat: Client Protocol


Status of this Memo


   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does

   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this

   memo is unlimited.


Copyright Notice


   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000).  All Rights Reserved.


IESG NOTE:


   The IRC protocol itself enables several possibilities of transferring

   data between clients, and just like with other transfer mechanisms

   like email, the receiver of the data has to be careful about how the

   data is handled. For more information on security issues with the IRC

   protocol, see for example http://www.irchelp.org/irchelp/security/.


Abstract


   The IRC (Internet Relay Chat) protocol is for use with text based

   conferencing; the simplest client being any socket program capable of

   connecting to the server.


   This document defines the Client Protocol, and assumes that the

   reader is familiar with the IRC Architecture [IRC-ARCH].


Table of Contents


   1.  Labels .....................................................   3

      1.1  Servers ................................................   3

      1.2  Clients ................................................   3

         1.2.1  Users .............................................   4

            1.2.1.1  Operators ....................................   4

         1.2.2  Services ..........................................   4

      1.3  Channels ...............................................   4

   2.  The IRC Client Specification ...............................   5

      2.1  Overview ...............................................   5

      2.2  Character codes ........................................   5

      2.3  Messages ...............................................   5




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RFC 2812          Internet Relay Chat: Client Protocol        April 2000



         2.3.1  Message format in Augmented BNF ...................   6

      2.4  Numeric replies ........................................   8

      2.5  Wildcard expressions ...................................   9

   3.  Message Details ............................................   9

      3.1  Connection Registration ................................  10

         3.1.1  Password message ..................................  10

         3.1.2  Nick message ......................................  10

         3.1.3  User message ......................................  11

         3.1.4  Oper message ......................................  12

         3.1.5  User mode message .................................  12

         3.1.6  Service message ...................................  13

         3.1.7  Quit ..............................................  14

         3.1.8  Squit .............................................  15

      3.2  Channel operations .....................................  15

         3.2.1  Join message ......................................  16

         3.2.2  Part message ......................................  17

         3.2.3  Channel mode message ..............................  18

         3.2.4  Topic message .....................................  19

         3.2.5  Names message .....................................  20

         3.2.6  List message ......................................  21

         3.2.7  Invite message ....................................  21

         3.2.8  Kick command ......................................  22

      3.3  Sending messages .......................................  23

         3.3.1  Private messages ..................................  23

         3.3.2  Notice ............................................  24

      3.4  Server queries and commands ............................  25

         3.4.1  Motd message ......................................  25

         3.4.2  Lusers message ....................................  25

         3.4.3  Version message ...................................  26

         3.4.4  Stats message .....................................  26

         3.4.5  Links message .....................................  27

         3.4.6  Time message ......................................  28

         3.4.7  Connect message ...................................  28

         3.4.8  Trace message .....................................  29

         3.4.9  Admin command .....................................  30

         3.4.10 Info command ......................................  31

      3.5  Service Query and Commands .............................  31

         3.5.1  Servlist message ..................................  31

         3.5.2  Squery ............................................  32

      3.6  User based queries .....................................  32

         3.6.1  Who query .........................................  32

         3.6.2  Whois query .......................................  33

         3.6.3  Whowas ............................................  34

      3.7  Miscellaneous messages .................................  34

         3.7.1  Kill message ......................................  35

         3.7.2  Ping message ......................................  36

         3.7.3  Pong message ......................................  37

         3.7.4  Error .............................................  37




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RFC 2812          Internet Relay Chat: Client Protocol        April 2000



   4.  Optional features ..........................................  38

      4.1  Away ...................................................  38

      4.2  Rehash message .........................................  39

      4.3  Die message ............................................  39

      4.4  Restart message ........................................  40

      4.5  Summon message .........................................  40

      4.6  Users ..................................................  41

      4.7  Operwall message .......................................  41

      4.8  Userhost message .......................................  42

      4.9  Ison message ...........................................  42

   5.  Replies ....................................................  43

      5.1  Command responses ......................................  43

      5.2  Error Replies ..........................................  53

      5.3  Reserved numerics ......................................  59

   6.  Current implementations ....................................  60

   7.  Current problems ...........................................  60

      7.1  Nicknames ..............................................  60

      7.2  Limitation of wildcards ................................  61

      7.3  Security considerations ................................  61

   8.  Current support and availability ...........................  61

   9.  Acknowledgements ...........................................  61

   10.  References ................................................  62

   11.  Author's Address ..........................................  62

   12.  Full Copyright Statement ..................................  63


1. Labels


   This section defines the identifiers used for the various components

   of the IRC protocol.


1.1 Servers


   Servers are uniquely identified by their name, which has a maximum

   length of sixty three (63) characters.  See the protocol grammar

   rules (section 2.3.1) for what may and may not be used in a server

   name.


1.2 Clients


   For each client all servers MUST have the following information: a

   netwide unique identifier (whose format depends on the type of

   client) and the server which introduced the client.










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RFC 2812          Internet Relay Chat: Client Protocol        April 2000



1.2.1 Users


   Each user is distinguished from other users by a unique nickname

   having a maximum length of nine (9) characters.  See the protocol

   grammar rules (section 2.3.1) for what may and may not be used in a

   nickname.


   While the maximum length is limited to nine characters, clients

   SHOULD accept longer strings as they may become used in future

   evolutions of the protocol.


1.2.1.1 Operators


   To allow a reasonable amount of order to be kept within the IRC

   network, a special class of users (operators) is allowed to perform

   general maintenance functions on the network.  Although the powers

   granted to an operator can be considered as 'dangerous', they are

   nonetheless often necessary.  Operators SHOULD be able to perform

   basic network tasks such as disconnecting and reconnecting servers as

   needed.  In recognition of this need, the protocol discussed herein

   provides for operators only to be able to perform such functions.

   See sections 3.1.8 (SQUIT) and 3.4.7 (CONNECT).


   A more controversial power of operators is the ability to remove a

   user from the connected network by 'force', i.e., operators are able

   to close the connection between any client and server.  The

   justification for this is very delicate since its abuse is both

   destructive and annoying, and its benefits close to inexistent.  For

   further details on this type of action, see section 3.7.1 (KILL).


1.2.2 Services


   Each service is distinguished from other services by a service name

   composed of a nickname and a server name.  As for users, the nickname

   has a maximum length of nine (9) characters.  See the protocol

   grammar rules (section 2.3.1) for what may and may not be used in a

   nickname.


1.3 Channels


   Channels names are strings (beginning with a '&', '#', '+' or '!'

   character) of length up to fifty (50) characters.  Apart from the

   requirement that the first character is either '&', '#', '+' or '!',

   the only restriction on a channel name is that it SHALL NOT contain

   any spaces (' '), a control G (^G or ASCII 7), a comma (',').  Space

   is used as parameter separator and command is used as a list item

   separator by the protocol).  A colon (':') can also be used as a

   delimiter for the channel mask.  Channel names are case insensitive.




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RFC 2812          Internet Relay Chat: Client Protocol        April 2000



   See the protocol grammar rules (section 2.3.1) for the exact syntax

   of a channel name.


   Each prefix characterizes a different channel type.  The definition

   of the channel types is not relevant to the client-server protocol

   and thus it is beyond the scope of this document.  More details can

   be found in "Internet Relay Chat: Channel Management" [IRC-CHAN].


2. The IRC Client Specification


2.1 Overview


   The protocol as described herein is for use only with client to

   server connections when the client registers as a user.


2.2 Character codes


   No specific character set is specified. The protocol is based on a

   set of codes which are composed of eight (8) bits, making up an

   octet.  Each message may be composed of any number of these octets;

   however, some octet values are used for control codes, which act as

   message delimiters.


   Regardless of being an 8-bit protocol, the delimiters and keywords

   are such that protocol is mostly usable from US-ASCII terminal and a

   telnet connection.


   Because of IRC's Scandinavian origin, the characters {}|^ are

   considered to be the lower case equivalents of the characters []\~,

   respectively. This is a critical issue when determining the

   equivalence of two nicknames or channel names.


2.3 Messages


   Servers and clients send each other messages, which may or may not

   generate a reply.  If the message contains a valid command, as

   described in later sections, the client should expect a reply as

   specified but it is not advised to wait forever for the reply; client

   to server and server to server communication is essentially

   asynchronous by nature.


   Each IRC message may consist of up to three main parts: the prefix

   (OPTIONAL), the command, and the command parameters (maximum of

   fifteen (15)).  The prefix, command, and all parameters are separated

   by one ASCII space character (0x20) each.







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RFC 2812          Internet Relay Chat: Client Protocol        April 2000



   The presence of a prefix is indicated with a single leading ASCII

   colon character (':', 0x3b), which MUST be the first character of the

   message itself.  There MUST be NO gap (whitespace) between the colon

   and the prefix.  The prefix is used by servers to indicate the true

   origin of the message.  If the prefix is missing from the message, it

   is assumed to have originated from the connection from which it was

   received from.  Clients SHOULD NOT use a prefix when sending a

   message; if they use one, the only valid prefix is the registered

   nickname associated with the client.


   The command MUST either be a valid IRC command or a three (3) digit

   number represented in ASCII text.


   IRC messages are always lines of characters terminated with a CR-LF

   (Carriage Return - Line Feed) pair, and these messages SHALL NOT

   exceed 512 characters in length, counting all characters including

   the trailing CR-LF. Thus, there are 510 characters maximum allowed

   for the command and its parameters.  There is no provision for

   continuation of message lines.  See section 6 for more details about

   current implementations.


2.3.1 Message format in Augmented BNF


   The protocol messages must be extracted from the contiguous stream of

   octets.  The current solution is to designate two characters, CR and

   LF, as message separators.  Empty messages are silently ignored,

   which permits use of the sequence CR-LF between messages without

   extra problems.


   The extracted message is parsed into the components <prefix>,

   <command> and list of parameters (<params>).


    The Augmented BNF representation for this is:


    message    =  [ ":" prefix SPACE ] command [ params ] crlf

    prefix     =  servername / ( nickname [ [ "!" user ] "@" host ] )

    command    =  1*letter / 3digit

    params     =  *14( SPACE middle ) [ SPACE ":" trailing ]

               =/ 14( SPACE middle ) [ SPACE [ ":" ] trailing ]


    nospcrlfcl =  %x01-09 / %x0B-0C / %x0E-1F / %x21-39 / %x3B-FF

                    ; any octet except NUL, CR, LF, " " and ":"

    middle     =  nospcrlfcl *( ":" / nospcrlfcl )

    trailing   =  *( ":" / " " / nospcrlfcl )


    SPACE      =  %x20        ; space character

    crlf       =  %x0D %x0A   ; "carriage return" "linefeed"





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RFC 2812          Internet Relay Chat: Client Protocol        April 2000



   NOTES:

      1) After extracting the parameter list, all parameters are equal

         whether matched by <middle> or <trailing>. <trailing> is just a

         syntactic trick to allow SPACE within the parameter.


      2) The NUL (%x00) character is not special in message framing, and

         basically could end up inside a parameter, but it would cause

         extra complexities in normal C string handling. Therefore, NUL

         is not allowed within messages.


   Most protocol messages specify additional semantics and syntax for

   the extracted parameter strings dictated by their position in the

   list.  For example, many server commands will assume that the first

   parameter after the command is the list of targets, which can be

   described with:


  target     =  nickname / server

  msgtarget  =  msgto *( "," msgto )

  msgto      =  channel / ( user [ "%" host ] "@" servername )

  msgto      =/ ( user "%" host ) / targetmask

  msgto      =/ nickname / ( nickname "!" user "@" host )

  channel    =  ( "#" / "+" / ( "!" channelid ) / "&" ) chanstring

                [ ":" chanstring ]

  servername =  hostname

  host       =  hostname / hostaddr

  hostname   =  shortname *( "." shortname )

  shortname  =  ( letter / digit ) *( letter / digit / "-" )

                *( letter / digit )

                  ; as specified in RFC 1123 [HNAME]

  hostaddr   =  ip4addr / ip6addr

  ip4addr    =  1*3digit "." 1*3digit "." 1*3digit "." 1*3digit

  ip6addr    =  1*hexdigit 7( ":" 1*hexdigit )

  ip6addr    =/ "0:0:0:0:0:" ( "0" / "FFFF" ) ":" ip4addr

  nickname   =  ( letter / special ) *8( letter / digit / special / "-" )

  targetmask =  ( "$" / "#" ) mask

                  ; see details on allowed masks in section 3.3.1

  chanstring =  %x01-07 / %x08-09 / %x0B-0C / %x0E-1F / %x21-2B

  chanstring =/ %x2D-39 / %x3B-FF

                  ; any octet except NUL, BELL, CR, LF, " ", "," and ":"

  channelid  = 5( %x41-5A / digit )   ; 5( A-Z / 0-9 )












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  Other parameter syntaxes are:


  user       =  1*( %x01-09 / %x0B-0C / %x0E-1F / %x21-3F / %x41-FF )

                  ; any octet except NUL, CR, LF, " " and "@"

  key        =  1*23( %x01-05 / %x07-08 / %x0C / %x0E-1F / %x21-7F )

                  ; any 7-bit US_ASCII character,

                  ; except NUL, CR, LF, FF, h/v TABs, and " "

  letter     =  %x41-5A / %x61-7A       ; A-Z / a-z

  digit      =  %x30-39                 ; 0-9

  hexdigit   =  digit / "A" / "B" / "C" / "D" / "E" / "F"

  special    =  %x5B-60 / %x7B-7D

                   ; "[", "]", "\", "`", "_", "^", "{", "|", "}"


  NOTES:

      1) The <hostaddr> syntax is given here for the sole purpose of

         indicating the format to follow for IP addresses.  This

         reflects the fact that the only available implementations of

         this protocol uses TCP/IP as underlying network protocol but is

         not meant to prevent other protocols to be used.


      2) <hostname> has a maximum length of 63 characters.  This is a

         limitation of the protocol as internet hostnames (in

         particular) can be longer.  Such restriction is necessary

         because IRC messages are limited to 512 characters in length.

         Clients connecting from a host which name is longer than 63

         characters are registered using the host (numeric) address

         instead of the host name.


      3) Some parameters used in the following sections of this

         documents are not defined here as there is nothing specific

         about them besides the name that is used for convenience.

         These parameters follow the general syntax defined for

         <params>.


2.4 Numeric replies


   Most of the messages sent to the server generate a reply of some

   sort.  The most common reply is the numeric reply, used for both

   errors and normal replies.  The numeric reply MUST be sent as one

   message consisting of the sender prefix, the three-digit numeric, and

   the target of the reply.  A numeric reply is not allowed to originate

   from a client. In all other respects, a numeric reply is just like a

   normal message, except that the keyword is made up of 3 numeric

   digits rather than a string of letters.  A list of different replies

   is supplied in section 5 (Replies).







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RFC 2812          Internet Relay Chat: Client Protocol        April 2000



2.5 Wildcard expressions


   When wildcards are allowed in a string, it is referred as a "mask".


   For string matching purposes, the protocol allows the use of two

   special characters: '?' (%x3F) to match one and only one character,

   and '*' (%x2A) to match any number of any characters.  These two

   characters can be escaped using the character '\' (%x5C).


   The Augmented BNF syntax for this is:


    mask       =  *( nowild / noesc wildone / noesc wildmany )

    wildone    =  %x3F

    wildmany   =  %x2A

    nowild     =  %x01-29 / %x2B-3E / %x40-FF

                    ; any octet except NUL, "*", "?"

    noesc      =  %x01-5B / %x5D-FF

                    ; any octet except NUL and "\"

    matchone   =  %x01-FF

                    ; matches wildone

    matchmany  =  *matchone

                    ; matches wildmany


   Examples:


   a?c         ; Matches any string of 3 characters in length starting

               with "a" and ending with "c"


   a*c         ; Matches any string of at least 2 characters in length

               starting with "a" and ending with "c"


3. Message Details


   On the following pages there are descriptions of each message

   recognized by the IRC server and client.  All commands described in

   this section MUST be implemented by any server for this protocol.


   Where the reply ERR_NOSUCHSERVER is returned, it means that the

   target of the message could not be found.  The server MUST NOT send

   any other replies after this error for that command.


   The server to which a client is connected is required to parse the

   complete message, and return any appropriate errors.


   If multiple parameters is presented, then each MUST be checked for

   validity and appropriate responses MUST be sent back to the client.

   In the case of incorrect messages which use parameter lists with

   comma as an item separator, a reply MUST be sent for each item.




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3.1 Connection Registration


   The commands described here are used to register a connection with an

   IRC server as a user as well as to correctly disconnect.


   A "PASS" command is not required for a client connection to be

   registered, but it MUST precede the latter of the NICK/USER

   combination (for a user connection) or the SERVICE command (for a

   service connection). The RECOMMENDED order for a client to register

   is as follows:


                           1. Pass message

           2. Nick message                 2. Service message

           3. User message


   Upon success, the client will receive an RPL_WELCOME (for users) or

   RPL_YOURESERVICE (for services) message indicating that the

   connection is now registered and known the to the entire IRC network.

   The reply message MUST contain the full client identifier upon which

   it was registered.


3.1.1 Password message


      Command: PASS

   Parameters: <password>


   The PASS command is used to set a 'connection password'.  The

   optional password can and MUST be set before any attempt to register

   the connection is made.  Currently this requires that user send a

   PASS command before sending the NICK/USER combination.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS              ERR_ALREADYREGISTRED


   Example:


           PASS secretpasswordhere


3.1.2 Nick message



      Command: NICK

   Parameters: <nickname>


   NICK command is used to give user a nickname or change the existing

   one.





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   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NONICKNAMEGIVEN             ERR_ERRONEUSNICKNAME

           ERR_NICKNAMEINUSE               ERR_NICKCOLLISION

           ERR_UNAVAILRESOURCE             ERR_RESTRICTED


   Examples:


   NICK Wiz                ; Introducing new nick "Wiz" if session is

                           still unregistered, or user changing his

                           nickname to "Wiz"


   :WiZ!jto@tolsun.oulu.fi NICK Kilroy

                           ; Server telling that WiZ changed his

                           nickname to Kilroy.


3.1.3 User message


      Command: USER

   Parameters: <user> <mode> <unused> <realname>


   The USER command is used at the beginning of connection to specify

   the username, hostname and realname of a new user.


   The <mode> parameter should be a numeric, and can be used to

   automatically set user modes when registering with the server.  This

   parameter is a bitmask, with only 2 bits having any signification: if

   the bit 2 is set, the user mode 'w' will be set and if the bit 3 is

   set, the user mode 'i' will be set.  (See Section 3.1.5 "User

   Modes").


   The <realname> may contain space characters.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS              ERR_ALREADYREGISTRED


   Example:


   USER guest 0 * :Ronnie Reagan   ; User registering themselves with a

                                   username of "guest" and real name

                                   "Ronnie Reagan".


   USER guest 8 * :Ronnie Reagan   ; User registering themselves with a

                                   username of "guest" and real name

                                   "Ronnie Reagan", and asking to be set

                                   invisible.





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RFC 2812          Internet Relay Chat: Client Protocol        April 2000



3.1.4 Oper message


      Command: OPER

   Parameters: <name> <password>


   A normal user uses the OPER command to obtain operator privileges.

   The combination of <name> and <password> are REQUIRED to gain

   Operator privileges.  Upon success, the user will receive a MODE

   message (see section 3.1.5) indicating the new user modes.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS              RPL_YOUREOPER

           ERR_NOOPERHOST                  ERR_PASSWDMISMATCH


   Example:


   OPER foo bar                    ; Attempt to register as an operator

                                   using a username of "foo" and "bar"

                                   as the password.


3.1.5 User mode message


      Command: MODE

   Parameters: <nickname>

               *( ( "+" / "-" ) *( "i" / "w" / "o" / "O" / "r" ) )


   The user MODE's are typically changes which affect either how the

   client is seen by others or what 'extra' messages the client is sent.


   A user MODE command MUST only be accepted if both the sender of the

   message and the nickname given as a parameter are both the same.  If

   no other parameter is given, then the server will return the current

   settings for the nick.


      The available modes are as follows:


           a - user is flagged as away;

           i - marks a users as invisible;

           w - user receives wallops;

           r - restricted user connection;

           o - operator flag;

           O - local operator flag;

           s - marks a user for receipt of server notices.


   Additional modes may be available later on.






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   The flag 'a' SHALL NOT be toggled by the user using the MODE command,

   instead use of the AWAY command is REQUIRED.


   If a user attempts to make themselves an operator using the "+o" or

   "+O" flag, the attempt SHOULD be ignored as users could bypass the

   authentication mechanisms of the OPER command.  There is no

   restriction, however, on anyone `deopping' themselves (using "-o" or

   "-O").


   On the other hand, if a user attempts to make themselves unrestricted

   using the "-r" flag, the attempt SHOULD be ignored.  There is no

   restriction, however, on anyone `deopping' themselves (using "+r").

   This flag is typically set by the server upon connection for

   administrative reasons.  While the restrictions imposed are left up

   to the implementation, it is typical that a restricted user not be

   allowed to change nicknames, nor make use of the channel operator

   status on channels.


   The flag 's' is obsolete but MAY still be used.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS              ERR_USERSDONTMATCH

           ERR_UMODEUNKNOWNFLAG            RPL_UMODEIS


   Examples:


   MODE WiZ -w                     ; Command by WiZ to turn off

                                   reception of WALLOPS messages.


   MODE Angel +i                   ; Command from Angel to make herself

                                   invisible.


   MODE WiZ -o                     ; WiZ 'deopping' (removing operator

                                   status).


3.1.6 Service message


      Command: SERVICE

   Parameters: <nickname> <reserved> <distribution> <type>

               <reserved> <info>


   The SERVICE command to register a new service.  Command parameters

   specify the service nickname, distribution, type and info of a new

   service.







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   The <distribution> parameter is used to specify the visibility of a

   service.  The service may only be known to servers which have a name

   matching the distribution.  For a matching server to have knowledge

   of the service, the network path between that server and the server

   on which the service is connected MUST be composed of servers which

   names all match the mask.


   The <type> parameter is currently reserved for future usage.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_ALREADYREGISTRED            ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS

           ERR_ERRONEUSNICKNAME

           RPL_YOURESERVICE                RPL_YOURHOST

           RPL_MYINFO


   Example:


   SERVICE dict * *.fr 0 0 :French Dictionary ; Service registering

                                   itself with a name of "dict".  This

                                   service will only be available on

                                   servers which name matches "*.fr".


3.1.7 Quit


      Command: QUIT

   Parameters: [ <Quit Message> ]


   A client session is terminated with a quit message.  The server

   acknowledges this by sending an ERROR message to the client.


   Numeric Replies:


           None.


   Example:


   QUIT :Gone to have lunch        ; Preferred message format.


   :syrk!kalt@millennium.stealth.net QUIT :Gone to have lunch ; User

                                   syrk has quit IRC to have lunch.











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3.1.8 Squit


      Command: SQUIT

   Parameters: <server> <comment>


   The SQUIT command is available only to operators.  It is used to

   disconnect server links.  Also servers can generate SQUIT messages on

   error conditions.  A SQUIT message may also target a remote server

   connection.  In this case, the SQUIT message will simply be sent to

   the remote server without affecting the servers in between the

   operator and the remote server.


   The <comment> SHOULD be supplied by all operators who execute a SQUIT

   for a remote server.  The server ordered to disconnect its peer

   generates a WALLOPS message with <comment> included, so that other

   users may be aware of the reason of this action.


   Numeric replies:


           ERR_NOPRIVILEGES                ERR_NOSUCHSERVER

           ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS


   Examples:


   SQUIT tolsun.oulu.fi :Bad Link ?  ; Command to uplink of the server

                                   tolson.oulu.fi to terminate its

                                   connection with comment "Bad Link".


   :Trillian SQUIT cm22.eng.umd.edu :Server out of control ; Command

                                   from Trillian from to disconnect

                                   "cm22.eng.umd.edu" from the net with

                                   comment "Server out of control".


3.2 Channel operations


   This group of messages is concerned with manipulating channels, their

   properties (channel modes), and their contents (typically users).

   For this reason, these messages SHALL NOT be made available to

   services.


   All of these messages are requests which will or will not be granted

   by the server.  The server MUST send a reply informing the user

   whether the request was granted, denied or generated an error.  When

   the server grants the request, the message is typically sent back

   (eventually reformatted) to the user with the prefix set to the user

   itself.






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   The rules governing how channels are managed are enforced by the

   servers.  These rules are beyond the scope of this document.  More

   details are found in "Internet Relay Chat: Channel Management" [IRC-

   CHAN].


3.2.1 Join message


      Command: JOIN

   Parameters: ( <channel> *( "," <channel> ) [ <key> *( "," <key> ) ] )

               / "0"


   The JOIN command is used by a user to request to start listening to

   the specific channel.  Servers MUST be able to parse arguments in the

   form of a list of target, but SHOULD NOT use lists when sending JOIN

   messages to clients.


   Once a user has joined a channel, he receives information about

   all commands his server receives affecting the channel.  This

   includes JOIN, MODE, KICK, PART, QUIT and of course PRIVMSG/NOTICE.

   This allows channel members to keep track of the other channel

   members, as well as channel modes.


   If a JOIN is successful, the user receives a JOIN message as

   confirmation and is then sent the channel's topic (using RPL_TOPIC) and

   the list of users who are on the channel (using RPL_NAMREPLY), which

   MUST include the user joining.


   Note that this message accepts a special argument ("0"), which is

   a special request to leave all channels the user is currently a member

   of.  The server will process this message as if the user had sent

   a PART command (See Section 3.2.2) for each channel he is a member

   of.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS              ERR_BANNEDFROMCHAN

           ERR_INVITEONLYCHAN              ERR_BADCHANNELKEY

           ERR_CHANNELISFULL               ERR_BADCHANMASK

           ERR_NOSUCHCHANNEL               ERR_TOOMANYCHANNELS

           ERR_TOOMANYTARGETS              ERR_UNAVAILRESOURCE

           RPL_TOPIC


   Examples:


   JOIN #foobar                    ; Command to join channel #foobar.


   JOIN &foo fubar                 ; Command to join channel &foo using

                                   key "fubar".




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   JOIN #foo,&bar fubar            ; Command to join channel #foo using

                                   key "fubar" and &bar using no key.


   JOIN #foo,#bar fubar,foobar     ; Command to join channel #foo using

                                   key "fubar", and channel #bar using

                                   key "foobar".


   JOIN #foo,#bar                  ; Command to join channels #foo and

                                   #bar.


   JOIN 0                          ; Leave all currently joined

                                   channels.


   :WiZ!jto@tolsun.oulu.fi JOIN #Twilight_zone ; JOIN message from WiZ

                                   on channel #Twilight_zone


3.2.2 Part message


      Command: PART

   Parameters: <channel> *( "," <channel> ) [ <Part Message> ]


   The PART command causes the user sending the message to be removed

   from the list of active members for all given channels listed in the

   parameter string.  If a "Part Message" is given, this will be sent

   instead of the default message, the nickname.  This request is always

   granted by the server.


   Servers MUST be able to parse arguments in the form of a list of

   target, but SHOULD NOT use lists when sending PART messages to

   clients.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS              ERR_NOSUCHCHANNEL

           ERR_NOTONCHANNEL


   Examples:


   PART #twilight_zone             ; Command to leave channel

                                   "#twilight_zone"


   PART #oz-ops,&group5            ; Command to leave both channels

                                   "&group5" and "#oz-ops".


   :WiZ!jto@tolsun.oulu.fi PART #playzone :I lost

                                   ; User WiZ leaving channel

                                   "#playzone" with the message "I

                                   lost".




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3.2.3 Channel mode message


      Command: MODE

   Parameters: <channel> *( ( "-" / "+" ) *<modes> *<modeparams> )


   The MODE command is provided so that users may query and change the

   characteristics of a channel.  For more details on available modes

   and their uses, see "Internet Relay Chat: Channel Management" [IRC-

   CHAN].  Note that there is a maximum limit of three (3) changes per

   command for modes that take a parameter.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS              ERR_KEYSET

           ERR_NOCHANMODES                 ERR_CHANOPRIVSNEEDED

           ERR_USERNOTINCHANNEL            ERR_UNKNOWNMODE

           RPL_CHANNELMODEIS

           RPL_BANLIST                     RPL_ENDOFBANLIST

           RPL_EXCEPTLIST                  RPL_ENDOFEXCEPTLIST

           RPL_INVITELIST                  RPL_ENDOFINVITELIST

           RPL_UNIQOPIS


   The following examples are given to help understanding the syntax of

   the MODE command, but refer to modes defined in "Internet Relay Chat:

   Channel Management" [IRC-CHAN].


   Examples:


   MODE #Finnish +imI *!*@*.fi     ; Command to make #Finnish channel

                                   moderated and 'invite-only' with user

                                   with a hostname matching *.fi

                                   automatically invited.


   MODE #Finnish +o Kilroy         ; Command to give 'chanop' privileges

                                   to Kilroy on channel #Finnish.


   MODE #Finnish +v Wiz            ; Command to allow WiZ to speak on

                                   #Finnish.


   MODE #Fins -s                   ; Command to remove 'secret' flag

                                   from channel #Fins.


   MODE #42 +k oulu                ; Command to set the channel key to

                                   "oulu".


   MODE #42 -k oulu                ; Command to remove the "oulu"

                                   channel key on channel "#42".





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   MODE #eu-opers +l 10            ; Command to set the limit for the

                                   number of users on channel

                                   "#eu-opers" to 10.


   :WiZ!jto@tolsun.oulu.fi MODE #eu-opers -l

                                   ; User "WiZ" removing the limit for

                                   the number of users on channel "#eu-

                                   opers".


   MODE &oulu +b                   ; Command to list ban masks set for

                                   the channel "&oulu".


   MODE &oulu +b *!*@*             ; Command to prevent all users from

                                   joining.


   MODE &oulu +b *!*@*.edu +e *!*@*.bu.edu

                                   ; Command to prevent any user from a

                                   hostname matching *.edu from joining,

                                   except if matching *.bu.edu


   MODE #bu +be *!*@*.edu *!*@*.bu.edu

                                   ; Comment to prevent any user from a

                                   hostname matching *.edu from joining,

                                   except if matching *.bu.edu


   MODE #meditation e              ; Command to list exception masks set

                                   for the channel "#meditation".


   MODE #meditation I              ; Command to list invitations masks

                                   set for the channel "#meditation".


   MODE !12345ircd O               ; Command to ask who the channel

                                   creator for "!12345ircd" is


3.2.4 Topic message


      Command: TOPIC

   Parameters: <channel> [ <topic> ]


   The TOPIC command is used to change or view the topic of a channel.

   The topic for channel <channel> is returned if there is no <topic>

   given.  If the <topic> parameter is present, the topic for that

   channel will be changed, if this action is allowed for the user

   requesting it.  If the <topic> parameter is an empty string, the

   topic for that channel will be removed.







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   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS              ERR_NOTONCHANNEL

           RPL_NOTOPIC                     RPL_TOPIC

           ERR_CHANOPRIVSNEEDED            ERR_NOCHANMODES


   Examples:


   :WiZ!jto@tolsun.oulu.fi TOPIC #test :New topic ; User Wiz setting the

                                   topic.


   TOPIC #test :another topic      ; Command to set the topic on #test

                                   to "another topic".


   TOPIC #test :                   ; Command to clear the topic on

                                   #test.


   TOPIC #test                     ; Command to check the topic for

                                   #test.


3.2.5 Names message


      Command: NAMES

   Parameters: [ <channel> *( "," <channel> ) [ <target> ] ]


   By using the NAMES command, a user can list all nicknames that are

   visible to him. For more details on what is visible and what is not,

   see "Internet Relay Chat: Channel Management" [IRC-CHAN].  The

   <channel> parameter specifies which channel(s) to return information

   about.  There is no error reply for bad channel names.


   If no <channel> parameter is given, a list of all channels and their

   occupants is returned.  At the end of this list, a list of users who

   are visible but either not on any channel or not on a visible channel

   are listed as being on `channel' "*".


   If the <target> parameter is specified, the request is forwarded to

   that server which will generate the reply.


   Wildcards are allowed in the <target> parameter.


   Numerics:


           ERR_TOOMANYMATCHES              ERR_NOSUCHSERVER

           RPL_NAMREPLY                    RPL_ENDOFNAMES







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   Examples:


   NAMES #twilight_zone,#42        ; Command to list visible users on

                                   #twilight_zone and #42


   NAMES                           ; Command to list all visible

                                   channels and users


3.2.6 List message


      Command: LIST

   Parameters: [ <channel> *( "," <channel> ) [ <target> ] ]


   The list command is used to list channels and their topics.  If the

   <channel> parameter is used, only the status of that channel is

   displayed.


   If the <target> parameter is specified, the request is forwarded to

   that server which will generate the reply.


   Wildcards are allowed in the <target> parameter.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_TOOMANYMATCHES              ERR_NOSUCHSERVER

           RPL_LIST                        RPL_LISTEND


   Examples:


   LIST                            ; Command to list all channels.


   LIST #twilight_zone,#42         ; Command to list channels

                                   #twilight_zone and #42


3.2.7 Invite message


      Command: INVITE

   Parameters: <nickname> <channel>


   The INVITE command is used to invite a user to a channel.  The

   parameter <nickname> is the nickname of the person to be invited to

   the target channel <channel>.  There is no requirement that the

   channel the target user is being invited to must exist or be a valid

   channel.  However, if the channel exists, only members of the channel

   are allowed to invite other users.  When the channel has invite-only

   flag set, only channel operators may issue INVITE command.






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   Only the user inviting and the user being invited will receive

   notification of the invitation.  Other channel members are not

   notified.  (This is unlike the MODE changes, and is occasionally the

   source of trouble for users.)


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS              ERR_NOSUCHNICK

           ERR_NOTONCHANNEL                ERR_USERONCHANNEL

           ERR_CHANOPRIVSNEEDED

           RPL_INVITING                    RPL_AWAY


   Examples:


   :Angel!wings@irc.org INVITE Wiz #Dust


                                   ; Message to WiZ when he has been

                                   invited by user Angel to channel

                                   #Dust


   INVITE Wiz #Twilight_Zone       ; Command to invite WiZ to

                                   #Twilight_zone


3.2.8 Kick command


      Command: KICK

   Parameters: <channel> *( "," <channel> ) <user> *( "," <user> )

               [<comment>]


   The KICK command can be used to request the forced removal of a user

   from a channel.  It causes the <user> to PART from the <channel> by

   force.  For the message to be syntactically correct, there MUST be

   either one channel parameter and multiple user parameter, or as many

   channel parameters as there are user parameters.  If a "comment" is

   given, this will be sent instead of the default message, the nickname

   of the user issuing the KICK.


   The server MUST NOT send KICK messages with multiple channels or

   users to clients.  This is necessarily to maintain backward

   compatibility with old client software.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS              ERR_NOSUCHCHANNEL

           ERR_BADCHANMASK                 ERR_CHANOPRIVSNEEDED

           ERR_USERNOTINCHANNEL            ERR_NOTONCHANNEL






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   Examples:


   KICK &Melbourne Matthew         ; Command to kick Matthew from

                                   &Melbourne


   KICK #Finnish John :Speaking English

                                   ; Command to kick John from #Finnish

                                   using "Speaking English" as the

                                   reason (comment).


   :WiZ!jto@tolsun.oulu.fi KICK #Finnish John

                                   ; KICK message on channel #Finnish

                                   from WiZ to remove John from channel


3.3 Sending messages


   The main purpose of the IRC protocol is to provide a base for clients

   to communicate with each other.  PRIVMSG, NOTICE and SQUERY

   (described in Section 3.5 on Service Query and Commands) are the only

   messages available which actually perform delivery of a text message

   from one client to another - the rest just make it possible and try

   to ensure it happens in a reliable and structured manner.


3.3.1 Private messages


      Command: PRIVMSG

   Parameters: <msgtarget> <text to be sent>


   PRIVMSG is used to send private messages between users, as well as to

   send messages to channels.  <msgtarget> is usually the nickname of

   the recipient of the message, or a channel name.


   The <msgtarget> parameter may also be a host mask (#<mask>) or server

   mask ($<mask>).  In both cases the server will only send the PRIVMSG

   to those who have a server or host matching the mask.  The mask MUST

   have at least 1 (one) "." in it and no wildcards following the last

   ".".  This requirement exists to prevent people sending messages to

   "#*" or "$*", which would broadcast to all users.  Wildcards are the

   '*' and '?'  characters.  This extension to the PRIVMSG command is

   only available to operators.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NORECIPIENT                 ERR_NOTEXTTOSEND

           ERR_CANNOTSENDTOCHAN            ERR_NOTOPLEVEL

           ERR_WILDTOPLEVEL                ERR_TOOMANYTARGETS

           ERR_NOSUCHNICK

           RPL_AWAY




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   Examples:


   :Angel!wings@irc.org PRIVMSG Wiz :Are you receiving this message ?

                                   ; Message from Angel to Wiz.


   PRIVMSG Angel :yes I'm receiving it !

                                   ; Command to send a message to Angel.


   PRIVMSG jto@tolsun.oulu.fi :Hello !

                                   ; Command to send a message to a user

                                   on server tolsun.oulu.fi with

                                   username of "jto".


   PRIVMSG kalt%millennium.stealth.net@irc.stealth.net :Are you a frog?

                                   ; Message to a user on server

                                   irc.stealth.net with username of

                                   "kalt", and connected from the host

                                   millennium.stealth.net.


   PRIVMSG kalt%millennium.stealth.net :Do you like cheese?

                                   ; Message to a user on the local

                                   server with username of "kalt", and

                                   connected from the host

                                   millennium.stealth.net.


   PRIVMSG Wiz!jto@tolsun.oulu.fi :Hello !

                                   ; Message to the user with nickname

                                   Wiz who is connected from the host

                                   tolsun.oulu.fi and has the username

                                   "jto".


   PRIVMSG $*.fi :Server tolsun.oulu.fi rebooting.

                                   ; Message to everyone on a server

                                   which has a name matching *.fi.


   PRIVMSG #*.edu :NSFNet is undergoing work, expect interruptions

                                   ; Message to all users who come from

                                   a host which has a name matching

                                   *.edu.


3.3.2 Notice


      Command: NOTICE

   Parameters: <msgtarget> <text>


   The NOTICE command is used similarly to PRIVMSG.  The difference

   between NOTICE and PRIVMSG is that automatic replies MUST NEVER be

   sent in response to a NOTICE message.  This rule applies to servers




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   too - they MUST NOT send any error reply back to the client on

   receipt of a notice.  The object of this rule is to avoid loops

   between clients automatically sending something in response to

   something it received.


   This command is available to services as well as users.


   This is typically used by services, and automatons (clients with

   either an AI or other interactive program controlling their actions).


   See PRIVMSG for more details on replies and examples.


3.4 Server queries and commands


   The server query group of commands has been designed to return

   information about any server which is connected to the network.


   In these queries, where a parameter appears as <target>, wildcard

   masks are usually valid.  For each parameter, however, only one query

   and set of replies is to be generated.  In most cases, if a nickname

   is given, it will mean the server to which the user is connected.


   These messages typically have little value for services, it is

   therefore RECOMMENDED to forbid services from using them.


3.4.1 Motd message


      Command: MOTD

   Parameters: [ <target> ]


   The MOTD command is used to get the "Message Of The Day" of the given

   server, or current server if <target> is omitted.


   Wildcards are allowed in the <target> parameter.


   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_MOTDSTART                   RPL_MOTD

           RPL_ENDOFMOTD                   ERR_NOMOTD


3.4.2 Lusers message


      Command: LUSERS

   Parameters: [ <mask> [ <target> ] ]


   The LUSERS command is used to get statistics about the size of the

   IRC network.  If no parameter is given, the reply will be about the

   whole net.  If a <mask> is specified, then the reply will only





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   concern the part of the network formed by the servers matching the

   mask.  Finally, if the <target> parameter is specified, the request

   is forwarded to that server which will generate the reply.


   Wildcards are allowed in the <target> parameter.


   Numeric Replies:


           RPL_LUSERCLIENT                 RPL_LUSEROP

           RPL_LUSERUNKOWN                 RPL_LUSERCHANNELS

           RPL_LUSERME                     ERR_NOSUCHSERVER


3.4.3 Version message


      Command: VERSION

   Parameters: [ <target> ]


   The VERSION command is used to query the version of the server

   program.  An optional parameter <target> is used to query the version

   of the server program which a client is not directly connected to.


   Wildcards are allowed in the <target> parameter.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NOSUCHSERVER                RPL_VERSION


   Examples:


   VERSION tolsun.oulu.fi          ; Command to check the version of

                                   server "tolsun.oulu.fi".


3.4.4 Stats message


      Command: STATS

   Parameters: [ <query> [ <target> ] ]


   The stats command is used to query statistics of certain server.  If

   <query> parameter is omitted, only the end of stats reply is sent

   back.


   A query may be given for any single letter which is only checked by

   the destination server and is otherwise passed on by intermediate

   servers, ignored and unaltered.


   Wildcards are allowed in the <target> parameter.






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   Except for the ones below, the list of valid queries is

   implementation dependent.  The standard queries below SHOULD be

   supported by the server:


            l - returns a list of the server's connections, showing how

                long each connection has been established and the

                traffic over that connection in Kbytes and messages for

                each direction;

            m - returns the usage count for each of commands supported

                by the server; commands for which the usage count is

                zero MAY be omitted;

            o - returns a list of configured privileged users,

                operators;

            u - returns a string showing how long the server has been

                up.


   It is also RECOMMENDED that client and server access configuration be

   published this way.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NOSUCHSERVER

           RPL_STATSLINKINFO                RPL_STATSUPTIME

           RPL_STATSCOMMANDS                RPL_STATSOLINE

           RPL_ENDOFSTATS


   Examples:


   STATS m                         ; Command to check the command usage

                                   for the server you are connected to


3.4.5 Links message


      Command: LINKS

   Parameters: [ [ <remote server> ] <server mask> ]


   With LINKS, a user can list all servernames, which are known by the

   server answering the query.  The returned list of servers MUST match

   the mask, or if no mask is given, the full list is returned.


   If <remote server> is given in addition to <server mask>, the LINKS

   command is forwarded to the first server found that matches that name

   (if any), and that server is then required to answer the query.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NOSUCHSERVER

           RPL_LINKS                        RPL_ENDOFLINKS




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   Examples:


   LINKS *.au                      ; Command to list all servers which

                                   have a name that matches *.au;


   LINKS *.edu *.bu.edu            ; Command to list servers matching

                                   *.bu.edu as seen by the first server

                                   matching *.edu.


3.4.6 Time message


      Command: TIME

   Parameters: [ <target> ]


   The time command is used to query local time from the specified

   server. If the <target> parameter is not given, the server receiving

   the command must reply to the query.


   Wildcards are allowed in the <target> parameter.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NOSUCHSERVER              RPL_TIME


   Examples:

   TIME tolsun.oulu.fi             ; check the time on the server

                                   "tolson.oulu.fi"


3.4.7 Connect message


      Command: CONNECT

   Parameters: <target server> <port> [ <remote server> ]


   The CONNECT command can be used to request a server to try to

   establish a new connection to another server immediately.  CONNECT is

   a privileged command and SHOULD be available only to IRC Operators.

   If a <remote server> is given and its mask doesn't match name of the

   parsing server, the CONNECT attempt is sent to the first match of

   remote server. Otherwise the CONNECT attempt is made by the server

   processing the request.


   The server receiving a remote CONNECT command SHOULD generate a

   WALLOPS message describing the source and target of the request.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NOSUCHSERVER              ERR_NOPRIVILEGES

           ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS




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   Examples:


   CONNECT tolsun.oulu.fi 6667     ; Command to attempt to connect local

                                   server to tolsun.oulu.fi on port 6667


3.4.8 Trace message


      Command: TRACE

   Parameters: [ <target> ]


   TRACE command is used to find the route to specific server and

   information about its peers.  Each server that processes this command

   MUST report to the sender about it.  The replies from pass-through

   links form a chain, which shows route to destination.  After sending

   this reply back, the query MUST be sent to the next server until

   given <target> server is reached.


   TRACE command is used to find the route to specific server.  Each

   server that processes this message MUST tell the sender about it by

   sending a reply indicating it is a pass-through link, forming a chain

   of replies.  After sending this reply back, it MUST then send the

   TRACE message to the next server until given server is reached.  If

   the <target> parameter is omitted, it is RECOMMENDED that TRACE

   command sends a message to the sender telling which servers the local

   server has direct connection to.


   If the destination given by <target> is an actual server, the

   destination server is REQUIRED to report all servers, services and

   operators which are connected to it; if the command was issued by an

   operator, the server MAY also report all users which are connected to

   it.  If the destination given by <target> is a nickname, then only a

   reply for that nickname is given.  If the <target> parameter is

   omitted, it is RECOMMENDED that the TRACE command is parsed as

   targeted to the processing server.


   Wildcards are allowed in the <target> parameter.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NOSUCHSERVER


      If the TRACE message is destined for another server, all

      intermediate servers must return a RPL_TRACELINK reply to indicate

      that the TRACE passed through it and where it is going next.


           RPL_TRACELINK






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      A TRACE reply may be composed of any number of the following

      numeric replies.


           RPL_TRACECONNECTING           RPL_TRACEHANDSHAKE

           RPL_TRACEUNKNOWN              RPL_TRACEOPERATOR

           RPL_TRACEUSER                 RPL_TRACESERVER

           RPL_TRACESERVICE              RPL_TRACENEWTYPE

           RPL_TRACECLASS                RPL_TRACELOG

           RPL_TRACEEND


   Examples:


   TRACE *.oulu.fi                 ; TRACE to a server matching

                                   *.oulu.fi


3.4.9 Admin command


      Command: ADMIN

   Parameters: [ <target> ]


   The admin command is used to find information about the administrator

   of the given server, or current server if <target> parameter is

   omitted.  Each server MUST have the ability to forward ADMIN messages

   to other servers.


   Wildcards are allowed in the <target> parameter.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NOSUCHSERVER

           RPL_ADMINME                   RPL_ADMINLOC1

           RPL_ADMINLOC2                 RPL_ADMINEMAIL


   Examples:


   ADMIN tolsun.oulu.fi            ; request an ADMIN reply from

                                   tolsun.oulu.fi


   ADMIN syrk                      ; ADMIN request for the server to

                                   which the user syrk is connected












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3.4.10 Info command


      Command: INFO

   Parameters: [ <target> ]


   The INFO command is REQUIRED to return information describing the

   server: its version, when it was compiled, the patchlevel, when it

   was started, and any other miscellaneous information which may be

   considered to be relevant.


   Wildcards are allowed in the <target> parameter.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NOSUCHSERVER

           RPL_INFO                      RPL_ENDOFINFO


   Examples:


   INFO csd.bu.edu                 ; request an INFO reply from

                                   csd.bu.edu


   INFO Angel                      ; request info from the server that

                                   Angel is connected to.


3.5 Service Query and Commands


   The service query group of commands has been designed to return

   information about any service which is connected to the network.


3.5.1 Servlist message


      Command: SERVLIST

   Parameters: [ <mask> [ <type> ] ]


   The SERVLIST command is used to list services currently connected to

   the network and visible to the user issuing the command.  The

   optional parameters may be used to restrict the result of the query

   (to matching services names, and services type).


   Numeric Replies:


           RPL_SERVLIST                  RPL_SERVLISTEND









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3.5.2 Squery


      Command: SQUERY

   Parameters: <servicename> <text>


   The SQUERY command is used similarly to PRIVMSG.  The only difference

   is that the recipient MUST be a service.  This is the only way for a

   text message to be delivered to a service.


   See PRIVMSG for more details on replies and example.


   Examples:


   SQUERY irchelp :HELP privmsg

                                   ; Message to the service with

                                   nickname irchelp.


   SQUERY dict@irc.fr :fr2en blaireau

                                   ; Message to the service with name

                                   dict@irc.fr.


3.6 User based queries


   User queries are a group of commands which are primarily concerned

   with finding details on a particular user or group users.  When using

   wildcards with any of these commands, if they match, they will only

   return information on users who are 'visible' to you.  The visibility

   of a user is determined as a combination of the user's mode and the

   common set of channels you are both on.


   Although services SHOULD NOT be using this class of message, they are

   allowed to.


3.6.1 Who query


      Command: WHO

   Parameters: [ <mask> [ "o" ] ]


   The WHO command is used by a client to generate a query which returns

   a list of information which 'matches' the <mask> parameter given by

   the client.  In the absence of the <mask> parameter, all visible

   (users who aren't invisible (user mode +i) and who don't have a

   common channel with the requesting client) are listed.  The same

   result can be achieved by using a <mask> of "0" or any wildcard which

   will end up matching every visible user.


   The <mask> passed to WHO is matched against users' host, server, real

   name and nickname if the channel <mask> cannot be found.




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   If the "o" parameter is passed only operators are returned according

   to the <mask> supplied.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NOSUCHSERVER

           RPL_WHOREPLY                  RPL_ENDOFWHO


   Examples:


   WHO *.fi                        ; Command to list all users who match

                                   against "*.fi".


   WHO jto* o                      ; Command to list all users with a

                                   match against "jto*" if they are an

                                   operator.


3.6.2 Whois query


      Command: WHOIS

   Parameters: [ <target> ] <mask> *( "," <mask> )


   This command is used to query information about particular user.

   The server will answer this command with several numeric messages

   indicating different statuses of each user which matches the mask (if

   you are entitled to see them).  If no wildcard is present in the

   <mask>, any information about that nick which you are allowed to see

   is presented.


   If the <target> parameter is specified, it sends the query to a

   specific server.  It is useful if you want to know how long the user

   in question has been idle as only local server (i.e., the server the

   user is directly connected to) knows that information, while

   everything else is globally known.


   Wildcards are allowed in the <target> parameter.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NOSUCHSERVER              ERR_NONICKNAMEGIVEN

           RPL_WHOISUSER                 RPL_WHOISCHANNELS

           RPL_WHOISCHANNELS             RPL_WHOISSERVER

           RPL_AWAY                      RPL_WHOISOPERATOR

           RPL_WHOISIDLE                 ERR_NOSUCHNICK

           RPL_ENDOFWHOIS







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   Examples:


   WHOIS wiz                       ; return available user information

                                   about nick WiZ


   WHOIS eff.org trillian          ; ask server eff.org for user

                                   information  about trillian


3.6.3 Whowas


      Command: WHOWAS

   Parameters: <nickname> *( "," <nickname> ) [ <count> [ <target> ] ]


   Whowas asks for information about a nickname which no longer exists.

   This may either be due to a nickname change or the user leaving IRC.

   In response to this query, the server searches through its nickname

   history, looking for any nicks which are lexically the same (no wild

   card matching here).  The history is searched backward, returning the

   most recent entry first.  If there are multiple entries, up to

   <count> replies will be returned (or all of them if no <count>

   parameter is given).  If a non-positive number is passed as being

   <count>, then a full search is done.


   Wildcards are allowed in the <target> parameter.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NONICKNAMEGIVEN           ERR_WASNOSUCHNICK

           RPL_WHOWASUSER                RPL_WHOISSERVER

           RPL_ENDOFWHOWAS


   Examples:


   WHOWAS Wiz                      ; return all information in the nick

                                   history about nick "WiZ";


   WHOWAS Mermaid 9                ; return at most, the 9 most recent

                                   entries in the nick history for

                                   "Mermaid";


   WHOWAS Trillian 1 *.edu         ; return the most recent history for

                                   "Trillian" from the first server

                                   found to match "*.edu".


3.7 Miscellaneous messages


   Messages in this category do not fit into any of the above categories

   but are nonetheless still a part of and REQUIRED by the protocol.




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3.7.1 Kill message


      Command: KILL

   Parameters: <nickname> <comment>


   The KILL command is used to cause a client-server connection to be

   closed by the server which has the actual connection.  Servers

   generate KILL messages on nickname collisions.  It MAY also be

   available available to users who have the operator status.


   Clients which have automatic reconnect algorithms effectively make

   this command useless since the disconnection is only brief.  It does

   however break the flow of data and can be used to stop large amounts

   of 'flooding' from abusive users or accidents.  Abusive users usually

   don't care as they will reconnect promptly and resume their abusive

   behaviour.  To prevent this command from being abused, any user may

   elect to receive KILL messages generated for others to keep an 'eye'

   on would be trouble spots.


   In an arena where nicknames are REQUIRED to be globally unique at all

   times, KILL messages are sent whenever 'duplicates' are detected

   (that is an attempt to register two users with the same nickname) in

   the hope that both of them will disappear and only 1 reappear.


   When a client is removed as the result of a KILL message, the server

   SHOULD add the nickname to the list of unavailable nicknames in an

   attempt to avoid clients to reuse this name immediately which is

   usually the pattern of abusive behaviour often leading to useless

   "KILL loops".  See the "IRC Server Protocol" document [IRC-SERVER]

   for more information on this procedure.


   The comment given MUST reflect the actual reason for the KILL.  For

   server-generated KILLs it usually is made up of details concerning

   the origins of the two conflicting nicknames.  For users it is left

   up to them to provide an adequate reason to satisfy others who see

   it.  To prevent/discourage fake KILLs from being generated to hide

   the identify of the KILLer, the comment also shows a 'kill-path'

   which is updated by each server it passes through, each prepending

   its name to the path.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NOPRIVILEGES              ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS

           ERR_NOSUCHNICK                ERR_CANTKILLSERVER








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   NOTE:

   It is RECOMMENDED that only Operators be allowed to kill other users

   with KILL command.  This command has been the subject of many

   controversies over the years, and along with the above

   recommendation, it is also widely recognized that not even operators

   should be allowed to kill users on remote servers.


3.7.2 Ping message


      Command: PING

   Parameters: <server1> [ <server2> ]


   The PING command is used to test the presence of an active client or

   server at the other end of the connection.  Servers send a PING

   message at regular intervals if no other activity detected coming

   from a connection.  If a connection fails to respond to a PING

   message within a set amount of time, that connection is closed.  A

   PING message MAY be sent even if the connection is active.


   When a PING message is received, the appropriate PONG message MUST be

   sent as reply to <server1> (server which sent the PING message out)

   as soon as possible.  If the <server2> parameter is specified, it

   represents the target of the ping, and the message gets forwarded

   there.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NOORIGIN                  ERR_NOSUCHSERVER


   Examples:


   PING tolsun.oulu.fi             ; Command to send a PING message to

                                   server


   PING WiZ tolsun.oulu.fi         ; Command from WiZ to send a PING

                                   message to server "tolsun.oulu.fi"


   PING :irc.funet.fi              ; Ping message sent by server

                                   "irc.funet.fi"













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3.7.3 Pong message


      Command: PONG

   Parameters: <server> [ <server2> ]


   PONG message is a reply to ping message.  If parameter <server2> is

   given, this message MUST be forwarded to given target.  The <server>

   parameter is the name of the entity who has responded to PING message

   and generated this message.


   Numeric Replies:


           ERR_NOORIGIN                  ERR_NOSUCHSERVER


   Example:


   PONG csd.bu.edu tolsun.oulu.fi  ; PONG message from csd.bu.edu to

                                   tolsun.oulu.fi


3.7.4 Error


      Command: ERROR

   Parameters: <error message>


   The ERROR command is for use by servers when reporting a serious or

   fatal error to its peers.  It may also be sent from one server to

   another but MUST NOT be accepted from any normal unknown clients.


   Only an ERROR message SHOULD be used for reporting errors which occur

   with a server-to-server link.  An ERROR message is sent to the server

   at the other end (which reports it to appropriate local users and

   logs) and to appropriate local users and logs.  It is not to be

   passed onto any other servers by a server if it is received from a

   server.


   The ERROR message is also used before terminating a client

   connection.


   When a server sends a received ERROR message to its operators, the

   message SHOULD be encapsulated inside a NOTICE message, indicating

   that the client was not responsible for the error.


   Numerics:


           None.







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