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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Examples:


ERROR :Server *.fi already exists ; ERROR message to the other server

which caused this error.


NOTICE WiZ :ERROR from csd.bu.edu -- Server *.fi already exists

; Same ERROR message as above but

sent to user WiZ on the other server.


4. Optional features


This section describes OPTIONAL messages. They are not required in a

working server implementation of the protocol described herein. In

the absence of the feature, an error reply message MUST be generated

or an unknown command error. If the message is destined for another

server to answer then it MUST be passed on (elementary parsing

REQUIRED) The allocated numerics for this are listed with the

messages below.


From this section, only the USERHOST and ISON messages are available

to services.


4.1 Away


Command: AWAY

Parameters: [ <text> ]


With the AWAY command, clients can set an automatic reply string for

any PRIVMSG commands directed at them (not to a channel they are on).

The server sends an automatic reply to the client sending the PRIVMSG

command. The only replying server is the one to which the sending

client is connected to.


The AWAY command is used either with one parameter, to set an AWAY

message, or with no parameters, to remove the AWAY message.


Because of its high cost (memory and bandwidth wise), the AWAY

message SHOULD only be used for client-server communication. A

server MAY choose to silently ignore AWAY messages received from

other servers. To update the away status of a client across servers,

the user mode 'a' SHOULD be used instead. (See Section 3.1.5)


Numeric Replies:


RPL_UNAWAY RPL_NOWAWAY







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Example:


AWAY :Gone to lunch. Back in 5 ; Command to set away message to

"Gone to lunch. Back in 5".


4.2 Rehash message


Command: REHASH

Parameters: None


The rehash command is an administrative command which can be used by

an operator to force the server to re-read and process its

configuration file.


Numeric Replies:


RPL_REHASHING ERR_NOPRIVILEGES



Example:


REHASH ; message from user with operator

status to server asking it to reread

its configuration file.


4.3 Die message


Command: DIE

Parameters: None


An operator can use the DIE command to shutdown the server. This

message is optional since it may be viewed as a risk to allow

arbitrary people to connect to a server as an operator and execute

this command.


The DIE command MUST always be fully processed by the server to which

the sending client is connected and MUST NOT be passed onto other

connected servers.


Numeric Replies:


ERR_NOPRIVILEGES


Example:


DIE ; no parameters required.






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4.4 Restart message


Command: RESTART

Parameters: None


An operator can use the restart command to force the server to

restart itself. This message is optional since it may be viewed as a

risk to allow arbitrary people to connect to a server as an operator

and execute this command, causing (at least) a disruption to service.


The RESTART command MUST always be fully processed by the server to

which the sending client is connected and MUST NOT be passed onto

other connected servers.


Numeric Replies:


ERR_NOPRIVILEGES


Example:


RESTART ; no parameters required.


4.5 Summon message


Command: SUMMON

Parameters: <user> [ <target> [ <channel> ] ]


The SUMMON command can be used to give users who are on a host

running an IRC server a message asking them to please join IRC. This

message is only sent if the target server (a) has SUMMON enabled, (b)

the user is logged in and (c) the server process can write to the

user's tty (or similar).