IRC/Tutorial

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Useful tricks[edit]

IRC can sometimes seem a little simplistic, but there are actually a lot of helpful commands that do really useful things.

Client commands[edit]

Note, some of these commands may not work on your client. If you find inconsistencies, please report them on the talk page.

/msg <username> <message>
Send a private message to a user. Nobody else will be able to see the messages you send, or even that you're sending them.
/away <reason>
Set your status as "away". Some clients treat this differently, but the gist is, you'll be marked as away and you'll be able to see any messages that occur when you return.
/away
Come back from being away.
/ctcp <username> time
Find the local time according to a user. Useful for finding the timezone of a user.
/ctcp <username> version
Find the client version of a user. Helpful for knowing what client a user is running.
/join <channel name>
Join a channel. See #IRC Channels for a good list.
/part
Part the channel you're currently in.
/notify <username>
Get notified when a user connects or disconnects to or from the network.
/hilight <string>
Get notified when a string is said in any channel. This is sometimes referred to as "stalkwords" (click for more info). In some clients, this is called /stalk.
/clear
Clear the buffer for a channel. This is helpful when you write something private on your screen that you don't want to be visible anymore.
/nick <username>
Change your username. If the username already exists, you'll get an error message. If it's registered, you'll be changed to a guest username within about 30 seconds.
/whois <username>
Get information about the user.
/wii <username>
Get information about the user, including how long ago they were last active.
/me <message>
Action beginning with your username. For example, "/me likes donuts" would become "* John likes donuts" if your nickname was "John".

Services commands[edit]

These commands are actually private messages to bots that Freenode runs as part of their network services. They do not vary between clients. However, some clients support "/cs", "/ms", and "/ns" as shortcuts for sending a message to ChanServ, MemoServ, or NickServ, respectively.

/msg nickserv info <username>
Get information about a username or account.
/msg chanserv info <channel>
Get information about a channel.
/msg chanserv invite <channel>
Have chanserv invite you to a private channel. Depending on your client, you may need to /join <channel> afterwards.
/msg memoserv send <username> <text>
Send a memo to a user, even if they're not logged in. Helpful for people who aren't online 24/7. e.g. /msg memoserv marktraceur Hey man, can you review Gerrit 55555?