If you ever had a secret password to get into your clubhouse, you understand the way that channel keys work. You can set a channel key for your channel, and only those people who have the key will be able to join the channel. If you want to have private conversations, using a channel key is a simple way to make it happen.
Setting a Channel Key
To set a channel key, use this command:
/mode #channel +k channelkey
In that command, replace "channel" with your #channel and replace "channelkey" with your channel key (your password). For instance, for my super-secret channel, I used this command:
/mode #baconmylove +k nomnomnom
When you set a channel key, everyone in the channel will see the new key. When I set my channel key, for instance, the server announced this in the channel:
* tengrrl sets mode: +k nomnomnom
- Be sure that you choose a strong password that others will not easily guess. Follow these guidelines for strong passwords to make your choice.
- Make sure you remove anyone you do not want to have the key before you set it. You can ask him to leave OR kick and ban if necessary. Remember that the server announces the key in channel when you set it, so everyone in your channel will see the new key.
- Anyone who has half-op status or higher in your channel can change the channel key. If you cannot trust someone, don’t make that person a moderator. He could easily change the password and lock everyone out of the channel! See the Troubleshooting information for what you can do if you get locked out.
- The channel key will only remain as long as someone is in the channel. If everyone leaves, the next person who joins will be able to do so without knowing the channel key. The easiest solution to this problem is either to add a bnc user to the channel or create a private bot to occupy the channel. Note that services bots will not hold a channel open.
Joining a Channel with a Key
You need to provide the password to join your channel now once you set your key. Here’s how to use the JOIN command with a channel key:
/join #channel password
For my super-secret channel, I used this command:
/join #baconmylove nomnomnom
You’ll need to give your password and this command to everyone who you want to grant access to your channel. Only give your channel password to the people you trust with access to your private space.
Changing your Channel Key
To change your channel key, just use the same command with a new password:
/mode #channel +k newchannelkey
The command is exactly the same. You just indicate the new channel key when you use the command.
You see this error message in your status window: #channel :Cannot join channel (+k)
Either you didn’t include the password or you used the wrong password. Check with the channel owner for the correct password or to ask for access to the channel.
You get locked out of your own channel.
If you forget your password or someone else changes it, you can just change your channel key and join with the new key. If a moderator in your channel changed the password without your permission, you may want to talk to that person or remove his access. Remember you should only add people as half-ops, ops, or admins if you trust them completely.
—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny