Setting a Simple Channel Ban

Channel bans allow you to block someone from joining your channel. These bans offer a lot of flexibility, letting you ban someone in several different ways. This article will explain a simple ban. You can check the Extended Ban tutorial for additional options. You can also use the AKICK command to ban someone permanently.

To ban someone from your channel, you need to know the hostmask for the connection. Use the WHOIS command to get the details. For the user LordBaconCheeseburger, you’d use this command:

/whois LordBaconCheeseburger 

In your status window, you’ll see something like this in response:

LordBaconCheeseburger is 
LordBaconCheeseburger is a registered nick
LordBaconCheeseburger on #jupiterbroadcasting #theshed
LordBaconCheeseburger using
LordBaconCheeseburger has been idle 3mins, signed on Fri Sep 28 21:00:28
LordBaconCheeseburger End of /WHOIS list.

You need the information from the first line to set your ban. The information listed after the @ symbol is the hostmask. To set a simple ban for your channel, use this command:

/mode #channel +b *!*@hostmask

If you wanted to ban LordBaconCheeseburger from the channel #topgear, for instance, you’d type:

/mode #topgear +b *!*

That’s all there is to it. Anyone with that hostmask is now banned from #topgear. Next week’s post will explain more complicated channel bans, so be sure to come back!

—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


Using Channel Modes to Hide Your Channel

You can use channel modes to make dozens of customizations to your channel. Last week, I talked about using channel modes to set a channel key, which works like a password for your channel. Today I’m going to talk about another way to keep your channel a private place: the channel modes +s and +p.

Secret vs. Private

There are two modes you can use to hide your channel: +s, for a secret channel; and +p, for a private channel.

Originally (that is, in earlier days of IRC), there was a difference between these two modes. On GeekShed, the two commands do the same thing. If you set your channel to +p or to +s, your channel will not show up:

  • in the channel listing that someone gets after using the /LIST command
  • on the website’s list of channels
  • in a /WHOIS list for a user who is in the channel (unless the person using the command is also in the secret channel)

Since the two commands do the same thing, you can only set one or the other.

Setting the Secret or Private Mode

To set the secret mode, use this command:

/mode #channel +s

In that command, replace "channel" with your #channel. For instance, for my super-secret channel, I used this command:

/mode #baconmylove +s  

To set the private mode, use this command:

/mode #channel +p

For instance, I used this command:

/mode #baconmylove +p  

Restrictions on the +s and +p Modes

If you set your channel to +s and then decide to set +p, the server will respond by removing the +s setting. You’d see something like this:

* tengrrl sets mode: +s
* tengrrl sets mode: +p-s

In the second line, the server set +p (adding the private setting), and -s (removing the secret setting). This is normal. Since the commands do the same thing, you only need one or the other (never both). As long as you have the channel set to +s or to +p, it will be hidden.

Removing the Secret or Private Mode

If you no longer want your channel to be hidden, you can remove the secret or private mode easily:

To remove the secret mode, use this command:

/mode #channel -s

To remove the private mode, use this command:

/mode #channel -p

Once you remove the setting, your channel will be visible to everyone on the network.

Two Tips on Using the Secret or Private Mode

  1. Remember that even though your channel is hidden, the people you ask to join you in the channel can tell others about it. Only invite people to join your channel if you trust them to maintain your privacy. If you cannot trust someone not to tell others about the space, don’t ask them to join your channel.

  2. Any moderator (half-ops, ops, and admins) on your channel can change the channel mode. Don’t add someone as a moderator in the channel if you cannot trust that person to leave the channel with the settings you want.

—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


Using Channel Keys

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

Getting a Channel in the List of Chat Rooms

If you’re looking for a channel to join, all you have to do is visit the Chat Rooms page here on the site. The automatically generated page lists channels, their topics, and the number of users currently in the channel, listed from the channel with the most users to the channel with the fewest users.

To get your channel to show up on the list:

  • Make sure that your channel is not set to +s (secret) or +p (private). Private or secret channels do now show up on the list.
  • Maintain more than 5 people in the channel. The list is limited to channels with 6 or more users.

That’s it. If you have a public channel with 6 or more users, it will show up in the official list on the website. The channel doesn’t have to be registered, but we always recommend that you register your channel. It’s free and gives you better control over your chat room.

How do you determine if your channel is public?

Just use the command:

/mode #channel 

For example: /mode #topgear. In your status window, you’ll see something like this:

Mode for room #topgear is "+ntrS"

The Channel Modes page will help you decipher that response, but for our purposes, notice that there is no “s” and no “p.” That means the channel is neither secret nor private. Note that case matters. The channel #topgear is +S (strips color codes), but not +s (secret).


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny

I’m Banned From My Own Channel

It’s easier than you might think to get banned from a channel you own or where you are a moderator. It may be that you didn’t identify quickly enough or services were down and you couldn’t identify. It’s even possible you or someone in the channel set a ban too wide. An asterisk wildcard in the wrong place is all it takes.

If you find yourself in this situation, this is the simplest way to remove the ban:

/msg ChanServ UNBAN channel

So if I were banned from #topgear, I’d use this command:

/msg ChanServ UNBAN #topgear

After that, you should be able to join the channel again.

You can also remove the ban the traditional way. Say you or someone banned your hostmask or vhost. You add a ban with +b, and you can remove it with -b. If you had accidentally banned yourself with this command:

/mode #topgear +b *!*

You could unban yourself by typing this command:

/mode #topgear -b *!*

As a third option, you can also try inviting yourself into the channel. Usually a channel invite will get around a ban. This command will also work if your channel is set to invite only and you cannot join.

/msg ChanServ INVITE channel

So if I wanted into the channel #topgear, I’d use this command:

/msg ChanServ INVITE #topgear

If none of these options work for you, come ask for assistance in #help!



Can my GeekShed channel have more than one founder?

Yes, it can! You can have as many people with founder access as you like.

Each channel will still have 1 founder – i.e. the person listed in /cs info #channel and GeekShed staff will only deal with this person for channel administration issues.

However, if you set a user to access level 9999, they too will have founder permissions on the channel. To do this, you must temorarily turn off XOP, if you have it on. To do this, type:

/cs SET #channel XOP OFF

Now you can set the user to access level 9999 with the following command:

/cs ACCESS #channel ADD nickname 9999

Once this is done, the user MUST cycle the channel for the changes to become active.

Once the user has cycled the channel they will be given +q each time they join.

It is important that you do not turn xop back on as, once a user has logged out of their nickname, their founder status will be lost and not restored.

WARNING: Only give this access level to people that you trust wholeheartedly. If a user takes control of a channel and becomes the listed founder of the channel, GeekShed staff are not responsible for this and will see the listed founder as the authorized owner of the channel.

In order to prevent secondary founders from changing the listed founder of the channel, ensure SECUREFOUNDER is switched on. To do this, type:


Since XOP is now off, you must use the access system to manage your channels access list. See access system tutorial for information on how to do this.

How to register a channel on GeekShed

Registering your channel on GeekShed gives you many advantages, and is completely free. These include:

  • Increased control over your channel
  • Ability to add people to the auto op list
  • Ability to add auto kicks
  • Ability to use a services bot to auto moderate your channel
  • And many many more…

To register your channel, you must first register your nickname. To do this, when you are using the nickname that you wish to register, type the following command into your IRC client:

/ns register password e-mail

You must replace password and e-mail with a real password and e-mail address, respectively. An example of the use of this command is:

/ns register supersecretpassword

It is important that you use your real e-mail address as this will be used in future if you ever forget your password. We will not send any unsolicited e-mail to this address.

Once you have registered your nickname, you can register your channel. All channels names begin with the # symbol, for example #help, #chris and #247fixes. Once you have picked a channel name, you can join it using the command:

/join #channel

For example:

/join #chat

Once you have joined the channel, if it is not already registered, you should see your name in the nickname list with the @ symbol next to it. This means you are an operator in the channel. You may now register it with the following command:

/cs register #channel password description

You must replace #channel, password and description with the channel name, the channel password and a description of the channel. An example of the use of this command is:

/cs register #chat verysecretpassword Freds chat channel

Once you have done that, you should see your name in the nick list prefixed with the ~ symbol. This means you are the owner of the channel.

If you have any problems registering your channel, come and talk to us in #help on

Nick Prefixes Explained

Nick prefixes are the symbols which you see at the start of some people’s nicknames. GeekShed uses 5 different prefixes for nicknames.

  • ~ for owners – to get this, you need to be +q in the channel
  • & for admins – to get this, you need to be +a in the channel
  • @ for full operators – to get this, you need to be +o in the channel
  • % for half operators – to get this, you need to be +h in the channel
  • + for voiced users – to get this, you need to be +v in the channel
  • Users with no status in the channel will have no nick prefix

These prefixes let you better understand who owns a channel and who the senior admins and other moderators are.