Automatically Voicing Users in Your Channel

You can automatically voice all users or all registered users as they join your channel. Some people use this command to help manage their channel. With everyone in the channel voiced, it’s simple to set the channel to moderated (/mode #channel +m) and devoice any troublemakers. Using the setting that voices only registered users can keep trolls and flooders from interrupting your channel.

There are important limitations to note however. Since the Autovoice command voices everyone who joins, someone you devoice can simply part and rejoin the channel to regain voice. It’s generally more effective to ban and kick the person instead.

Here’s how to use the Autovoice command. To voice everyone in the channel:

/msg chanserv autovoice #channel all 

For example: /msg chanserv autovoice #topgear all. In your status window, you’ll see something like this:

 -ChanServ- Autovoice option for #topgear set to ALL.

For other autovoice options, you change the last word in the command to the setting you’d like, as these examples show:

Purpose Command
To voice registered users only:
/msg chanserv autovoice #channel reg
To see the autovoice status:
/msg chanserv autovoice #channel status
To turn off autovoice:
/msg chanserv autovoice #channel off

If you are using Access Levels in your channel, you have another way to automatically give voice to all users who join your channel:

/msg chanserv levels #channel set autovoice 0

For example: /msg chanserv levels #topgear set autovoice 0. Access level zero (0) is the level for regular users.

To remove the command, use the disable command, as in this example:

/msg chanserv levels #channel dis autovoice


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


Barebones Commands for New Users

There are certain basic commands that are handy to know if you are new to GeekShed and helpful to pass along if you’ve just invited a friend to join you here on the network.

First, you need to know that all commands use the same basic format. They all begin with a / and then include the specific key term for what you want to do.

Second, in most cases, no one else will see you type a command. Most commands that begin with a / will not be visible to anyone else. I’ll note the exceptions.

Third, the client you use may have buttons or menus (at the top or on right-click) that will execute some of these commands for you. Check your documentation to learn more about what your client can do. For the purpose of this barebones guide, I’m going to assume you want to type your commands out.

For all these commands, my example username (or nick) is LordBacon and the example channel is #TopGear.

Command What It Does
/nick NewName
/nick LordBacon
Change your nickname to something new. Note that your nick has to be unique. You can’t use a name that belongs to someone else.
/join #channel
/join #TopGear
Join the specific channel.
/list Gives you a list of all the IRC channels, how many people are in the channels, and the channel topics. Your client may pop up the list in a new window.

You can also check out the list of channels on the website.
/me action you want to do
/me passes out bacon
Everyone in the channel sees a statement about you. For the example, people would see this:
* LordBacon passes out bacon
/part Leave the channel.
/whois nick
/whois LordBacon
Gives you some basic information about the person whose nick you use.
/msg nick text
/msg LordBacon hi!
Sends a private message (the text) to the person you indicate. If someone asks you to PM, this is the command they want you to use. The message will usually pop up in a new window or a new tab. Exactly how it works depends upon your client.

In the example, the private message "hi!" is sent to the user LordBacon.
/notice nick text
/notice LordBacon hi!
Sends a private message (the text) to the person you indicate, without opening a new window or a new tab.

In the example, the private message "hi!" is sent to the user LordBacon.
/ignore nick
/ignore LordBacon

Blocks messages from the person whose nick you indicate. You will not see anything else that the person types. This example ignores LordBacon.

For more information, see How to Use the Ignore Command.

/help Gives you some online help or documentation. The way the command works will depend upon your client.
/quit Off to buy more bacon!
Disconnect from the network. In some clients, you can include a message that will display after the command. For the example, people would see something like this: LordBacon has quit IRC (Quit: Off to buy more bacon!)

For more information on commands, you can check out our documentation pages or search the pages on our site. If you want to stay on the network, you can register your nickname and even register your own channel.


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


I’ve Been Banned from a Channel!

On GeekShed, channel moderators are free to ban anyone from channels they control for any reason at all. They do not need to explain the reason, and they do not have to be “fair.” Since every channel is different, you need to look at the situation and figure out the best approach:

  • Check your ban and/or kick message for details on what went wrong. When someone bans you from a channel, you may find the reason in that message. If there are appeal instructions there, you can follow them if appropriate.
  • In some channels, you can just wait the ban out. In channels where basic bans are only 3 hours, waiting is probably the best solution.
  • Look at the Channel Appeals page for an appeal process for the channel.
    • Follow the instructions if the channel is listed. Wait for channel staff to reply.
    • If the channel isn’t listed, they have no appeal process. If you are in another channel with the person who banned you, you can ask him if you can talk to him privately.
  • When you post an appeal or ask about a ban, be polite and respectful. Apologize if you have broken channel rules, and calmly explain why you think the ban should be lifted. You might review the guidelines on Manners and Polite Behavior on GeekShed as well as any rules posted for the channel itself.
  • If the ban stands or cannot be appealed, just accept it and move on. Don’t try to force your way into channels where you are not wanted.

And a few don’ts:

  • Do not complain or ask about the ban in other channels (that includes #help).
  • Do not PM network staff. Opers will not get involved in channel bans.
  • Do not post complaints or arguments in the GeekShed network forums. You’ll just get yourself banned from the forums as well. It’s okay to post in a channel forum specifically for appeals, if one exists (for instance, as in the case of #chris or #ericjess).
  • Do not rejoin the channel until the ban is lifted. Do not use a BNC, a new connection or alternate nick to rejoin. These actions are ban evasion and you will be banned from the entire network, not just the channel.

If you happen to be looking for information on a ban from the GeekShed network (rather than from a channel), please check the Ban Appeals page.


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


Setting More Specific Channel Bans

Last week, I explained how to set a simple channel ban that takes care of most situations. Occasionally, you need a stronger or different kind of ban. This week I’ll explain the more complicated channel bans that you can use. Check the Extended Ban tutorial for additional options.

First, you need to understand the different parts of a person’s connection information, which you can find using the WHOIS command. This is the way that information is included in a ban:


Here is what that information means, with examples from the WHOIS information for LordBaconCheeseburger, which is

  • nick = the user’s nickname
    LordBaconCheeseburger in our example

  • ident = the user information, either set by the client or set by the user in the client’s settings
    TFlash in our example

  • specific-hostmask = the unique part of the person’s network connection information
    protectedhost-BACONYUM in our example

  • domain-info = the more general information about the network connection in our example

You can set a ban using any of this information. The basic format stays the same. You simply vary the unique information necessary to identify a person. I’ll provide examples for several options below:

To ban someone who uses a specific nick: /mode #channel +b nick!*@* For example, to ban anyone using the nick LordBaconCheeseburger from the channel #topgear, you would use this command: /mode #topgear +b LordBaconCheeseburger!*@*

To ban someone whose nick changes slightly: You can also use the * as a wildcard in the nickname. Say the person has a habit of adding endings to the nickname (like |away, |home, and |work). Just add a wildcard at the end of the nickname to ban all the different versions. Your command would look like this:
/mode #topgear +b LordBaconCheeseburger*!*@*

To ban someone who always has the same ident: /mode #channel +b *!ident@* Because this information can by set by the client, be careful with these bans. In the case of web-based clients like GeekShed’s Flash client or Mibbit, the ident is the same for everyone. For example, this command: /mode #topgear +b *!TFlash@* would ban everyone using GeekShed’s Flash client from the channel #topgear.

To ban everyone who uses a specific network connection: /mode #channel +b *!*@*domain-info. You can make this ban as specific as you like. Here are some examples, using the information for banning LordBaconCheeseburger from the channel #topgear:
      /mode #topgear +b *!*@* bans everyone using Comcast
      /mode #topgear +b *!*@* bans everyone in Georgia using Comcast
      /mode #topgear +b *!*@* bans everyone using the Comcast hsd1 server in Georgia

To combine bantypes: You can also combine these different banning techniques. For instance, you have had a lot of trouble with people using the GeekShed Flash client who connect from Georgia using Comcast. To ban them all from the channel #topgear, use this command: /mode #topgear +b *!TFlash@*

Before you try any of these bans, of course, be sure to check the information against others in the channel to avoid accidentally banning someone. Be sure that you have set the appeal information for your channel, so that people know what to do if they are banned accidentally.

Finally, for more details on how these bans work, check out the Bans & Mask Type Definitions from the Undernet website.

—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


FAQs about GeekShed’s Spamfilter

GeekShed maintains a spamfilter of URLs and phrases that are blocked network wide. Most of the entries on the list got there because someone was spamming the information on the network. Some entries are added because they link to malware, porn, or another kind of less than desirable site.

What happens when someone triggers the spamfilter in a channel?

If you make a statement or action in a channel that includes a URL or phrase on the spamfilter list, your text will be blocked completely. No one in the channel will see what you said (though you will probably see it). Immediately after the text, you’ll see one of these messages:

   * Message blocked: Spamfilter match. Do NOT attempt to 
     get around this filter. If you think it is an error, 
     tell us in #help 

   * Message blocked: Spam URL

What happens when someone triggers the spamfilter in a private message?

Your text will also be blocked completely if you send a private message (PM) that includes a URL or phrase on the spamfilter list. The person you were trying to message will not see the message at all and will not know you tried to send a PM.

You’ll see this message in your status window or a query window, with <nick> replaced with the person you were sending the message:

   * Message to <nick> blocked: Spamfilter match. Do NOT  
     attempt to get around this filter. If you think it is  
     an error, tell us in #help

What happens when someone triggers the spamfilter in a channel topic?

Your topic will not be set if you try to include text that is on the spamfilter list. Instead, you’ll see this message in your status window or in the channel:

   * Setting of topic on #channel to that text is blocked: 
     Spamfilter match. Do NOT attempt to get around this 
     filter. If you think it is an error, tell us in #help

What is the punishment for triggering the spamfilter?

If you accidentally trigger the spamfilter, generally nothing happens. Just take note of the warning, and do not attempt to get around the filter or continue posting the blocked text.

If you continue to trigger the spamfilter, you may be banned from the network.

Does anyone else know when someone triggers the spamfilter?

Network staff will see a message that says you triggered the spamfilter. No one else will know (unless you tell them).

Can I see the list of words, phrases, and URLs on the spamfilter list?

No, we don’t provide a list to avoid abuse or misuse of the information. Do you honestly think we’d want to post a list of malware, porn, and undesirable sites?

Can someone add URLs or phrases to the spamfilter list for their channel?

Not exactly. Only network staff can add text to the GeekShed spamfilter. However, you can use the extended ban type ~T to block specific phrases from your channel, essentially, creating your own private spamfilter.


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny

Watch What You Click!

It’s time for a reminder to be careful when you click on links that people share. Recently Naive_One came to #help because he had clicked on a link A_Bad_Guy shared (names changed to protect the innocent). A_Bad_Guy used his server logs to get Naive_One’s IP address and attack his network. Unfortunately for Naive_One, there was nothing GeekShed staff could do. It was Naive_One’s poor judgement in clicking the link that caused the problem.

The morale of this story is clear: If you don’t know the person well or don’t recognize the link, don’t click on it. The link you click can give someone else information about your machine or it may cause your machine to download spyware, malware, or a virus that corrupts your system.

Usually it’s safe to click on these links on GeekShed:

  • Links to the GeekShed website.
  • Links shared by network staff.
  • Links to well-known sites, like Wikipedia or Jupiter Broadcasting.

Unless you know the person who shares the link, it’s best NOT to click on shortened links, because you cannot tell where they will take you. A link might take you to Wikipedia or it could take you to a malware site. There’s no way to guess just by looking at the URL.

Finally, let me share a reminder from the GeekShed Terms of Service:

GeekShed is not responsible for the content you may transmit or receive. Due to the real time nature of IRC, we cannot monitor or police the exchange of data. To protect yourself, we highly recommend that you run a current antivirus program and never click on links from people you do not know.

So click safely, and make sure you keep your machine and network protected!


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny


How to Choose Staff for Your Channel

Once you register your channel, you can add staff to help you keep order or enforce any rules you have for your channel. The commands for making someone a permanent admin, operator or half-operator are relatively simple. You can even add someone as a founder (though we don’t recommend it).

The harder part is choosing people who will make good staff. Promoting someone in your channel gives them control over what happens there. To make sure your channel stays YOURS and that it’s run the way you want it to be, you need to be cautious about choosing your staff.

Before you make someone an op or hop, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I know the person well?
  • Do I trust the person?
  • Does the person have good judgment?
  • Is the person polite, helpful, and knowledgeable?
  • Is the person cool under stress?
  • Will the person follow my instructions?
  • Does the person follow the channel and network rules?
  • Has the person been in my channel for a while?
  • Is the person active regularly?

If you can honestly answer “Yes” to all those questions, then the person could make a good member of your channel staff. If you answer “No” to even one, you should probably choose someone else.

The worst people to choose are the people who ask to be staff members. Anyone who demands, begs, or continually asks to be network staff does not have the patience for the job. Worse yet, some trolls will ask for ops in a channel only to cause trouble. Save yourself a lot of trouble, and just don’t make these folks a member of your channel staff. You’ll have a lot less drama to deal with!


[If you ended up on this page because you were looking for information on becoming a member of GeekShed network staff, visit Can I be an Oper on GeekShed?]


—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

What is Identd?

When you use the /whois command or /ns info on yourself, you may notice the tilde before your connection information. Here’s an example:

That leading tilde (~) indicates that you are not running identd on your machine. As Phil explains it, identd is an age-old service that runs on port 113 and was designed for shared shells. It’s essentially a process that confirms that you are who your ident says you are. For the full, geeky details on identd, see RFC 1413.

Basically, your client sends your required ident as part of the initiation commands when you connect to GeekShed. The server then checks to see whether you have an identd running and uses the ident reported by that in your hostmask. If the server does not find identd running on your machine, it adds the tilde (~) to your ident.

Note: don’t confuse any of this with the tilde (~) you may see in your nick list as an indication of a channel’s admins. Those are nick prefixes.

How do you enable Identd on your machine?

Many clients either have Identd built in or include the option to turn it on. Check the documentation for your particular client. Note however that there are clients that will not provide support.

ChatzillaSee How do I enable ‘ident’?
ColloquySee Enabling Identd.
LightIRCNo longer available for use on this network.
MibbitSee ident.
mIRCSee Why am I unidentified and what does it matter?
SnakSee “The server keeps saying something about ‘Ident’ problems” on the Troubleshooting page.
TFlash (GeekShed’s
web client)
No longer in use.
X-ChatSee How do I enable identd in X-Chat?

Additional Troubleshooting Information

You can connect to GeekShed even if you cannot get identd running on your machine. You’ll just have the tilde (~) show up before your connection information. If you cannot get it to work, relax because there’s no penalty.

That said, if you investigate things further, you may find that you need to open up port 113 on your firewall or enable identd on your router. For more information, check out Section 4.3. “No identd” of IRC Connection Problems or Setting Up Identd on the IRCPolitics site.



How to Join Channels Automatically

The AJOIN command is a server-side command that keeps track of the channels you join each time you connect to GeekShed. If you login with your nick and identify with your password, you can join all the same channels automatically. It works no matter what client you use or where you connect from since all the details are kept on the server.

Note that your client may have an option to keep an auto-join locally. Check your documentation for details on using a client-side system if you want to keep your settings on your machine(s). This explanation will focus on the server-side system only.

What is required to join channels automatically?

Your nickname has to be registered, and you have to identify before you can use the AJOIN command. Additionally, the channel that you want to join has to be registered. Remember that you can only be in 100 channels, so you can only include 100 channels in your AJOIN list.

How do I join a channel automatically?

To add a channel to the list of those that you join every time you connect to GeekShed (your AJOIN list), use the following command:

/msg NickServ AJOIN ADD #channel

For instance, /msg NickServ AJOIN ADD #topgear would add the channel #topgear to your AJOIN list.

How do I add a channel that uses a key to my AJOIN list?

If the channel you want to add uses a key, you need to include the key when you use the command:

/msg NickServ AJOIN ADD #channel key

For instance, /msg NickServ AJOIN ADD #topgear hAmsT3r  would add the channel #topgear with the channel key “hAmsT3r” to your AJOIN list.

Can I just add every channel I’m in right now?

Yes, you can. Join all the channels you want to add, and use the command:

/msg NickServ AJOIN ADDALL

The command will also automatically include the keys for any channels to your AJOIN list.

How do I see a list of all the channels I join automatically?

To see a list of all the channels on your AJOIN list, use the command:

/msg NickServ AJOIN LIST

Use wild cards with this command to list only the channels on your AJOIN list that match a specific pattern. For instance, the command /msg NickServ AJOIN LIST #top* would return all the channels on your AJOIN list that begin with “#top” (for instance, #topgear).

How do I remove a channel from my AJOIN list?

To remove a channel from your AJOIN list, use the command

/msg NickServ AJOIN DEL #channel

For instance, /msg NickServ AJOIN DEL #topgear would remove the channel #topgear from your AJOIN list.

How do I delete all the channels that I join automatically?

To remove all the channels from your AJOIN list, use this command:

/msg NickServ AJOIN CLEAR

The command will delete all the channels from your AJOIN list. When you connect to GeekShed again, you will not join any channels automatically.

What if I get banned from a channel I usually join automatically?

If you are banned from a channel, please be sure to remove it from your AJOIN list, using the AJOIN DEL command above. Keeping a channel you are banned from on your AJOIN list may result in accidentally evading the ban.

Video Demonstration of the AJOIN commands

If you’d like to see some of these commands demonstrated, take a look at UKGeek’s video below, which was entered in our birthday competition last year: