Manners and Polite Behavior on GeekShed

When you connect to GeekShed, you are bound by the GeekShed Terms of Service, linked in the footer on every page. If you’re new to IRC, you should also know about netiquette, that’s the expected standards of behavior and common courtesies for online chatting. The word netiquette is a combination of net + etiquette. It’s the etiquette, or manners and polite behavior, for the network.

Good and polite users on GeekShed will follow these general guidelines:

  • Be nice and helpful to new users. Everyone was new at some point.
  • Do not type in all caps. That’s like shouting in the real world.
  • Best to avoid AlTeRnAtInG cApS too.
  • Do not flood channels or private messages with ASCII art. Ask first if you have something to share.
  • Avoid calling people names or insulting them. Words like moron, n00b, and retard aren’t very nice.
  • Ask before you send someone a private messages, notices, and or CTCP requests. It’s like whispering in someone’s ear without permission.
  • AME and AMSG should be used sparingly, and only for very important messages. Broadcast messages that are sent to every channel you are in are considered impolite.
  • Avoid changing your nick frequently. It gets annoying if you are changing to nicks like Steven|school, Steven|work, Steven|afk, Steven|bacon, and Steven|eating. Just choose a nick, and stick with it. It’s unlikely anyone needs that much detail on what you’re doing.
  • Read the online help on the website. You can find the answer to nearly every question on the site if you look for it.
  • If you can’t find an answer, please ask. Don’t ask if you can ask a question. Just go for it.
  • Make sure people understand your tone. On IRC, we can’t see your face or hear your voice.
  • Avoid flame wars, trolling, and spamming.
  • Remember that GeekShed has international users. Don’t make fun of people who have trouble with spelling or grammar.

In channels, try to follow these suggestions:

  • Check the topic and entry messages for details on specific rules and the purpose of a channel.
  • Spend some time idling and watching a channel before you jump into the conversation. Don’t just barge into a conversation.
  • Keep channel business in the channel it belongs in. Do not bring a problem with one channel to another one. Check the Channel Bans Appeals page if you need to appeal a ban on another channel.
  • Always ask before running scripts or away messages in a channel.
  • Ask before sharing links in a channel—and be sure that any link you share is virus-free and appropriate for the age-level of the people in the channel.
  • Don’t ask for ops or voice. Most people consider it rude.

What if someone isn’t being polite on GeekShed?

  • If you are a channel owner, you can ask the person to leave or ban the user. Your channel can have whatever rules you like.
  • If someone is being impolite to you personally, ask the person to stop. If that doesn’t work use the /ignore command. It’s usually something like this: /ignore nick. For example, to ignore the nick RudeUser, you’d type /ignore RudeUser — check the documentation for your IRC client for more details.

Generally, you should not report impolite users in #help. Just use /ignore. There is no network rule that says people have to be polite, so network staff will not reprimand people who are impolite.

Beware though.While netiquette is not a network matter, every channel can have its own rules. Being impolite and ignoring these guidelines may get you kicked or banned from channels that do not tolerate rude users.


—Posted by tengrrl/bunny

IdleRPG Contest!

Calling all chatters!

Are you pondering how you could possibly earn a gift card for doing nothing more than just chatting like you already do?

If so, #IdleRPG is for you.

Corey from is sponsoring a contest involving our #IdleRPG game and room.

The basis of IdleRPG is to see who can idle the longest in #IdleRPG without parting the channel, quitting the network, changing your nick, or chatting in #IdleRPG.

For your chance to win a gift card, check out for the complete details, registration information and rules of the game.

Please Note: The Contest starts April 1st, 2010, and goes until June 1st, 2010

Can I be an Oper on GeekShed?

In short, no. You cannot apply to join the GeekShed staff team. When a vacancy for a staff position comes up, current staff will nominate and vote on how best to fill that position. These nominations will be based on…

  • Time spent on the network – Every current staff member has been on the network for at least 3 years – some more than 10 years
  • Activity on the network – People who chat in different channels regularly will have a better appreciation of how the network runs
  • Work ethos – Managing an IRC network is not an easy job. It takes much time and much patience to do effectively. It is certainly not about power as, with power comes great responsibility. As a representative of Geek Shed Ltd. your actions are accountable to the company. Staff must be able to work hard and always present GeekShed in the best possible light.
  • Helpfulness – Nobody will be considered for a staff position if they do not regularly help out in #help
  • Communication skills – It is very important that staff can effectively communicate with users and other staff. If you cannot spell or lack the ability to use punctuation, you will not be considered for a staff position
  • Technical knowledge – A strong technical knowledge of programming, networking protocols, *nix server administration and IRC server administration is a definite bonus for staff to have
  • Problem solving and decision making – Staff must be able to logically solve problems and make calm and collected decisions. Without this ability, you cannot effectively moderate an IRC network
  • Adaptability – You must be able to adapt to changing situations. Every situation you must deal with is different and there is no place for “canned” responses.

Please do not ask to join the staff team as you will only be referred back to this page. Take on board the points above and, one day, you might be asked to join us.

Can I make my own BotServ bot?

Yes, you can! There are 2 classifications of botserv bots, Public and Private. These are detailed below.

Public Bots

Anyone may request a public bot absolutely free. These bots are available for all users to assign to their channels. However, they must be completely generic and not channel specific – for example a Spooks themed bot called HarryPearce is acceptable, whereas a bot named ChillsBot for #chills would not be acceptable.

You may request a bot be added in #help on GeekShed. When you ask, you must state a nickname, ident, hostname and Gecos – e.g. “HarryPearce harry@runs.MI5 Harry Pearce from Spooks”. Bots must be creative and worth adding. If a staff member deems your suggestion is a good one, your bot will be added and an unused bot will be deleted.

This whole process should help us provide a better range of bots to our users.

Private Bots

Anyone who has made a donation of $50 or more may request a private bot. Private bots can have any credentials that you like and will not be available to all users. When you request a private bot, you must state a nickname, ident, hostname, Gecos and channels to which the bot should be assigned. After initial creation, you may request a single change to your BotServ bot every 30 days. A single change is counted as a change to any of the bot’s credentials or the set of channels in which it resides.

If you would like a public or private bot, come and see us in #help on

Can I link a server to GeekShed?

GeekShed is not linking any servers at this time. If our server status changes, we will update this post to let you know that we are linking servers again.

In the event our needs change, servers linked to GeekShed must fulfill the following requirements:

  • 1GHz+ CPU
  • 512MB+ RAM
  • 3GB available hard disk space
  • 100Mbit FD NIC
  • Currently 60+ days uptime
  • 10mbit downstream
  • 10mbit upstream
  • 1 spare IP that can be dedicated to GeekShed
  • Firewall allowing unrestricted connections to and from TCP ports 843, 1494, 1755, 4400, 4401, 6660-6669, 6697, 7029 and 7070
  • The server must allow both inbound and outbound connections
  • You will also be asked to host a 100MB file (create it with dd if=/dev/zero of=/path/to/100mb-zero.bin bs=1MB count=100) for download with http, sftp or scp to test throughput
  • Server owners must be aware that their server will suffer from frequent denial of service attacks (DDOS) and servers hosted with ISPs sensitive to DDOS will not be accepted
  • The following libraries must be installed:

    • openssl
    • zlib
  • For Linux, all -dev packages for installed libraries must be installed.
  • A full toolchain, including gcc, binutils, coreutils, etc. If you cannot compile software, we can’t use the machine right now.
  • Full SSH access (including sftp and scp)
  • If the server has a restricted firewall, we must have the ability to add ports to it promptly, not wait around for 30 days for an email tag to get them allowed.
  • Server owners should be prompt in updating for security updates and updating the system itself.
  • FreeBSD 7+ and Linux 2.6+ kernels have priority – Windows servers will NEVER be accepted.
  • Must be able to run a small C file via a super-server daemon on port 843 – This typically requires root access or co-operation from the server administrator
  • Have hard and soft FD limits greater than or equal to 2048 (ulimit -Hn ; ulimit -Sn)
Network Staff

Server owners will rarely be given an O:Line on their server. Server owners must earn their position on the network staff team, like everyone else. Server donations, however, will be considered as a positive when considering new staff. Please do not ask to link a server simply because you want to be network staff!


—updated by Tengrrl/Bunny on 2014/07/01; originally posted by Phil on 2009/11/07.

Guidelines for #help

Why visit #help?

#help welcomes discussion of GeekShed IRC related help—whether it’s related to the GeekShed network, your client, a script, or IRCD. Anything goes, as long as it’s related to GeekShed IRC.


Looking for something else?

  • If you’re looking for a place for general discussion, please try #TheShed (/join #TheShed).
  • If you’re looking for help with your computer, you might try a channel like #247fixes, #atribune, #geekstogo or #bleepingcomputer.
  • If you’re looking for another channel, try typing /list to see all the channels on the GeekShed network. Note, though, that the /list command does not work on all clients.
  • If you’ve been banned in a channel on GeekShed, please talk to someone from the channel where you were banned. You can also check the GeekShed forums, since some channels have special ways for you to appeal. The network staff in #help cannot remove bans for other channels.

Is there any special way to ask a question?

Not really. Just ask whatever it is you want to know or say what you need help with. There are lots of people in the channel, and any one of them can help you. Don’t worry about finding the “right” person. Everyone is in the channel to help, so there’s never just one “right” person!

It’s true that some questions will require a GeekShed network operator (like IRC password resets), but go ahead and ask your question. Once you ask, we’ll know to go find who you need.


What if it’s an emergency?!

If you have an emergency, like a botnet flood in your channel, and no one responds to your request for help, you can type !911 in any channel on GeekShed. This will be caught by the spam filter and will instantly alert network staff. Just like prank calling the fire brigade, misuse of this command will carry severe repercussions.


Are there any special rules for #help?

Generally speaking, please be polite and patient. There is usually someone around in #help to answer your questions, but you may need to wait a few minutes.

We also ask that you follow these basic guidelines:

  • Use nice, family-friendly language. Save the censored words for another channel.
  • Just ask your question once, and be patient. It may take a few minutes for someone to be able to help. If a lot of time passes (say 30 minutes), it’s okay to ask again. Usually though, you don’t need to repeat your question.
  • Follow the rules of polite online discussion. That means, for example, that we ask that use all caps sparingly and that you don’t flood the channel.

My question is complex. Can I paste something in #help?

If you’re getting an error message, sure, it’s fine to paste the message into the channel with your question.

If you need to share something longer though, like part of a log from your channel, please use pastebin, and just give us the URL to the information. That way you won’t be kicked accidentally for flooding, and the information will be easier for everyone to read.


Should I just jump in and help if I know an answer?

Everyone is welcome to help with questions in #help. Be sensible though. If someone else is already answering a user’s questions, try not to interrupt. It can be very confusing when more than one person is telling someone with a question what to do. If you are not 100% sure that the answer you are giving is correct, it’s probably best to stay quiet.

In particular, if a member of the GeekShed staff is already helping someone, please stay quiet and let the staff member take care of the question. As the topic in #help says, “If something doesn’t concern you, keep quiet or be banned without warning—yes, really.”