Help with the Obscure Password Error

One of the more frustrating errors you can get on GeekShed asks you to use a “more obscure” password. In most cases, when people comes to #help to ask about this error, they have tried a strange and random password, but still get this error:

Please try again with a more obscure password.  Passwords 
should be at least five characters long, should not be something 
easily guessed (e.g. your real name or your nick), and cannot 
contain the space or tab characters.

This error is almost always an indication that the command to register a nick is not being entered correctly. The clue in that error message is that you cannot use your real name or your nick as your password. Be sure that you’re entering the command in this order:

/msg nickserv register supersecretpassword

You do not need to include your nick or real name in the command at all. If you’re looking for information on how to choose a good password, check out the suggestions in How to Protect Your GeekShed Password.


—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

How to Protect Your GeekShed Password

Yesterday I witnessed this little series of events (and the names have been changed to protect the innocent):

* Joins: HarryLime (
<HarryLime> msg NickServ IDENTIFY passw0rd
* HarryLime is now known as Unidentified1337
* Quits: Unidentified1337 ( ) (Quit: 
         Unidentified1337 )
* Joins: HarryLime_ (
<HarryLime_> hmm
* Quits: HarryLime_ ( ) (Quit: HarryLime_ )
* Joins: HarryLime (
* Quits: HarryLime ( ) (NickServ (GHOST command 
         used by HollyMartins) )
<HollyMartins> lol
<HollyMartins> it was his real password...
<HollyMartins> lol
* Joins: HarryLime (
<HollyMartins> HarryLime, change your password
<HollyMartins> and don't identify in the channel
<HollyMartins> you posted this: <HarryLime> msg NickServ IDENTIFY passw0rd
<HarryLime> not my best day today O.o
<HollyMartins> obviously not

Now in case you don’t follow, let me explain what happened there. The user HarryLime logged on and accidentally typed the command to identify in the open channel. Everyone in the channel saw HarryLime’s password. Harry’s friend Holly decided to test out the password and used the GHOST command to log Harry out. [Warning: Ghosting someone’s nick as Holly does may well end up in a ban from the network so don’t try it!]

That situation inspires me to share four pieces of advice with you:

  1. Use the identify command in the status window (the tab or window that welcomes you to the server and tells you to follow the Terms of Service) and no one will ever see your password. It’s best to use that status window anytime you’re typing something you might not want everyone else online to see if something goes wrong.
  2. Change your password immediately if you do type your password in an open channel accidentally. You are at risk. Anyone can take over your nick, and gain access to everything you have on the network. Use this command:
    /msg nickserv set password supersecretpass123
    Replace “supersecretpass123” with your new password.
  3. Choose a strong, unique password. Harry’s password of “passw0rd” is not a good choice at all. Follow these guidelines for strong passwords to make your choice.
  4. Store your passwords in a secure place. Software like LastPass can keep track of all your passwords and even generate unique passwords for you. You can learn more about LastPass below by watching the video from Jupiter Broadcasting.
  5. Even the most secure password can be lost or exploited. In case you think you won’t ever have this problem, read this post on The Myths of Password Security by GeekShed staff member and security expert Allan Jude. No one is immune. Be sure you do what you can to protect your GeekShed login!


—posted by Tengrrl/Bunny

What To Do If You Forget Your Password

Sooner or later, you’re bound to forget your GeekShed password. When that happens, you won’t be able to identify when you try to log in. Most likely, your nick will change to something like Unidentified1337 (where the number at the end is random).

For increased security, passwords are encrypted on GeekShed. As a result the reset password command does not work on our site. In order to get your password reset, visit #help and ask a staff member for help with a password reset. Anyone from a half-op up can help you. You may have to wait for someone to become available to help you, so please be patient.

You will be asked to provide the nick and the email address that you used to register it. Once that information is confirmed, the staff member will have the system send a temporary password to your email address. Once you have logged in with your temporary password, you can set a new (and hopefully more memorable) password with this command:

/msg NickServ SET PASSWORD new-password

Be sure to replace “new-password” with your new password. For instance, to change my password to “BaconIsBest” I’d use this command:

/msg NickServ SET PASSWORD BaconIsBest

If you’ve forgotten your password on the forums, follow these instructions.