GeekShed’s BNC Service

GeekShed offers all of its users who have had a registered nickname longer than 90 days free access to our BNC service. This page will give you information about the service and how to use it. Be sure to read all of it before requesting a BNC.

What is a BNC?

‘BNC’ is the abbreviated form of the word ‘Bouncer’. It is a software programme which connects to the IRC network for you. In turn, you can connect and disconnect from the BNC as you please. All this time the BNC will stay connected to IRC and you can ‘attach’ and ‘detach’ yourself from it with no visible sign being given on IRC. The BNC will also log the last 200 lines in each channel and all of your PMs. It will ‘replay’ this back to you when you connect.

Why do you offer BNCs?

We appreciate that users cannot always stay connected yet would still like to log channels and recieve PMs while they are away. We also offer it for users who travel around and would like to ‘attach’ and ‘detach’ from a single IRC session at multiple locations. The BNC is offered for users who actually need it and not as an extra clone for every man and his dog.

What software do you run?

We use ZNC hacked to make it more suitable for use on GeekShed. The ‘nickserv’ module is loaded for each user as well as a module designed to restrict the usage of some commands. Also loaded are the ‘away’ and ‘buffextras’ modules. Anything shown in the HELP listings (/msg *status HELP) is a command you can use.

What are the restrictions?

  • You must have had a registered nickname for more than 90 days
  • Each user is allowed ONE BNC! Violation of this will result in the user being removed from GeekShed. Yes, really.
  • When your BNC is set up, you will be joined (detached) to #BNC on GeekShed. Your BNC should always be in this channel for monitoring purposes
  • The BNC is locked down and the shell heavily firewalled. You can only use our BNCs to connect to GeekShed
  • You cannot use vHosts with the BNC (HostServ vHosts are fine). You will be shown as connecting from <username> IP
  • You cannot load modules into the BNC. If you need to do this, consult a network staff member
  • Ensure you set up your nickserv password in the BNC when you first connect. If a BNC is found to be fighting with services because this has not been done, it will be disabled
  • You can only connect to the BNC over SSL to protect your login details from malicious parties
  • BNCs not logged into for 30 days will be deleted
  • BNCs used for ban evasion will be deleted

How do I use the BNC?

First you need to sign up for a BNC using the link at the bottom of the page. After about 5 minutes the BNC will connect to GeekShed and join #BNC. Point your IRC client to #BNC and wait for it. Once it’s connected, you can log into it. Exactly how this is done is client dependant. In many clients you can add it as a new server with an address, port, enable SSL and server password. The server password is in the form of yourusername:yourpassword. These details will be given to you dependant on the BNC server you are assigned to when you set up your BNC account. The mIRC command to connect would be:

/server -m <server> +<port> <user>:<pass>
For Example:
/server -m +8888 phil:supersecretpass
Once you are connected for the first time, your client will appear to be in no channels. It is in #bnc however this is detached and thus cannot be seen.

First thing to do is set your NickServ password. This is very important as BNCs with no NickServ password set will be deleted! To do this, use the following command:
/msg *nickserv set yourpassword
You can now /join your channels. These will NOT be saved in the BNC config and thus, if it has to restart, will be lost. We recommend that you use server side autojoin (/ns help ajoin) to ensure that your BNC is always in the channels you want. Client side scripts will also work as the network name is still GeekShed.

You should now be able to use IRC as if you were connected natively. When you’re done, just close your client or disconnect from the BNC and it will remain connected. The BNC offers a few other commands which might be of use to you. To see them, you can do:
/msg *status HELP
To use one, for example ListChans, do:
/msg *status ListChans

How do I ban a user using a GeekShed BNC?

Each user will have a unique host, e.g. You can simply ban the user as you normally would. If a user evades a ban using a BNC, let us know in #help.

How do I get a BNC?

First ensure that you have read and re-read all of the above. You wouldn’t want to get your BNC banned due to not fully understanding their restrictions. Now click here to get a BNC and follow the instructions. Once registered, a BNC may take up to 5 mins to join the network as changes need to be propagated to your assigned BNC server. This is, however, fully automated. If this does not happen, tell us in #help.

I already have a BNC. Can I view and change its settings?

You can use our BNC Manager to change the settings. If you don’t already have a BNC the manager will also take you through the steps of creating one.