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.

Chatzilla See How do I enable ‘ident’?
Colloquy See Enabling Identd.
LightIRC No information available.
Mibbit See ident.
mIRC See Why am I unidentified and what does it matter?
Snak See “The server keeps saying something about ‘Ident’ problems” on the Troubleshooting page.
TFlash (GeekShed’s
web client)
No built-in support for Identd.
X-Chat See 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.



Is There Free Speech on GeekShed?

At some point, you’re likely to see someone else complaining about their right to free speech when a member of network staff asks them to quit talking about something. You may even see someone protesting about a channel’s moderators violating their right to free speech. What these people do not understand is that there is no right to free speech on a private network, like GeekShed IRC.

Why can’t I say whatever I want on GeekShed?

We want GeekShed to be a fun, family-friendly place where everyone feels safe and welcome. To help provide that environment, the staff of GeekShed believe that certain topics and ways of talking are not acceptable. The Terms of Service, linked in the footer on every page, explains that you are not allowed to use hate speech, harass anyone else on GeekShed, create a hostile environment for minors, or spam. If you say anything that violates these rules, you will be removed from the network. Read the Terms of Service for full details on the restrictions on your discussion.

Why can the network staff make rules about what people can talk about?

GeekShed is a private network. In such a private place, the right to free speech does not apply. A person’s right to free speech is only guaranteed in public spaces and from restrictions by the government.

First, recognize that GeekShed is not governed by the U.S. Constitution. Instead, GeekShed complies with the laws of the United Kingdom since the GeekShed IRC network is owned by GeekShed Ltd., a company registered in the United Kingdom. Personal rights in the United Kingdom are outlined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In relationship to discussion on GeekShed, here’s the important passage:

Article 11. Freedom of expression and information
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights only guarantees freedom of expression “without interference by public authority.” Your freedom of expression and information applies only to freedom from government censorship. Private authorities, like a private company and IRC network, are free to set whatever guidelines for speech and expression that they wish.

What about discussion in my channel?

The Terms of Service apply in your channel, but you can make additional rules for discussion if you want. Some channels on GeekShed have rules against discussing topics like politics, religion, or torrenting. Additionally, some channels do not allow “bad words”—rude or explicit language. As the owner of a channel, you are free to make and enforce such rules.



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:




How to Use the Ignore Command

Ever wish you could mute someone on IRC? Maybe someone is talking about a movie you haven’t seen yet. Maybe a bot is making a lot of announcements in a channel and you don’t want to see them. Or maybe someone is just annoying you and you don’t want to listen to him anymore. The IGNORE command is likely to be the solution.

How do I ignore someone?

The IGNORE command is a client-side feature, not a command included on the IRC server. As a result, the exact way the command works depends upon the client that you use. Generally, you use the following command:

/IGNORE <nick>

Let’s say you’ve had your fill (so to speak) of LordBaconCheeseburger. You’d use the following command:

/IGNORE LordBaconCheeseburger

After that, you would no longer hear anything LordBaconCheeseburger has to say. Your client may support more complex features, such as the ability to ignore only some messages (such as ignoring PMs but not comments in a channel). Check your client’s documentation for specific details on how the command works.

How do I ignore someone who keeps changing nicknames?

You can keep adding nicks to your ignore list by using the command for each new nick. If someone is following a pattern, however, your client may allow you to use * as a wildcard. Let’s say LordBaconCheeseburger keeps changing nicks, if your client allows wild cards, you can use this command:

/IGNORE Lord*Cheeseburger

After that, you would no longer hear anything from LordBaconCheeseburger, LordCheeseburger, or LordDoubleCheeseburger.

If your client allows you to ignore by hostmask, you may be able to use this command, which works in mIRC:

/IGNORE *!*@protectedhost-ABCDEFG.fios.wi.cheesehead.net

With this command, any connection with that hostmask would be ignored, no matter what nick the user has. Remember though that these commands depend upon the client you are using. Some clients do not support these options at all.

How do you stop ignoring someone?

The way you remove someone from your IGNORE list depends upon the client you use. On some you can use this command:

/UNIGNORE <nick>
For instance, /UNIGNORE LordBaconCheeseburger

On other clients you use the same exact command you used to block the person: /IGNORE <nick>. The first time you type the command the client blocks the user, and the second time it removes the block.

Finally, some clients have their own system for managing the IGNORE list. You may need to access an address book or a user list. Check your client’s documentation for the specific details.

How does the IGNORE command work on different clients?

Each client has its own method for using the IGNORE command. Some pop up a box that lists everyone you have ignored. Some have an Address Book where you can check who you have ignored. Some feature ways to ignore one kind of message while still receiving another. It’s best to check the documentation for whatever client you use. Here is information for some of the more popular clients on GeekShed:

Chatzilla While not well-documented, Chatzilla does have IGNORE commands:
  • /ignore <nick> ignores nick
  • /unignore <nick> unignores nick
  • /ignore lists ignores
Colloquy Details on the Ignore command are on the Colloquy website. The FAQ also includes details on ignoring join/part messages.
LightIRC Use three commands as listed below, according to the lightIRC website:
  • /ignore <nick> ignores nick
  • /unignore <nick> unignores nick
  • /ignores lists ignores
Mibbit Find details on the Ignore command in the Mibbit Wiki.
mIRC You can use the /IGNORE command as described above. You can also click the Address Book button and then the Control tab to find the list of people you have ignored as well as simple buttons to add, edit or delete people from your Ignore list. To find more details, search for /ignore in the mIRC help file.
TFlash (GeekShed’s
web client)
Under the OPTIONS menu, choose the Friend/Ignore List command to see who you have ignored. You can add nicks with the + button and remove them with the button. You cannot use wild cards or hostmasks. You can ONLY ignore nicks.
X-Chat Find complete documentation for X-Chat on the Toxin site.



Setting Up Greeting Messages

When I join #theshed the channel bot, Sheldon, posts this greeting:

[11:20] Sheldon: [Bunny] Go Hokies!

That’s a channel greeting, an individualized greeting that is announced to the entire channel. It’s different from the Channel Entry Message, the private message sent to everyone who joins a channel. You’ll only see greeting messages for users with operator or founder status and only in channels where the messages are turned on.

There are two parts to setting up greeting messages: (1) a channel founder has to turn the greetings on, and (2) the channel operators have to set up the specific greetings.

Part One: Turning greeting messages on (or off) for a channel

Who can change the greeting setting for a channel?

Only the channel founder can turn greetings on or off.

How do you can turn greeting messages ON for all channel operators?

To turn channel greetings on, the channel founder first has to assign a bot to the channel. Once a bot is assigned, the channel founder uses the following command:

/msg BotServ SET #channel GREET ON

For example: /msg BotServ SET #topgear GREET ON

Once the setting is turned on, the channel bot will display the personal greeting for any operator or founder who joins the channel. Operators and founders still have to set up their greeting message for it to appear in the channel (see Part Two).

How do you can turn greeting messages OFF for all channel operators?

To turn channel greetings back off, the channel founder simply changes the command setting from “on” to “off”:

/msg BotServ SET #channel GREET OFF

For example: /msg BotServ SET #topgear GREET OFF

Part Two: Setting up your personal greeting message

How do you add a greeting message for yourself?

To add a greeting, you use the following command:

/msg NickServ SET GREET [message]

For example: /msg NickServ SET GREET I come with Bacon!

After setting the message, the bot will announce the greeting when you join channels where you are an operator and the greeting option is turned on. For instance, when the user LordBaconCheeseburger joins #topgear, where he has ops, everyone in the channel sees this:

[23:49]<&Stig> [LordBaconCheeseburger] I come with Bacon!

How can you check what your greeting is set to?

If you want to check your greeting, use the INFO command on yourself:

/msg NickServ INFO [YourNick] ALL

For example: /msg NickServ INFO LordBaconCheeseburger ALL

The system will return information about your login, including the greeting you have set. Here’s the information for LordBaconCheeseburger, for instance. Note the bold line indicating the greeting message:

[23:54] -NickServ- LordBaconCheeseburger is TFlash NextGen
[23:54] -NickServ- Is online from: ~TFlash@somewhere.net
[23:54] -NickServ- Time registered: Apr 15 05:23:55 2011 UTC
[23:54] -NickServ- Last quit message: Quit: LordBaconCheeseburger
[23:54] -NickServ- E-mail address: LordBaconCheeseburger@somewhere.net
[23:54] -NickServ- Greet message: I come with Bacon!
[23:54] -NickServ- Options: Protection, Security, Private, Auto-op

How do you change your greeting message?
To edit your greeting message, just use the command again, with the revised version of the message. It may be useful to copy the original message into a text, revise it there, and then paste in the revision.

If I wanted to change the greeting message for LordBaconCheeseburger, for instance, I would use this command:

/msg NickServ SET GREET I come with Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato!

The new message will replace the old one.

How do you turn off your greeting message?
If you prefer not to have the bot greet you when you join channels, you can remove the message completely. To remove the greeting, use the command without any message information. The command would be:

/msg NickServ SET GREET

Note that you can only remove your own greeting message. To turn off all the greetings in a channel, the channel founder must use the BotServ command explained in Part One.

What makes a good greeting message?
Your greeting message can say whatever you’d like. Ideally, choose something appropriate for all the channels you join. If your greeting uses inappropriate language, the channel founder may ask you to change your greeting or remove you from the channel staff.


—Posted by tengrrl

Setting a Channel Entry Message

A channel entry message appears to users, somewhat obviously, when they enter a channel. You may think of this as a channel greeting. It is one of three kind of greeting commands. I’ll explain the others, greetings that a bot announces to individuals as they join a channel, in my next post.

Where does a Channel Entry Message appear?
The channel entry message is a private message, sent as a /notice when someone joins a channel. It is the first message in the channel window. Here’s the current entry message from #help, for example:

-TheDramaLlama- [#help] Hello, welcome to #help. Please be patient, as the staff is often busy. Current wait is 2-15 minutes. Thank you for your cooperation and support. || Visit our website at http://www.geekshed.net and our forums at http://www.geekshed.net/forums/ || Feel free to ask for help however If something doesn’t concern you, keep quiet or be banned – yes, really

Who can change a Channel Entry Message?

The channel entry message can only be set, edited, or removed by the channel founder.

How do you set a Channel Entry Message?
To set a channel entry message, the channel founder uses the following command:

/msg ChanServ SET #channel ENTRYMSG [message]

For example:

/msg ChanServ set #topgear entrymsg All you have to do is follow some simple rules. Be nice, yield the right of way, and don’t run into anyone else. How hard can it be?

How do you edit a Channel Entry Message?
To edit the channel entry message, the channel founder uses the command again, with the revised version of the message. It may be useful to copy the original message into a text, revise it there, and then paste in the revision.

If I wanted to change the entry message for #topgear, for instance, I would use this command:

/msg ChanServ set #topgear entrymsg Some say our bot is the best on GeekShed and that he’s able to hack an IRC server with a toothpick and a bottle of brandy. All we know is, he’s called the Stig.

The new message will replace the old one.

How do you turn off Channel Entry Message?
To remove a channel entry message completely, the channel founder uses the same command without any message information:

/msg ChanServ SET #channel ENTRYMSG

For example, to remove the entry message from #topgear, I’d use this command:

/msg ChanServ set #topgear entrymsg

What kind of information should be included in a Channel Entry Message?
Your channel entry message can say whatever you’d like. You might share any of the following:

  • State some channel rules.
  • Link to additional information about the channel like rules, appeal information, etc.
  • Note important news.
  • Ask users to do something, like read a post in the forums.
  • Share a greeting, such as wishing someone a happy birthday or congrats on getting a job.
  • Post a joke or comment you want everyone to see.

Remember that the benefit of a channel entry message is that it allows you to share some additional information with people who join your channel. If you have more information than will fit in your channel topic, the entry message is a good way to say more.


—Posted by tengrrl

Private Messages with Unregistered Users

On GeekShed, the default settings require a user to be registered in order to send private messages (PMs) or /notice. This default setting helps protect everyone against spammers.

There are times, however, when you want to be able to have a private conversation with someone who is not registered. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution.

To have a private conversation with someone who is unregistered (or if you are unregistered yourself), set the following mode:

/mode <nick> -R

For example

/mode Charles -R

This mode change is not permanent. You need to use this command each time you login.


—Posted by tengrrl

Using the LightIRC Client on GeekShed

LightIRC logoWelcome to all the LightIRC users who now call GeekShed home. LightIRC is a Flash IRC client that can be embedded on a web page. Earlier this year, LightIRC developer Valentin Manthei shut down his own IRC server and made GeekShed the default server for the LightIRC client.

What is the server information for connecting LightIRC to GeekShed?
If you use the Connect button on the LightIRC homepage, you’ll connect to GeekShed automatically. The irc.lightirc.com address redirects to the GeekShed network.

If you want to configure the client yourself, point to lightirc.geekshed.net, port 6667, and policy port 843.

Where do you get help for LightIRC?
While GeekShed is the default network for LightIRC, GeekShed network staff do not provide the technical support for the client. If you have a question about using LightIRC, visit the client’s website and its FAQ/Help Wiki.

If you can’t find an answer to your question in the online help, visit the official support channel for LightIRC: #lightIRC on GeekShed. Keep an eye out for the user Valentin, the developer of the client.


—Posted by tengrrl

What is Hate Speech?

Hate speech is prohibited on GeekShed. The official definition is included in the Terms of Service, which you agree to when you connect to GeekShed:

  1. Hate Speech
    1. You may not use any language defined as Hate Speech, which includes–but is not limited to–text or actions that are any of the following:
      1. Demeaning in any manner.
      2. Harmful.
      3. An attack on religion, race, or sexual orientation.


What’s the difference between hateful comments and hate speech?

Hate speech attacks someone (or a group of people) based on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, culture, religion, nationality, or other characteristic. It may use abusive or belittling language or communicate bigoted or defamatory ideas.

Hate speech does not include statements like “I hate you” or “You are a troll.” Those are hateful or mean comments. It’s poor netiquette (or bad manners) to say rude or mean things to someone, but it’s not against the network rules. Network staff will not ban someone for mean comments.


What can I do if someone is using hate speech?

If network staff are already active in the channel, just wait a minute for staff to handle the situation. If a couple of minutes pass and nothing happens, alert the staff member.

If no staff member is in the channel, please come to #help and report the incident to network staff. You will need to provide logs of the incident in most cases before staff acts.


How do I alert staff?

Okay, listen up. This part is important. Do NOT repeat the hate speech in another channel to report it. You may accidentally be banned yourself if you do.

Here’s the right way to alert staff: “Hi. I need help. SomeBadUser is using hate speech in #channel.” Of course, you need to use the user’s real nick and the actual channel. When a staff member replies, they may ask you to PM what the person said or to share the log of what happened with Pastebin.


Can I do anything about hateful, mean comments?

Yes you can! If you are a moderator (hop or op) in the channel, you can kick or ban the person. You can also use an extended ban to silence the person. If it’s a channel you own, you can include a rule against hateful comments as well.

If the person is sending private messages or you’re not a moderator, use the /IGNORE command. Check your client documentation for details on how it works. Generally, the syntax is this: /IGNORE nick (for instance, /IGNORE SomeBadUser).


—Posted by tengrrl

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