Network Working Group                                            C. Kalt
Request for Comments: 2812                                    April 2000
Updates: 1459
Category: Informational

                  Internet Relay Chat: Client Protocol

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000).  All Rights Reserved.


   The IRC protocol itself enables several possibilities of transferring
   data between clients, and just like with other transfer mechanisms
   like email, the receiver of the data has to be careful about how the
   data is handled. For more information on security issues with the IRC
   protocol, see for example


   The IRC (Internet Relay Chat) protocol is for use with text based
   conferencing; the simplest client being any socket program capable of
   connecting to the server.

   This document defines the Client Protocol, and assumes that the
   reader is familiar with the IRC Architecture [IRC-ARCH].

Table of Contents

   1.  Labels .....................................................   3
      1.1  Servers ................................................   3
      1.2  Clients ................................................   3
         1.2.1  Users .............................................   4
    Operators ....................................   4
         1.2.2  Services ..........................................   4
      1.3  Channels ...............................................   4
   2.  The IRC Client Specification ...............................   5
      2.1  Overview ...............................................   5
      2.2  Character codes ........................................   5
      2.3  Messages ...............................................   5
         2.3.1  Message format in Augmented BNF ...................   6
      2.4  Numeric replies ........................................   8
      2.5  Wildcard expressions ...................................   9
   3.  Message Details ............................................   9
      3.1  Connection Registration ................................  10
         3.1.1  Password message ..................................  10
         3.1.2  Nick message ......................................  10
         3.1.3  User message ......................................  11
         3.1.4  Oper message ......................................  12
         3.1.5  User mode message .................................  12
         3.1.6  Service message ...................................  13
         3.1.7  Quit ..............................................  14
         3.1.8  Squit .............................................  15
      3.2  Channel operations .....................................  15
         3.2.1  Join message ......................................  16
         3.2.2  Part message ......................................  17
         3.2.3  Channel mode message ..............................  18
         3.2.4  Topic message .....................................  19
         3.2.5  Names message .....................................  20
         3.2.6  List message ......................................  21
         3.2.7  Invite message ....................................  21
         3.2.8  Kick command ......................................  22
      3.3  Sending messages .......................................  23
         3.3.1  Private messages ..................................  23
         3.3.2  Notice ............................................  24
      3.4  Server queries and commands ............................  25
         3.4.1  Motd message ......................................  25
         3.4.2  Lusers message ....................................  25
         3.4.3  Version message ...................................  26
         3.4.4  Stats message .....................................  26
         3.4.5  Links message .....................................  27
         3.4.6  Time message ......................................  28
         3.4.7  Connect message ...................................  28
         3.4.8  Trace message .....................................  29
         3.4.9  Admin command .....................................  30
         3.4.10 Info command ......................................  31
      3.5  Service Query and Commands .............................  31
         3.5.1  Servlist message ..................................  31
         3.5.2  Squery ............................................  32
      3.6  User based queries .....................................  32
         3.6.1  Who query .........................................  32
         3.6.2  Whois query .......................................  33
         3.6.3  Whowas ............................................  34
      3.7  Miscellaneous messages .................................  34
         3.7.1  Kill message ......................................  35
         3.7.2  Ping message ......................................  36
         3.7.3  Pong message ......................................  37
         3.7.4  Error .............................................  37
   4.  Optional features ..........................................  38
      4.1  Away ...................................................  38
      4.2  Rehash message .........................................  39
      4.3  Die message ............................................  39
      4.4  Restart message ........................................  40
      4.5  Summon message .........................................  40
      4.6  Users ..................................................  41
      4.7  Operwall message .......................................  41
      4.8  Userhost message .......................................  42
      4.9  Ison message ...........................................  42
   5.  Replies ....................................................  43
      5.1  Command responses ......................................  43
      5.2  Error Replies ..........................................  53
      5.3  Reserved numerics ......................................  59
   6.  Current implementations ....................................  60
   7.  Current problems ...........................................  60
      7.1  Nicknames ..............................................  60
      7.2  Limitation of wildcards ................................  61
      7.3  Security considerations ................................  61
   8.  Current support and availability ...........................  61
   9.  Acknowledgements ...........................................  61
   10.  References ................................................  62
   11.  Author's Address ..........................................  62
   12.  Full Copyright Statement ..................................  63

1. Labels

   This section defines the identifiers used for the various components
   of the IRC protocol.

1.1 Servers

   Servers are uniquely identified by their name, which has a maximum
   length of sixty three (63) characters.  See the protocol grammar
   rules (section 2.3.1) for what may and may not be used in a server

1.2 Clients

   For each client all servers MUST have the following information: a
   netwide unique identifier (whose format depends on the type of
   client) and the server which introduced the client.

1.2.1 Users

   Each user is distinguished from other users by a unique nickname
   having a maximum length of nine (9) characters.  See the protocol
   grammar rules (section 2.3.1) for what may and may not be used in a

   While the maximum length is limited to nine characters, clients
   SHOULD accept longer strings as they may become used in future
   evolutions of the protocol. Operators

   To allow a reasonable amount of order to be kept within the IRC
   network, a special class of users (operators) is allowed to perform
   general maintenance functions on the network.  Although the powers
   granted to an operator can be considered as 'dangerous', they are
   nonetheless often necessary.  Operators SHOULD be able to perform
   basic network tasks such as disconnecting and reconnecting servers as
   needed.  In recognition of this need, the protocol discussed herein
   provides for operators only to be able to perform such functions.
   See sections 3.1.8 (SQUIT) and 3.4.7 (CONNECT).

   A more controversial power of operators is the ability to remove a
   user from the connected network by 'force', i.e., operators are able
   to close the connection between any client and server.  The
   justification for this is very delicate since its abuse is both
   destructive and annoying, and its benefits close to inexistent.  For
   further details on this type of action, see section 3.7.1 (KILL).

1.2.2 Services

   Each service is distinguished from other services by a service name
   composed of a nickname and a server name.  As for users, the nickname
   has a maximum length of nine (9) characters.  See the protocol
   grammar rules (section 2.3.1) for what may and may not be used in a

1.3 Channels

   Channels names are strings (beginning with a '&', '#', '+' or '!'
   character) of length up to fifty (50) characters.  Apart from the
   requirement that the first character is either '&', '#', '+' or '!',
   the only restriction on a channel name is that it SHALL NOT contain
   any spaces (' '), a control G (^G or ASCII 7), a comma (',').  Space
   is used as parameter separator and command is used as a list item
   separator by the protocol).  A colon (':') can also be used as a
   delimiter for the channel mask.  Channel names are case insensitive.
   See the protocol grammar rules (section 2.3.1) for the exact syntax
   of a channel name.

   Each prefix characterizes a different channel type.  The definition
   of the channel types is not relevant to the client-server protocol
   and thus it is beyond the scope of this document.  More details can
   be found in "Internet Relay Chat: Channel Management" [IRC-CHAN].

2. The IRC Client Specification

2.1 Overview

   The protocol as described herein is for use only with client to
   server connections when the client registers as a user.

2.2 Character codes

   No specific character set is specified. The protocol is based on a
   set of codes which are composed of eight (8) bits, making up an
   octet.  Each message may be composed of any number of these octets;
   however, some octet values are used for control codes, which act as
   message delimiters.

   Regardless of being an 8-bit protocol, the delimiters and keywords
   are such that protocol is mostly usable from US-ASCII terminal and a
   telnet connection.

   Because of IRC's Scandinavian origin, the characters {}|^ are
   considered to be the lower case equivalents of the characters []\~,
   respectively. This is a critical issue when determining the
   equivalence of two nicknames or channel names.

2.3 Messages

   Servers and clients send each other messages, which may or may not
   generate a reply.  If the message contains a valid command, as
   described in later sections, the client should expect a reply as
   specified but it is not advised to wait forever for the reply; client
   to server and server to server communication is essentially
   asynchronous by nature.

   Each IRC message may consist of up to three main parts: the prefix
   (OPTIONAL), the command, and the command parameters (maximum of
   fifteen (15)).  The prefix, command, and all parameters are separated
   by one ASCII space character (0x20) each.

   The presence of a prefix is indicated with a single leading ASCII
   colon character (':', 0x3b), which MUST be the first character of the
   message itself.  There MUST be NO gap (whitespace) between the colon
   and the prefix.  The prefix is used by servers to indicate the true
   origin of the message.  If the prefix is missing from the message, it
   is assumed to have originated from the connection from which it was
   received from.  Clients SHOULD NOT use a prefix when sending a
   message; if they use one, the only valid prefix is the registered
   nickname associated with the client.

   The command MUST either be a valid IRC command or a three (3) digit
   number represented in ASCII text.

   IRC messages are always lines of characters terminated with a CR-LF
   (Carriage Return - Line Feed) pair, and these messages SHALL NOT
   exceed 512 characters in length, counting all characters including
   the trailing CR-LF. Thus, there are 510 characters maximum allowed
   for the command and its parameters.  There is no provision for
   continuation of message lines.  See section 6 for more details about
   current implementations.

2.3.1 Message format in Augmented BNF

   The protocol messages must be extracted from the contiguous stream of
   octets.  The current solution is to designate two characters, CR and
   LF, as message separators.  Empty messages are silently ignored,
   which permits use of the sequence CR-LF between messages without
   extra problems.

   The extracted message is parsed into the components ,
    and list of parameters ().

    The Augmented BNF representation for this is:

    message    =  [ ":" prefix SPACE ] command [ params ] crlf
    prefix     =  servername / ( nickname [ [ "!" user ] "@" host ] )
    command    =  1*letter / 3digit
    params     =  *14( SPACE middle ) [ SPACE ":" trailing ]
               =/ 14( SPACE middle ) [ SPACE [ ":" ] trailing ]

    nospcrlfcl =  %x01-09 / %x0B-0C / %x0E-1F / %x21-39 / %x3B-FF
                    ; any octet except NUL, CR, LF, " " and ":"
    middle     =  nospcrlfcl *( ":" / nospcrlfcl )
    trailing   =  *( ":" / " " / nospcrlfcl )

    SPACE      =  %x20        ; space character
    crlf       =  %x0D %x0A   ; "carriage return" "linefeed"

      1) After extracting the parameter list, all parameters are equal
         whether matched by  or .  is just a
         syntactic trick to allow SPACE within the parameter.

      2) The NUL (%x00) character is not special in message framing, and
         basically could end up inside a parameter, but it would cause
         extra complexities in normal C string handling. Therefore, NUL
         is not allowed within messages.

   Most protocol messages specify additional semantics and syntax for
   the extracted parameter strings dictated by their position in the
   list.  For example, many server commands will assume that the first
   parameter after the command is the list of targets, which can be
   described with:

  target     =  nickname / server
  msgtarget  =  msgto *( "," msgto )
  msgto      =  channel / ( user [ "%" host ] "@" servername )
  msgto      =/ ( user "%" host ) / targetmask
  msgto      =/ nickname / ( nickname "!" user "@" host )
  channel    =  ( "#" / "+" / ( "!" channelid ) / "&" ) chanstring
                [ ":" chanstring ]
  servername =  hostname
  host       =  hostname / hostaddr
  hostname   =  shortname *( "." shortname )
  shortname  =  ( letter / digit ) *( letter / digit / "-" )
                *( letter / digit )
                  ; as specified in RFC 1123 [HNAME]
  hostaddr   =  ip4addr / ip6addr
  ip4addr    =  1*3digit "." 1*3digit "." 1*3digit "." 1*3digit
  ip6addr    =  1*hexdigit 7( ":" 1*hexdigit )
  ip6addr    =/ "0:0:0:0:0:" ( "0" / "FFFF" ) ":" ip4addr
  nickname   =  ( letter / special ) *8( letter / digit / special / "-" )
  targetmask =  ( "$" / "#" ) mask
                  ; see details on allowed masks in section 3.3.1
  chanstring =  %x01-07 / %x08-09 / %x0B-0C / %x0E-1F / %x21-2B
  chanstring =/ %x2D-39 / %x3B-FF
                  ; any octet except NUL, BELL, CR, LF, " ", "," and ":"
  channelid  = 5( %x41-5A / digit )   ; 5( A-Z / 0-9 )

  Other parameter syntaxes are:

  user       =  1*( %x01-09 / %x0B-0C / %x0E-1F / %x21-3F / %x41-FF )
                  ; any octet except NUL, CR, LF, " " and "@"
  key        =  1*23( %x01-05 / %x07-08 / %x0C / %x0E-1F / %x21-7F )
                  ; any 7-bit US_ASCII character,
                  ; except NUL, CR, LF, FF, h/v TABs, and " "
  letter     =  %x41-5A / %x61-7A       ; A-Z / a-z
  digit      =  %x30-39                 ; 0-9
  hexdigit   =  digit / "A" / "B" / "C" / "D" / "E" / "F"
  special    =  %x5B-60 / %x7B-7D
                   ; "[", "]", "\", "`", "_", "^", "{", "|", "}"

      1) The  syntax is given here for the sole purpose of
         indicating the format to follow for IP addresses.  This
         reflects the fact that the only available implementations of
         this protocol uses TCP/IP as underlying network protocol but is
         not meant to prevent other protocols to be used.

      2)  has a maximum length of 63 characters.  This is a
         limitation of the protocol as internet hostnames (in
         particular) can be longer.  Such restriction is necessary
         because IRC messages are limited to 512 characters in length.
         Clients connecting from a host which name is longer than 63
         characters are registered using the host (numeric) address
         instead of the host name.

      3) Some parameters used in the following sections of this
         documents are not defined here as there is nothing specific
         about them besides the name that is used for convenience.
         These parameters follow the general syntax defined for

2.4 Numeric replies

   Most of the messages sent to the server generate a reply of some
   sort.  The most common reply is the numeric reply, used for both
   errors and normal replies.  The numeric reply MUST be sent as one
   message consisting of the sender prefix, the three-digit numeric, and
   the target of the reply.  A numeric reply is not allowed to originate
   from a client. In all other respects, a numeric reply is just like a
   normal message, except that the keyword is made up of 3 numeric
   digits rather than a string of letters.  A list of different replies
   is supplied in section 5 (Replies).

2.5 Wildcard expressions

   When wildcards are allowed in a string, it is referred as a "mask".

   For string matching purposes, the protocol allows the use of two
   special characters: '?' (%x3F) to match one and only one character,
   and '*' (%x2A) to match any number of any characters.  These two
   characters can be escaped using the character '\' (%x5C).

   The Augmented BNF syntax for this is:

    mask       =  *( nowild / noesc wildone / noesc wildmany )
    wildone    =  %x3F
    wildmany   =  %x2A
    nowild     =  %x01-29 / %x2B-3E / %x40-FF
                    ; any octet except NUL, "*", "?"
    noesc      =  %x01-5B / %x5D-FF
                    ; any octet except NUL and "\"
    matchone   =  %x01-FF
                    ; matches wildone
    matchmany  =  *matchone
                    ; matches wildmany


   a?c         ; Matches any string of 3 characters in length starting
               with "a" and ending with "c"

   a*c         ; Matches any string of at least 2 characters in length
               starting with "a" and ending with "c"

3. Message Details

   On the following pages there are descriptions of each message
   recognized by the IRC server and client.  All commands described in
   this section MUST be implemented by any server for this protocol.

   Where the reply ERR_NOSUCHSERVER is returned, it means that the
   target of the message could not be found.  The server MUST NOT send
   any other replies after this error for that command.

   The server to which a client is connected is required to parse the
   complete message, and return any appropriate errors.

   If multiple parameters is presented, then each MUST be checked for
   validity and appropriate responses MUST be sent back to the client.
   In the case of incorrect messages which use parameter lists with
   comma as an item separator, a reply MUST be sent for each item.

3.1 Connection Registration

   The commands described here are used to register a connection with an
   IRC server as a user as well as to correctly disconnect.

   A "PASS" command is not required for a client connection to be
   registered, but it MUST precede the latter of the NICK/USER
   combination (for a user connection) or the SERVICE command (for a
   service connection). The RECOMMENDED order for a client to register
   is as follows:

                           1. Pass message
           2. Nick message                 2. Service message
           3. User message

   Upon success, the client will receive an RPL_WELCOME (for users) or
   RPL_YOURESERVICE (for services) message indicating that the
   connection is now registered and known the to the entire IRC network.
   The reply message MUST contain the full client identifier upon which
   it was registered.

3.1.1 Password message

      Command: PASS

   The PASS command is used to set a 'connection password'.  The
   optional password can and MUST be set before any attempt to register
   the connection is made.  Currently this requires that user send a
   PASS command before sending the NICK/USER combination.

   Numeric Replies:



           PASS secretpasswordhere

3.1.2 Nick message

      Command: NICK

   NICK command is used to give user a nickname or change the existing

   Numeric Replies:



   NICK Wiz                ; Introducing new nick "Wiz" if session is
                           still unregistered, or user changing his
                           nickname to "Wiz"

   :WiZ! NICK Kilroy
                           ; Server telling that WiZ changed his
                           nickname to Kilroy.

3.1.3 User message

      Command: USER

   The USER command is used at the beginning of connection to specify
   the username, hostname and realname of a new user.

   The  parameter should be a numeric, and can be used to
   automatically set user modes when registering with the server.  This
   parameter is a bitmask, with only 2 bits having any signification: if
   the bit 2 is set, the user mode 'w' will be set and if the bit 3 is
   set, the user mode 'i' will be set.  (See Section 3.1.5 "User

   The  may contain space characters.

   Numeric Replies:



   USER guest 0 * :Ronnie Reagan   ; User registering themselves with a
                                   username of "guest" and real name
                                   "Ronnie Reagan".

   USER guest 8 * :Ronnie Reagan   ; User registering themselves with a
                                   username of "guest" and real name
                                   "Ronnie Reagan", and asking to be set

3.1.4 Oper message

      Command: OPER

   A normal user uses the OPER command to obtain operator privileges.
   The combination of  and  are REQUIRED to gain
   Operator privileges.  Upon success, the user will receive a MODE
   message (see section 3.1.5) indicating the new user modes.

   Numeric Replies:

           ERR_NOOPERHOST                  ERR_PASSWDMISMATCH


   OPER foo bar                    ; Attempt to register as an operator
                                   using a username of "foo" and "bar"
                                   as the password.

3.1.5 User mode message

      Command: MODE
               *( ( "+" / "-" ) *( "i" / "w" / "o" / "O" / "r" ) )

   The user MODE's are typically changes which affect either how the
   client is seen by others or what 'extra' messages the client is sent.

   A user MODE command MUST only be accepted if both the sender of the
   message and the nickname given as a parameter are both the same.  If
   no other parameter is given, then the server will return the current
   settings for the nick.

      The available modes are as follows:

           a - user is flagged as away;
           i - marks a users as invisible;
           w - user receives wallops;
           r - restricted user connection;
           o - operator flag;
           O - local operator flag;
           s - marks a user for receipt of server notices.

   Additional modes may be available later on.

   The flag 'a' SHALL NOT be toggled by the user using the MODE command,
   instead use of the AWAY command is REQUIRED.

   If a user attempts to make themselves an operator using the "+o" or
   "+O" flag, the attempt SHOULD be ignored as users could bypass the
   authentication mechanisms of the OPER command.  There is no
   restriction, however, on anyone `deopping' themselves (using "-o" or

   On the other hand, if a user attempts to make themselves unrestricted
   using the "-r" flag, the attempt SHOULD be ignored.  There is no
   restriction, however, on anyone `deopping' themselves (using "+r").
   This flag is typically set by the server upon connection for
   administrative reasons.  While the restrictions imposed are left up
   to the implementation, it is typical that a restricted user not be
   allowed to change nicknames, nor make use of the channel operator
   status on channels.

   The flag 's' is obsolete but MAY still be used.

   Numeric Replies:



   MODE WiZ -w                     ; Command by WiZ to turn off
                                   reception of WALLOPS messages.

   MODE Angel +i                   ; Command from Angel to make herself

   MODE WiZ -o                     ; WiZ 'deopping' (removing operator

3.1.6 Service message

      Command: SERVICE

   The SERVICE command to register a new service.  Command parameters
   specify the service nickname, distribution, type and info of a new

   The  parameter is used to specify the visibility of a
   service.  The service may only be known to servers which have a name
   matching the distribution.  For a matching server to have knowledge
   of the service, the network path between that server and the server
   on which the service is connected MUST be composed of servers which
   names all match the mask.

   The  parameter is currently reserved for future usage.

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_YOURESERVICE                RPL_YOURHOST


   SERVICE dict * *.fr 0 0 :French Dictionary ; Service registering
                                   itself with a name of "dict".  This
                                   service will only be available on
                                   servers which name matches "*.fr".

3.1.7 Quit

      Command: QUIT
   Parameters: [  ]

   A client session is terminated with a quit message.  The server
   acknowledges this by sending an ERROR message to the client.

   Numeric Replies:



   QUIT :Gone to have lunch        ; Preferred message format.

   :syrk! QUIT :Gone to have lunch ; User
                                   syrk has quit IRC to have lunch.

3.1.8 Squit

      Command: SQUIT

   The SQUIT command is available only to operators.  It is used to
   disconnect server links.  Also servers can generate SQUIT messages on
   error conditions.  A SQUIT message may also target a remote server
   connection.  In this case, the SQUIT message will simply be sent to
   the remote server without affecting the servers in between the
   operator and the remote server.

   The  SHOULD be supplied by all operators who execute a SQUIT
   for a remote server.  The server ordered to disconnect its peer
   generates a WALLOPS message with  included, so that other
   users may be aware of the reason of this action.

   Numeric replies:



   SQUIT :Bad Link ?  ; Command to uplink of the server
                          to terminate its
                                   connection with comment "Bad Link".

   :Trillian SQUIT :Server out of control ; Command
                                   from Trillian from to disconnect
                                   "" from the net with
                                   comment "Server out of control".

3.2 Channel operations

   This group of messages is concerned with manipulating channels, their
   properties (channel modes), and their contents (typically users).
   For this reason, these messages SHALL NOT be made available to

   All of these messages are requests which will or will not be granted
   by the server.  The server MUST send a reply informing the user
   whether the request was granted, denied or generated an error.  When
   the server grants the request, the message is typically sent back
   (eventually reformatted) to the user with the prefix set to the user

   The rules governing how channels are managed are enforced by the
   servers.  These rules are beyond the scope of this document.  More
   details are found in "Internet Relay Chat: Channel Management" [IRC-

3.2.1 Join message

      Command: JOIN
   Parameters: (  *( ","  ) [  *( ","  ) ] )
               / "0"

   The JOIN command is used by a user to request to start listening to
   the specific channel.  Servers MUST be able to parse arguments in the
   form of a list of target, but SHOULD NOT use lists when sending JOIN
   messages to clients.

   Once a user has joined a channel, he receives information about
   all commands his server receives affecting the channel.  This
   includes JOIN, MODE, KICK, PART, QUIT and of course PRIVMSG/NOTICE.
   This allows channel members to keep track of the other channel
   members, as well as channel modes.

   If a JOIN is successful, the user receives a JOIN message as
   confirmation and is then sent the channel's topic (using RPL_TOPIC) and
   the list of users who are on the channel (using RPL_NAMREPLY), which
   MUST include the user joining.

   Note that this message accepts a special argument ("0"), which is
   a special request to leave all channels the user is currently a member
   of.  The server will process this message as if the user had sent
   a PART command (See Section 3.2.2) for each channel he is a member

   Numeric Replies:



   JOIN #foobar                    ; Command to join channel #foobar.

   JOIN &foo fubar                 ; Command to join channel &foo using
                                   key "fubar".

   JOIN #foo,&bar fubar            ; Command to join channel #foo using
                                   key "fubar" and &bar using no key.

   JOIN #foo,#bar fubar,foobar     ; Command to join channel #foo using
                                   key "fubar", and channel #bar using
                                   key "foobar".

   JOIN #foo,#bar                  ; Command to join channels #foo and

   JOIN 0                          ; Leave all currently joined

   :WiZ! JOIN #Twilight_zone ; JOIN message from WiZ
                                   on channel #Twilight_zone

3.2.2 Part message

      Command: PART
   Parameters:  *( ","  ) [  ]

   The PART command causes the user sending the message to be removed
   from the list of active members for all given channels listed in the
   parameter string.  If a "Part Message" is given, this will be sent
   instead of the default message, the nickname.  This request is always
   granted by the server.

   Servers MUST be able to parse arguments in the form of a list of
   target, but SHOULD NOT use lists when sending PART messages to

   Numeric Replies:



   PART #twilight_zone             ; Command to leave channel

   PART #oz-ops,&group5            ; Command to leave both channels
                                   "&group5" and "#oz-ops".

   :WiZ! PART #playzone :I lost
                                   ; User WiZ leaving channel
                                   "#playzone" with the message "I

3.2.3 Channel mode message

      Command: MODE
   Parameters:  *( ( "-" / "+" ) * * )

   The MODE command is provided so that users may query and change the
   characteristics of a channel.  For more details on available modes
   and their uses, see "Internet Relay Chat: Channel Management" [IRC-
   CHAN].  Note that there is a maximum limit of three (3) changes per
   command for modes that take a parameter.

   Numeric Replies:

           ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS              ERR_KEYSET
           RPL_BANLIST                     RPL_ENDOFBANLIST
           RPL_EXCEPTLIST                  RPL_ENDOFEXCEPTLIST
           RPL_INVITELIST                  RPL_ENDOFINVITELIST

   The following examples are given to help understanding the syntax of
   the MODE command, but refer to modes defined in "Internet Relay Chat:
   Channel Management" [IRC-CHAN].


   MODE #Finnish +imI *!*@*.fi     ; Command to make #Finnish channel
                                   moderated and 'invite-only' with user
                                   with a hostname matching *.fi
                                   automatically invited.

   MODE #Finnish +o Kilroy         ; Command to give 'chanop' privileges
                                   to Kilroy on channel #Finnish.

   MODE #Finnish +v Wiz            ; Command to allow WiZ to speak on

   MODE #Fins -s                   ; Command to remove 'secret' flag
                                   from channel #Fins.

   MODE #42 +k oulu                ; Command to set the channel key to

   MODE #42 -k oulu                ; Command to remove the "oulu"
                                   channel key on channel "#42".

   MODE #eu-opers +l 10            ; Command to set the limit for the
                                   number of users on channel
                                   "#eu-opers" to 10.

   :WiZ! MODE #eu-opers -l
                                   ; User "WiZ" removing the limit for
                                   the number of users on channel "#eu-

   MODE &oulu +b                   ; Command to list ban masks set for
                                   the channel "&oulu".

   MODE &oulu +b *!*@*             ; Command to prevent all users from

   MODE &oulu +b *!*@*.edu +e *!*@*
                                   ; Command to prevent any user from a
                                   hostname matching *.edu from joining,
                                   except if matching *

   MODE #bu +be *!*@*.edu *!*@*
                                   ; Comment to prevent any user from a
                                   hostname matching *.edu from joining,
                                   except if matching *

   MODE #meditation e              ; Command to list exception masks set
                                   for the channel "#meditation".

   MODE #meditation I              ; Command to list invitations masks
                                   set for the channel "#meditation".

   MODE !12345ircd O               ; Command to ask who the channel
                                   creator for "!12345ircd" is

3.2.4 Topic message

      Command: TOPIC
   Parameters:  [  ]

   The TOPIC command is used to change or view the topic of a channel.
   The topic for channel  is returned if there is no 
   given.  If the  parameter is present, the topic for that
   channel will be changed, if this action is allowed for the user
   requesting it.  If the  parameter is an empty string, the
   topic for that channel will be removed.

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_NOTOPIC                     RPL_TOPIC


   :WiZ! TOPIC #test :New topic ; User Wiz setting the

   TOPIC #test :another topic      ; Command to set the topic on #test
                                   to "another topic".

   TOPIC #test :                   ; Command to clear the topic on

   TOPIC #test                     ; Command to check the topic for

3.2.5 Names message

      Command: NAMES
   Parameters: [  *( ","  ) [  ] ]

   By using the NAMES command, a user can list all nicknames that are
   visible to him. For more details on what is visible and what is not,
   see "Internet Relay Chat: Channel Management" [IRC-CHAN].  The
    parameter specifies which channel(s) to return information
   about.  There is no error reply for bad channel names.

   If no  parameter is given, a list of all channels and their
   occupants is returned.  At the end of this list, a list of users who
   are visible but either not on any channel or not on a visible channel
   are listed as being on `channel' "*".

   If the  parameter is specified, the request is forwarded to
   that server which will generate the reply.

   Wildcards are allowed in the  parameter.


           RPL_NAMREPLY                    RPL_ENDOFNAMES


   NAMES #twilight_zone,#42        ; Command to list visible users on
                                   #twilight_zone and #42

   NAMES                           ; Command to list all visible
                                   channels and users

3.2.6 List message

      Command: LIST
   Parameters: [  *( ","  ) [  ] ]

   The list command is used to list channels and their topics.  If the
    parameter is used, only the status of that channel is

   If the  parameter is specified, the request is forwarded to
   that server which will generate the reply.

   Wildcards are allowed in the  parameter.

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_LIST                        RPL_LISTEND


   LIST                            ; Command to list all channels.

   LIST #twilight_zone,#42         ; Command to list channels
                                   #twilight_zone and #42

3.2.7 Invite message

      Command: INVITE

   The INVITE command is used to invite a user to a channel.  The
   parameter  is the nickname of the person to be invited to
   the target channel .  There is no requirement that the
   channel the target user is being invited to must exist or be a valid
   channel.  However, if the channel exists, only members of the channel
   are allowed to invite other users.  When the channel has invite-only
   flag set, only channel operators may issue INVITE command.

   Only the user inviting and the user being invited will receive
   notification of the invitation.  Other channel members are not
   notified.  (This is unlike the MODE changes, and is occasionally the
   source of trouble for users.)

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_INVITING                    RPL_AWAY


   :Angel! INVITE Wiz #Dust

                                   ; Message to WiZ when he has been
                                   invited by user Angel to channel

   INVITE Wiz #Twilight_Zone       ; Command to invite WiZ to

3.2.8 Kick command

      Command: KICK
   Parameters:  *( ","  )  *( ","  )

   The KICK command can be used to request the forced removal of a user
   from a channel.  It causes the  to PART from the  by
   force.  For the message to be syntactically correct, there MUST be
   either one channel parameter and multiple user parameter, or as many
   channel parameters as there are user parameters.  If a "comment" is
   given, this will be sent instead of the default message, the nickname
   of the user issuing the KICK.

   The server MUST NOT send KICK messages with multiple channels or
   users to clients.  This is necessarily to maintain backward
   compatibility with old client software.

   Numeric Replies:



   KICK &Melbourne Matthew         ; Command to kick Matthew from

   KICK #Finnish John :Speaking English
                                   ; Command to kick John from #Finnish
                                   using "Speaking English" as the
                                   reason (comment).

   :WiZ! KICK #Finnish John
                                   ; KICK message on channel #Finnish
                                   from WiZ to remove John from channel

3.3 Sending messages

   The main purpose of the IRC protocol is to provide a base for clients
   to communicate with each other.  PRIVMSG, NOTICE and SQUERY
   (described in Section 3.5 on Service Query and Commands) are the only
   messages available which actually perform delivery of a text message
   from one client to another - the rest just make it possible and try
   to ensure it happens in a reliable and structured manner.

3.3.1 Private messages

      Command: PRIVMSG

   PRIVMSG is used to send private messages between users, as well as to
   send messages to channels.   is usually the nickname of
   the recipient of the message, or a channel name.

   The  parameter may also be a host mask (#) or server
   mask ($).  In both cases the server will only send the PRIVMSG
   to those who have a server or host matching the mask.  The mask MUST
   have at least 1 (one) "." in it and no wildcards following the last
   ".".  This requirement exists to prevent people sending messages to
   "#*" or "$*", which would broadcast to all users.  Wildcards are the
   '*' and '?'  characters.  This extension to the PRIVMSG command is
   only available to operators.

   Numeric Replies:

           ERR_NORECIPIENT                 ERR_NOTEXTTOSEND


   :Angel! PRIVMSG Wiz :Are you receiving this message ?
                                   ; Message from Angel to Wiz.

   PRIVMSG Angel :yes I'm receiving it !
                                   ; Command to send a message to Angel.

   PRIVMSG :Hello !
                                   ; Command to send a message to a user
                                   on server with
                                   username of "jto".

   PRIVMSG :Are you a frog?
                                   ; Message to a user on server
                          with username of
                                   "kalt", and connected from the host

   PRIVMSG :Do you like cheese?
                                   ; Message to a user on the local
                                   server with username of "kalt", and
                                   connected from the host

   PRIVMSG Wiz! :Hello !
                                   ; Message to the user with nickname
                                   Wiz who is connected from the host
                          and has the username

   PRIVMSG $*.fi :Server rebooting.
                                   ; Message to everyone on a server
                                   which has a name matching *.fi.

   PRIVMSG #*.edu :NSFNet is undergoing work, expect interruptions
                                   ; Message to all users who come from
                                   a host which has a name matching

3.3.2 Notice

      Command: NOTICE

   The NOTICE command is used similarly to PRIVMSG.  The difference
   between NOTICE and PRIVMSG is that automatic replies MUST NEVER be
   sent in response to a NOTICE message.  This rule applies to servers
   too - they MUST NOT send any error reply back to the client on
   receipt of a notice.  The object of this rule is to avoid loops
   between clients automatically sending something in response to
   something it received.

   This command is available to services as well as users.

   This is typically used by services, and automatons (clients with
   either an AI or other interactive program controlling their actions).

   See PRIVMSG for more details on replies and examples.

3.4 Server queries and commands

   The server query group of commands has been designed to return
   information about any server which is connected to the network.

   In these queries, where a parameter appears as , wildcard
   masks are usually valid.  For each parameter, however, only one query
   and set of replies is to be generated.  In most cases, if a nickname
   is given, it will mean the server to which the user is connected.

   These messages typically have little value for services, it is
   therefore RECOMMENDED to forbid services from using them.

3.4.1 Motd message

      Command: MOTD
   Parameters: [  ]

   The MOTD command is used to get the "Message Of The Day" of the given
   server, or current server if  is omitted.

   Wildcards are allowed in the  parameter.

   Numeric Replies:
           RPL_MOTDSTART                   RPL_MOTD
           RPL_ENDOFMOTD                   ERR_NOMOTD

3.4.2 Lusers message

      Command: LUSERS
   Parameters: [  [  ] ]

   The LUSERS command is used to get statistics about the size of the
   IRC network.  If no parameter is given, the reply will be about the
   whole net.  If a  is specified, then the reply will only
   concern the part of the network formed by the servers matching the
   mask.  Finally, if the  parameter is specified, the request
   is forwarded to that server which will generate the reply.

   Wildcards are allowed in the  parameter.

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_LUSERCLIENT                 RPL_LUSEROP
           RPL_LUSERUNKOWN                 RPL_LUSERCHANNELS
           RPL_LUSERME                     ERR_NOSUCHSERVER

3.4.3 Version message

      Command: VERSION
   Parameters: [  ]

   The VERSION command is used to query the version of the server
   program.  An optional parameter  is used to query the version
   of the server program which a client is not directly connected to.

   Wildcards are allowed in the  parameter.

   Numeric Replies:

           ERR_NOSUCHSERVER                RPL_VERSION


   VERSION          ; Command to check the version of
                                   server "".

3.4.4 Stats message

      Command: STATS
   Parameters: [  [  ] ]

   The stats command is used to query statistics of certain server.  If
    parameter is omitted, only the end of stats reply is sent

   A query may be given for any single letter which is only checked by
   the destination server and is otherwise passed on by intermediate
   servers, ignored and unaltered.

   Wildcards are allowed in the  parameter.

   Except for the ones below, the list of valid queries is
   implementation dependent.  The standard queries below SHOULD be
   supported by the server:

            l - returns a list of the server's connections, showing how
                long each connection has been established and the
                traffic over that connection in Kbytes and messages for
                each direction;
            m - returns the usage count for each of commands supported
                by the server; commands for which the usage count is
                zero MAY be omitted;
            o - returns a list of configured privileged users,
            u - returns a string showing how long the server has been

   It is also RECOMMENDED that client and server access configuration be
   published this way.

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_STATSCOMMANDS                RPL_STATSOLINE


   STATS m                         ; Command to check the command usage
                                   for the server you are connected to

3.4.5 Links message

      Command: LINKS
   Parameters: [ [  ]  ]

   With LINKS, a user can list all servernames, which are known by the
   server answering the query.  The returned list of servers MUST match
   the mask, or if no mask is given, the full list is returned.

   If  is given in addition to , the LINKS
   command is forwarded to the first server found that matches that name
   (if any), and that server is then required to answer the query.

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_LINKS                        RPL_ENDOFLINKS


   LINKS *.au                      ; Command to list all servers which
                                   have a name that matches *.au;

   LINKS *.edu *            ; Command to list servers matching
                                   * as seen by the first server
                                   matching *.edu.

3.4.6 Time message

      Command: TIME
   Parameters: [  ]

   The time command is used to query local time from the specified
   server. If the  parameter is not given, the server receiving
   the command must reply to the query.

   Wildcards are allowed in the  parameter.

   Numeric Replies:

           ERR_NOSUCHSERVER              RPL_TIME

   TIME             ; check the time on the server

3.4.7 Connect message

      Command: CONNECT
   Parameters:   [  ]

   The CONNECT command can be used to request a server to try to
   establish a new connection to another server immediately.  CONNECT is
   a privileged command and SHOULD be available only to IRC Operators.
   If a  is given and its mask doesn't match name of the
   parsing server, the CONNECT attempt is sent to the first match of
   remote server. Otherwise the CONNECT attempt is made by the server
   processing the request.

   The server receiving a remote CONNECT command SHOULD generate a
   WALLOPS message describing the source and target of the request.

   Numeric Replies:



   CONNECT 6667     ; Command to attempt to connect local
                                   server to on port 6667

3.4.8 Trace message

      Command: TRACE
   Parameters: [  ]

   TRACE command is used to find the route to specific server and
   information about its peers.  Each server that processes this command
   MUST report to the sender about it.  The replies from pass-through
   links form a chain, which shows route to destination.  After sending
   this reply back, the query MUST be sent to the next server until
   given  server is reached.

   TRACE command is used to find the route to specific server.  Each
   server that processes this message MUST tell the sender about it by
   sending a reply indicating it is a pass-through link, forming a chain
   of replies.  After sending this reply back, it MUST then send the
   TRACE message to the next server until given server is reached.  If
   the  parameter is omitted, it is RECOMMENDED that TRACE
   command sends a message to the sender telling which servers the local
   server has direct connection to.

   If the destination given by  is an actual server, the
   destination server is REQUIRED to report all servers, services and
   operators which are connected to it; if the command was issued by an
   operator, the server MAY also report all users which are connected to
   it.  If the destination given by  is a nickname, then only a
   reply for that nickname is given.  If the  parameter is
   omitted, it is RECOMMENDED that the TRACE command is parsed as
   targeted to the processing server.

   Wildcards are allowed in the  parameter.

   Numeric Replies:


      If the TRACE message is destined for another server, all
      intermediate servers must return a RPL_TRACELINK reply to indicate
      that the TRACE passed through it and where it is going next.


      A TRACE reply may be composed of any number of the following
      numeric replies.

           RPL_TRACEUSER                 RPL_TRACESERVER
           RPL_TRACECLASS                RPL_TRACELOG


   TRACE *                 ; TRACE to a server matching

3.4.9 Admin command

      Command: ADMIN
   Parameters: [  ]

   The admin command is used to find information about the administrator
   of the given server, or current server if  parameter is
   omitted.  Each server MUST have the ability to forward ADMIN messages
   to other servers.

   Wildcards are allowed in the  parameter.

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_ADMINME                   RPL_ADMINLOC1
           RPL_ADMINLOC2                 RPL_ADMINEMAIL


   ADMIN            ; request an ADMIN reply from

   ADMIN syrk                      ; ADMIN request for the server to
                                   which the user syrk is connected

3.4.10 Info command

      Command: INFO
   Parameters: [  ]

   The INFO command is REQUIRED to return information describing the
   server: its version, when it was compiled, the patchlevel, when it
   was started, and any other miscellaneous information which may be
   considered to be relevant.

   Wildcards are allowed in the  parameter.

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_INFO                      RPL_ENDOFINFO


   INFO                 ; request an INFO reply from

   INFO Angel                      ; request info from the server that
                                   Angel is connected to.

3.5 Service Query and Commands

   The service query group of commands has been designed to return
   information about any service which is connected to the network.

3.5.1 Servlist message

      Command: SERVLIST
   Parameters: [  [  ] ]

   The SERVLIST command is used to list services currently connected to
   the network and visible to the user issuing the command.  The
   optional parameters may be used to restrict the result of the query
   (to matching services names, and services type).

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_SERVLIST                  RPL_SERVLISTEND

3.5.2 Squery

      Command: SQUERY

   The SQUERY command is used similarly to PRIVMSG.  The only difference
   is that the recipient MUST be a service.  This is the only way for a
   text message to be delivered to a service.

   See PRIVMSG for more details on replies and example.


   SQUERY irchelp :HELP privmsg
                                   ; Message to the service with
                                   nickname irchelp.

   SQUERY :fr2en blaireau
                                   ; Message to the service with name

3.6 User based queries

   User queries are a group of commands which are primarily concerned
   with finding details on a particular user or group users.  When using
   wildcards with any of these commands, if they match, they will only
   return information on users who are 'visible' to you.  The visibility
   of a user is determined as a combination of the user's mode and the
   common set of channels you are both on.

   Although services SHOULD NOT be using this class of message, they are
   allowed to.

3.6.1 Who query

      Command: WHO
   Parameters: [  [ "o" ] ]

   The WHO command is used by a client to generate a query which returns
   a list of information which 'matches' the  parameter given by
   the client.  In the absence of the  parameter, all visible
   (users who aren't invisible (user mode +i) and who don't have a
   common channel with the requesting client) are listed.  The same
   result can be achieved by using a  of "0" or any wildcard which
   will end up matching every visible user.

   The  passed to WHO is matched against users' host, server, real
   name and nickname if the channel  cannot be found.

   If the "o" parameter is passed only operators are returned according
   to the  supplied.

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_WHOREPLY                  RPL_ENDOFWHO


   WHO *.fi                        ; Command to list all users who match
                                   against "*.fi".

   WHO jto* o                      ; Command to list all users with a
                                   match against "jto*" if they are an

3.6.2 Whois query

      Command: WHOIS
   Parameters: [  ]  *( ","  )

   This command is used to query information about particular user.
   The server will answer this command with several numeric messages
   indicating different statuses of each user which matches the mask (if
   you are entitled to see them).  If no wildcard is present in the
   , any information about that nick which you are allowed to see
   is presented.

   If the  parameter is specified, it sends the query to a
   specific server.  It is useful if you want to know how long the user
   in question has been idle as only local server (i.e., the server the
   user is directly connected to) knows that information, while
   everything else is globally known.

   Wildcards are allowed in the  parameter.

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_WHOISUSER                 RPL_WHOISCHANNELS
           RPL_AWAY                      RPL_WHOISOPERATOR
           RPL_WHOISIDLE                 ERR_NOSUCHNICK


   WHOIS wiz                       ; return available user information
                                   about nick WiZ

   WHOIS trillian          ; ask server for user
                                   information  about trillian

3.6.3 Whowas

      Command: WHOWAS
   Parameters:  *( ","  ) [  [  ] ]

   Whowas asks for information about a nickname which no longer exists.
   This may either be due to a nickname change or the user leaving IRC.
   In response to this query, the server searches through its nickname
   history, looking for any nicks which are lexically the same (no wild
   card matching here).  The history is searched backward, returning the
   most recent entry first.  If there are multiple entries, up to
    replies will be returned (or all of them if no 
   parameter is given).  If a non-positive number is passed as being
   , then a full search is done.

   Wildcards are allowed in the  parameter.

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_WHOWASUSER                RPL_WHOISSERVER


   WHOWAS Wiz                      ; return all information in the nick
                                   history about nick "WiZ";

   WHOWAS Mermaid 9                ; return at most, the 9 most recent
                                   entries in the nick history for

   WHOWAS Trillian 1 *.edu         ; return the most recent history for
                                   "Trillian" from the first server
                                   found to match "*.edu".

3.7 Miscellaneous messages

   Messages in this category do not fit into any of the above categories
   but are nonetheless still a part of and REQUIRED by the protocol.

3.7.1 Kill message

      Command: KILL

   The KILL command is used to cause a client-server connection to be
   closed by the server which has the actual connection.  Servers
   generate KILL messages on nickname collisions.  It MAY also be
   available available to users who have the operator status.

   Clients which have automatic reconnect algorithms effectively make
   this command useless since the disconnection is only brief.  It does
   however break the flow of data and can be used to stop large amounts
   of 'flooding' from abusive users or accidents.  Abusive users usually
   don't care as they will reconnect promptly and resume their abusive
   behaviour.  To prevent this command from being abused, any user may
   elect to receive KILL messages generated for others to keep an 'eye'
   on would be trouble spots.

   In an arena where nicknames are REQUIRED to be globally unique at all
   times, KILL messages are sent whenever 'duplicates' are detected
   (that is an attempt to register two users with the same nickname) in
   the hope that both of them will disappear and only 1 reappear.

   When a client is removed as the result of a KILL message, the server
   SHOULD add the nickname to the list of unavailable nicknames in an
   attempt to avoid clients to reuse this name immediately which is
   usually the pattern of abusive behaviour often leading to useless
   "KILL loops".  See the "IRC Server Protocol" document [IRC-SERVER]
   for more information on this procedure.

   The comment given MUST reflect the actual reason for the KILL.  For
   server-generated KILLs it usually is made up of details concerning
   the origins of the two conflicting nicknames.  For users it is left
   up to them to provide an adequate reason to satisfy others who see
   it.  To prevent/discourage fake KILLs from being generated to hide
   the identify of the KILLer, the comment also shows a 'kill-path'
   which is updated by each server it passes through, each prepending
   its name to the path.

   Numeric Replies:


   It is RECOMMENDED that only Operators be allowed to kill other users
   with KILL command.  This command has been the subject of many
   controversies over the years, and along with the above
   recommendation, it is also widely recognized that not even operators
   should be allowed to kill users on remote servers.

3.7.2 Ping message

      Command: PING
   Parameters:  [  ]

   The PING command is used to test the presence of an active client or
   server at the other end of the connection.  Servers send a PING
   message at regular intervals if no other activity detected coming
   from a connection.  If a connection fails to respond to a PING
   message within a set amount of time, that connection is closed.  A
   PING message MAY be sent even if the connection is active.

   When a PING message is received, the appropriate PONG message MUST be
   sent as reply to  (server which sent the PING message out)
   as soon as possible.  If the  parameter is specified, it
   represents the target of the ping, and the message gets forwarded

   Numeric Replies:

           ERR_NOORIGIN                  ERR_NOSUCHSERVER


   PING             ; Command to send a PING message to

   PING WiZ         ; Command from WiZ to send a PING
                                   message to server ""

   PING              ; Ping message sent by server

3.7.3 Pong message

      Command: PONG
   Parameters:  [  ]

   PONG message is a reply to ping message.  If parameter  is
   given, this message MUST be forwarded to given target.  The 
   parameter is the name of the entity who has responded to PING message
   and generated this message.

   Numeric Replies:

           ERR_NOORIGIN                  ERR_NOSUCHSERVER


   PONG  ; PONG message from to

3.7.4 Error

      Command: ERROR

   The ERROR command is for use by servers when reporting a serious or
   fatal error to its peers.  It may also be sent from one server to
   another but MUST NOT be accepted from any normal unknown clients.

   Only an ERROR message SHOULD be used for reporting errors which occur
   with a server-to-server link.  An ERROR message is sent to the server
   at the other end (which reports it to appropriate local users and
   logs) and to appropriate local users and logs.  It is not to be
   passed onto any other servers by a server if it is received from a

   The ERROR message is also used before terminating a client

   When a server sends a received ERROR message to its operators, the
   message SHOULD be encapsulated inside a NOTICE message, indicating
   that the client was not responsible for the error.




   ERROR :Server *.fi already exists ; ERROR message to the other server
                                   which caused this error.

   NOTICE WiZ :ERROR from -- Server *.fi already exists
                                   ; Same ERROR message as above but
                                   sent to user WiZ on the other server.

4. Optional features

   This section describes OPTIONAL messages.  They are not required in a
   working server implementation of the protocol described herein.  In
   the absence of the feature, an error reply message MUST be generated
   or an unknown command error.  If the message is destined for another
   server to answer then it MUST be passed on (elementary parsing
   REQUIRED) The allocated numerics for this are listed with the
   messages below.

   From this section, only the USERHOST and ISON messages are available
   to services.

4.1 Away

      Command: AWAY
   Parameters: [  ]

   With the AWAY command, clients can set an automatic reply string for
   any PRIVMSG commands directed at them (not to a channel they are on).
   The server sends an automatic reply to the client sending the PRIVMSG
   command.  The only replying server is the one to which the sending
   client is connected to.

   The AWAY command is used either with one parameter, to set an AWAY
   message, or with no parameters, to remove the AWAY message.

   Because of its high cost (memory and bandwidth wise), the AWAY
   message SHOULD only be used for client-server communication.  A
   server MAY choose to silently ignore AWAY messages received from
   other servers.  To update the away status of a client across servers,
   the user mode 'a' SHOULD be used instead.  (See Section 3.1.5)

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_UNAWAY                    RPL_NOWAWAY


   AWAY :Gone to lunch.  Back in 5 ; Command to set away message to
                                   "Gone to lunch.  Back in 5".

4.2 Rehash message

      Command: REHASH
   Parameters: None

   The rehash command is an administrative command which can be used by
   an operator to force the server to re-read and process its
   configuration file.

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_REHASHING                 ERR_NOPRIVILEGES


   REHASH                          ; message from user with operator
                                   status to server asking it to reread
                                   its configuration file.

4.3 Die message

      Command: DIE
   Parameters: None

   An operator can use the DIE command to shutdown the server.  This
   message is optional since it may be viewed as a risk to allow
   arbitrary people to connect to a server as an operator and execute
   this command.

   The DIE command MUST always be fully processed by the server to which
   the sending client is connected and MUST NOT be passed onto other
   connected servers.

   Numeric Replies:



   DIE                             ; no parameters required.

4.4 Restart message

      Command: RESTART
   Parameters: None

   An operator can use the restart command to force the server to
   restart itself.  This message is optional since it may be viewed as a
   risk to allow arbitrary people to connect to a server as an operator
   and execute this command, causing (at least) a disruption to service.

   The RESTART command MUST always be fully processed by the server to
   which the sending client is connected and MUST NOT be passed onto
   other connected servers.

   Numeric Replies:



   RESTART                         ; no parameters required.

4.5 Summon message

      Command: SUMMON
   Parameters:  [  [  ] ]

   The SUMMON command can be used to give users who are on a host
   running an IRC server a message asking them to please join IRC.  This
   message is only sent if the target server (a) has SUMMON enabled, (b)
   the user is logged in and (c) the server process can write to the
   user's tty (or similar).

   If no  parameter is given it tries to summon  from the
   server the client is connected to is assumed as the target.

   If summon is not enabled in a server, it MUST return the

   Numeric Replies:

           ERR_NORECIPIENT               ERR_FILEERROR
           ERR_NOLOGIN                   ERR_NOSUCHSERVER


   SUMMON jto                      ; summon user jto on the server's

   SUMMON jto       ; summon user jto on the host which a
                                   server named "" is

4.6 Users

      Command: USERS
   Parameters: [  ]

   The USERS command returns a list of users logged into the server in a
   format similar to the UNIX commands who(1), rusers(1) and finger(1).
   If disabled, the correct numeric MUST be returned to indicate this.

   Because of the security implications of such a command, it SHOULD be
   disabled by default in server implementations.  Enabling it SHOULD
   require recompiling the server or some equivalent change rather than
   simply toggling an option and restarting the server.  The procedure
   to enable this command SHOULD also include suitable large comments.

   Numeric Replies:

           ERR_NOSUCHSERVER              ERR_FILEERROR
           RPL_USERSSTART                RPL_USERS
           RPL_NOUSERS                   RPL_ENDOFUSERS

   Disabled Reply:



   USERS                   ; request a list of users logged in
                                   on server

4.7 Operwall message

      Command: WALLOPS

   The WALLOPS command is used to send a message to all currently
   connected users who have set the 'w' user mode for themselves.  (See
   Section 3.1.5 "User modes").

   After implementing WALLOPS as a user command it was found that it was
   often and commonly abused as a means of sending a message to a lot of
   people.  Due to this, it is RECOMMENDED that the implementation of
   WALLOPS allows and recognizes only servers as the originators of

   Numeric Replies:


   Example: WALLOPS :Connect '* 6667' from Joshua ; WALLOPS
                                   message from announcing a
                                   CONNECT message it received from
                                   Joshua and acted upon.

4.8 Userhost message

      Command: USERHOST
   Parameters:  *( SPACE  )

   The USERHOST command takes a list of up to 5 nicknames, each
   separated by a space character and returns a list of information
   about each nickname that it found.  The returned list has each reply
   separated by a space.

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_USERHOST                  ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS


   USERHOST Wiz Michael syrk       ; USERHOST request for information on
                                   nicks "Wiz", "Michael", and "syrk" 302 yournick
                                   ; Reply for user syrk

4.9 Ison message

      Command: ISON
   Parameters:  *( SPACE  )

   The ISON command was implemented to provide a quick and efficient
   means to get a response about whether a given nickname was currently
   on IRC. ISON only takes one (1) type of parameter: a space-separated
   list of nicks.  For each nickname in the list that is present, the
   server adds that to its reply string.  Thus the reply string may
   return empty (none of the given nicks are present), an exact copy of
   the parameter string (all of them present) or any other subset of the
   set of nicks given in the parameter.  The only limit on the number of
   nicks that may be checked is that the combined length MUST NOT be too
   large as to cause the server to chop it off so it fits in 512

   ISON is only processed by the server local to the client sending the
   command and thus not passed onto other servers for further

   Numeric Replies:

           RPL_ISON                      ERR_NEEDMOREPARAMS


   ISON phone trillian WiZ jarlek Avalon Angel Monstah syrk
                                   ; Sample ISON request for 7 nicks.

5. Replies

   The following is a list of numeric replies which are generated in
   response to the commands given above.  Each numeric is given with its
   number, name and reply string.

5.1 Command responses

   Numerics in the range from 001 to 099 are used for client-server
   connections only and should never travel between servers.  Replies
   generated in the response to commands are found in the range from 200
   to 399.

       001    RPL_WELCOME
              "Welcome to the Internet Relay Network
       002    RPL_YOURHOST
              "Your host is , running version "
       003    RPL_CREATED
              "This server was created "
       004    RPL_MYINFO

         - The server sends Replies 001 to 004 to a user upon
           successful registration.

       005    RPL_BOUNCE
              "Try server , port "

         - Sent by the server to a user to suggest an alternative
           server.  This is often used when the connection is
           refused because the server is already full.

       302    RPL_USERHOST
              ":*1 *( " "  )"

         - Reply format used by USERHOST to list replies to
           the query list.  The reply string is composed as

           reply = nickname [ "*" ] "=" ( "+" / "-" ) hostname

           The '*' indicates whether the client has registered
           as an Operator.  The '-' or '+' characters represent
           whether the client has set an AWAY message or not

       303    RPL_ISON
              ":*1 *( " "  )"

         - Reply format used by ISON to list replies to the
           query list.

       301    RPL_AWAY
              " :"
       305    RPL_UNAWAY
              ":You are no longer marked as being away"
       306    RPL_NOWAWAY
              ":You have been marked as being away"

         - These replies are used with the AWAY command (if
           allowed).  RPL_AWAY is sent to any client sending a
           PRIVMSG to a client which is away.  RPL_AWAY is only
           sent by the server to which the client is connected.
           Replies RPL_UNAWAY and RPL_NOWAWAY are sent when the
           client removes and sets an AWAY message.

       311    RPL_WHOISUSER
              "   * :"
       312    RPL_WHOISSERVER
              "  :"
              " :is an IRC operator"
       317    RPL_WHOISIDLE
              "  :seconds idle"
       318    RPL_ENDOFWHOIS
              " :End of WHOIS list"
              " :*( ( "@" / "+" )  " " )"

         - Replies 311 - 313, 317 - 319 are all replies
           generated in response to a WHOIS message.  Given that
           there are enough parameters present, the answering
           server MUST either formulate a reply out of the above
           numerics (if the query nick is found) or return an
           error reply.  The '*' in RPL_WHOISUSER is there as
           the literal character and not as a wild card.  For
           each reply set, only RPL_WHOISCHANNELS may appear
           more than once (for long lists of channel names).
           The '@' and '+' characters next to the channel name
           indicate whether a client is a channel operator or
           has been granted permission to speak on a moderated
           channel.  The RPL_ENDOFWHOIS reply is used to mark
           the end of processing a WHOIS message.

       314    RPL_WHOWASUSER
              "   * :"
       369    RPL_ENDOFWHOWAS
              " :End of WHOWAS"

         - When replying to a WHOWAS message, a server MUST use
           the replies RPL_WHOWASUSER, RPL_WHOISSERVER or
           ERR_WASNOSUCHNICK for each nickname in the presented
           list.  At the end of all reply batches, there MUST
           be RPL_ENDOFWHOWAS (even if there was only one reply
           and it was an error).

       321    RPL_LISTSTART
              Obsolete. Not used.

       322    RPL_LIST
              " <# visible> :"
       323    RPL_LISTEND
              ":End of LIST"

         - Replies RPL_LIST, RPL_LISTEND mark the actual replies
           with data and end of the server's response to a LIST
           command.  If there are no channels available to return,
           only the end reply MUST be sent.

       325    RPL_UNIQOPIS
              " "

              "  "

       331    RPL_NOTOPIC
              " :No topic is set"
       332    RPL_TOPIC
              " :"

         - When sending a TOPIC message to determine the
           channel topic, one of two replies is sent.  If
           the topic is set, RPL_TOPIC is sent back else

       341    RPL_INVITING
              " "

         - Returned by the server to indicate that the
           attempted INVITE message was successful and is
           being passed onto the end client.

       342    RPL_SUMMONING
              " :Summoning user to IRC"

         - Returned by a server answering a SUMMON message to
           indicate that it is summoning that user.

       346    RPL_INVITELIST
              " "
              " :End of channel invite list"

         - When listing the 'invitations masks' for a given channel,
           a server is required to send the list back using the
           separate RPL_INVITELIST is sent for each active mask.
           After the masks have been listed (or if none present) a
           RPL_ENDOFINVITELIST MUST be sent.

       348    RPL_EXCEPTLIST
              " "
              " :End of channel exception list"

         - When listing the 'exception masks' for a given channel,
           a server is required to send the list back using the
           separate RPL_EXCEPTLIST is sent for each active mask.
           After the masks have been listed (or if none present)
           a RPL_ENDOFEXCEPTLIST MUST be sent.

       351    RPL_VERSION
              ".  :"

         - Reply by the server showing its version details.
           The  is the version of the software being
           used (including any patchlevel revisions) and the
            is used to indicate if the server is
           running in "debug mode".

           The "comments" field may contain any comments about
           the version or further version details.

       352    RPL_WHOREPLY
              ( "H" / "G" > ["*"] [ ( "@" / "+" ) ]
              : "

       315    RPL_ENDOFWHO
              " :End of WHO list"

         - The RPL_WHOREPLY and RPL_ENDOFWHO pair are used
           to answer a WHO message.  The RPL_WHOREPLY is only
           sent if there is an appropriate match to the WHO
           query.  If there is a list of parameters supplied
           with a WHO message, a RPL_ENDOFWHO MUST be sent
           after processing each list item with  being
           the item.

       353    RPL_NAMREPLY
              "( "=" / "*" / "@" ) 
               :[ "@" / "+" ]  *( " " [ "@" / "+" ]  )
         - "@" is used for secret channels, "*" for private
           channels, and "=" for others (public channels).

       366    RPL_ENDOFNAMES
              " :End of NAMES list"

         - To reply to a NAMES message, a reply pair consisting
           of RPL_NAMREPLY and RPL_ENDOFNAMES is sent by the
           server back to the client.  If there is no channel
           found as in the query, then only RPL_ENDOFNAMES is
           returned.  The exception to this is when a NAMES
           message is sent with no parameters and all visible
           channels and contents are sent back in a series of
           RPL_NAMEREPLY messages with a RPL_ENDOFNAMES to mark
           the end.

       364    RPL_LINKS
              "  : "
       365    RPL_ENDOFLINKS
              " :End of LINKS list"

         - In replying to the LINKS message, a server MUST send
           replies back using the RPL_LINKS numeric and mark the
           end of the list using an RPL_ENDOFLINKS reply.

       367    RPL_BANLIST
              " "
       368    RPL_ENDOFBANLIST
              " :End of channel ban list"

         - When listing the active 'bans' for a given channel,
           a server is required to send the list back using the
           RPL_BANLIST and RPL_ENDOFBANLIST messages.  A separate
           RPL_BANLIST is sent for each active banmask.  After the
           banmasks have been listed (or if none present) a
           RPL_ENDOFBANLIST MUST be sent.

       371    RPL_INFO
       374    RPL_ENDOFINFO
              ":End of INFO list"

         - A server responding to an INFO message is required to
           send all its 'info' in a series of RPL_INFO messages
           with a RPL_ENDOFINFO reply to indicate the end of the

       375    RPL_MOTDSTART
              ":-  Message of the day - "
       372    RPL_MOTD
              ":- "
       376    RPL_ENDOFMOTD
              ":End of MOTD command"

         - When responding to the MOTD message and the MOTD file
           is found, the file is displayed line by line, with
           each line no longer than 80 characters, using
           RPL_MOTD format replies.  These MUST be surrounded
           by a RPL_MOTDSTART (before the RPL_MOTDs) and an
           RPL_ENDOFMOTD (after).

       381    RPL_YOUREOPER
              ":You are now an IRC operator"

         - RPL_YOUREOPER is sent back to a client which has
           just successfully issued an OPER message and gained
           operator status.

       382    RPL_REHASHING
              " :Rehashing"

         - If the REHASH option is used and an operator sends
           a REHASH message, an RPL_REHASHING is sent back to
           the operator.

       383    RPL_YOURESERVICE
              "You are service "

         - Sent by the server to a service upon successful

       391    RPL_TIME
              " :"

         - When replying to the TIME message, a server MUST send
           the reply using the RPL_TIME format above.  The string
           showing the time need only contain the correct day and
           time there.  There is no further requirement for the
           time string.

       392    RPL_USERSSTART
              ":UserID   Terminal  Host"
       393    RPL_USERS
              ":  "
       394    RPL_ENDOFUSERS
              ":End of users"
       395    RPL_NOUSERS
              ":Nobody logged in"

         - If the USERS message is handled by a server, the
           RPL_NOUSERS are used.  RPL_USERSSTART MUST be sent
           first, following by either a sequence of RPL_USERS
           or a single RPL_NOUSER.  Following this is

       200    RPL_TRACELINK
              "Try.  "
              "H.S.  "
       203    RPL_TRACEUNKNOWN
              "????  []"
              "Oper  "
       205    RPL_TRACEUSER
              "User  "
       206    RPL_TRACESERVER
              "Serv  S C 
               @ V"
       207    RPL_TRACESERVICE
              "Service    "
       208    RPL_TRACENEWTYPE
              " 0 "
       209    RPL_TRACECLASS
              "Class  "
       261    RPL_TRACELOG
              "File  "
       262    RPL_TRACEEND
              "  :End of TRACE"

         - The RPL_TRACE* are all returned by the server in
           response to the TRACE message.  How many are
           returned is dependent on the TRACE message and
           whether it was sent by an operator or not.  There
           is no predefined order for which occurs first.
           RPL_TRACEHANDSHAKE are all used for connections
           which have not been fully established and are either
           unknown, still attempting to connect or in the
           process of completing the 'server handshake'.
           RPL_TRACELINK is sent by any server which handles
           a TRACE message and has to pass it on to another
           server.  The list of RPL_TRACELINKs sent in
           response to a TRACE command traversing the IRC
           network should reflect the actual connectivity of
           the servers themselves along that path.

           RPL_TRACENEWTYPE is to be used for any connection
           which does not fit in the other categories but is
           being displayed anyway.
           RPL_TRACEEND is sent to indicate the end of the list.