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
Parameters: [ <mask> [ <type> ] ]
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).
Parameters: <servicename> <text>
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
SQUERY email@example.com :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
3.6.1 Who query
Parameters: [ <mask> [ "o" ] ]
The WHO command is used by a client to generate a query which returns
a list of information which 'matches' the <mask> parameter given by
the client. In the absence of the <mask> 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 <mask> of "0" or any wildcard which
will end up matching every visible user.
The <mask> passed to WHO is matched against users' host, server, real
name and nickname if the channel <mask> cannot be found.
If the "o" parameter is passed only operators are returned according
to the <mask> supplied.
WHO *.fi ; Command to list all users who match
WHO jto* o ; Command to list all users with a
match against "jto*" if they are an
3.6.2 Whois query
Parameters: [ <target> ] <mask> *( "," <mask> )
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
<mask>, any information about that nick which you are allowed to see
If the <target> 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 <target> parameter.
WHOIS wiz ; return available user information
about nick WiZ
WHOIS eff.org trillian ; ask server eff.org for user
information about trillian
Parameters: <nickname> *( "," <nickname> ) [ <count> [ <target> ] ]
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
<count> replies will be returned (or all of them if no <count>
parameter is given). If a non-positive number is passed as being
<count>, then a full search is done.
Wildcards are allowed in the <target> parameter.
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
Parameters: <nickname> <comment>
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.
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
Parameters: <server1> [ <server2> ]
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 <server1> (server which sent the PING message out)
as soon as possible. If the <server2> parameter is specified, it
represents the target of the ping, and the message gets forwarded
PING tolsun.oulu.fi ; Command to send a PING message to
PING WiZ tolsun.oulu.fi ; Command from WiZ to send a PING
message to server "tolsun.oulu.fi"
PING :irc.funet.fi ; Ping message sent by server
3.7.3 Pong message
Parameters: <server> [ <server2> ]
PONG message is a reply to ping message. If parameter <server2> is
given, this message MUST be forwarded to given target. The <server>
parameter is the name of the entity who has responded to PING message
and generated this message.
PONG csd.bu.edu tolsun.oulu.fi ; PONG message from csd.bu.edu to
Parameters: <error message>
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 csd.bu.edu -- 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
From this section, only the USERHOST and ISON messages are available
Parameters: [ <text> ]
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)
AWAY :Gone to lunch. Back in 5 ; Command to set away message to
"Gone to lunch. Back in 5".
4.2 Rehash message
The rehash command is an administrative command which can be used by
an operator to force the server to re-read and process its
REHASH ; message from user with operator
status to server asking it to reread
its configuration file.
4.3 Die message
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
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
DIE ; no parameters required.
4.4 Restart message
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.
RESTART ; no parameters required.
4.5 Summon message
Parameters: <user> [ <target> [ <channel> ] ]
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 <server> parameter is given it tries to summon <user> 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
SUMMON jto ; summon user jto on the server's
SUMMON jto tolsun.oulu.fi ; summon user jto on the host which a
server named "tolsun.oulu.fi" is
Parameters: [ <target> ]
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.
USERS eff.org ; request a list of users logged in
on server eff.org
4.7 Operwall message
Parameters: <Text to be sent>
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
:csd.bu.edu WALLOPS :Connect '*.uiuc.edu 6667' from Joshua ; WALLOPS
message from csd.bu.edu announcing a
CONNECT message it received from
Joshua and acted upon.
4.8 Userhost message
Parameters: <nickname> *( SPACE <nickname> )
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.
USERHOST Wiz Michael syrk ; USERHOST request for information on
nicks "Wiz", "Michael", and "syrk"
:ircd.stealth.net 302 yournick :firstname.lastname@example.org
; Reply for user syrk
4.9 Ison message
Parameters: <nickname> *( SPACE <nickname> )
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
ISON phone trillian WiZ jarlek Avalon Angel Monstah syrk
; Sample ISON request for 7 nicks.
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
"Welcome to the Internet Relay Network
"Your host is <servername>, running version <ver>"
"This server was created <date>"
"<servername> <version> <available user modes>
<available channel modes>"
- The server sends Replies 001 to 004 to a user upon
"Try server <server name>, port <port number>"
- 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.
":*1<reply> *( " " <reply> )"
- 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
":*1<nick> *( " " <nick> )"
- Reply format used by ISON to list replies to the
"<nick> :<away message>"
":You are no longer marked as being away"
":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.
"<nick> <user> <host> * :<real name>"
"<nick> <server> :<server info>"
"<nick> :is an IRC operator"
"<nick> <integer> :seconds idle"
"<nick> :End of WHOIS list"
"<nick> :*( ( "@" / "+" ) <channel> " " )"
- 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.
"<nick> <user> <host> * :<real name>"
"<nick> :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).
Obsolete. Not used.
"<channel> <# visible> :<topic>"
":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.
"<channel> <mode> <mode params>"
"<channel> :No topic is set"
- 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
- Returned by the server to indicate that the
attempted INVITE message was successful and is
being passed onto the end client.
"<user> :Summoning user to IRC"
- Returned by a server answering a SUMMON message to
indicate that it is summoning that user.
"<channel> :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
RPL_INVITELIST and RPL_ENDOFINVITELIST messages. A
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.
"<channel> :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
RPL_EXCEPTLIST and RPL_ENDOFEXCEPTLIST messages. A
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.
"<version>.<debuglevel> <server> :<comments>"
- Reply by the server showing its version details.
The <version> is the version of the software being
used (including any patchlevel revisions) and the
<debuglevel> 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.
"<channel> <user> <host> <server> <nick>
( "H" / "G" > ["*"] [ ( "@" / "+" ) ]
:<hopcount> <real name>"
"<name> :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 <name> being
"( "=" / "*" / "@" ) <channel>
:[ "@" / "+" ] <nick> *( " " [ "@" / "+" ] <nick> )
- "@" is used for secret channels, "*" for private
channels, and "=" for others (public channels).
"<channel> :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
"<mask> <server> :<hopcount> <server info>"
"<mask> :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.
"<channel> :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.
":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
":- <server> Message of the day - "
":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
":You are now an IRC operator"
- RPL_YOUREOPER is sent back to a client which has
just successfully issued an OPER message and gained
"<config file> :Rehashing"
- If the REHASH option is used and an operator sends
a REHASH message, an RPL_REHASHING is sent back to
"You are service <servicename>"
- Sent by the server to a service upon successful
"<server> :<string showing server's local 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
":UserID Terminal Host"
":<username> <ttyline> <hostname>"
":End of users"
":Nobody logged in"
- If the USERS message is handled by a server, the
replies RPL_USERSTART, RPL_USERS, RPL_ENDOFUSERS and
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
"Link <version & debug level> <destination>
<next server> V<protocol version>
<link uptime in seconds> <backstream sendq>
"Try. <class> <server>"
"H.S. <class> <server>"
"???? <class> [<client IP address in dot form>]"
"Oper <class> <nick>"
"User <class> <nick>"
"Serv <class> <int>S <int>C <server>
<nick!user|*!*>@<host|server> V<protocol version>"
"Service <class> <name> <type> <active type>"
"<newtype> 0 <client name>"
"Class <class> <count>"
"File <logfile> <debug level>"
"<server name> <version & debug level> :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.
Replies RPL_TRACEUNKNOWN, RPL_TRACECONNECTING and
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.
"<linkname> <sendq> <sent messages>
<sent Kbytes> <received messages>
<received Kbytes> <time open>"
- reports statistics on a connection. <linkname>
identifies the particular connection, <sendq> is
the amount of data that is queued and waiting to be
sent <sent messages> the number of messages sent,
and <sent Kbytes> the amount of data sent, in
Kbytes. <received messages> and <received Kbytes>
are the equivalent of <sent messages> and <sent
Kbytes> for received data, respectively. <time
open> indicates how long ago the connection was
opened, in seconds.
"<command> <count> <byte count> <remote count>"
- reports statistics on commands usage.
"<stats letter> :End of STATS report"
":Server Up %d days %d:%02d:%02d"
- reports the server uptime.
"O <hostmask> * <name>"
- reports the allowed hosts from where user may become IRC
"<user mode string>"
- To answer a query about a client's own mode,
RPL_UMODEIS is sent back.
"<name> <server> <mask> <type> <hopcount> <info>"
"<mask> <type> :End of service listing"
- When listing services in reply to a SERVLIST message,
a server is required to send the list back using the
RPL_SERVLIST and RPL_SERVLISTEND messages. A separate
RPL_SERVLIST is sent for each service. After the
services have been listed (or if none present) a
RPL_SERVLISTEND MUST be sent.
":There are <integer> users and <integer>
services on <integer> servers"
"<integer> :operator(s) online"
"<integer> :unknown connection(s)"
"<integer> :channels formed"
":I have <integer> clients and <integer>
- In processing an LUSERS message, the server
sends a set of replies from RPL_LUSERCLIENT,
RPL_LUSERCHANNELS and RPL_LUSERME. When
replying, a server MUST send back
RPL_LUSERCLIENT and RPL_LUSERME. The other
replies are only sent back if a non-zero count
is found for them.
"<server> :Administrative info"
- When replying to an ADMIN message, a server
is expected to use replies RPL_ADMINME
through to RPL_ADMINEMAIL and provide a text
message with each. For RPL_ADMINLOC1 a
description of what city, state and country
the server is in is expected, followed by
details of the institution (RPL_ADMINLOC2)
and finally the administrative contact for the
server (an email address here is REQUIRED)
"<command> :Please wait a while and try again."
- When a server drops a command without processing it,
it MUST use the reply RPL_TRYAGAIN to inform the
5.2 Error Replies
Error replies are found in the range from 400 to 599.
"<nickname> :No such nick/channel"
- Used to indicate the nickname parameter supplied to a
command is currently unused.
"<server name> :No such server"
- Used to indicate the server name given currently
does not exist.
"<channel name> :No such channel"
- Used to indicate the given channel name is invalid.
"<channel name> :Cannot send to channel"
- Sent to a user who is either (a) not on a channel
which is mode +n or (b) not a chanop (or mode +v) on
a channel which has mode +m set or where the user is
banned and is trying to send a PRIVMSG message to
"<channel name> :You have joined too many channels"
- Sent to a user when they have joined the maximum
number of allowed channels and they try to join
"<nickname> :There was no such nickname"
- Returned by WHOWAS to indicate there is no history
information for that nickname.
"<target> :<error code> recipients. <abort message>"
- Returned to a client which is attempting to send a
PRIVMSG/NOTICE using the user@host destination format
and for a user@host which has several occurrences.
- Returned to a client which trying to send a
PRIVMSG/NOTICE to too many recipients.
- Returned to a client which is attempting to JOIN a safe
channel using the shortname when there are more than one
"<service name> :No such service"
- Returned to a client which is attempting to send a SQUERY
to a service which does not exist.
":No origin specified"
- PING or PONG message missing the originator parameter.
":No recipient given (<command>)"
":No text to send"
"<mask> :No toplevel domain specified"
"<mask> :Wildcard in toplevel domain"
"<mask> :Bad Server/host mask"
- 412 - 415 are returned by PRIVMSG to indicate that
the message wasn't delivered for some reason.
ERR_NOTOPLEVEL and ERR_WILDTOPLEVEL are errors that
are returned when an invalid use of
"PRIVMSG $<server>" or "PRIVMSG #<host>" is attempted.
"<command> :Unknown command"
- Returned to a registered client to indicate that the
command sent is unknown by the server.
":MOTD File is missing"
- Server's MOTD file could not be opened by the server.
"<server> :No administrative info available"
- Returned by a server in response to an ADMIN message
when there is an error in finding the appropriate
":File error doing <file op> on <file>"
- Generic error message used to report a failed file
operation during the processing of a message.
":No nickname given"
- Returned when a nickname parameter expected for a
command and isn't found.
"<nick> :Erroneous nickname"
- Returned after receiving a NICK message which contains
characters which do not fall in the defined set. See
section 2.3.1 for details on valid nicknames.
"<nick> :Nickname is already in use"
- Returned when a NICK message is processed that results
in an attempt to change to a currently existing
"<nick> :Nickname collision KILL from <user>@<host>"
- Returned by a server to a client when it detects a
nickname collision (registered of a NICK that
already exists by another server).
"<nick/channel> :Nick/channel is temporarily unavailable"
- Returned by a server to a user trying to join a channel
currently blocked by the channel delay mechanism.
- Returned by a server to a user trying to change nickname
when the desired nickname is blocked by the nick delay
"<nick> <channel> :They aren't on that channel"
- Returned by the server to indicate that the target
user of the command is not on the given channel.
"<channel> :You're not on that channel"
- Returned by the server whenever a client tries to
perform a channel affecting command for which the
client isn't a member.
"<user> <channel> :is already on channel"
- Returned when a client tries to invite a user to a
channel they are already on.
"<user> :User not logged in"
- Returned by the summon after a SUMMON command for a
user was unable to be performed since they were not
":SUMMON has been disabled"
- Returned as a response to the SUMMON command. MUST be
returned by any server which doesn't implement it.
":USERS has been disabled"
- Returned as a response to the USERS command. MUST be
returned by any server which does not implement it.
":You have not registered"
- Returned by the server to indicate that the client
MUST be registered before the server will allow it
to be parsed in detail.
"<command> :Not enough parameters"
- Returned by the server by numerous commands to
indicate to the client that it didn't supply enough
":Unauthorized command (already registered)"
- Returned by the server to any link which tries to
change part of the registered details (such as
password or user details from second USER message).
":Your host isn't among the privileged"
- Returned to a client which attempts to register with
a server which does not been setup to allow
connections from the host the attempted connection
- Returned to indicate a failed attempt at registering
a connection for which a password was required and
was either not given or incorrect.
":You are banned from this server"
- Returned after an attempt to connect and register
yourself with a server which has been setup to
explicitly deny connections to you.
- Sent by a server to a user to inform that access to the
server will soon be denied.
"<channel> :Channel key already set"
"<channel> :Cannot join channel (+l)"
"<char> :is unknown mode char to me for <channel>"
"<channel> :Cannot join channel (+i)"
"<channel> :Cannot join channel (+b)"
"<channel> :Cannot join channel (+k)"
"<channel> :Bad Channel Mask"
"<channel> :Channel doesn't support modes"
"<channel> <char> :Channel list is full"
":Permission Denied- You're not an IRC operator"
- Any command requiring operator privileges to operate
MUST return this error to indicate the attempt was
"<channel> :You're not channel operator"
- Any command requiring 'chanop' privileges (such as
MODE messages) MUST return this error if the client
making the attempt is not a chanop on the specified
":You can't kill a server!"
- Any attempts to use the KILL command on a server
are to be refused and this error returned directly
to the client.
":Your connection is restricted!"
- Sent by the server to a user upon connection to indicate
the restricted nature of the connection (user mode "+r").
":You're not the original channel operator"
- Any MODE requiring "channel creator" privileges MUST
return this error if the client making the attempt is not
a chanop on the specified channel.
":No O-lines for your host"
- If a client sends an OPER message and the server has
not been configured to allow connections from the
client's host as an operator, this error MUST be
":Unknown MODE flag"
- Returned by the server to indicate that a MODE
message was sent with a nickname parameter and that
the a mode flag sent was not recognized.
":Cannot change mode for other users"
- Error sent to any user trying to view or change the
user mode for a user other than themselves.
5.3 Reserved numerics
These numerics are not described above since they fall into one of
the following categories:
1. no longer in use;
2. reserved for future planned use;
3. in current use but are part of a non-generic 'feature' of
the current IRC server.
231 RPL_SERVICEINFO 232 RPL_ENDOFSERVICES
300 RPL_NONE 316 RPL_WHOISCHANOP
361 RPL_KILLDONE 362 RPL_CLOSING
363 RPL_CLOSEEND 373 RPL_INFOSTART
213 RPL_STATSCLINE 214 RPL_STATSNLINE
215 RPL_STATSILINE 216 RPL_STATSKLINE
217 RPL_STATSQLINE 218 RPL_STATSYLINE
240 RPL_STATSVLINE 241 RPL_STATSLLINE
244 RPL_STATSHLINE 244 RPL_STATSSLINE
246 RPL_STATSPING 247 RPL_STATSBLINE
6. Current implementations
The IRC software, version 2.10 is the only complete implementation of
the IRC protocol (client and server). Because of the small amount of
changes in the client protocol since the publication of RFC 1459
[IRC], implementations that follow it are likely to be compliant with
this protocol or to require a small amount of changes to reach
7. Current problems
There are a number of recognized problems with the IRC Client
Protocol, and more generally with the IRC Server Protocol. In order
to preserve backward compatibility with old clients, this protocol
has almost not evolved since the publication of RFC 1459 [IRC].
The idea of the nickname on IRC is very convenient for users to use
when talking to each other outside of a channel, but there is only a
finite nickname space and being what they are, it's not uncommon for
several people to want to use the same nick. If a nickname is chosen
by two people using this protocol, either one will not succeed or
both will removed by use of a server KILL (See Section 3.7.1).
[KEYWORDS] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.
[ABNF] Crocker, D. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
Specifications: ABNF", RFC 2234, November 1997.
[HNAME] Braden, R., "Requirements for Internet Hosts --
Application and Support", STD 3, RFC 1123, October 1989.
[IRC] Oikarinen, J. & D. Reed, "Internet Relay Chat Protocol",
RFC 1459, May 1993.
[IRC-ARCH] Kalt, C., "Internet Relay Chat: Architecture", RFC 2810,
[IRC-CHAN] Kalt, C., "Internet Relay Chat: Channel Management", RFC
2811, April 2000.
[IRC-SERVER] Kalt, C., "Internet Relay Chat: Server Protocol", RFC
2813, April 2000.
11. Author's Address
99 Teaneck Rd, Apt #117
Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660
12. Full Copyright Statement
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000). All Rights Reserved.
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