Saturday, 6 April 2013

Make your private room on iRC with a bouncer


At work we used to IM each other, one-to-one communication all the time. It's not too hard to imagine how useful a common channel can be. Giving a shout out, announcing news, asking for help or sending nude cat pictures. In any cases a group channel is always a bless.

We decided to try out iRC. Not sure if only because it's nerdy, or the possibility to apply a smart bot - but it's iRC. Being it a company channel it has to be password protected. I try to explain what has to happen when making a private channel.


First you pick an iRC server. We love Freenode, it's popular and basically the most used among open source communities, such as Drupal. There are popular desktop iRC clients which makes the configuration a lot easier. That's why I tell the primitive way, and you can apply it to the advanced apps anytime. I use irssi sometimes. You run irssi by entering:

irssi --connect=irc.freenode.net --port=6667 -n NICKNAME

In order to have a room you need to register your name. That's always a good thing so you should do that even if you don't want a channel. On Freenode the superuser is NickServ. You have to send a message to it in order to make things done. If you know what name you want login with that. If you're already in but have to change it then you can do that too:

/nick NICKNAME

Then to register send NickServ a request:

/msg NickServ REGISTER PASSWORD YOUREMAIL

Then you will get an email which you can validate your name with. Now when you connect to the server you can use the name/pass in the command:

irssi --connect=irc.freenode.net --port=6667 -n NICKNAME --password=PASSWORD

Or if the connection is already alive then:

/connect irc.freenode.net 6667 NICKNAME:PASSWORD

Now you can create your channel:

/join ##CHANNELNAME

If it's not an official channel you supposed to use two hashes (##) before the channel name. If the channel is free, non registered then ask NickServ nicely:

/msg ChanServ register ##CHANNELNAME

Cool, hopefully you got it. Now let's make it password protected:

/msg ChanServ set ##CHANNELNAME mlock +k PASSWORD

On this point you can happily use your channel. However I like to have one extra configuration, setting up a bouncer, in order to be able to stay in the channel and keep the history even when I'm not there. I've found a quite good bouncer service on Bnc4Free. Their process is straight forward, you can check out in their wiki. After the registration you will receive an email with the assigned server, username and password. From that time you can use that connect with your iRC client, that will look similar to mine:

irssi --connect=SOMETHING.bnc4free.com --port=1337 -n NICKNAME --password=BNC4FREEPASSWORD

Enjoy.

---

Peter

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