Relay Chat client for UNIX like systems
program is a unix-based character
oriented user agent ('client') to Internet Relay Chat. It is a fully
functional ircII client with many useful extensions. This version works with
all modern irc server classes as of early 1999.
- Append the server description list to the default server
list. The default behavior is for the server description list to replace
the default server list.
- Operate in so called “bot mode.” This implies
the [-d] option.
EPIC will fork(2) immediately and the parent
process will exit, returning you to your shell. Some system administrators
do not look kindly to their users running bots, and they have disabled
this option. Even if your administrator has not disabled it, you should
not assume this gives you automatic permission to run a bot. If you do run
a bot without permission, your administrator may get very angry with you,
and possibly revoke your account. In addition, most IRC operators on
public irc networks have very little tolerance for people who run bots. So
just a word of caution, make sure that your system administrator and your
irc administrator have given you permission before you run a bot.
- Force the startup file to be loaded immediately rather than
waiting until a connection to a server is established.
- Join the specified channel the first time you successfully
connect to a server.
- Operate in “dumb mode.” The client will not
put up a full screen display, and will read from standard input and write
to standard output. This is useful if the output normally looks awful
(because you are using an incorrect
TERM setting, or your terminal
description is spectacularly broken), or you just don't want to use the
pretty interface. This option will be turned on automatically if your
TERM setting is not capable of
a full screen display.
- Force use of hardware flow control. With this option, the
control-S and control-Q keys are probably not available to be bound to
- Disable use of hardware flow control. With this option, the
control-S and control-Q keys are available to be bound to something else.
However, you will not have hardware flow control.
- Display a moderately concise help message and exit
- Use the IP address of the specified hostname as your
default IP address. This can be used if you have multiple IP addresses on
the same machine and you want to use an address other than the default
address. You might need to use this option when
gethostname(3) does not return a hostname (in
some poorly configured NIS environments). The use of multiple IP addresses
on a single machine is commonly referred to as "virtual
hosting", and each IP address is a "virtual host". Please
understand that an irc client may not tell the irc server what your
hostname should be: the server alone determines that. Servers typically
use the canonical hostname for an IP address as your hostname. Because of
this, this option will not permit you to use a CNAME (secondary hostname
for an IP address), because the server will use the canonical hostname
instead. This option overrides the
IRCHOST environment variable.
- Use the specified filename(s) as the startup file. The
startup file is loaded the first time you successfully connect to a
server, unless you specify the
[-B] option. This
variable. If this option is not specified, and the
IRCRC environment variable is not set,
then ~/.ircrc is the default startup
- Use the specified nickname as the default nickname whenever
you connect to an irc server. This option overrides the
IRCNICK environment variable. This
option can be overridden if you specify nickname argument in the command
line (see below).
- Force use of IEXTEN termios characters. POSIX systems are
allowed to reserve additional control characters to perform special
actions when IEXTEN is turned on. On 4.4BSD, the control-V and control-O
keys are used by IEXTEN and thus cannot be used in key bindings within
EPIC since the terminal never sends them to EPIC.
- Disable use of IEXTEN termios characters. This makes all of
the keys reserved by your system's IEXTEN termios option available to be
used in key bindings. On 4.4BSD, this flag is necessary if you want to use
control-V and control-O in your key bindings.
- Use the specified port as the default port for new server
connections. The default port is usually 6667. Make sure that the servers
you want to connect to are listening on this port before you try to
- Suppress the loading of any file when you first establish a
connection to an irc server.
- Output version identification (VID) information and
- This undocumented feature turns on all of the XDEBUG flags.
Refer to the help files for XDEBUG if you want to know what happens if you
- Use the specified username when negotiating a connection to
a new irc server. This overrides the
IRCUSER environment variable. If this
option is not specified, then the user name specified in
/etc/passwd for your user is used. This
feature was formerly undocumented, but with the rise and popularity and
use of identd(8) this option is much less
useful than it once was. Requests to have this option removed will
probably be ignored. If you don't want your users to spoof their
usernames, install identd, and do everyone on IRC a favor.
- The first bare word found is taken as the default nickname
to use. This overrides all other options, including the -n option and the
IRCNICK environment variable. If all
else fails, then the client uses your login name as the default
- After the nickname, a list of one or more server
specifications can be listed. Unless you specify the -a option, this will
replace your default server list! The -a option forces any servers listed
here to be appended to the default server list. The format for server
Any item can be omitted by leaving the field blank, and any trailing colons
can also be omitted.
The screen is split into two parts, separated by an inverse-video status line
(if supported). The upper (larger) part of the screen displays responses from
server. The lower part of the screen
(a single line) accepts keyboard input.
Some terminals do not support certain features required by
, in which case you receive a message
stating this. If this occurs, try changing the terminal type or run
with the -d option.
Any line beginning with the slash character “/” is regarded as an
command (the command character may be
changed). Any line not beginning with this character is treated as a message
to be sent to the current channel. The client has a built in help system.
Install the help files (they should be available at the same place you got the
client) and then type “/help” to open up the help system.
is executed, it checks the user's home
directory for a ~/.ircrc
file, executing the
commands in the file. Commands in this file do not need to have a leading
slash character “/” This allows predefinition of aliases and
Certainly any description of epic4
in this man page
will be sorely inadequate because most of the confusion doesn't even start
until after you get the client to connect to a server. But if you really have
problems getting the client to connect to a server, try some of these:
- Try this first. This will assume all the defaults. If the
person who is maintaining epic4 at your site has done a halfway decent
job, this will put you on a server that is somewhat local to you.
- or something similar will attempt to connect to the irc
server running on the host "irc.domain.com" (fill in a real irc
server here) with the nickname of well, "nickname". This is the
most common way to specify an alternate server to use.
- Sometimes, some servers are really busy, and it can take
them a long time to establish a connection with you on the default port
(6667). Most major servers on big public networks accept connections on
many different ports, with the most common being most or all of the ports
between 6660 and 6675. You can usually connect much faster if you use a
port other than 6667, if the server you're connecting to supports an
- If you're totally stumped and trying to get on efnet, try
- If you're totally stumped and trying to get on undernet,
- If you're totally stumped and trying to get on dalnet, try
- the default location of the binary
- default initialization file
- directory you can put your own
epic4 scripts into, that can then be loaded
- default directory containing message-of-the-day, master
initialization, help files and epic4
Starting up the client is the easy part. Once you get connected, you'll probably
find you have no idea what you're doing. That's where the help files come in.
If the person who maintains irc at your site didn't install the help files,
pester them until they do. Once the help files are available, use the
“/help” command to get started. There are a bazillion commands
and a multitude of nuances that will take a few months to get down pat. But
once you do, you will be so firmly addicted to irc that your wife will divorce
you, your kids will leave you, your dog will run away, and you'll flunk all
your classes, and be left to sing the blues.
The EPIC home page
The Online EPIC
Lots of great help
for new irc users.
handles the following signals gracefully
- Closes all DCC connections and EXEC'd processes.
It can be helpful to predefine certain variables in in the
- The user's default IRC nickname
- The user's default IRC realname (otherwise retrieved from
- The user's default IRC server list (see server option for
- Overrides the default home page in
- The type of terminal emulation to use
Any non-trivial piece of software has bugs. ircII/EPIC is no exception. You can
refer to the KNOWNBUGS
file that is distributed
with the client source code for a list of problems that are known to exist and
may or may not be fixed some day. If you find a bug that is not listed there,
you can refer to the BUG_FORM
file that is also
distributed with the source code. It will give you instructions on how to fill
out the report and where to send it.
The online documentation probably should be in docbook form rather than in the
current help format. The entire help system is a hack. This manual page only
describes the options to epic4, but doesn't tell you what to do once you get
Program written by Michael Sandrof (email@example.com). The copyright holder
is Matthew Green (firstname.lastname@example.org). This software is maintained by Jeremy
Nelson (email@example.com) on behalf of the EPIC project (firstname.lastname@example.org).
At one time or another, this man page has been edited by Darren Reed, R.P.C.
Rodgers, the lynX, Matthew Green, and Jeremy Nelson.