epic4 - Internet Relay Chat client for UNIX like systems
epic4 [-a] [-b] [-B] [-c chan] [-d] [-f] [-F] [-h] [-H hostname]
[-l filename] [-L filename] [-n nickname] [-o] [-O] [-p port] [-q]
[-v] [-x] [-z username] [nickname] [server description list]
The ircII/EPIC 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.
-a 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.
-b 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.
-B 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.
-d 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 current TERM setting is not capable of a full screen
-f Force use of hardware flow control. With this option, the control-
S and control-Q keys are probably not available to be bound to
-F 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.
-h Display a moderately concise help message and exit immediately.
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 overrides the IRCRC
environment variable. If this option is not specified, and the
IRCRC environment variable is not set, then ~/.ircrc is the default
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).
-o 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.
-O 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 connect there.
-q Suppress the loading of any file when you first establish a
connection to an irc server.
-v Output version identification (VID) information and exit.
-x 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 this.
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 nickname.
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 specifications is:
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 the ircd(8) server. The lower part of the screen (a
single line) accepts keyboard input.
Some terminals do not support certain features required by epic4 , in
which case you receive a message stating this. If this occurs, try
changing the terminal type or run epic4 with the -d option.
Any line beginning with the slash character “/” is regarded as an epic4
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.
The .ircrc File:
When epic4 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 other features.
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:
epic4 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.
epic4 nickname irc.domain.com
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.
epic4 nickname irc.domain.com:6664
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 alternate port.
epic4 nickname irc.efnet.net
If you’re totally stumped and trying to get on efnet, try this.
epic4 nickname irc.undernet.org
If you’re totally stumped and trying to get on undernet, try this.
epic4 nickname irc.dal.net
If you’re totally stumped and trying to get on dalnet, try this.
/usr/bin/epic4 the default location of the binary
~/.ircrc default initialization file
~/.irc/ directory you can put your own epic4 scripts into, that
can then be loaded with /load
/usr/share/epic4 default directory containing message-of-the-day, master
initialization, help files and epic4 scripts
THE HELP FILES
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
USEFUL WEB RESOURCES
<http://www.epicsol.org/> The EPIC home page
<http://help.epicsol.org/> The Online EPIC Help Pages
<http://www.irchelp.org/> Lots of great help for new irc users.
epic4 handles the following signals gracefully
SIGUSR1 Closes all DCC connections and EXEC’d processes.
It can be helpful to predefine certain variables in in the ~/.cshrc ,
~/.profile , or ~/.login file:
IRCNICK The user’s default IRC nickname
IRCNAME The user’s default IRC realname (otherwise retrieved from
IRCSERVER The user’s default IRC server list (see server option for
HOME Overrides the default home page in /etc/password
TERM 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 connected.
Program written by Michael Sandrof (firstname.lastname@example.org). The copyright
holder is Matthew Green (email@example.com). This software is maintained
by Jeremy Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org) on behalf of the EPIC project
(email@example.com). At one time or another, this man page has been
edited by Darren Reed, R.P.C. Rodgers, the lynX, Matthew Green, and