Man Linux: Main Page and Category List


     epic5 - Internet Relay Chat client for UNIX like systems


     epic5 [-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.

     -c chan
           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
           something else.

     -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.

     -H hostname
           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.

     -l filename,[filename]
           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
           startup file.

     -n nickname
           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.

     -p port
           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.

     -z username
           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:
     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 epic5 , in
     which case you receive a message stating this.  If this occurs, try
     changing the terminal type or run epic5 with the -d option.

   Irc Commands:
     Any line beginning with the slash character “/” is regarded as an epic5
     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 epic5 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 epic5 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:

     epic5  Try this first.  This will assume all the defaults.  If the person
            who is maintaining epic5 at your site has done a halfway decent
            job, this will put you on a server that is somewhat local to you.

     epic5 nickname
            or something similar will attempt to connect to the irc server
            running on the host "" (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.

     epic5 nickname
            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.

     epic5 nickname
            If you’re totally stumped and trying to get on efnet, try this.

     epic5 nickname
            If you’re totally stumped and trying to get on undernet, try this.

     epic5 nickname
            If you’re totally stumped and trying to get on dalnet, try this.


     /usr/bin/epic5    the default location of the binary

     ~/.ircrc          default initialization file

     ~/.irc/           directory you can put your own epic5 scripts into, that
                       can then be loaded with /load

     /usr/share/epic5  default directory containing message-of-the-day, master
                       initialization, help files and epic5 scripts


     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


     <> The EPIC home page

     <> The Online EPIC Help Pages

     <> Lots of great help for new irc users.


     epic5 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
                /etc/passwd )

     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 epic5, but doesn’t tell
     you what to do once you get connected.


     Program written by Michael Sandrof (  The copyright
     holder is Matthew Green (  This software is maintained
     by EPIC Software Labs (  At one time or another, this
     man page has been edited by Darren Reed, R.P.C. Rodgers, the lynX,
     Matthew Green, and EPIC Software Labs.