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Undernet IRC FAQ [Part II]


Version 1 - By Paul Grant (Grant)
Version 2-3 - Written by Mandar Mirashi (Mmmm)
Version 4 - Written/Updated by Mark W. (Banjo)

The FAQ consists of answers to several frequently asked questions about Undernet/IRC. The Undernet User Committee (user-com) prepared this document in the hopes of giving the new comer a basic understanding of the way things work on Undernet and IRC in general. We hope that the information contained here and in the other documents on the documents page and faqs enhances your IRC experience. Undernet prides itself as being the friendly IRC network. We hope that, having read these documents, you can share the knowledge with others to keep up the friendly tradition of Undernet. Thank you.

The FAQ consists of the following sections.

  • I)   The Undernet (for the newcomer)
  • II)  The Undernet (how can you participate?)
  • III)  Acknowledgements/References

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Section I : The Undernet (for the newcomer)


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Section II : The Undernet (How can I participate?)


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Section III : Acknowledgements

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While we will do our best to keep the FAQs on this site updated. Undernet is always growing and changing for the better. If there is a question that you find frequently asked, but not mentioned, or any inaccurate information, we ask you to send all suggested additions, corrections, deletions, comments, etc. to - documents@undernet.org. You are always welcome to email the user committee user-com@undernet.org with any comments or suggestions to improve Undernet or the documents project.

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Section I: The Undernet (for the irc newcomer)

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1-1) What's a net?

A net (short for network) is a group of computers joined together to share and transmit information. These computers (called servers) all run a common program designed to respond to commands from you (the client). The servers are also responsible for transmitting information between the various other servers which makes it possible for people to chat with each other no matter what server you or they are on.

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1-2) So far, so good. Now, why's this net called the "Undernet"?

The term "Undernet" was suggested in jest by some of the original operators (dl, Wildthang and Whizzard) who started this network. As time went by, the name stuck. :-) Upon hearing the name people often think that it's a net where something illegal goes on - which isn't the case at all. On the other hand, the name also imparts a mysterious angle to the IRC net. On the whole, it's a very friendly net with an easy going atmosphere. Most people are nice and helpful to newcomers, and Undernet prides itself as being the friendly IRC net.

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1-3) How do I find the closest Undernet server to me?

Luckily for you, all Undernet servers follow names of the format: 

city.state.country.undernet.org or, 
city.country.continent.undernet.org 


Thus, you can easily locate the closest server to you. In most cases, this also turns out to be closest net wise as well. 
You can always find servers close to you by visiting Undernet's web site at http://www.undernet.org and then clicking on the server link, 
or go directly to the server list at http://www.undernet.org/servers.php There you will find a list of all current active servers. 
You can copy/paste the server list into your IRC client (program) or you can enter the information on the command line of your IRC client. 
The command for connecting to a server is; 
/server servername port.  (note* don't forget the port number. Such as 6667) 
Example == /server Amsterdam.nl.eu.undernet.org 6667 
*note == server ports can range from 6660 - 7000  (The most commonly used port is 6667, and it is the default port of many IRC clients) 

You can also connect to Undernet via a random server in your geographical area as follows: 

us.undernet.org 6667 - USA 
eu.undernet.org 6667 - Europe 
ca.undernet.org 6667 - Canada 


You can try a /server countrycode.undernet.org and see if that works for you. (again.don't forget the port number).

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1-4) Whom do I approach if I have questions? 

You are always welcome on the help channels when you connect to Undernet: 

#userguide 
For help and general information on everything Undernet related. We will do our best to help you with any and all questions, and if we can't answer your question, we'll do our best to point you to a channel or the proper resources that can help you. You are welcome to lurk and learn on #userguide, We do ask though that you don.t just jump right in answering questions though. The ones helping there have went through training process with a mentor, classes and close observation and have been instructed how to help others in #userguide. We ask that if you wish to help that you email user-com@undernet.org and ask to join the training program and follow through with it that way. They will explain it all in the email you will receive from them after your initial questions to them. #userguide is also the place to discuss ideas on how to improve Undernet, and your thoughts and ideas are always welcome on the channel. 

#nastrand 
This channel is an IRC Operator, (IRCop), help channel. The channel provides assistance with channel takeovers, flooding, harassment and other forms of IRC abuse. At #nastrand, you can also regain ops on your non-registered channel as required. There is no idling allowed and you will be expected to part once you receive the help you require. (see the faq "how to report abuse and harassment") 

#cservice 
This channel is the official help channel for Undernet channel service. You can get answers to your questions about x and about channel registrations in general. Also, username registration questions are welcome here. Channel transfers, new email addresses and other help related to channel service is available. You are allowed to sit and watch on #cservice provided you do not disrupt the channel. 

There are also help and chat channels on just about any topic you can imagine, See section 1-5 for instructions on how to search for channels on Undernet. 

Please understand that help channels, like everything else about Undernet IRC is run by volunteers who donate their time to help other Undernet users. These help channels can get very busy, and the helpers are often helping several people at once. When you visit these channels, you must be patient, someone will help you when your turn comes. Do not send to the channel too often and especially do not /msg the ops and helpers there. A good rule of thumb is to wait 5 minutes before you ask your question or problem again or till you are asked if you can be helped. The helpers will never ignore you even if, in your time of need, it may appear that way. 

Another avenue is via email: 
user-com@undernet.org General IRC/Undernet help and for discussions of Undernet related matters. You are welcome to post suggestions here. 

cservice@undernet.org Cservice mailing list, *Note* cservice mailing list is for user questions and problems relating to X, channel registration problems, more in depth Undernet/IRC problems and user names only, it is not an open discussion list like some mailing lists. 

If you have a problem or question about a specific server, use the command /admin for contact info.

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1-5) Where can I find a list of channels I can join?

New channels are starting up on the Undernet almost everyday. Given the dynamic nature of channels, the channel names can vary, but a few are fairly stable.

Undernet has a built in search feature for finding channels that might interest you. All you have to do is type /list searchword. 

Example: To find a list of help channels you can type: 
/list help 

If you want to find channels about cats, you can type: 
/list cat 
You will then get lists of all channels with your search word in it's topic or channel name. 
The /list results will usually show you the topics of the channels which can give you a better idea of what a particular channel is about.

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1-6) Say...can I join some mailing list which helps with IRC questions, or discusses IRC in general?

The user committee list - user-com@undernet.org has been set up for people who are requesting general help regarding IRC questions. It is probably the best place to start. Even if you decide not to subscribe to it or any other mailing lists, they will answer any questions you may have and point you to where you need to be or give you info about other mailing lists. If you wish to subscribe to the User-Com mailing list, send mail to; majordomo@undernet.org with the word "help" in the body which will send you back further information on how to subscribe.

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1-7) Where can I find information pertaining to Undernet on the internet?

Undernet WWW URLs -> 

  • http://www.undernet.org/
  • http://www.user-com.undernet.org/
  • http://www.cservice.undernet.org/
  • http://www.coder-com.undernet.org/
  • http://www.routing-com.undernet.org/


    *Note* == these aforementioned web sites have a wealth of information about Undernet in general, User-Com, the Undernet user committee and the Undernet Channel Services (CService), Coder-Com and Routing-Com. They all contain their own unique information. 
    So click on all the links of each page to get all the information they have to offer. 
    Reading and familiarizing yourself with this information will enhance you IRC experience and understanding of what and how things are done.
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    1-8) Undernet in general.

    Yet another goal of the Undernet is to provide a better environment for users to communicate in, 
    with protection against malicious users who try to work *against* IRC and its principles. 
    The Undernet has an improved server-server protocol which disallows gaining ops during a net split (op riders), 
    and makes intentional nick collisions impossible. 

    *Note* Undernet uses a proxyscan that scans for clones and insecure proxies when you connect to the net. If you get a message from the server and it won't let you connect try correcting the problem. If you are unsuccessful, read about the proxyscanner just below. If you are still unsure, you can email the proxy-team at the email provided at the end of the Undernet Proxyscanner explanation: 

    Undernet Proxyscanner 

    Due to the overwhelming abuse of Misconfigured Wingate, Socks and Proxy servers being exploited daily, 
    the UnderNet network is now checking all users upon connection to any of the UnderNet IRC Servers. 
    This check is ONLY DONE if a user attempts to establish a connection to an UnderNet IRC server. 
    This should not be considered an attack on your system. 
    Be aware that this sort of connection to your system is probably common if you use services such as free IRC networks, game servers, etc... 

    If you do not desire this type of check to occur, then simply block access to the UnderNet network servers. 
    Connection to and use of the Undernet.org IRC Network is conditional upon acceptance of any and all applicable policies of the individual servers 
    that make up the Undernet as well as acceptance of the Undernet.org Acceptable Use Policy and its Indemnify and Hold Harmless clause. 

    Fixing a Wingate server: 

    Get help about Wingate at http://www.practicallynetworked.com/sharing/secureproxy.htm. 

    Fixing a Socks 4/5 server: 

    If you run Socks 4, upgrade to Socks 5, as there is no way to configure properly Socks 4. 
    Following are a few URL which could help you fix your Misconfigured proxy server on a Windows machine : Socks Proxy server : 

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnproxy/html/msdn_proxycase.asp Upgrade and get help about your winproxy at : http://www.winproxy.com/ Upgrade your sygate server : http://www.sygate.com 

    Fixing a Squid server: 

    Get help for Squid ACLs at : http://www.squid-cache.org/Doc/FAQ/FAQ-10.html#ss10.2 Get detailed help at : http://www.documents.cyberabuse.org/?page=vulnerabilities&doc=1 

    Upgrade your Squid 1.x server at : 
    http://www.squid-cache.org/ Fixing a HTTP proxy server Take a look at your manual for the ACL feature... 
    Vulnerable proxy servers can be of all types and brands. 

    If your proxy server is not supported anymore and you are not sure about your configuration, firewall it so only your LAN can use it. 
    Get detailed help about CacheFlow at : http://www.documents.cyberabuse.org/?page=vulnerabilities&doc=2 

    You can then check for a Misconfigured by using GRC.com Shield's UP or by running nmap. 
    You can contact them at proxy-team@undernet.org. 

    When sending your email, please include the server message, your operating system, the program you are using for your Internet connection, and any other information you think may help the proxy-team to better help you. 

    Undernet exists to provide a free of charge, all volunteer run worldwide network where people can communicate in real time in a stable friendly atmosphere. 
    One of the reasons Undernet was formed was to provide a network where the Admins/IRCops and other volunteers are friendly and accessible to the users of the network. We strive to do our best to help the users and protect users from abuse. 
    The committees, web sites, and email lists are all provided to help you and to enhance you IRC experience. Feel free to use these resources.

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    Section II : The Undernet (for people on other nets)

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    2-1) So how do I get to be an "IRC op" Why cant I be one?

    The Undernet Admins DO NOT give ops to people who *ask* for them. If you participate in the net by helping people, and in general following proper Undernetiquette, you might merit attention and you may be suggested for an official position. IRC ops are scrutinized carefully before being added. Basically, no ops are handed out to people who (i) are hardly around or (ii) ignore pleas for help or (iii) want ops just for kill power or (iv) want ops because it gives them a sense of "power" over other users, and to look "cool". Remember, asking for ops only makes your case *worse*. If you're worthy, and others feel that you're competent enough, you'll be approached to volunteer for oper. For a better understanding about the duties and responsibilities of an IRCop, read the "Oper FAQ (for non operators)" on this site.

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    2-2) How do I apply to link my server to the Undernet? What are the requirements?

    The Undernet Routing Committees are responsible for the review, selection, and maintenance of server links to the Undernet IRC Network. A full description of the functions and procedures of the Routing Committees can be found in their Documents section (see below). There are a great number of minimum requirements for linking a server to Undernet. All applications must meet these requirements from Routing-Com, before they will take your application or even consider a test link with your server, plus any reviews by them. These requirements are also subject to change at any time. You may view these documents at: 

    http://www.routing-com.undernet.org/index.php?mode=docs 

    The two main documents probably of the first concern, if you have questions though about server linking of Routing-Coms documents page are; 

    http://routing-com.undernet.org/showdoc.php?id=1 
    http://routing-com.undernet.org/showdoc.php?id=2 

    You can also just visit Routing-Com.s main page at; 

    http://www.routing-com.undernet.org 

    People who wish to link their server to Undernet are expected to have the expertise needed to operate an IRC server and knowledge of how the Internet works. If the above information doesn't make much sense to you, then you are probably not knowledgeable enough to host a server on Undernet at this time. The links provided above will help you with all the information you need involving Routing-Com or about applying for your servers link to Undernet.

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    2-3) How do I volunteer to do some work for the Undernet, No im not looking for an O line. I just like being nice and helpful to people. How do I participate?

    The Undernet is *always* looking for people like you. Because Undernet continues to grow, we are always short of volunteers to help other people. Have you benefited from your experience with the Undernet? Have you enjoyed your time on IRC here? We encourage you to give back to the net what you got from it. You are encouraged to help. Familiarize yourself with frequently asked questions and their answers it would take a BIG load off many of the operators who were quite selflessly devoted to helping you, when you started off. You can join the user-com mailing list ( majordomo@.undernet.org ) with the word "help" in the body (for information on how to subscribe). Or, you can email user-com@undernet.org directly and ask them what you should do to volunteer. You will then get an email explaining the proper process. 

    Here is a brief explanation of how you can subscribe to the user-com list. 

    The Undernet has set up a Users' Committee to receive input from users like yourself. To subscribe to the mailing list, 
    send mail to; majordomo@.undernet.org with; 
    "subscribe user-com" in the body. 

    The URL on the World Wide Web for the User Committee 
    home page is < http://user-com.undernet.org > Please do what you can. Every little bit counts!

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    2-4) I may be interested in doing some programming for the Undernet. Whom do I approach??

    The Undernet is always on the search of new solutions to existing problems. If you think you can help us in this endeavor, welcome aboard! 
    You can join the #coder-com mailing list, where you can discuss IRC related programming issues and you are welcome to subscribe to the coder-com mailing list (majordomo@undernet.org with "subscribe coder-com" in the body). You will then be subscribed and you can begin to tell the other coders about your ideas. After a period of discussion, and depending upon everyone's views, you may be given the "go ahead" to program it! Yes, watch *your* code being run on servers around the world, with your name in our acknowledgements. The Undernet programming team is a tightly knit set of enthusiastic individuals. Feel free to participate. As with any email list, there are rules and conventions followed. When in doubt, ask before you do anything that may upset the list. 

    Again -> The Undernet has set up an Undernet IRCd coders' committee. To 
    subscribe to the mailing list, send mail to majordomo@mail.undernet.org 
    with "subscribe coder-com" in the body. 

    Or join Undernet and /join #coder-com while on IRC and talk with them about joining and coding there. You can also view the Coder-Com web page at; http://www.coder-com.undernet.org 

    There is a wealth of information at the Coder-Com site which may tell you all the things you wish to know 
    and get you more acquainted with how they do things also. 

    For more information about Undernet, brows the Documents Project site www.user-com.undernet.org//documents 
    Or all the User-com projects at;
     www.user-com.undernet.org and the Undernet web site at; www.undernet.org

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    Section III: Acknowledgements

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