Registering your nick
If you’ve become a regular IRC user, it’s a good idea to register your nick with the server. Nick registration associates an account of sorts with your nick, which is protected by a password, and has several benefits:
- Disconnecting other sessions with your nick.
- Optionally preventing other users from using your nick.
- Automatic granting of channel privileges. Registered nicks can be added to the access lists of registered channels, so that the server will automatically op or voice you when you join those channels. Most servers will require you to register your nick before registering a channel, as well.
- Sending offline messages with MemoServ.
Nick registrations are handled through private messages to a service called NickServ. Commands can always be issued by using
/msg NickServ; some clients allow the use of
/ns as a shorthand. Don’t forget the slash, or you may write passwords to a public channel! For a general overview of NickServ commands, you can try:
/msg NickServ help
To register your nick, first ensure that you are connected with the nick that you wish to use, then issue the following command:
/msg NickServ register PASSWORD VALID@E.MAIL
A confirmation e-mail will be sent to the address you provide, containing a verification code. Give this code to NickServ with the below command to complete registration:
/msg NickServ verify register NICKNAME 123456789
Now that you’ve registered your nick, you will probably want to configure your client to automatically identify, or send your password, when connecting to the server. There are two ways to do this:1)
- Use the server password. This is generally more reliable than the private message method below, although it is technically non-standard and may not be available on other IRC networks. To use this method, set your server password in your IRC client preferences to
:NICKNAME PASSWORD; e.g.
:ExampleGuy super_secret_P455W0RD(don’t forget the colon at the beginning!). Mibbit supports this option through “Auth” > “Pass” at the logon screen.
- Send a private message to NickServ when you sign on. Most clients provide an option labeled “NickServ password” that will do this for you, in which case you should set it to
NICKNAME PASSWORD; e.g.
ExampleGuy super_secret_P455W0RD(without a colon this time). Mibbit supports this option through “Auth” > “NickServ” at the logon screen. If you cannot configure your client to automatically identify you, you can do so manually with the command:
/msg NickServ identify NICKNAME PASSWORD
Make sure to identify whenever you sign on to the server, as nick registrations expire after a certain period. You may wish to turn on nick protection to make any automatic client identification failures obvious.
Sometimes, your registered nickname may be taken by another client. This most often occurs when you have disconnected unexpectedly and the server hasn’t noticed (i.e. before a “ping timeout”); occasionally, someone else may be using your nickname as well. You can disconnect the other session and reclaim your nick by sending the following commands:
/msg NickServ ghost NICKNAME PASSWORD /nick NICKNAME
Users that have enabled kill protection may have their nicks locked by NickServ when someone attempts to use them without authenticating first. In order to release this lock, use:
/msg NickServ release NICKNAME PASSWORD
If you’ve signed in under a second nick that you’ve grouped to the nick you’re trying to reclaim, you can omit your password from the above NickServ commands.
Registering your nick does not in itself prevent others from using the nick; it just means that you can reclaim it through ghosting when necessary. If you’d like NickServ to forcibly rename anyone who tries to use your nick without identifying first, you can turn on nick protection:
/msg NickServ set enforce on
With this feature enabled, anyone using your registered nick is given 30 seconds to provide the NickServ password before their name is changed, generally to something of the form
Guest12345. If you’ve configured your client to automatically identify you, this also has the side effect of bringing your attention to any authentication failures.
Creating nick groups
If you frequently use an alternative nick (an away nick, for example), and want to carry over your permissions and preferences from your primary nick, send the following commands:
/nick ALTERNATIVE_NICK /msg NickServ group PRIMARY_NICK PASSWORD
Note that grouped nicks expire separately from each other; this means that if you want to hold on to an alternative nick, you’ll need to use it every once in a while to keep the registration from lapsing.