Chanserv 101

What is a Channel?

A channel is a chat room that exists on an IRC network such as our own. There are often tens or even hundreds of channels on any given server. Usually (but not always) a channel is dedicated to a specific topic or website. For example, we have #code and #poker on the network, for programmers and fans of the card game poker respectively. Notice that an IRC channel is denoted by the hash character (#) before the channel name.

What is Chanserv?

Chanserv stands for 'Channel Service', one of several different services which are made available to network users. A 'channel' is a chat room, of which there are many on any given IRC network. As its name may suggest, Chanserv is a service which governs the creation and operation of channels on the network. Creating a channel is available to everyone, so long as you have registered your nickname with Nickserv.

Why should I register my channel?


How do I register a channel?

First, make sure you are identified with Nickserv. Once you have done that and decided on what your channel is going to be called (I'm feeling tired, so I am going to use 'caffine' as my channel. Type this command:

/join #caffine

Depending on your IRC client, you will get a message similar to the following:

22:27:11 | * Now talking in #caffine

Your channel is ready for use! Other people can join the channel by using the join command as well.

Registering your channel with Chanserv is simple! Once you have registered your channel, you will be made the owner of that channel. You may notice that Chanserv will give you +qo when you enter your room. The +q means 'owner', and the +o means that you are an 'operator' inside that chat room [For a comprehensive list of flags, please read the channel modes article]. These `modes` will allow you to set the topic, kick people out of your room, ban people, as well as allow access to other advanced features.

To register your channel, you must enter the following command:

/msg chanserv register <channel> <password> <description>

For example, if you wanted to start a channel about coffee and wanted to name it '#caffine', you could register it with the following command:

/msg chanserv register #caffine caFF1n4t3!d Our discussion group about caffinated products 22:30:07 | * ChanServ sets mode: +r
22:30:07 | * ChanServ sets mode: +q jon

This is the response from Chanserv. (Note: In this example, 'caFF1n4t3!d' is my password. Keep this safe in case you want to make changes to the channel at a later date). From now on, so long as you are identified with Nickserv, upon joining your channel you will automatically be made operator, and owner!

— Jon [June 2008]