Internet Relay Chat Protocol
RFC 1459

Document Type RFC - Experimental (May 1993; Errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
Stream Legacy
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Network Working Group                                      J. Oikarinen
Request for Comments: 1459                                      D. Reed
                                                               May 1993

                      Internet Relay Chat Protocol

Status of This Memo

   This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
   community.  Discussion and suggestions for improvement are requested.
   Please refer to the current edition of the "IAB Official Protocol
   Standards" for the standardization state and status of this protocol.
   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Abstract

   The IRC protocol was developed over the last 4 years since it was
   first implemented as a means for users on a BBS to chat amongst
   themselves.  Now it supports a world-wide network of servers and
   clients, and is stringing to cope with growth. Over the past 2 years,
   the average number of users connected to the main IRC network has
   grown by a factor of 10.

   The IRC protocol is a text-based protocol, with the simplest client
   being any socket program capable of connecting to the server.

Table of Contents

   1.  INTRODUCTION ...............................................    4
      1.1  Servers ................................................    4
      1.2  Clients ................................................    5
         1.2.1 Operators ..........................................    5
      1.3 Channels ................................................    5
      1.3.1  Channel Operators ....................................    6
   2. THE IRC SPECIFICATION .......................................    7
      2.1 Overview ................................................    7
      2.2 Character codes .........................................    7
      2.3 Messages ................................................    7
         2.3.1  Message format in 'pseudo' BNF ....................    8
      2.4 Numeric replies .........................................   10
   3. IRC Concepts ................................................   10
      3.1 One-to-one communication ................................   10
      3.2 One-to-many .............................................   11
         3.2.1 To a list ..........................................   11
         3.2.2 To a group (channel) ...............................   11
         3.2.3 To a host/server mask ..............................   12
      3.3 One to all ..............................................   12

Oikarinen & Reed                                                [Page 1]
RFC 1459              Internet Relay Chat Protocol              May 1993

         3.3.1 Client to Client ...................................   12
         3.3.2 Clients to Server ..................................   12
         3.3.3 Server to Server ...................................   12
   4. MESSAGE DETAILS .............................................   13
      4.1 Connection Registration .................................   13
         4.1.1 Password message ...................................   14
         4.1.2 Nickname message ...................................   14
         4.1.3 User message .......................................   15
         4.1.4 Server message .....................................   16
         4.1.5 Operator message ...................................   17
         4.1.6 Quit message .......................................   17
         4.1.7 Server Quit message ................................   18
      4.2 Channel operations ......................................   19
         4.2.1 Join message .......................................   19
         4.2.2 Part message .......................................   20
         4.2.3 Mode message .......................................   21
            4.2.3.1 Channel modes .................................   21
            4.2.3.2 User modes ....................................   22
         4.2.4 Topic message ......................................   23
         4.2.5 Names message ......................................   24
         4.2.6 List message .......................................   24
         4.2.7 Invite message .....................................   25
         4.2.8 Kick message .......................................   25
      4.3 Server queries and commands .............................   26
         4.3.1 Version message ....................................   26
         4.3.2 Stats message ......................................   27
         4.3.3 Links message ......................................   28
         4.3.4 Time message .......................................   29
         4.3.5 Connect message ....................................   29
         4.3.6 Trace message ......................................   30
         4.3.7 Admin message ......................................   31
         4.3.8 Info message .......................................   31
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