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EPIC(1)			  BSD General Commands Manual		       EPIC(1)

     epic -- Internet Relay Chat client	for UNIX like systems

     epic [-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, re-
	   turning you to your shell.  Some system administrators do not look
	   kindly to their users running bots, and they	have disabled this op-
	   tion.  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 addi-
	   tion, 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 descrip-
	   tion	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 display.

     -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	con-
	   trol-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 ad-
	   dress.  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 environ-
	   ments).  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 de-
	   termines 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 envi-
	   ronment 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	envi-
	   ronment 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 connec-
	   tions.  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 connec-
	   tion	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 un-
	   documented, 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 every-
	   one 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 trail-
	   ing 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 re-
     sponses 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	epic , in
     which case	you receive a message stating this.  If	this occurs, try
     changing the terminal type	or run epic with the -d	option.

   Irc Commands:
     Any line beginning	with the slash character "/" is	regarded as an epic
     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 epic 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 epic in this man page	will be	sorely inade-
     quate 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:

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

     epic nickname
	   or something	similar	will attempt to	connect	to the irc server run-
	   ning	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.

     epic 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 connec-
	   tions 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.

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

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

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

     /usr/local/bin/epic    the	default	location of the	binary

     ~/.ircrc		    default initialization file

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

     /usr/local/share/epic  default directory containing message-of-the-day,
			    master initialization, help	files and epic 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 in-
     stall 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 blues.

     _ The EPIC	home page

     _	The Online EPIC	Help Pages

     _ Lots of great help for new irc users.

     epic 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 de-

     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 epic, 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	Jeremy Nelson ( on behalf of the EPIC project

     At	one time or another, this man page has been edited by Darren Reed,
     R.P.C. Rodgers, the lynX, Matthew Green, and Jeremy Nelson.

				April 22, 1999


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