Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help
EPIC5(1)		  BSD General Commands Manual		      EPIC5(1)

     epic5 -- Internet Relay Chat client for UNIX like systems

     epic5 [-a]	[-b] [-B] [-c chan] [-d] [-f] [-F] [-h]	[-H hostname]
	   [-l filename] [-L filename] [-n nickname] [-o] [-O] [-p port] [-q]
	   [-s]	[-S] [-v] [-x] [-z username] [nickname]
	   [server description list]

     The EPIC5 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 modern irc2 server
     networks as of early 2006.	 Support for non-irc2 networks (such as	OPN or
     MS	Comic Chat) is hit-and-miss.

     -a	   Append the [server description list]	to the end of the hardcoded
	   default server list,	rather than replacing it.

     -b	   Operate in so called	"bot mode." This also turns on the [-d]	op-
	   tion.  EPIC5	will fork(2) immediately and the parent	process	will
	   exit, returning you to your shell.  This was	more useful before GNU
	   screen and tmux, when logging out killed your processes.  It's a
	   better idea to just run your	bot as a foreground client in another
	   window.  Some IRC networks limit the	number of connections from an
	   IP address to discourage bots.

     -c	chan
	   Join	chan the first time you	successfully connect to	a server.

     -d	   Operate in "dumb mode." This	is an alternate	interface that is not
	   full-screen.	 Input is read from stdin, and output is written to
	   stdout.  This interface is useful for screen	readers	and bots.

     -h	   Display a moderately	concise	help message and exit immediately.

     -H	hostname
	   Use the IP address for hostname as your "local" IP address.	This
	   is for people with vhosts.  Please note, the	client doesn't tell
	   the irc server what hostname	to appear as, the server decides that.
	   Usually it is the official hostname of your IP address.  This op-
	   tion	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 EPICRC en-
	   vironment variable.	If this	option is not specified, and the
	   EPICRC environment variable is not set, then	~/.epicrc is the de-
	   fault 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).

     -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.

     -s	   Do not connect to a server after reading the	startup	script.	 In-
	   stead, present the server list and advise the user to connect to a
	   server manually.

     -S	   The EPIC5 program is	being run as a shell script.  You must make
	   this	look like #/path/to/epic -S other args.

     -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 because of identd(8)	this option isn't as useful as
	   it once was.	 If you	are a sysadmin,	please install identd, and
	   then	this flag will provide no value	to your	users.

	   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	epic5 ,	in
     which case	you receive a message stating this.  If	this occurs, try
     changing the terminal type	or run epic5 with the -d option.

   Irc Commands:
     Any line beginning	with the slash character "/" is	regarded as an epic5
     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 .epicrc File:
     When epic5	is executed, it	checks the user's home directory for a
     ~/.epicrc file, executing the commands in the file.  Commands in this
     file do not need to have a	leading	slash character	"/" This allows	pre-
     definition	of aliases and other features.

     Certainly any description of epic5	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:

	   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.

     epic5 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.

     epic5 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.

     epic5 nickname
	   If you're totally stumped and trying	to get on efnet, try this.

     epic5 nickname
	   If you're totally stumped and trying	to get on undernet, try	this.

     epic5 nickname
	   If you're totally stumped and trying	to get on dalnet, try this.

     /usr/local/bin/epic5    the default location of the binary

     ~/.epicrc		     default initialization file

     ~/.epic/		     directory you can put your	own epic5 scripts
			     into, that	can then be loaded with	/load

     /usr/local/share/epic5  default directory containing message-of-the-day,
			     master initialization, help files and epic5

     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.

     epic5 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.  EPIC5	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 man-
     ual page only describes the options to epic, but doesn't tell you what to
     do	once you get connected.

     IRC II was	created	by Michael Sandrof (  The	cur-
     rent copyright holder of IRC II is	Matthew	Green (
     EPIC5 is maintained by EPIC Software Labs (

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

				 July 31, 2006


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help