What is an IRC Operator?

Being an IRC Operator means that you have quite a bit of power of the IMC IRC network, this power is not glamerous, it can be difficult to deal with at times. Please understand that being an IRC Operator does not mean that you can abuse your power, you should not kill or kick off anyone from any channel or the server who you disagree with or you don't like. Being an IRC Operator means that you do some cleanup, you sometimes have to mediate in disputes, you provide help and point people towards resources, you should be polite and patient with people and most importantly, be there to help when it is needed. If you want to be an IRC Operator because it is cool, or you enjoy power, then forget it, the point is to help out and spread work around so it is light for everyone.

IRC Operators are not police, you can't stop illegal activity and are not responsible for any that happens on the server, you are an operator not a cop.

An IRC Operator is identified by most IRC clients when you do a /who * in a channel they are in and you will see a '*' by their name ('@' is a channel operator, server operators can also be channel operators, these people will have "*@" next to their name). Also doing a /whois will show you that this person is an operator:

00:06 -!- PseudoPunk [irc@localhost]
00:06 -!-  ircname  : grrrr
00:06 -!-  server   : kropotkin.indymedia.org [kropotkin IMC IRC server]
00:06 -!-           : IRC Operator
00:06 -!- PseudoPunk is a Server Administrator

What is required of an IRC Operator?

IRC Operators must have a registered nick with nickserv, be subscribed to the ircd@indymedia.org mailing list, hang out in #ircd when on IRC, help out with irc issues and not abuse their power. IRC Operators should know the services nickserv, chanserv, and operserv (knowing memoserv, statserv, etc. is good too, but isn't necessary). These are easy to get to know if you spend some time doing /msg nickserv help, /msg chanserv help, etc.

IRC Operators have to have access, both server operator access, and operserv access and only be an IRC Operator when connected via SecureIRC.

How to become an IRC Operator

As said earlier, there is a lot of power associated with being an IRC Operator, unfortunately we need to know that you are going to be able to act like a benevolent dictator and not a tyrant before we are going to give you the keys to one of our most important communications mechanisms. Participate in meetings, answer questions on imc-tech or one of the other tech listservs, help people out in #tech, or work closely on one of the active coding projects. Demonstrate to others that we can trust you, and you will find that you will be welcomed with open arms.

How to create a new IRC Operator

1. On che edit /etc/ircd/etc/ircd.conf and search for the operator blocks (search for operator), they look like the following:

operator {
        name = "micah";
        user = "*@*";
        password = "ADESPASSWORDGOESHERE";
        class = "opers";
        global_kill = yes;
        remote = yes;
        kline = yes;
        unkline = yes;
        gline = yes;
        die = yes;
        rehash = yes;
        nick_changes = yes;
        admin = yes;

Copy an existing block, paste it in and then make the appropriate changes: change the name, the hostmask and the password.

To generate a password use /usr/local/ircd/bin/mkpasswd:

mkpasswd somekindofsalt

2. Save the file

3. Rehash the config file in IRC by typing /rehash while you are an IRC Operator.

4. See if the new operator can type /oper, type their password, and then become an operator.

5. On the server which hosts the services (as of this writing, it is che), edit /usr/local/hybserv/opers.conf to add in the new person. There is a mkpassword in that directory you can use to generate a password for this file. The description of the different flags at the end of each line are found in /usr/src/hybserv/doc/README-FLAGS.

6, Identify with operserv and request a rehash of the config file (/msg operserv rehash)

7. Have the user attempt to authenticate with operserv (/msg operserv identify <password).

If everything is ok, do the last thing:

7. Send an announcement to ircd@lists.indymedia.org to let everyone know that there is a new operator on board.

IRC Operator duties

Securing a channel's operator status

Sometimes channels lose their channel operators, due to lost connections, or whatever, and the only way they can get them back is by making everyone leave the channel and then come back in. This isn't feasible if people are idled, so you may be asked to come and secure channel operator status.

If you know someone on the channel, you can give them channel operator status through following these instructions, but if nobody is on the channel that you know, it would be wise to pay attention to the channel to figure out who should have access.

To return channel operator status to a channel follow the steps in http://docs.indymedia.org/view/Sysadmin/IrcD#Getting_OP_privileges

If you need to give someone else operator access in the channel after it has been secured do so through /mode #channel +o .

Once you have secured a channel, try to instruct the people there about chanserv and how to use it so that they will always have operator access on the channel.

Services are unavailble, how to reconnect them

where is nickserv?

where is chanserv?

where is operserv?

where is memoserv?

The services are down, the server which runs them is not connected to the network. At the moment, that server is judi. We have attempted to set this server up to autoconnect after it drops off, but this isn't exactly reliable, so if you find yourself in a situation where services aren't available, then you will need to reconnect the link to the services node.

To reconnect a server do: /quote connect judi.indymedia.org (some clients don't need the quote and you can just do /connect), this can only be done when you are an IRC Operator.

Once it comes back online, you should get messages from nickserv if your nick is registered.

What to do if this doesn't work? Generaly this means that the services on the services server need to be restarted. To do this, follow the directions in http://docs.indymedia.org/view/Sysadmin/IrcD#Restarting_Hybrid_Services

How to deal with bad users

Sometimes people show up on channels to cause problems, flooding the channel with nick changes, obscenities, or whatever. This is not tolerated here, those people will be kicked and banned from the server.

What I think is the best way to deal with someone like this is to take it in steps, sometimes steps have to be skipped if the person seems to be totally out of control:

1. Talk with the person (if you can), and tell them that you are an IRC Operator and that they will be removed from the server forceably if they don't stop their behavior.

2. Kick them from the channel that they are causing problems with, if they keep coming back, ban them from the channel. /kick reason /kickban reason (this depends on your client, you might need to issue a /ban and then a /kick separately, or there might be a more convenient alias for this), /ban for example:

/BAN looser - Bans the nick 'looser' /BAN -host looser - Bans the host of nick 'looser' /BAN !*@.org - Bans all the users coming from any .org domain (don't do this)

be very careful that you don't ban the irc@localhst address or you are going to keep out a lot of people...

3. If they keep causing problems, kick them from the server (use operserv's command /msg operserv kill reason)

4. If they keep coming on and causing problems, they will have to be kicked and banned from the server. (use operserv /msg operserv gline <user@host> [reason]) -- again, *DON'T* gline irc@localhost!! Ban them for something like an hour and a half (see second example below):


/msg operserv GLINE *@*.lamers.org  Don't come back
              Creates a permanent gline for *@*.lamers.org.

/msg operserv GLINE 1h30m *clone@clone.com no clones
              Glines *clone@clone.com for an hour and a half, with the message
              "no clones"

How to send a global notice

Sometimes you need to alert everyone on IRC that things need to be restarted, or whatever, this should be done for technical reasons only!

Use: /notice $$*.indymedia.org to hit all servers or /notice $$judi.indymedia.org for just that server


To provide cloaks for users, you can use the following commands:

/msg NickServ vhost <nick> [<host>]

For example, to show myself as anarcat@koumbit.org, I used:

/msg NickServ vhost anarcat koumbit.org


Here is a good operator reference page: http://www.irchelp.org/irchelp/ircd/ircopguide.html

-- MicahA - 26 Feb 2003
Topic revision: r5 - 08 Feb 2008, TheAnarcat
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