There are many ways you can connect to IRC. You can install some program in your computer such as XChat, IRSSI, Colloquy, Quassel(my favorite). You can even use some program in the cloud such as irccloud.
Once you connect, you can join a network, for example freenode. Once there, you can choose the channels you like, such as python or fedora for example.
Registering your Login
The first time you login you will get an unregistered message. This is because you need to register your nick:
/msg NickServ REGISTER password firstname.lastname@example.org /msg NickServ INFO nick
Whenever You Connect after That
/msg NickServ IDENTIFY foo password
Getting more or less messages from the network:
/mode yournick +w
Contacting an offline user:
/msg MemoServ SEND nhandler Please contact me when you get this message
Private message another member:
/msg <nick to message> <message contents>
Perform a third-person action, like "bt3gl throws a ball at you":
/me Throws a ball at you
This is to add a nickname to your group, so you can have multiple names that can't be taken by another user (you must first change your nick):
To kick someone out of a channel:
/kick <nick name to kick> <reason for kicking>
To ban a repeat offending member:
You can also give modes to other users when you are a channel operator (voice, operator, and half operator modes, respectively):
/voice <nick> /op <nick> /hop <nick>
Always Use Secure Sockets Layer
You should be sure to always use SSL connection (though the port 6669).
Cloaks and VHosts
Asking for a vhost or a cloak will hide your IP from everybody (
At freenode you can (politely) ask for a cloak at
To get vhost (virtual host):
Register your nick:
/msg nickservregister password email.
You Can Setup a Stunnel to Connect IRC (and others) through SSL.
Add rules such as:
[freenode] accept = 6665 connect = irc.freenode.net:6665
A catalog of emoticons.
Understand the abbreviations.