Ed. note: This is a “classic” guide dating to the mid-90s, it is preserved here only for historical reasons. Most of the advice in here is hopelessly out of date now. If you want to play with IRCing through telnet, then just get really comfortable with the RFC because you are essentially trying to do the tedious job that your client usually does for you. -Jolo

IRC (EFnet) by telnet

Frequently asked questions

By Ron Ritzman (socrerx@gsusgi2.gsu.edu)

Last modified 5/2/95

added better instructions for compiling a client

added list of ftp sites from the alt.irc faq


1: What is the current list of available telnet clients?


2: Why is the list in “1” empty?

Because most of the time there are no available telnet clients. The reason for this is that there is so much demand for such services that as soon as one of them makes it on to a list, it gets so overloaded that it has to shut down. Therefore this faq will never contain a list of EFnet telnet clients.


3: Does that mean that it is practically impossible to access irc by

telnet?

Yes and no. A few freenets and some bbs’s and public access unix sites provide irc as one of their services. This is one way to access irc by telnet.


4: Which freenets, bbs’s etc. offer irc?


5: OK smart ass, why is the list in “4” empty? Why are you screwing with me

like this?

The list in “4” is empty for a similar reason that the list in “1” is empty. Many people who cannot afford internet access depend on these services for their only internet access. If I was to post a list of them as “irc providers”, then they may also have to shut down because of the insane demand for irc by telnet. You will have to look around and find one on your own.


6: So just what are my options?

Ask your system administrator to install an irc client.

Install your own irc client. If you have a Unix shell account and about 3 megs of disk space, then you can ftp to cs-ftp.bu.edu and retrieve “/irc/clients/CURRENT”

Follow these instructions step by step.

  1. From the shell prompt type “zcat CURRENT | tar -xvfm -“. (if you are lacking disk space then use your tmp directory. It is usually “/tmp” “/var/tmp” or “/usr/tmp”)
  2. chdir do the directory created.
  3. Type “./configure” (this will take a few minutes)
  4. look at the files “Makefile and “include/config.h” to see if there is anything you wish to change. Edit “Makefile” and change the lines that define where irc looks for its helpfiles, scripts, and translation tables (You can still build the client without editing these files)
  5. Type “make all”. If make finishes without saying something like “error code 1”, “exit 1” and/or “stop” then you have your very own irc client. The file is called “irc” or “ircII” and it is in the /source directory. Copy it to your home or private bin directory. You will also find programs called “ircserv” “ircflush” and “wserve”. These complement the client but are not absolutely nessessary.
  6. Copy the scripts, translation tables, and helpfiles (these have to be retreved seperatly from the ftp site) to their appropriate directories. These files are not absolutely nessessary. The only thing you absolutely need is the irc executable.
  7. If make is unsuccessfull then ask your system administrator or local guru for help

7: I don’t know what the hell you are talking about in “6” and my system

administrator is of no help and the guru thinks irc is a waste of time. What else can I do?

A friendly irc admin who goes by the nick “mmmm” has set up a service that compiles an irc client for you. If you have at least 3 megs of disk space free then type this from your shell prompt…

“telnet sci.dixie.edu 1 | sh”

This builds an irc client for you. It takes about 20 minutes.


8: My sysadmin says that he will choke me if I pipe telnet into

the shell or anything else.

Then type “telnet sci.dixie.edu 1 > foobar”. This will create a file called “foobar”. More the file if you wish, you may learn something :)

Then type “sh foobar” and it will build a client for you as in “7”.


9: I don’t have a shell account

10: There is just no way that I can compile my own client.

11: I need some other options.

You can buy a commercial internet account and access irc from that. There are many online services that will give you a Unix shell account with irc for less then 20 dollars a month. Some even give you a discount if you will be accessing them through telnet only. One of these is crl. telnet to crl.com and log in as “guest” for more information. Some others are…

   telnet                 login
   ------                 -----
   netcom.com             guest
   portal.com             guest
   phantom.com            guest
   texas.net              guest

There are others. Check out alt.internet.services and alt.internet.access.wanted


12: I cannot afford a commercial account

13: I do not have access to telnet

Then you are shit out of luck.


Apendix A: List of ftp sites that have irc clients for UNIX and other

platforms (from the alt.irc faq)

UNIX client-> cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients

              ftp.acsu.buffalo.edu /pub/irc
              ftp.funet.fi /pub/unix/irc
              coombs.anu.edu.au /pub/irc
              ftp.informatik.tu-muenchen.de /pub/comp/networking/irc/clients
              slopoke.mlb.semi.harris.com /pub/irc
EMACS elisp-> cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients/elisp
              ftp.funet.fi /pub/unix/irc/Emacs
              ftp.informatik.tu-muenchen.de /pub/comp/networking/irc/clients
              slopoke.mlb.semi.harris.com /pub/irc/emacs
              cs.hut.fi /pub/irchat

X11 client-> catless.ncl.ac.uk /pub

(Zircon) ftp.aud.alcatel.com /tcl/code

VMS ->        cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients/vms
              coombs.anu.edu.au /pub/irc/vmsirc
              ftp.funet.fi  /pub/unix/irc/vms
              ftp.informatik.tu-muenchen.de /pub/net/irc
REXX client for VM->    cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients/rxirc
                        ftp.informatik.uni-oldenburg.de /pub/irc/rxirc
                        ftp.informatik.tu-muenchen.de /pub/net/irc/VM
                        coombs.anu.edu.au /pub/irc/rxirc
                        ftp.funet.fi /pub/unix/irc/rxirc
MSDOS->         cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients/pc/msdos
                ftp.funet.fi /pub/unix/irc/msdos
MSWindows->     cs-ftp.bu.edu:/irc/clients/pc/windows
                ftp.demon.co.uk:/pub/ibmpc/winsock/apps/wsirc
OS/2->          cs-ftp.bu.edu:/irc/clients/pc/os2
                hobbes.nmsu.edu:/os2/2_x/network
Macintosh->     cs-ftp.bu.edu /irc/clients/macintosh
("Homer" and    mrcnext.cso.uiuc.edu /pub/info-mac/comm/tcp
 "ircle")       ftp.funet.fi /pub/unix/irc/mac
                ftp.ira.uka.de /pub/systems/mac

Ed. note: This is a “classic” guide dating to the mid-90s, it is preserved here only for historical reasons. Most of the advice in here is hopelessly out of date now. If you want to play with IRCing through telnet, then just get really comfortable with the RFC because you are essentially trying to do the tedious job that your client usually does for you. -Jolo


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last modified Jan 14, 1997

Copyright (C) 1996,1997 Joseph Lo and many

others.