NewNet Help FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
There are probably 1,000,001 questions that can be asked about IRC - and probably 1001 ways to answer each one.
These are just a few of the more common questions and a few of the most basic answers...
Why do I keep seeing "PING? PONG!" messages in my status window?
Your client is, for some reason, making the "Ping" "Pong" messages between your client and the server visible to you.
Servers periodically "PING" your client. Your client should respond to the server with a "PONG" so that the server
knows your client is still connected. As long as your client is responding to the server, this is nothing to worry about.
When people quit, sometimes their quit messages sound very technical. What do quit messages like
"Connection reset by peer" mean?
Typically, when people quit, you see a message that the person specifically entered as their quit "reason"...For example:
elek has quit IRC (laterz).
However, sometimes people sign off due to some type of an error. There are many different errors
which can cause a user to disconnect. Some of these include:
- Ping Timeout - occurs when a server gets no response from a user's client.
Servers periodically "PING" your client. Your client should respond to the server with a "PONG"
so that the server knows your client is still connected. In some clients, like mIRC, you may
actually see this correspondence happening. When a server does not get the expected response from your client,
it disconnects your client.
- EOF from client - occurs when, for some reason, a server receives an "EOF" (end of file)
message from your client. This is often seen in conjunction with a "Read Error" message.
- Read error - occurs when a server can no longer read from a user's client.
- Write error - occurs when a server can no longer write to a user's client.
- Connection reset by peer - occurs when a server immediately resets the connection of a
user who has quit IRC. This enables the user to immediately reconnect without a "ghost" of the user's
connection to IRC. (A "ghost" is sometimes a "leftover connection" of a user who was on IRC and quit
without the server recognizing that the user's connection has been terminated).
- irc.server.net irc.server.com - occurs when a netsplit
causes your client to think a user has quit - when actually the user is simply no longer connected to your "part"
of the network. This will make more sense if you know what a netsplit
- K-lined - occurs when a user is disconnected because an oper added a K: line (kill line)
for that user or for another user to whom the disconnected user's address was matched. Kill lines are
essentially bans from an IRC server used for severe abuse cases. Another type of ban which would cause a user
to disconnect is a G-line. G-lines are bans from the entire network and are used ONLY in the most severe cases of
- Killed - occurs when a user is disconnected because an oper felt that user was being abusive
enough to warrant being "kicked" off the network. When a user is killed, he or she can typically immediately
reconnect. A "kill" is sort of like a "slap on the wrist" used for minor abusive issues. Kills are also
sometimes used when IRCops (server operators) are joking with each other - or, for example, a "birthday kill"
(which has become almost a tradition amongst IRC operators :)
What is a "netsplit"?
A netsplit occurs when servers lose contact with one another.
IRC servers are
"connected" so that users on one server of a network can chat with users on other
servers connected to that network. There are two reasons for multiple servers being
connected together to create one successful IRC network:
1. Because of where a user's connection initiates "net-wise" (not
geographically), a user may have better luck with a connection to one specific
server rather than another specific server. If users could only use one server,
you would end up with some users having a really hard time getting data to the
server - and the server would have trouble getting that data to some other users.
Sometimes, servers have to be moved around to achieve the best
possible. I won't get into that too heavily here, but it must be mentioned.
Basically, operators of servers have the job of trying to place servers in the best
"position" possible to enable data to flow from client-to-client through servers with
the absolute least amount of delay in between. In order to do so, they sometimes need
to disconnect a server or two and "re-route" (move things around a bit). This creates
a purposeful netsplit. For more information on routing, you should view or download
Cypress' routing faq.
2. Servers also have better luck transmitting data to some servers than to
other servers - based on where those servers' initial Internet connections are made
(again, net-wise - not geographically).
However, sometimes - beyond anyone's control - servers split from each other. When that happens,
IRC operators will do their best to get things reconnected as quickly as possible :)
What is lag?
"Lag" is the result of a bad connection between at least two of the servers connected to a network.
In the netsplit section of this faq, very basic information
about server connections and
routing was provided. When a server is having trouble getting data to another
server because of problems with a direct or indirect connection to that server, a split does not ALWAYS
occur. Sometimes, the result is simply, but inconviently, lag.
You can't "see" lag, but you will know when you are experiencing it. Lag is basically a delay in the
transmission of data from one server to another - meaning it is also a delay in the transmission of data
from some users to other users. You may notice that it is taking what seems like forever for someone to
respond to something you say (which isn't always due to lag). If you think you may be lagged, try
pinging someone. You can do this by using the command /ctcp <nick>ping. You should get a response
back that tells you how many seconds it took for your data to reach the recipient and then for the response
to get from that user's client back to you (*** CTCP PING reply from DWildstar: 41 seconds).
You can't really "fix" lag (although IRC server operators can do their best to try to make things as
smooth as possible for you when one or more servers are having problems. They can do so by
There are things you can do to make the best of the situation when lag is abundant on IRC :)
- Try getting on the same server as the person you are trying to communicate with or having him/her
switch to the server you are on.
- Initiate a DCC Chat (Direct Client-to-Client Chat) with the person you are trying to communicate
with. You can do so by typing: /dcc chat <nick>
That person must accept your DCC chat connection. Then, you can message each other using the "/dmsg"
command. Your messages will not travel through the servers - so you will not experience lag.