Provided by: epic5_2.0.1-1build3_amd64 bug


     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] option.  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 option 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 environment variable.  If this option is not specified, and
           the EPICRC environment variable is not set, then ~/.epicrc is the default startup

     -n nickname
           Use the specified nickname as the default nickname whenever you connect to an irc
           server.  This option overrides the IRCNICK environment 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 connections.  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 connection to an irc

     -s    Do not connect to a server after reading the startup script.  Instead, 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
           undocumented, 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 trailing 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 responses 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 predefinition of aliases and other features.


     Certainly any description of epic5 in this man page will be sorely inadequate 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

           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 running 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 connections 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

     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 scripts


     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 install 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 details)

     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 manual 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 current 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