Provided by: epic4_2.10.6-1build6_amd64 bug


     epic4 — Internet Relay Chat client for UNIX like systems


     epic4 [-a] [-b] [-B] [-c chan] [-d] [-f] [-F] [-h] [-H hostname] [-l filename] [-L filename]
           [-n nickname] [-o] [-O] [-p port] [-q] [-v] [-x] [-z username] [nickname]
           [server description list]


     The ircII/EPIC 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 all modern irc server classes as of early 1999.


     -a    Append the server description list to the default server list.  The default behavior
           is for the server description list to replace the default server list.

     -b    Operate in so called “bot mode.” This implies the [-d] option.  EPIC will fork(2)
           immediately and the parent process will exit, returning you to your shell.  Some
           system administrators do not look kindly to their users running bots, and they have
           disabled this option.  Even if your administrator has not disabled it, you should not
           assume this gives you automatic permission to run a bot.  If you do run a bot without
           permission, your administrator may get very angry with you, and possibly revoke your
           account.  In addition, most IRC operators on public irc networks have very little
           tolerance for people who run bots.  So just a word of caution, make sure that your
           system administrator and your irc administrator have given you permission before you
           run a bot.

     -B    Force the startup file to be loaded immediately rather than waiting until a connection
           to a server is established.

     -c chan
           Join the specified channel the first time you successfully connect to a server.

     -d    Operate in “dumb mode.” The client will not put up a full screen display, and will
           read from standard input and write to standard output.  This is useful if the output
           normally looks awful (because you are using an incorrect TERM setting, or your
           terminal description is spectacularly broken), or you just don't want to use the
           pretty interface.  This option will be turned on automatically if your current TERM
           setting is not capable of a full screen display.

     -f    Force use of hardware flow control.  With this option, the control-S and control-Q
           keys are probably not available to be bound to something else.

     -F    Disable use of hardware flow control.  With this option, the control-S and control-Q
           keys are available to be bound to something else.  However, you will not have hardware
           flow control.

     -h    Display a moderately concise help message and exit immediately.

     -H hostname
           Use the IP address of the specified hostname as your default IP address.  This can be
           used if you have multiple IP addresses on the same machine and you want to use an
           address other than the default address.  You might need to use this option when
           gethostname(3) does not return a hostname (in some poorly configured NIS
           environments).  The use of multiple IP addresses on a single machine is commonly
           referred to as "virtual hosting", and each IP address is a "virtual host".  Please
           understand that an irc client may not tell the irc server what your hostname should
           be:  the server alone determines that.  Servers typically use the canonical hostname
           for an IP address as your hostname.  Because of this, this option will not permit you
           to use a CNAME (secondary hostname for an IP address), because the server will use the
           canonical hostname instead.  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 IRCRC environment variable.  If this option is not specified, and
           the IRCRC environment variable is not set, then ~/.ircrc is the default startup file.

     -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).

     -o    Force use of IEXTEN termios characters.  POSIX systems are allowed to reserve
           additional control characters to perform special actions when IEXTEN is turned on.  On
           4.4BSD, the control-V and control-O keys are used by IEXTEN and thus cannot be used in
           key bindings within EPIC since the terminal never sends them to EPIC.

     -O    Disable use of IEXTEN termios characters.  This makes all of the keys reserved by your
           system's IEXTEN termios option available to be used in key bindings.  On 4.4BSD, this
           flag is necessary if you want to use control-V and control-O in your key bindings.

     -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

     -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 with the rise and popularity and use of identd(8) this option is
           much less useful than it once was.  Requests to have this option removed will probably
           be ignored.  If you don't want your users to spoof their usernames, install identd,
           and do everyone on IRC a favor.

           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 epic4 , in which case you receive
     a message stating this.  If this occurs, try changing the terminal type or run epic4 with
     the -d option.

   Irc Commands:
     Any line beginning with the slash character “/” is regarded as an epic4 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 .ircrc File:
     When epic4 is executed, it checks the user's home directory for a ~/.ircrc 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 epic4 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

     epic4  Try this first.  This will assume all the defaults.  If the person who is maintaining
            epic4 at your site has done a halfway decent job, this will put you on a server that
            is somewhat local to you.

     epic4 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.

     epic4 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 port.

     epic4 nickname
            If you're totally stumped and trying to get on efnet, try this.

     epic4 nickname
            If you're totally stumped and trying to get on undernet, try this.

     epic4 nickname
            If you're totally stumped and trying to get on dalnet, try this.


     /usr/bin/epic4    the default location of the binary

     ~/.ircrc          default initialization file

     ~/.irc/           directory you can put your own epic4 scripts into, that can then be loaded
                       with /load

     /usr/share/epic4  default directory containing message-of-the-day, master initialization,
                       help files and epic4 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.


     epic4 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.  ircII/EPIC 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
     epic4, but doesn't tell you what to do once you get connected.


     Program written by Michael Sandrof (  The copyright holder is Matthew
     Green (  This software is maintained by Jeremy Nelson
     ( on behalf of the EPIC project (  At one time or
     another, this man page has been edited by Darren Reed, R.P.C. Rodgers, the lynX, Matthew
     Green, and Jeremy Nelson.

                                          April 22, 1999