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Basic Info

There is no longer an "official" Metachat channel however members of Metachat run their own channels. A list of those channels is maintained here:

IRC Channels

Once you've seen a channel you like the look of then come back here to learn more.

Very quick start guide

  1. Open this in another window.
  2. Type "yourusername" in the Nick box. You can change this name later with the /nick command (e.g. /nick bunnyfan63 makes bunnyfan63 your name on the channel).
  3. Click Go.
  4. You'll now be in the channel. Type whatever you want to say in the long white box at the bottom.
  5. That's it!

Quick start guide

This quick guide assumes you don't want to install any new software and that you don't want to do anything fancy, just get chatting as quickly as possible. So, here goes...

First, click this link (but don't forget to come back to this page for further instructions):

Assuming you have Java installed, you should now see the page for the mibbit Java chat client. You should see the simple instructions: "To connect please choose a nickname, and click on [GO]! Happy chatting." Easy enough, right?

The first thing you need to do is set your nickname. It's probably best to use the same name you use on the site or at least something similar so people know who you are. Enter your username next to where it says Nick, then press enter/return on your keyboard. Or click Go instead of hitting enter. I don't even care, I'm not your mother! Whatever you choose to do, the screen will change, and it might look like it's asking you for more info. Don't panic! Give it a moment to find the chat room.

A big white text box will appear, with a sidebar listing who's Chatting and Idlers. You are now in the channel! Oh man, can you feel the awesomeness? [Note: Awesomeness not supported on Linux.] Anything you want to say to your fellow chatters can be said by typing into that white bar at the bottom of the page (don't forget to hit enter). Make sure you say hi so we know you're there and ready to chat!

Once you've arrived, you'll find that people are pretty helpful—so if you have any questions, just ask! And, you know, don't forget to read the rest of the FAQ. And check out the IRC Commands page. Other people have probably had the same questions you're having if it's your first time.

It's a good idea to read about registering your name which will prevent others from using it and imitating you. Again, if you feel unsure how to do this then just ask in the channel.

It's worth noting when using this Java client that when you run nickserv commands (as set out below) the reponses will appear in a status window. While you're on SlashNet (the server that #bunnies runs on), you'll need to click on the SlashNET tab above the chat text area. When you have new messages, the name will be highlighted in blue. So, that's helpful and stuff.

This in-browser Java client is OK for occasional use but you may find that if you're going to chat a lot then you'll want a better client. Which brings us to...

What Client Should I Use?

This depends on what OS you use and possibly what browser you use.

If you use Firefox or Mozilla on any OS then you can use Chatzilla which you can install from here. It's easy to use, quite well integrated with the browser and completely free. Go to this link, click Install Now, restart your browser and then click on the #bunnies link. If you use Opera then you already have a built in client.

Similarly, the chat client inside the Opera browser is fast and very nicely integrated into the application, with different chat windows appearing as browser tabs.

On Windows a lot of people favour mIRC (Shareware, small nag screen at start up), Trillian (freeware) or Pidgin (freeware). mIRC is considered the easiest and most versatile IRC client to use of these options. It is much more customizable, easily configurable, and has options like logging which are always fun to use. It's remarkably extensible, and will accomodate a user's growing IRC skills.

On Macs you might want to use Conversation, Colloquy (freeware), Linkinus (shareware), or Snak (shareware).

What are the basics?

The first useful thing to know is that if you type the first few letters of a user's nickname and then press tab it will autocomplete. That should save you some typing.

A useful command to know is /whois which will tell you more about a user. Simply type /whois nickname and you'll be provided with information on the user.

To change your nickname type

/nick newnickname

To join a channel type

/join newchannel

To connect to a server type

/server serveraddress

If you want to perform an action such as falling off your stool then type

/me falls off stool

To show up in the #bunnies IRC currently chatting list at the Slashnet #bunnies page, type

/mode nickname -i

What are the Guidelines/Etiquette?

These will vary from channel to channel and this info should appear on the IRC Channels page. If in doubt, contact the channel ops.

IRC Questions, once you're connected

How do I register my name?

Why register your nick? If you don't register your nickname, anyone can enter the channel under your username and pretend to be you! We don't want that, do we? You will need to provide a password and a valid e-mail address. You can make up any password you like, as long as you will remember it. The e-mail address is only used to validate the account or recover your password.

Type the following into the input box:

/nickserv register mypassword myemailaddress

You must use a valid e-mail address as you will be mailed to confirm your details. It's also advisable not to use a password you would use on any other site, just something that's very simple and memorable. If you do forget the password then all you need to do is type the following into the input box:

/nickserv sendpass nickname

And the password will be sent to the email address you registered earlier

Everytime you start your chat session with your registered nickname you'll be asked to confirm your identity. To do this just type:

/nickserv identify mypassword

If the above commands don't work in your client then preface them with msg like so:

/msg nickserv identify mypassword

Some clients also allow you to set it up so they send your password automatically, meaning you don't have to type it out each time. Take a moment to check out your software, or ask someone in the channel if they're familiar with the program you're using. We're only to happy to help you secure your online identity.

If you must type your password in when you log in to IRC, DO NOT DO IT IN THE CHANNEL WINDOW if at all possible. Most clients have a Status window that you can use. We all make mistakes, and you do not want to accidentally broadcast your password to the whole channel. We're generally nice people, but you never know who's listening.

Why does Chatzilla say I'm banned?

It's a bug with Chatzilla. You have not been banned. Here's how to fix it.

1. From Firefox, open Chatzilla. (Tools > Chatzilla in current versions. In older versions, it might be Tools > Options > Appearances. If in doubt, search Chatzilla help for 'preferences' or 'options.')

2. Go to Chatzilla > Preferences. Under the Global Settings Tab, find the Identification field.

3. Under "Description," change the default text from "New now know how" to anyting else.

You will be unbanned.

Can I make it so my password is entered automatically when I sign on?

Yes, absolutely, and this is recommended. The procedure depends on what client you use.


  1. Chatzilla menu. Preferences.
  2. Pick (or the network you need to log into)
  3. Pick the Lists tab.
  4. In Auto-perform, click Add.
  5. Type /msg nickserv IDENTIFY password (where password is your password)


  1. File, Options (Alt+O)
  2. Under the IRC category, click on Perform
  3. Check the box that says: "On connect, perform these commands:"
  4. Type /msg nickserv IDENTIFY password (where password is your password)

You can also do this for any channels you want to join on connect, by typing "/join #bunnies" in the same box. Each command should go on a new line.

I got disconnected, and now my nickname is already in use. How can I get it back?

If your nickname is registered, you can use the ghost command.

/nickserv ghost nickname password

This kills the old session, and allows you to rename yourself with the /nick command. You will still need to identify/login.

IRC Commands

This section has been moved to a separate page.