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Freenode Setting Up Your Nickname

What is the recommended way to set up my IRC nickname?

Please follow these steps to set up your nick and configure your client. Check off each step to make sure it's been done:

Select a permanent, master nickname. If the nickname you want is registered but has expired, just ask a staffer and in most cases, we will be happy to drop it for you.

Please avoid using the name of a community project or trademarked entity, to avoid conflicts. Write down your password and be sure to keep the sheet of paper in a safe place.

Register your IRC nick:

/msg NickServ REGISTER password

Replace password with a secure, unguessable password that you keep secret.

The email address that you select will not be given out by staff, and is mainly used to allow us to help you recover the account in the event that you forget your password. For this reason, you are required to use a real, non-disposable, email address. Upon registering, you will receive an email with a verification command that you will need to run to complete the registration process. Failure to verify the account will cause it to be automatically dropped after about 24 hours.

To keep your email address private, rather than displaying it publicly, mark it as hidden (which is done by default for new accounts):


It's useful, but not required, to have an alternate nick grouped to your account. For example, if your primary nick is foo:

/nick foo_

then identify to your primary account:

/msg NickServ IDENTIFY foo password

and finally, group the new nick to your account

/msg NickServ GROUP

We prefer you to use just one account, and group nicks to it as described above, rather than registering for multiple accounts. Grouping nicks in this way gives you the benefit of having all your nicks covered by the same cloak, should you choose to wear a cloak.

The exception to this is where you might want to run a bot. You should register a separate account for your bot.

Configure your client to identify itself to NickServ automatically whenever it connects to freenode so that it's less likely you'll connect to the network without being identified to NickServ. The easiest approach is to specify your NickServ password as a server password.

If your client supports server password, please set this up as accountname:password. Make sure to include the colon. This will allow you to identify to your services account on connect, regardless of the nickname you are using when you connect. For example:

/connect 6667 mquin:uwhY8wgzWw22-zXs.M39p
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a1exlism commented Mar 30, 2016

Thanks for the tutorial.

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georgir commented Apr 1, 2016

Requiring email registration for IRC is dumber even than requiring driver's license for alcohol.

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aminnagpure commented Aug 1, 2016


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xdb7 commented Aug 18, 2016

Many thanks for the gist indeed. I came here from irc:// after getting the cannot send to channel thing on the whole server.

I have to say though, agree with @georgir that this goes full on against the spirit and tradition of IRC. The whole point of it was that you could just jump in and chat. If I have to bother

  1. Registering.
  2. Validating. They insist on sending you a validation email apparently. No disposable addresses, thank you.
  3. Logging in.
  4. Remembering the bloody password for next time.

I might as well run off with fucking Twitter or Github or some forum or whatever else. This policy has exactly zero effect on deterring spammers + botnet C&Cs, but it is fantastic at inconveniencing users.

Oh well, sod it. Thanks anyway for the explanation, helped me figure out what was going on.

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makaOp commented Aug 31, 2016

Does there is anyway to change the password?

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uchilaka commented Dec 1, 2016

@reznord I wonder if this is some sort of difference between clients? I'm using LimeChat, and on that I get the message from the NickServ:

Invalid set command...

New to IRCs - just thought to call out that the original instruction /msg NickServ SET HIDEMAIL ON was what helped me.

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janat08 commented Jan 31, 2017

how do i log in>

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Velunce commented Mar 7, 2017

marked Thanks for the tutorial.

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9662 commented May 20, 2017

What @xdb7 says above. This "policy" is beyond stupid at best, and malicious at worst.

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ghost commented Aug 16, 2017

What a barrier to entry

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rhtaylor commented Dec 27, 2017

Am i doining all this in my terminal?

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thatshailesh commented Jun 23, 2018

cannot send message to #node-dev?
Keep getting this message

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Skeletonic commented Sep 26, 2018

Where do I type the /msg command to register my nick? I've been trying to find this information for hours. DID IT NEVER OCCUR TO ANYONE TO PROVIDE SUCH ELEMENTARY AND NECESSARY INFORMATION? WTF.

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shree-y commented Mar 29, 2019

For registration: see this -

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PineappleTheWolf commented Dec 19, 2019


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PineappleTheWolf commented Dec 19, 2019

same here where do i put it

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Ken-tech-max commented Aug 26, 2021


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