This page describes how you can connect to a GENI channel (chat room) for real-time conversation and help about GENI. Currently we are using the Freenode IRC network ( to communicate.

Connecting to IRC

In order to connect to a channel you need to follow these steps:

1. Download an IRC client

Most multiprotocol IM clients support IRC natively. GPO staffers have experience with Adium for MacOSX, Pidgin for Windows/Linux/MacOSX, and Irssi for Linux. You can find a long list of IRC clients on wikipedia.

If you are new to IRC, see the Using IRC section.

There's also a web interface to Freenode IRC at if you don't want to download a client.

2. Connect to the freenode IRC network

Using your client, connect to with the nickname you would prefer to use. Help on connecting is available here.

You don't need to register your nickname in order to use freenode, but it ensures that you can use the same nickname every time you connect. Per, the one-time process to permanently register your current nickname is:

/msg nickserv register <password> <email>

Use a valid e-mail address, since freenode will send a confirmation message to the address you list. (Note: this sends a private message to nickserv; it will not be displayed on the channel you are looking at.)

Once you have a registered nickname, on subsequent logins, send:

/msg nickserv identify <password>

At present, GENI discussion channels are open, that is, you do not need a registered freenode account to join a channel.

3. Join a channel

In IRC, join a channel using:

/join <channel>

The primary GENI discussion channel on freenode is named #geni.

Active GENI channels

The following IRC channels are in active use by GENI:

  • #geni: General discussion not covered by any other channel
  • #geni-openflow: Discussion of OpenFlow experimentation and operations in GENI
  • #geni-monitoring: Discussion of operational monitoring in GENI
  • #geni-stitching: Discussion of stitching changes/issues

Using IRC

Your IRC client should have a box into which you can type text. Most things you type will appear in the active channel or conversation window you are looking at. The / character is special in IRC. If you type a line starting with /, most IRC clients will interpret it as a command, and either execute that command or pass it along to the IRC server to which you are connected.

Here are a few IRC commands which may be helpful. Some IRC clients may not interpret these commands in this way, but most will.

Command What it does
/join <channel> Join an IRC channel. Your client will probably open a new window or tab for the new channel
/msg <nickname> <message> Send a private message to a user. This will not open a new window or tab, but the message you send will go to the user you name, not to the channel which is visible in your client at the time.
/query <nickname> Open a new window or tab for a private conversation with a user. This does not actually send the user a message, but simply tells your client to open a window.
/topic <topic> Change the topic on your active channel (if you have appropriate privileges)
/help Learn about available commands not covered here
/msg nickserv help Learn about nickname registration commands provided by the freenode nickname server
Last modified 9 years ago Last modified on 04/09/15 13:46:32