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Flash_Squirrel 2003-12-31 05:46

How to Download using IRC.

So you've heard about IRC being a nice place to get anime but don't know how to use it? Well, that's the purpose of this guide, to teach you some basics of using IRC. Note that I'm not an IRC expert myself, I taught myself how to use IRC with the help of the help files and some help from some nice people I met online, it isn't hard to learn. Now on to the guide!

Note: All menus are in bold, menu items/options in italics and commands to be typed in in red. All things to be replaced with whatever is relevant is in .
Some IRC terms I used are explained at the end of the guide.

~ Step 1: Get yourself an IRC Client ~

A client is a program that lets you connect to IRC networks, much like the Direct Connect client if you use DC. For Windows users, hop over to and download and install MIRC 6.1, it's very popular and relatively simple to use. The main advantage of using it is as it is so common, if you get lost there are many people who can tell you what needs to be done easily.

A personal note here, I don't recommend using Trillian for IRC purposes. Another thing, once you get started on IRC, you will notice many people using these so-called "scripts". Resist the temptation to get yourself one, they have too many options most people will never need and testing out all the options by yourself will quite likely get you banned from channels. Stick to the plain vanilla MIRC, god knows I use it and it works just fine. Only use a script if you plan to set up a fserve (No, I'm not going to explain how you do that).

~ Step 2: Setting up the program ~

Now, run the program of course. We need to set up the client before you can use it for leeching purposes (yes, this guide is oriented towards leeching, so some options aren't really what you would do if you are planning only to chat with IRC). Go to the File menu and select Options and let's get started!

PS: Any options I do not mention here you can go ahead and tinker with, I will only touch on the most important ones.
I'm starting from the top down on the options, sub-menus are the ones you get when you expand the "+" signs next to the menus.

First off the Connect options. Type in a Full name, Email address, Nickname and Alternative nickname (note that none of them has to be real). While you're at it tick the Invisible mode checkbox too, this will keep some (sadly not all) spammers from getting you when you're on IRC.

Little Extra: Guide to choosing nicknames.
Note to all you ASCII-savvy people, IRC does not recognise special characters in nicks. Also, spaces aren't recognised, use the underscore ("_"). Choose a unique nick, this will solve a LOT of problems.
<End of little extra>

Next, expand the Connect options and go to the Options sub-menu. Check the Reconnect upon disconnection option (disconnection is a common phenomenon, this helps a LOT). You might also want to uncheck the annoying Pop up connect dialog on startup option.

Leave the Local Info menu alone unless you're absolutely sure you know what you're doing (in which case, why are you reading?)

Now, next we have the Identd sub-menu, enter in a User ID of choice and for System just put in UNIX (don't bother with specific OSes on the system one, you just need to fill something in and UNIX is the safest choice). Check the Enable Identd server option, and go ahead and check the other 2 options if you want to.

Last on the Connect menu is the Firewall sub-menu, only do something here if you have a firewall and know how to get around it.

From now on I will skip many of the menus as they aren't of importance. We move on to the IRC menu. There is only one important option to check here, tick the Rejoin channels on connect option. Expand the IRC menu and go to the Options sub-menu, and tick the Hide ping? pong! event. This will prevent your status window from being filled by the inane "ping? pong!" messages when you leave your IRC client idling (try leaving this off if you want to see what I mean).

Next we skip to the DCC menu. In the On Send Request part, choose Auto-get file and for If file exists choose Resume. In the On Chat Request choose Auto-accept.

Now go to the Folders sub-menu and change the DCC Ignore option to Disabled and uncheck the Turn ignore back on in: option. Next choose default from the DCC get folders section and click the Edit button. Click the Into this folder and choose a folder you want your downloads to end up in.

Optional: You can also go to the Server sub-menu and check all the options. Set the Listen on Port to 59 (unless you know a specific port your PC can listen on).
<End of optional part>

IMPORTANT! Make sure you read this!
A quick explanation on what you just did by setting those DCC options

I've said this once already and I will say it again, this guide is oriented towards leeching. The things I told you to do in the DCC options part reflect that heavily, if you plan to use IRC just to chat it would be a better idea to set the options to Ignore whereever possible and set the DCC Ignore to all for safety purposes. By using the options I've mentioned above, your client will automatically accept any incoming files and any incoming DCC Chats (think of the DCC chat as a private conversation, it is also used to get into Fserves(explained below)). Now, it's a good idea to scan everything you receive with an antivirus if you plan on doing this. The flipside is if you don't use these options you have to sit at your PC attending to your IRC client all the time. Turning on the auto-get enables you to just queue something and leave the PC running to download by itself when it's your turn (bar any netsplits/disconnects).

Now, that being said we are done with the options and we can move on to the next part!

~ Step 3: Connecting to a server and joining a channel ~

Now once you click on the "OK" button after you're done with the options, you should be back at the MIRC window with a blank white window. In the titlebar of this window it should say "Status <nickname>", <nickname> being the nick you chose in the options. When you are connected, the title bars of status windows will show the network name and your nick, while title bars of channel windows will show their names.

Quick example: My current IRC titlebars say "MircX katydid" and "#akatsuki-manga". MircX is the name of the network, katydid is my nick, and #akatsuki-manga is a channel.

Now we come to a DOS-like part. To connect to a server, you type
/server <name of server>
Or you can use
/server -m <name of server>
to make it pop up in a new status window (one of MIRC 6's spiffy features, you can connect to multiple servers using the same client).

What servers are there? Well, here's some popular servers with anime-serving channels on them:

Enterthegame aka ETG:
EFNet: Go to EFNet's server list and choose one to connect to, I have problems connecting to EFNet otherwise.

Note that ETG has a "No licensed anime" policy, don't set up a fserve there with licensed anime, you could get yourself and the channel you serve in banned from the network doing that.

This list of servers will also help you use such resources like Envirosphere, a fansub resource which lists fansub groups, latest releases and most importantly, the IRC servers and channels where fansub groups are located. Nothing like getting anime from the source :D

Once you are connected to a server you can join a channel located on that network.
To join a channel, similarly you use the command
/join <channel name>
Note that most channels have a "#" in their name.
Some channels are locked ("keyed" in IRC-speak) and you need to use
/join <channel name> <key>
to get in; note that nobody usually gives out the key, if you want in you will have to look for it yourself.

Quick example:
If I wanted to go to A-M's IRC channel, I would type the following in the status window:
/join #akatsuki-manga

Note: These two commands (/server and /join)also work in the channel window.
Also, if you're a lazy bum like me and have some basic programming skills, read the part in the Help file about Aliases, these are shortcuts you can make for commands you use all the time.

IMPORTANT! Make sure you read this!
How to not get banned straight away

Whenever you join a channel the topic will be listed. READ IT! Very often the topic will contain some important rules, and not following them will get you kicked or banned from the channel. Also, if there is something along the lines of "Type !rules for rules", go ahead and follow the instructions. Be very careful when you are in a main anime distribution channel or the channel of a fansubbing group, many of them have "bots" to enforce their rules.

Flash_Squirrel 2003-12-31 05:49

~ Step 4: How to leech stuff ~

Now you're in a channel and you want to download some stuff.

Quick explanation: What is a Fserve?
A Fserve is a "script" running on somebody's IRC client that allows that person to send other people things in an automated manner. The main way of downloading things on IRC is to "enter" such a Fserve, look for something you want and queue it.
<End of quick explanation>

To get a listing of all the Fserves running in the channel, type !list in the channel window. WARNING! Some channels (#bakamx is one such channel) have a "No !list" policy, they will kick and tempban you if you do it. In these channels you either only chat (ie no Fserves are there anyway) or wait quietly until the Fserve ads appear one by one, they are set on timers usually, unless you see in the topic something along the lines of "Silent Fserves only!", in which case the ads only appear when you type !list.

Now don't freak out, if you do this on a big channel you might get pages and pages of text flooding your screen all at once and frenzied ringing sounds accompanying it (unless you disabled sounds in the Options).

What appears when you type !list (or how fserve ads look like in general) will usually be something like this (note: these are real Fserve ads):

[18:25pm] -Snakeam- [Fserve Active] - Trigger:[! 3a6ni Anime Walak !] - Users:[0/5] - Sends:[1/1] - Queues:[2/10] - Min CPS:[1kB/s] - Record CPS:[12.5kB/s by lurker215] - Bytes Sent:[1.93GB] - Accesses:[249] - Upload Speed:[6.4kB/s] - Download Speed:[0B/s] - Total Bandwidth:[6.4kB/s]

[18:25pm] -Badluck- [Fserve Active] - Trigger:[/ctcp Badluck watashi wa baku desu!] - Users:[0/4] - Sends:[1/1] - Queues:[1/4] - Min CPS:[1kB/s] - Record CPS:[11.8kB/s by michelin__man] - Bytes Sent:[2.83GB] - Files Sent:[19] - Accesses:[212] - SysReset 2.46

[18:25pm] -lazyboi2- (File Servers Online) Triggers:(/ctcp lazyboi2 c-drive & /ctcp lazyboi2 d-drive) Snagged:(16.14Gb in 134 files) Record CPS:(32.2Kb/s by Tresnar) Online:(0/2) Sends:(2/2) Queues:(29/50) Accessed:(1306 times) Note:(smj,dual,I my me straw.. , Flame Of Recca,new releases in ftp folder) ?~{Polaris IRC 2001}~?

Real Fserve ads can be quite colourful, but don't mind that. Now before I teach you how to get in, a quick lesson in analysing Fserve ads.

Quick lesson: How to read Fserve ads
The three examples I listed are only representative of the extremely wide variety of fserve ads you will encounter. Once you get more experienced in IRC you will be able to scan ads quickly and see what fserves are worth accessing.

What matters to you are the fields labelled Sends, Queues, Min CPS, Accessed, Record CPS and maybe Upload speed or Current bandwidth if you see them.


1. Sends: this shows you how many sends the fserve can do at the same time. The more the better naturally, as it will come to your turn faster. Think of this as the number of counters at a bank.

2. Queues: shows you how many queue slots are used/open. For example 9/10 means that 9 queues out of a possible 10 are used currently. A queue is just what it says, it's like getting in line at the bank and waiting for your turn to be served at the counter. If it is full (e.g. 10/10) you can still access the Fserve but you will only be able to look around, you can't queue anything. You'll have to wait till the next send finishes and a queue slot opens.

3. Min CPS: VERY IMPORTANT for all those on slow connections, this is usually in bytes per second or k/s, if the transfer rate falls below this limit the download will be cut off. Sometimes there will be a Max CPS also, this is if the connection is capped. Think of Max CPS as a speed limit on a highway.

4. Record CPS/Upload speed/Current bandwidth/Accessed: High numbers in any/all of these fields indicate a fast, popular fserve. High numbers in accessed means many people use it (ie it usually means it's a reliable source) and high numbers in the rest mean it is fast.

PS: Read the description/note part of fserve ads, usually the owner will tell you what is on his fserve and what is on his separate triggers. Saves you the time of triggering each and every fserve in a channel in search of something. Very often short forms will be used, so being up to date on latest releases helps.

<End of quick lesson>

Now on to the important part: how do I get in? Simple. In every fserve ad there is a part labelled Trigger. This is what you have to type in in the channel window to get the fserve to respond to you. In my examples above the triggers were:
! 3a6ni Anime Walak !
/ctcp Badluck watashi wa baku desu!
/ctcp lazyboi2 c-drive
/ctcp lazyboi2 d-drive

Note that the "&" in lazyboi2's ad is to separate the 2 different triggers. If you want to copy and paste, DO NOT use ctrl-click, you will copy the control codes for colour and underline along with the text and it will not work and you will look like a n00b

Notice there are 2 types of triggers. The first one,

! 3a6ni Anime Walak !

is called a literal trigger, ie you literally type it and it will appear in the chat.

The second type, those with the /ctcp in them are called CTCP Triggers, when you type them you will see something like this in your channel window:

[13:25pm] -> [[dcjr]] STUFF

Now if you typed in the trigger correctly something like this will appear in the channel window and a new DCC Chat window will pop up:

[13:25pm] -[dcjr]- DCC Fserve (

Now we're in a Fserve window. What appears once you are in depends on the script the Fserve is running on and it runs pretty much like DOS in there. So here is a quick run-down of the standard commands in Fserve windows:

1. dir or ls
To list the files in a current directory. ls is a bit messier, dir sorts things out line by line.

2. cd <name of directory> and cd..
Works like the dos command, use it to change directories e.g. cd anime. Note that fancy DOS moves like cd\anime\FMP do NOT work. Use cd.. to go back down one level.

3. get <filename>
Found that episode you're after? Use this command to queue a file.

4. sends
Shows current sends, speed and ETA.

5. queues
Shows all current queues

6. clr_queues or cancel
Depends on the Fserve script. This cancels ALL you queues, use with caution.

Once you've queued the file(s) you want, you can close the DCC chat window. Most fserve scripts will close it automatically after a while, don't worry about it, you will still be queued even if the window closes. Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for the send to come in!
Congrats! You're now a IRC leech!

Explanation of some of the IRC terms

script - a way of adding things on to MIRC. Fserves and bots run on scripts.

netsplit - IRC runs on many different servers networked together. What happens in a netsplit is one of the servers on a network becomes disconnected from the rest. When this happens you will see up to hundreds of "Quit messages" at the same time (if you weren't affected that is, if you were you get cut off from the servers temporarily).

bot - this is an automated script that is programmed to do certain things.

kick and ban - think of these two as the law-enforcing tools of IRC. When an Op (short for operator, those people with a "@" next to their nick at the top of the user list) kicks you you get booted from the channel. A ban, well, self-explanatory. A tempban is like a ban, only temporary.

First off, what's an XDCC? As opposed to a fserve, which has an interface similar to a DOS directory listing and uses a command-line interface, XDCCs work on /msg or /ctcp commands. Instead of having the user look through directories by themselves, XDCCs offer only the specific files listed.

PS: XDCCs also have a reputation for being fast and many distro bots are XDCC.

Flash_Squirrel 2003-12-31 05:50

There's 2 main classes of XDCCs: those that respond to !list and those that respond to xdcc list. Most of those in the first category are those from a normal Fserve script (eg sysreset/invision). The second kind is more usual, and it's the kind the "true" XDCCs use. The syntax is slightly different for the two, but they work on the same principles.

XDCCs that respond to !list are easy to spot, for example my ad in #dewdrop looks something like this:

-RSG- [XDCC Active] - Sends:[0/1] - Queues:[0/10] - Record CPS:[87.2kB/s by Know2little] - Bytes Sent:[2.02GB] - Files Sent:[533] - Upload Speed:[0B/s] - List Trigger:[/ctcp RSG XDCC LIST DMG] - Description:[Warning, server shuts down randomly...DMG's releases here - currently Epotorantsu! Mai v1 c1-2. Firewall! use "/dccserver +sc on 59"] - SysReset 2.51

Sometimes there's more than one pool offered, so the ad will look like this:

-RSG- [XDCC active] You have access to the following pools: Cabbit, DMG. Use: /ctcp RSG XDCC LIST <poolname> to list XDCC Files for one XDCC pool. - SysReset 2.51

To get a listing from this type of XDCC, you use the command given: /ctcp RSG XDCC LIST DMG in this example. Note that if there's only one pool offered to you, /ctcp RSG XDCC LIST would've worked too.

When you enter the list trigger, something like this should appear to you in the form of notices:

-RSG- [XDCC Active] - Sends:[0/1] - Queues:[0/10] - Record CPS:[87.2kB/s by Know2little] - Bytes Sent:[2.02GB] - Files Sent:[533] - Upload Speed:[0B/s] - Description:[Warning, server shuts down randomly...DMG's releases here - currently Epotorantsu! Mai v1 c1-2. Firewall! use "/dccserver +sc on 59"] - SysReset 2.51
-RSG- [#1] [__9.1MB] - Epotorantsu! Mai v1c1a [4 Gets]
-RSG- [#2] [_10.7MB] - Epotorantsu! Mai v1c1b [2 Gets]
-RSG- [#3] [__5.8MB] - Epotorantsu! Mai v1c2a [1 Gets]
-RSG- [#4] [__5.2MB] - Epotorantsu! Mai v1c2b [0 Gets]
-RSG- Usage: /ctcp RSG XDCC GET DMG #<pack number>

To get file number 1 from this XDCC, you would use /ctcp RSG XDCC GET DMG #1 for example. Note that all XDCCs require the "#" in order for the trigger to work.

For the second kind of XDCC, be very careful! Most of them do not respond to !list, but instead they have an ad that will appear periodically in the channel that looks something like this:

-Keru|xdcc- ** For a listing type: "/msg Keru|xdcc xdcc list" **
-Keru|xdcc- ** Brought to you by iroffer **

Most of the time you'll have to sit in the channel waiting for an ad to appear. To get a listing from the XDCC, use /msg Keru|xdcc xdcc list in this case. The response from such an XDCC looks like this:

-Keru|xdcc- ** 26 packs ** 40 of 40 slots open, Record: 2386.7KB/s
-Keru|xdcc- ** Bandwidth Usage ** Current: 0.0KB/s, Record: 168.6KB/s
-Keru|xdcc- ** To request a file type: "/msg Keru|xdcc xdcc send #x" **
-Keru|xdcc- #1 2x [7.3M] "Ai Yori Aoshi - Vol 1 - Chapter 001"
-Keru|xdcc- #2 2x [6.4M] "Angel Dust - Chapter 01"
-Keru|xdcc- #26 3x [6.4M] "Saber Marionette J - Vol 01 - Chapter 001"
-Keru|xdcc- ** Brought to you by iroffer **
-Keru|xdcc- Total Offered: 113.7 MB Total Transferred: 300.22 MB

To get file number 1 from this XDCC, you would use the command /msg Keru|xdcc xdcc send #1. Note that it works on /msg and not /ctcp.

However, read the topic carefully; in most channels the xdcc list command results in an instant kick and tempban, but in some it is allowed. You should only use this command if you are sure it's allowed. Also, brace yourself, in a channel with many XDCCs you could literally be flooded by all the notices from the XDCCs, as xdcc list doesn't work like !list, it will result in not only every XDCC showing you their trigger, they will also all provide listings to you at the same time. Sifting through the results can be messy; use Ctrl+F in mIRC to search through the chat window.

Note that most XDCCs do not offer queue cancelling options - the Sysreset one does but it is a rather complicated affair, the syntax is something like /ctcp <nick> xdcc remove <poolname> #<your current queue position>.
Edit: some of the "pure" XDCCs (which run on irrofer) offer queue cancelling too, usually along the lines of /msg <nick> xdcc remove.
Thanks to:
All the nice people on animepad (#animepad at who taught me how to use IRC, drop by the channel and chat sometime!
they also have some anime fserves
Especially to Dissonance, read his guide to IRC leeching here:
Mine is based partly on his guide, heck, I learned how to use IRC from it.

**Brought to you graciously by Kaetydid**
Thanks for this guide Kaetydid.

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