The EnterTheGame IRC network does not use a NickServ/AuthServ to protect
nicknames, How then does ChanServ know what channel belongs to whom? How does it
decide who gets ops in a channel? Answer: hostmasks!
Sometimes referred to incorrectly as a "hostmark", your hostmask is
part of what ChanServ uses to determine your power/authority in a given channel.
The basic hostmask takes the form of nick!ident@hostname (note: no spaces!)
nick = your nickname
ident = also called the username, a unique user identifier
hostname = sometimes your IP address, but usually a unique name composed of
numbers and the name of your isp (hidden sometimes by a VHOST)
Note: Naming conventions of different ISP`s will vary both in length,
complexity, and other characteristics.
For most people on a standard mIRC client, you can set/see your ident in the
UserID field when you check File > Options > Connect > Identd.
Sometimes when you connect to an IRC server, the IRC server isn`t able to get
your ident from this location. It then uses part of the email address field you
set in mIRC options. When this occurs a small character called a tilde
"~" is placed right after the ! in your hostmask. It`s often a good
idea to have the same information in the UserID field as your email address so
that your ident will be the same no matter how the server acquires your ident
Some sample hostmasks:
Using the /whois <nickname> command will show the hostmask for the user
whose nickname you chose.
If you type /whois <yourownnickname> (without the < or >) you`ll see
your own hostmask.
Now that you know what a hostmask is made up of, how is that information used?
By adding wildcarded hostmasks to your channel lists, you can determine who gets
opped in your channel, you can determine who gets voiced in your channel, and
you can determine who you want to keep out of your channel with bans.
What`s a wildcard?
Wildcards are special symbols which stand in for one or more characters. For
example, the * is used to represent any number and combination of characters. A
? is used to represent any single character. They`re used because people`s
hostmasks can change, and using them allows you to account for those regular
changes while still maintaining control of your channel lists. Do NOT include
any spaces in a wildcarded hostmask.
Some sample wildcarded hostmasks:
(allows for user to change nickname freely)
(allows for nick change, and dynamic host change)
(allows anyone with the clan tag [WTF] at the start of their nickname and an
ident ending in the letters "gah", in that specific IP range)
When you register a channel, the admin or helper who assists you will add a
wildcarded hostmask to your adminlist based on your real hostmask so that you
can maintain your channel. When you do a ChanServ command on your channel,
ChanServ will check your real hostmask against the adminlist to see if you
really are one of the channel`s admins.
Let`s say user "kekelah" wanted to register a channel named #triviabot
kekelah`s real hostmask looks like email@example.com
We would likely add a wildcarded hostmask like *!*sif@203-59-*.dyn.iinet.au to
the #triviabot adminlist. As you can see, the wildcards allow for some
flexibility in the user`s hostmask. We want to make sure you`re not having to
run back to #ETG all the time to get your changed hostmask added to your
channel`s adminlist. Most people`s internet connections are not static, they`re
dynamic (their IP address or hostname changes frequently), so we`ve placed a *
to replace the numbers we think are most likely to change on a regular basis.
Likewise we`ve used a * to replace the nickname part of the hostmask, so that
users are not tied to a specific nickname they HAVE to use in order to do
ChanServ commands, but the hostmask has to match.
What`s a VHOST?
That question is covered in greater detail in the VHost section of the site
(select VHost Info on the lower menu to the left), essentially it`s a virtual
host designed to hide your real IP/hostname from other users here on ETG. Users
who have logged into a vhost will have their hostmask looking much like the one
listed with TriviaBot in the sample given above.
The vhost is: TriviaMaster.on.EnterTheGame.com
ChanServ can see through your vhost and you will be able to do ChanServ
commands on your channel even if you have logged into a vhost.
As previously mentioned, it`s the norm for users to have their IP addresses or
hostnames change upon occasion. For dialup users, their address/hostname can
change every time they connect to ETG. For users on other dynamic connections,
changes can be as small as one set of numbers or as large as an entire IP range.
This will all depend on the type of connection you have as well as the whims of
your ISP. For example,
michael!WINT@client13.flax1.hawkcommunications.com could be michael!WINT@client07.flax3.hawkcommunications.com
the next time he/she logs on. Making sure you use wildcards properly minimizes
the need to readd someone to one of your channel lists. In this above example
one would add *!*WINT@*.hawkcommunications.com thereby wildcarding the
areas that could change.
Quick Hostmask Questions/Answers:
Q. How do I set a hostmask that will allow everyone who joins to be
A. Use the wildcarded Universal Hostmask of *!*@*
The use of the *`s in all three fields (nickname, ident and hostname) will mean
that it will match everyone when ChanServ checks the list. We do NOT advise you
add this mask to your auto-op list for reasons of security, unless you set a
chanpass also. See our help file for information on how a chanpass works.
Q. I used to have control of my channel, and I know I remember what the
adminpass is, but ChanServ still doesn`t seem to recognize me. What should I do?
A. It`s entirely possible something about your hostmask changed so that it no
longer matches the hostmask on your channel`s adminlist. In order to do ChanServ
commands on ETG, you need to know the adminpass AND have a hostmask which
matches that of one on the adminlist.
To test that out, try doing a /msg chanserv info #chan <adminpass> .. if
both elements are as they should be, you will get information about your channel
AND your channel`s auto-op, auto-v and auto-ban lists.
If not, you will just get info about the channel. A common issue we see is one
where a user`s ident has changed. If you have logs and/or you can remember what
your ident used to be, you can try changing it back and then reconnecting to IRC
to see if you have control again. If you don`t remember what it was, or you`re
not sure what changed, please come to #ETG to ask for assistance from an ETG
admin or helper. We`ll be able to check that for you and readd you if needed, or
give you the information necessary for you to regain control.
Q. Somehow I don`t remember adding everyone to the auto-op/auto-voice/auto-ban
list in my channel, but ChanServ ops/voices everyone and when I try to remove
the *!*@* mask, it tells me the mask is not found. What do I do?
A. If you /msg chanserv info #channel <adminpass> , you will get a list of
the hostmasks you have added to your channel lists. Look for wildcarded masks
with a space where one shouldn`t be, or look for a misformed wildcard mask like
`*!**` or `**@*`. Once you`ve found it, copy and paste it into the remove
command you do. If all else fails, you can clear the list by using the word ALL
in place of the hostmask. The word ALL works when you`re clearing the entire
auto-op or auto-voice list.
Q. Can you add a vhost to my channel`s adminlist?
A. No, we do NOT add vhosts to channel adminlists for reasons of security. You
may, however, add a wildcarded vhost mask to your channel lists if you want to.
If you want anyone using a particular vhost to be on your channel`s auto-op or
auto-voice list, you could use a mask that looks like *!*@vhostname.on.EnterTheGame.Com
for that purpose.
Q. ChanServ left for a minute for some maintenance, the admins said, and came
back. When it came back I couldn`t do ChanServ commands on my channel. I`m using
a vhost. Did the maintenance mess it up?
A. No, when ChanServ leaves like that and then rejoins, it only sees your vhost,
not your real hostmask. It thinks the vhost *IS* your real hostmask. And as
previously mentioned, since we don`t add vhosts to adminlists, ChanServ won`t
find a match on your channel`s adminlist. It`s easily fixed, though. Once
ChanServ comes back, simply disconnect from ETG and reconnect again /reconnect
. ChanServ will then see your real hostmask and you`ll be able to do ChanServ
Q. Sometimes I am told to add an auto-op or an auto-voice by nickname. That
seems kind of insecure since you have no NickServ. What`s up with that?
A. Assuming the user you want to add is on-line, if you add a user to your
channel op list with the command /msg chanserv addop #channel <adminpass>
nicknameofuser , ChanServ will automatically add a wildcarded hostmask for you.
Try it, then do a /msg chanserv info #channel <adminpass> to see what
hostmask ChanServ added!