DALnet Password Guide

Version 2.1.3

Last revised by h () on 2017-04-23

Originally written by Drakkar () on 1997-02-26

Please direct any comments or feedback about this document (only! no help requests!) to docs@dal.net. If you need help on issues not covered in this document, please see the information at http://help.dal.net.


This is a basic tutorial on DALnet nickname and channel passwords. In addition to explaining the password commands, it also explains how to choose a good password, and offers other advice. It is useful to know how to pick a good password not only for DALnet, but for wherever you may need one.


1 · NickServ and ChanServ Password Commands

The first thing to discuss is the syntax for nickname and channel registration with DALnet's Services.

For Nickname Registration, the command would be:

/nickserv register Password EmailAddress


/msg nickserv@services.dal.net register Password EmailAddress

Note: Your nickname is not required, as NickServ registers the nickname you are currently using. Also, be sure to enter a valid E-Mail address, as you will be sent a confirmation email.

You can obtain more detailed instructions at http://docs.dal.net/docs/nsemail.html.

For Channel Registration, the command would be:

/chanserv register #channel Password Description


/msg chanserv@services.dal.net register #channel Password Description

Note: Description can be a phrase which describes the channel. It may be anything, but must be included.

You can obtain more detailed instructions at http://docs.dal.net/docs/chanserv.html.

2 · Choosing a Password

There are some criteria for what can and cannot be used as a password by Services. These include:

  • Passwords must be one word, without any spaces included.

  • You cannot use your nickname as a password for your nickname.

  • You cannot use the word "password" as your password.

  • Passwords can be up to 64 characters in length.

  • Passwords cannot begin with a colon.

  • Passwords cannot contain any characters < 33 on the ASCII chart (control characters).

  • Passwords are case sensitive, meaning that if you use capital letters in your password when you register, you need to use the same when identifying.

There are several things to keep in mind when choosing a password for your nickname and channel. We will discuss these one by one:

  1. Do not use your real name, address, phone number, or other personal information as a password. These will most likely be the first things tried for guessing your password.

  2. Adding a number or letter to the front or end of your nickname as a password is a little more secure than using your real name, but is still a bad idea for a password. (e.g. Jonathon1 ) /nickserv register Jonathon1 email@address.com

  3. A password should not be in English, or even a real word if possible. There are programs available that will check through every word in a dictionary to see if the password is one of those. While DALnet's Services have extensive flood protection which largely prevents this type of password cracking, this is still a good idea for passwords in general.

  4. Using various pattens of capital letters and characters in your password will make it harder to guess for those trying to break your code, since it increases the possible variations. For example: using "Goober" is good, but using "gOoBEr" is better.

  5. In addition to using capital letters, you can also use special character such as ASCII characters. Obviously you will need to make a note of the password as it will be harder to remember. An example would be using (ALT+171) in your password as opposed to 1/2.

  6. Characters in other languages, such as é, are accepted.

  7. The best kind of password is a totally random string of characters, but they are hard to remember unless written down. If you do choose a random set of characters, it would be best to choose something that is seemingly random, but means something to you.

  8. Some users like to re-use passwords for all their nicks and channels. While this is easy to remember, it also makes it easy for somebody to gain access to all of your nicks and channels, if they gain access to your one password.

  9. While writing your password down is commonly advised, make sure you don't display the password where anybody can see it. e.g. On a post-it note on your monitor.


A good way to form complex passwords is to think of a sentence, and then take the first or second latter from each word in that sentence. The resulting password will then look pretty random to an outsider, but the user can easily remember it from the sentence and the rule.

Always change your password if you suspect somebody might have found it out.

It is a good idea to change your password regularly.

3 · Identifying to NickServ and ChanServ

Upon occasion, you will be required to identify to NickServ or ChanServ with your password. You will want to make sure that NickServ and ChanServ are who you think they are. Abusive users will sometimes pretend to be NickServ or ChanServ on a network other than DALnet, since those nicknames can be used by anyone. A guide on detecting DALnet Services or IRC Operator Impersonators can be found at http://docs.dal.net/docs/ircimps.html.

Make sure you are sending your password to the right place by verifying that you are logged onto a DALnet server. The server name will have "dal.net" in it. Type /whois ChanServ or /whois NickServ, and make sure the reply says "services@dal.net".

Also, be sure to use the secure methods of identifying to Services:

To identify to NickServ, use:

/nickserv identify Password


/msg nickserv@services.dal.net identify Password


/identify Password

A more detailed guide on how to identify for nicknames can be found at http://docs.dal.net/docs/nickserv.html.

To identify to ChanServ, use:

/chanserv identify #channel Password


/msg chanserv@services.dal.net identify #channel Password


/identify #channel Password

Further information on how to identify for channels can be found at http://docs.dal.net/docs/chanserv.html.

4 · If You Forget Your Password

DALnet allows you to have your password sent to your email address. This feature is implemented through the SENDPASS command.

To have your nickname password sent to you, use:

/nickserv sendpass Nick EmailAddress

To have your channel password sent to you, use:

/chanserv sendpass #channel Founder's EmailAddress

Please read http://docs.dal.net/docs/nsemail.html#5.2 for additional details.

If this still does not solve your password/ownership problem then you can contact a CSop for help. However, it is the user's responsibility to look after any/all nickname and channel passwords. We will do what we can in problem situations, but that may not be a lot on every case.

Before you look for a CSop to help you with your password, check the following things:

  1. Are you using the correct command?

  2. Is the nickname or channel yours? Did it expire and become registered by somebody else?

  3. Are you typing the password correctly? Remember, passwords are case-sensitive.

If none of the above work, you should seek the help of a CSop. Finding a CSop can be done with the following methods:

/motd services.* will give you a list of all CSops, you can /whois them to see if they're online.

Join #operhelp, the IRCop help channel. Often, CSops will be there, or atleast somebody who can find one will be.

Visit http://docs.dal.net/docs/findoper.html

5 · Losing Your Nicknames and/or Channels

We have changed the way our nickname expiration system works. Starting today, nicknames will no longer expire after 30 days. Instead, they will be marked as "Inactive".

Please check https://www.dal.net/news/shownews.php?id=137 for more information.

If your nickname got requested and they complete it, then all channels registered to that nickname will expire as well except there is a successor to take over. http://docs.dal.net/docs/chanserv.html#11.16

Note: Changed services not to expire on-line identified users even if they didn't identify for 30 days. Note that you must use the nick regularly while being identified to it to keep it registered. Services will keep nicknames you do not use and do not identify to for 30+ days but as "Inactive" nicknames.

Be very careful when using public computers, such as internet cafes. These computers may be insecure, and may have viruses or other hostile scripts on them, which will allow people to gain access to your password. In these cases, the DALnet administration will NOT help you with the password.

Never share your passwords with anybody, regardless of whether you trust them or not. The other person could accidentally, or intentionally give the password out to another person. DALnet will not help in these situations, either.

If you have any questions about the usage of passwords on DALnet, #OperHelp will be willing to assist you.

Some other help documents that may find of interest are http://docs.dal.net/docs/exploits.html, http://docs.dal.net/docs/annoy.html and http://docs.dal.net/docs/ircimps.html.