The Linuxchix community has an IRC server - find it at irc.linuxchix.org. As part of our security scheme, we scan all connections for open proxies.
Please read the IRC etiquette guide if you are new to Linuxchix IRC. When you first join, you'll be asked whether you've read it and agree to it. Please don't be offended by this -- we ask everyone, to make sure our channel stays friendly.
There are several channels on the LinuxChix IRC server. The most populous is #linuxchix. That channel is designed as a real-time avenue for Linuxchix to talk about all things relevant to Linuxchix. Of course, this spans the wide range of all of our interests. The channel is for technical support for using Linux, friendly conversations and discussions of Linux, technology, and all sorts of other topics.
The other channels, which have much less activity, are generally for more specific topics. For instance, #grrls-only means just that, women only. #tech is generally saved for detailed technical conversations, and #programming also for programming conversations. Some chapters have an IRC channel as well, and other channels are created when needed. Check the public list of channels (/list).
The public channels on the IRC server have channel "ops" - to find who they are, use: /msg chanserv access [channelname] list. People with a level of 20 or above are ops, whilst people at level 9 are trusted channel regulars.
If you establish a new channel that is intended to be permanent, please register it before you drop ops: "/msg chanserv help register" will guide you through the process.
The IRC server is now equipped with an open proxy scanner. This will check any host on the internet that it sees connections from to see if they are using an open proxy, whilst simultaneously checking them against the EFnet abusive hosts DNSBL, the Tor DNSBL and the DroneBL. If any of the open proxy scans comes up positive, or they are blacklisted by any of the realtime blacklists the client will be immediately banned from the server for one day.
SSL is now available on the IRC server on port 6697. Unfortunately the certificate is self-signed at the moment, so you may have to turn off validation in your IRC program to successfully connect. However, this will ensure that your connection cannot be snooped. For the paranoid amongst us the certificate fingerprint (SHA1) is 02:83:FB:B6:F7:C3:CB:0B:41:90:98:37:24:79:08:BC:B8:8A:86:0C ;)
As another line of defence against abusive users, the server now supports caller-id. This is a server-side ignore mechanism and comes in two varieties. Both varieties function by blocking messages from any users who attempt to send you a private message, in response they receive a notice informing of this, whilst once a minute you receive a notice saying someone is trying to get in touch with you. Whilst this is in progress you won't see anything from the blocked user apart from the once-per-minute message until you "accept" then by sending "/accept " or in some clients "/quote accept " from your IRC program. That means you no longer have to listen to abusive nutjobs during the gap between them turning up and being splatted! The two flavours are "hard" and "soft". The "hard" version applies this to all users, the "soft" version only applies this to users you can't already see in a channel. To turn this on, set user mode +G for soft or +g for hard. If your client won't let you do this yourself, use "/mode +G" or "/mode +g" respectively. Just remember that the accept list isn't remembered between connections so you may want to add these commands to your clients initialisation if you make use of it.