I'm trying to access an IRC channel on FreeNode.

I can only access some IRC channels, but not to all of them. For instance, I can access #wikipedia-en-help channel, but when I try to access #git or #github channels I get the following message:

Cannot join channel (+r) - you need to be identified with services - see https://freenode.net/kb/answer/registration

I'm on the Freenode website but I don't really understand how to register or identify myself.

How can I identify with services to be able to use +r channels?

  • Have you read the webpage freenode.net/kb/answer/registration which has instructions? Any specific parts that you don't understand? As it is now, any answer I could post would be practically exact copy of that webpage.
    – user1686
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 9:13
  • @grawity "Register your IRC nick: /msg NickServ REGISTER password [email protected]" Where should I write the command above?
    – franz1
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 16:45

1 Answer 1


You haven't said which IRC client you're using, so I'll be using Freenode's Kiwi chat as an example.

Most IRC clients will have tabs for each channel you're in and each private messaging conversation you have with a user. They will also generally have a Status channel. This channel gives information about the server and your connection to said server.

To register with Freenode's services, you need to message NickServ, which is essentially a bot. The /msg command is used to start a private message conversation with a user or, in this case, a bot. The command can be entered into any tab associated with the network you're on.

If you're using the Kiwi chat, there is only one network: Freenode.

Kiwi chat window

You can write the command /msg NickServ REGISTER password [email protected] (where you replace password with your password and [email protected] with your email address) into any of the tabs you see in the image above.

This will create a new tab where the NickServ bot will respond to you. You can then issue commands to the bot without the /msg NickServ portion if you enter the commands into that specific private message tab.

NickServ tab

Once you're registered, you will need to IDENTIFY with NickServ every time you log in. You will do this by either using /msg NickServ IDENTIFY password:

IDENTIFY identifies you with services so that you
can perform general maintenance and commands that
require you to be logged in.

Syntax: IDENTIFY <password>

You can also identify for another nick than you
are currently using.

Syntax: IDENTIFY <nick> <password>

    /msg NickServ IDENTIFY foo
    /msg NickServ IDENTIFY jilles foo

Or you can enter your password on the login page:

enter image description here

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