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English VHost Tutorial (Nederlandse versie kan hier gevonden worden)

What are Hostnames

First of all, let's look at what a Host is.

Everyone connected to the internet has a Hostname or IP. This is to identify the user on the World Wide Web.
An IP is a unique number to identify your connection to the internet. Without it, you couldn't receive any information on the internet, or connect to the chat-server.

But, IP-numbers aren't easy to remember for everyone, thus hostnames were invented. These are text-based unique identificational names for internet-connections.
They are usually based on the domainname of the Internet Service Provider your use.
For example: abds3da.dialup.myhost.net

What are VHosts

Now we know what an IP and a Hostname is, but what is a VHost then?
A VHost is a Virtual Host (or also known as Vanity Host on some other networks).
Virtual means something simulated, it is not really there.

Everyone who connect to our chatnetwork, gets the usermode +x by default, this usermode encrypts a part of your hostname for your privacy, and thus creates a form of virtual hostname in itself.
For instance, abds3da.dialup.myhost.net could end up looking like Chat4all-95B63626.dsad7.dialup.myhost.net and thus other chatters will not see your real hostname or IP-address by default, thereby guarantueeing some kind of privacy. By the way, the same applies to IP-addresses that do not resolve to a hostname; they get turned into something like EFCF9B6B.E0D8BD9C.AC4B4DFE.IP. Hex-encoded octets with 1 octet replaced by .IP.

However, such an obfuscated host name doesn't look very nice, now does it?
Wouldn't you like to have something like Yourname@the.funniest.person.on.earth or I@m.awesome?
That's why we've incorporated the HostServ service on our network.
This service-module allows us to set customisable VHosts for registered users.

How to request

"Cool! How can I get one myself?"
Well, it is quite simple, first you have to make sure you have registered your nickname. If you haven't, follow this step-by-step tutorial called Register Nickname.
Afterwards, you have to decide on a hostname you wish to use for your vhost.
We have some small rules about this though. For more info about them, read the section that follows.

Once you've thought of a vhost (and ident if wanted), there are 2 ways to request a VHost:

1. The simplest way would be to use our HostServ service while you are online on IRC. After you have identified for your nickname, you can type the following command to register a VHost:

 /msg HostServ REQUEST ident@replace.with.your.desired.virtual.host.name

again, ident needs to be replaced with the ident of choice, and replace.with.your.desired.virtual.host.name needs to be replaced with the hostname of choice. For instance:

 /msg HostServ REQUEST me@my.host.rules

Or if you want to have a wildcard ident:

 /msg HostServ REQUEST my.host.rules

2. An alternative way would be to do it through our Support Desk; all you have to do is open a VHost ticket at our Chat4All Support Desk containing your nickname and requested vhost.

For instance:

HI, I would like to request the vhost Me@my.host.rules for my nickname YourNickname

thank you in advance,


VHost Conditions

  1. A vhost is set in the form of ident@host.name
  2. The ident can be either unset (allowing you to choose your own ident on connect), or a static one consisting of a maximum of 9 characters of which none may be special characters other than a dot ( . ).
  3. The hostname may not contain any special characters other than hyphens ( - ) and dot ( . ). And even though underscores ( _ ) are normally valid in a hostname, our services have problems accepting them as vhost; thus underscores are also not allowed.
  4. The hostname must exist of at least two parts, separated by a dot. For instance my.host or is.the.best
  5. The hostname may not be a valid, registered domain, unless you can submit proof you are the rightful owner of that domain.
    We have this rule due to possible legal trademark issues.
    Verification shall occur by sending an e-mail from an e-mailaddress that is listed on a whois-lookup of the domain in question. Other ways of verification are open for discussion.
  6. The host doesn't have to end in a valid Top Level Domain such as .net or .com, we even prefer if they don't!
  7. The vhost may not contain any incriminating words or be abusive towards others. So no vhost requests like you.all.are.idiots.
    Since it is hard to check foreign terms for abusive content in a language you don't understand, we discourage the use of vhosts in languages other than Dutch, English, French or German.

Activating VHost

After your VHost has been set by an IRC Operator, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing info about your vhost and the basic commands for HostServ.

To activate your vhost, all you have to type is:

 /msg HostServ ON

Deactivating VHost

If you temporarily don't wish to use your vhost, you can deactivate it with the following command:

 /msg HostServ OFF

Please not that this will also disable your standard server-hostencryption. To re-enable the default server-hostencryption, type:

 /mode YourNickname +x

where you replace YourNickname with your actual nickname. This will hide part of your hostname again with Chat4All-*

Grouping VHost

If you have a NickServ group and want the VHost to apply for all the nicknames in your group, you can set it for all the nicknames in your group. First make sure you are using the nickname that has a VHost assigned to it. (You can do it with /nick MyNickname). To set it for all the nicks in your group, type:

 /msg HostServ Group