#$EPIC: whois.txt,v 1.3 2008/07/28 05:15:51 jnelson Exp $
whois [<server|nickname>] [<nickname>[,<nickname>[,…]]]
The WHOIS command asks the user for more detailed information about a user (or users). This information includes the user's nickname, their user@host address, their real name (IRCNAME), and the server they are using. If the user is not on a private or secret channel, the channel that they are on will be shown. If they are a channel operator or channel voice in that channel, that will be shown. If the user is away, their away message will be shown. If the user is an irc operator, that will be shown. If the user is on the same server as you, their idle time (the time since they last sent a PRIVMSG) will be shown. Some servers also show you when the user connected to the server.
The WHOIS command takes one or two arguments.
If you provide one argument, your local server is queried and the argument is a comma separated list of nicknames.
If you provide two arguments, the first argument is either a remote server to query, or the nickname of another irc user whose server you want to query. The second argument is a comma separated list of nicknames.
Some networks limit or restrict the ability to query a remote server. Querying a remote server for whois information may result in an error. You should never depend on getting a reply back to a remote server query.
To get information on users JoeBob, ToeJam, and JuneBug:
To get information on the same people from server irc.foo.com:
/whois irc.foo.com joebob,toejam,junebug
To get the idle time for user JoeBob:
/whois joebob joebob
Some servers notify server operators when they are targeted by WHOIS.
WHOIS potentially reveals considerably more information than many users are comfortable with. The real name field is supplied by the user's IRC client. The client will supply the server with the real name field as specified by set realname, which is typically set from the $IRCNAME environment variable or the GECOS field in /etc/passwd.