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The #gentoo Operators Project
Description The #gentoo Operators project describes the tasks and policies carried out by the operators (ops) of the #gentoo channel on the Freenode network.
IRC Channel #gentoo-ops
Parent Project Gentoo Linux
Subprojects (none)
Project listing

The #gentoo Operators project describes the tasks and policies carried out by the operators (ops) of the #gentoo channel on the freenode network. Among other things, it aims to clarify the way #gentoo is run and by whom, who to address to resolve conflicts between channel ops and other channel users.

Project Goals

The goal of the #gentoo operators project is to clarify how #gentoo is maintained. Most of the communication about actual channel management takes place on IRC, and this project aims to describe how we do it, and who we are.

List of #gentoo Operators

Nickname(s) Real Name
a3li Alex Legler
astinus, z Alex Howells
avenj Jon Portnoy
bonsaikitten, DrEeevil Patrick Lauer
doc Dave O'Connor
iamben Ben Kohler
jmbsvicetto Jorge Manuel B. S. Vicetto
kojiro Michael A. Smith
kutsuya Jason Shoemaker
NeddySeagoon Roy Bamford
RiverRat Tres Melton
SwifT Sven Vermeulen

Tasks of the Ops Team

Task Description
Chanserv access levels Chanserv access levels determine who gets which privileges in #gentoo (and #gentoo-ops).
Channel etiquette management #gentoo has a language policy that the ops uphold. Furthermore, the channel's topic is Gentoo Linux support and it is not a "chat" channel — ops may direct users to other channels that are more appropriate when a discussion has little or nothing to do with Gentoo Linux support. Public away messages are to be actively discouraged.
Abuse management When a user abuses #gentoo, he gets warned, muted (+q), banned or banforwarded. Conflicts are resolved in #gentoo-ops. Bans may normally only be unset by the banner — she has a responsibility to set reasonable bans.
Topic updates When many users come to the channel having the same technical issue with Gentoo, the channel's topic is updated with references to bot FAQs or web page URLs.
Bot FAQs #gentoo has two official ircbots: Willikins and Naamah. While the latter mainly serves to kick users who paste more than a few lines in rapid succession (flood protection), the former also responds to simple commands regarding packages, herds, website searches and other general information.

Channel management

Compared to most IRC channels on Freenode and indeed on other IRC networks, #gentoo has a rather strict policy, and this policy is enforced as strictly as possible. #gentoo is the focal point of many support enquiries and can be very busy at times. Because of the many (often ~1000) users that chat (and lurk) in #gentoo, making it one of the largest channels on the Freenode network, and perhaps also because of the mild animosity that any Linux distribution causes among users of other Linux distributions, it is also the focal point of spammers, pranksters, and trolls.

The policy set up to manage #gentoo is therefore very straightforward and simple:

  • The topic of the channel is Gentoo Linux support. To be precise, this means the Gentoo Linux that you install using the Gentoo Handbook . Alternative operatings systems (where the difference may be in, for example, the kernel, userland, or package manager) do not fall into this category.
  • The lack of support for alternative package managers extends to "manual installation", i.e. working around the official package manager by manually downloading sources and unpacking, configuring, compiling, and installing (normally to /usr/local ).
  • Actual chat (such as personal stories, comments on external events, even mild flamewars about program X versus program Y) will usually be met with a request to take the discussion elsewhere, and consequent muting (+q) or banishment if users persist.
  • Discussion of #gentoo management is off topic. The appropriate place to discuss matters of #gentoo policy and its enforcement is #gentoo-ops, the userrel project or the ops mailing list (and not #gentoo: it's just too busy for that).
  • Because of the varied nature of Gentoo users and the varied environments in which they might use #gentoo, the channel has a strict language policy, meaning that anything you wouldn't dare say to your proverbial grandmother, you shouldn't say in #gentoo. The use of expletives is strongly discouraged.


Both Gentoo developers and users can become #gentoo ops. The selection process basically works as in any other Gentoo project: if you put in the work, helping users in #gentoo, you are certain to get noticed and may get asked to join the team.

Operator status in #gentoo is not intended as a status symbol: operators are given privileges only to effectively uphold service standards in #gentoo. Regular contributors may be given AUTOVOICE (level 10), so they have voice in the channel even when the channel mode mutes other users. Regular contributors who are interested in maintaining channel security may be given CMDOP (level 20) to "op up" when needed. Operators (level 20 and above) who are not developers and developers who are also operators are listed in this document.

Operator status can be removed after a period of inactivity or not using level 20 privileges for a good while (say a couple of months).

Operator status does not automatically mean membership of the team and vice versa.

How to contact us

Via e-mail

To send e-mail to the #gentoo operators team, point your favourite e-mail client to

On freenode

/join #gentoo-ops if you want to chat directly with #gentoo operators. Also, any urgent issues with regard to #gentoo channel management (abuse, pointers to important bugs that affect many users) should be brought to our attention there.