How to Connect to FurryMUCK (and elsewhere) [Periodic Posting]

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Jul 14, 2009, 5:00:48 PM7/14/09
Archive-name: furry/muck-faq
Posting-Frequency: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays.
Last-Modified: 2006-03-21
Version: 5.14
Changes-This-Version: Added link to list of MU* clients

How to Connect to FurryMUCK
(and elsewhere)

By Puma, Unci, and Rhal
(with help from others)

>>>>> What is a MUCK?

MUCKs were derived from MUDs, "multi-user-dungeons" -- the presentation is
similar to the classic adventure games, "colossal cave" or "dungeon" -- you
explore a "place" with commands like north, south, up, down, in, out (n, s,
u, d, etc).

The difference is that this "place" is also populated with other players,
and you can interact with them also. In a MUD, there's an adventure to
experience, monsters to fight, puzzles to solve, etc., set up by the game
designer; in a MUCK, the players design their own fun. There is no combat
unless players explicitly agree on it. You can't win anything in the game
sense, but you can win lots of friends, experience and information.

Foxen defines the TinyMUCK 2.2 Fuzzball server software as this:

This server is a UNIX based networked chat program, with multiple
rooms, users, and built in expandability via an interpreted
internal language. For those of you who know what one is, yes this
is a MUD. A social based MUD, and not a hack and slash type MUD.
You won't find weapons or orcs in this game, unless you spend the
time to MAKE it have those things. This game is primarily designed
for those who just want to socialize.

Every player can extend the existing landscape of the MUCK by building
rooms, exits and objects, and agreeing with others on how to combine this
with the existing landscape.

>>>>> How do I connect to a MUCK?

To connect to a MUCK, you must open an Internet connection to the MUCK's
computer by using a program called telnet.

>>> For UNIX systems:

If you have a dial-in shell account, or are using a computer cluster, try
the following from the UNIX command line:

telnet <address> <port>

For example, for FurryMUCK, you would type

telnet 8888
telnet 8888

In this example, is called an "IP number", is a
"domain address", and 8888 is a "port number". You may connect either by the
domain address or the IP number -- it is possible that only one of these
ways works, so try both.

To connect to a MUCK, your service provider must allow you full telnet
access. You must be able to make telnet connections to the server (ie. your
telnet isn't restricted to local connections), and you must be able to use
the port number, otherwise you will get the system's main UNIX login rather
than the MUCK's. On some versions of telnet, the syntax is slightly
different -- such as

telnet /port=8888

>>> For DOS/Windows, Macintosh and other systems:

Your computer must connect directly to the Internet in some way.

> Dial in to a UNIX shell account:

This is the most basic way. Your computer acts as a terminal to the UNIX
system, which in turn runs the telnet program. But you'll have to learn
enough UNIX to follow the instructions above. If you can run the Lynx web
browser, see below.

> Using a SLIP or PPP connection:

You can run a version of telnet on your system directly, or use a Web
browser such as Netscape, Mosaic or Lynx.

"Open URL" as:


However, you still have to have the telnet helper application installed, and
it must be set up to allow you to use it this way; the Web browser is simply
passing the address and running telnet for you, which is a simpler way to
connect if you find a web page with telnet links... such as the web version
of Part 2 of this FAQ ("Descriptions of Various Furry MU*s"):
<URL:> or the Official
FurryMUCK Web Pages at <URL:>, which also has extensive
information about FurryMUCK itself.

> Using a Commercial Service Provider:

CompuServe, Delphi, and other services may offer telnet access through a
menu system or graphical interface. Look for the Lynx web browser on
text-based systems, or Netscape or Mosaic or a proprietary browser, and try
connecting to the Furry MU*s List noted above.

Until recently, America Online (AOL) subscribers have not been able to
connect to MUCKs, since AOL does not provide telnet software. However,
Windows users can download some extra third-party software to enable them to
telnet. Wilbach <> has offered to help AOL furries with this:

"Just download the winsock.dll found in AOL's file archive (do a
search for winsock.dll) and use that out of AOL's SLIP connection
(That will only work with WAOL 2.5 version) along with a telnet
program (eg: Trumpet Telnet (which can be also found in AOL's file
archive) or if you want a Windows Mud/Muck/Moo client you can get
VWMUD; again from AOL's file archive."

Write to Wilbach for more information.

>>> If none of this works:

You may need to ask a local guru. Unfortunately some systems deliberately
disable MUCK access via a "ridge" that suppresses connections to specific
ports. In that case you need to look for a different Internet service

>>>>> Once You Connect:

If you get a login banner that includes the MUCK name and some info on how
to connect, you were successful! Skip to "If everything works fine" below.

>>> If you get a bunch of random characters and some text

The login banner is usually the logo of the MUCK in ASCII graphics. If
you're using a proportional font, the characters won't line up. Switch to a
monospaced font such as Courier or Monaco.

>>> If the incoming text "piles up" on the right side of the screen
>>> (or)
>>> If the lines write over one another and I can't read them

Your telnet or terminal program isn't properly interpreting the newline
characters being sent by the MUCK. Most MUCKs run on UNIX servers, which use
an ASCII 10 code (linefeed) to indicate a new line. However, Macintoshes use
an ASCII 13 (carriage return) and DOS/Windows machines use a carriage return
followed by a linefeed. Look for a setting or preference to translate the
newline characters for your system. Ask someone who knows about your
software for help.

>>> If you get a login: prompt

Whatever you did with the port number did not work. Try something else or
ask a local guru.

>>> If you get no response or an error message

* The MU* may be doing a database save, during which it will not accept
new connections. Try again in a few minutes.
* The server is temporarily down or unreachable. Check again later.
* You don't have unrestricted telnet access. In that case you need an
account with full access. Look for providers in your area.

>>> If everything works fine...

You will be asked to enter your character name and password. On many MUCKs,
if you do not yet have a character, you can type:
connect guest guest
This allows you to use a "guest" character so you can get a chance to
explore a bit without getting a permanent character. The MUCK's welcome
screen will have specific information about how to connect as a guest, and
how to get a permanent character.

To get help about a MUCK, you might try the following commands:

help (help about basic commands)
globals (help about additional commands in this MUCK)
news (info about this specific MUCK)
info (general server info)
man (special programming info)

To get a character in a MUCK, there are two basic ways: Many MUCKs ask you
to send e-mail to an address specified in the title screen, including your
desired character name, a password and possibly some info about yourself.
You have to wait until your e-mail has been answered, and then you can login
as your character. Some MUCKs allow online character creation: you can ask
any of the online wizards to create you a character by paging them your
desired name and password. To find out whether a name is already taken, you
can trypage name If it reports that no character of that name was found, it
is still free.

To leave a MUCK, you can type QUIT. If this doesn't work, there is an
emergency exit in telnet: press the telnet-escape key (for example Ctrl-])
and type quit to your telnet program.

There are some problems about telnetting -- depending on which telnet you
use. One might be that, since this is in realtime, what you are typing on
the screen may apparently be "interrupted" by incoming data from the MUCK.
This can be rather distracting and frustrating. What you will need is a
client program such as TinyFugue (for UNIX or Linux), VWMUD (for Windows
machines), or Mud Wrestler (for Macintosh). That will give you many more
features, such as connecting to several characters or MUCKs at once, saving
your sessions to log files, and much more. For more information on how to go
about acquiring one, see

Also read the FAQ file of the newsgroup, where you
can also find a lot of information about MU*s in general.

>>> "I connected yesterday, but today it doesn't work!"

Some advice from D.J. Green <>:

* If you have access to the "ping" utility, make sure you're getting a
response back from the machine (, for FurryMUCK, for example).
If you don't, that means that, whether or not the MUCK itself is down,
some machine in the net is down. If it is a network problem, as is
often the case lately, there's not much that can be done about it from
the PoV of the MUCK administrators.
* If the machine does respond to a ping request, wait for a few hours --
preferably even a day or two. If the MUCK does crash, it needs some
time to be brought up, and the people who can bring it up aren't
necessarily available at all hours, so it may be some time.
* Finally, if you can't log into the MUCK for a significant period of
time, but the machine is up, and you post a message [to, or r.g.m.tiny], make sure to say
how long the MUCK has been unreachable for you, and when you've been
trying; this information will help people tell what the problem was
when you asked about it. (Usenet is not instantaneous, as many people
seem to believe; it can take hours or even days for a message to
propagate, so time-sensitive information should be labeled with the
time it refers to.)

Part 2 of this post contains descriptions and addresses of many furry MU*s,
and more information is available from Rhal's Furry MU*s page, at

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