What is the partyline?
The partyline is the main method of controlling your Eggdrop. You can add/remove channels, set bans, interact with scripts, or do anything else you need from this interface. If you cannot connect to the partyline, you will have issues getting the most out of what Eggdrop can offer. This is probably the first thing you want to figure out when you start Eggdrop! All partyline commands start with a '.'. Once on the Eggdrop, get familiar with the .help command. The .help command will show you the basic commands available on Eggdrop; .help all will show you ALL commands available, and a wild card system can help you find help on a topic you're interested in (for example, .help *ban* is going to return you all the options that have the word 'ban' in them).
How to access the partyline
There are several methods of accessing the partyline. The most common is by using /dcc chat <botname> or /ctcp <botname> chat (see DCC for details on these methods) from your IRC client. This will initiate a DCC connection to your Eggdrop and allow you to log in to the partyline. Of course, the Eggdrop must be on an IRC server with you in order to use this method.
You can also use a telnet client to connect to Eggdrop. Most *nix OS's have telnet installed (or can be installed by an administrator; PuTTY is a common telnet program used on Windows. Once connected to the IP and port you specified in your config file, you can log in to the partyline
If you have enabled protect-telnet in the bot's config file and are having trouble opening a telnet session with your bot, you'll need to check that you've created a telnet mask for yourself. A telnet mask looks like -email@example.com (the nickname must be -telnet). If you want to telnet from *.yourisp.com for example, you'll need to add that as a telnet host by typing .+host YourHandle -telnet!*@*.yourisp.com.
This is a little different, and usually only used for troubleshooting Eggdrop connections. By adding the -t flag (ie, ./eggdrop -t eggdrop.conf), you can start Eggdrop in terminal mode. This means that instead of normally launching in the background of the host, it will instead run in the foreground and allow you to interact directly with the partyline. However, when started in terminal mode, this window must remain open in order for Eggdrop to continue running. If you close it, the Eggdrop process will terminate. But, it is a surefire and quick way to see what is going on if you are having issues connecting.