My New IRC Client – Irssi : Ubuntu (6.06 / 6.10)

By | 2007/01/17

I’ve been hearing about the Irssi IRC client for some time and I finally took some time over the weekend to seriously look into it. After the initial learning curve that often comes with a new application (and a terminal based application at that!) I’m hooked on Irssi. I’m using it as my main IRC client and I also use it to access my other IM networks (ie; Jabber) that you read about in my previous post.

Before I get into some steps that I used to cut down my learning curve I wanted to link into the Irssi writeup on the community documentation page. Props go to my good friend Aaron for putting that writeup together and for telling me about Irssi.

First of all you’ll want to install the irssi client.

sudo aptitude install irssi

Second you’ll simply start up the program using the command


Now you’ll be presented with a very basic, terminal-looking interface. You’ll want to connect to your favorite IRC network using a command similar to that below.


Irssi will then connect to that freenode network. Of course you can replace that command with any network of your choice and you can connect to multiple networks by repeating that command for each. note: there is also a /server command that acts in a similar fashion however it limits you to a single server connection.

A few quick tips on setting up Irssi for auto-login, auto-connect and auto-identify.

To set your IRC nick use

/nick MyIRCNick

To auto-connect to freenode or another network and identify yourself.

/SERVER ADD -auto -network freenode 6667 password

Another method of auto-identifying is seen below. The above is generally preferred.

/NETWORK ADD -autosendcmd "/^msg NickServ IDENTIFY password;wait 2000" freenode

Lastly, to auto-join a channel at connection use

/CHANNEL ADD -auto #ubuntu freenode

There are many other commands you can use and Irssi is *very* flexible. I’m a big fan now as it offers me a lot of control and flexibility. If you haven’t yet I do suggest you go back and read the community writeup at the docs irssi page.

If you enjoy irssi you can stop by to say thanks in the #irssi channel or give a quick hello to me and my team in #ubuntu-utah. Enjoy!

16 thoughts on “My New IRC Client – Irssi : Ubuntu (6.06 / 6.10)

  1. Aaron

    There is a better way to auto-identify to NickServ- it’s using your nickserv password as your server password:

    /server add -auto -network freenode 6667 (password)

  2. Colin

    And the best is that as it’s a terminal app, you can “screen” it and attach/detach screen whereever you are with just an ssh access 🙂

  3. Freddy Martinez

    I really liked this post, I have been grappling with irssi for a long time. I still can’t get screen to work but it is something I want to work. thanks for the guide.

  4. Ubuntu Tutorials

    Freddy – I’ll have a tutorial on adding screen soon as well. It ads another layer of complication(?) that I didn’t want to tackle all in one post. I’m glad you’re getting a better handle on it though.

    Stop by and say hello in #ubuntu-utah ehh?

  5. dabaR

    Hehe, thanks! Finally I have the auto network and channel join, and even the identify, after 2 years or so of using irssi:)

    This post was useful for me.

  6. Ubuntu Tutorials

    dabaR – I’m glad I could help. That was one of the key reasons that I kept flip-flopping back to other clients is being able to handle those basics.

    I’m sure I’ll be writing more about irssi, screen & bitlbee in the future. I love my new client 🙂

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  9. prez

    Pretty decent post. But perhaps it could be a little more detailed and informative. Cover a little more.

  10. rob

    Tried to, "…give a quick hello to me and my team in #ubuntu-utah…" but was refused entry because I haven't been, "invited." Nice!

  11. zelut Post author

    I didn't know the channel was by invitation only–it shouldn't be.

    The channel has actually changed (as have all of the US based Ubuntu channels). Give #ubuntu-us-ut a try.

  12. Michael O'Leary

    Great post man! Thanks for the help I was having awful trouble overcomplicating things with the configuration file. This is a nice clear cut and concise walk through

  13. naresh

    I’m not getting connected to IRC network. I’m getting messages like
    looking up
    connecting to 6667

    can you help me out with this..?

  14. MaggieL

    I can’t get irssi to connect on Ubuntu 10.4. I’m NATed behing a FiOS router, and with no /set hostname configured I get connection refused from Freenode, and with jsut about any plausible valuse I get “cannot assign requested addess”

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