Mini irc howto

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  • IRC network:
  • Available channels:#foss-nepal,#ubuntu-np,#nepalinux,#olpcnepal,#libnepal


This document explains the basics of using IRC (Internet Relay Chat) protocol (like any other protocols like zephyr, amsnp etc..) to communicate one-one, one-many or many-many

Revision History

First revision - v0.1 16 December, 2006 Bikal K.C

Minor edits - v0.2 14 January, 2007 Bikal K.C


The audience of this document would be users who are generally new to IRC network. It assumes at least some basic knowledge in computing. I have prepared this document to the best of my knowledge. Hope it helps people to get started using IRC.


The purpose of this document is to give users head start in using Internet Relay Chat. It should also provide users with directions as to what the limitations of IRC are. A brief history of IRC can be read at [1] and detailed introduction of IRC @ [2]. Recommended reading is top to bottom.

Using IRC clients

First of all, little bit of theory. All IRC networks work on the principle of client-server computing. The IRC servers such as "" run a server program and clients (our chat programs) simply connect to that server at specified port number (example, port number 8001). There are several chat client program available that users can use to connect to IRC networks. Some of the most popular chat clients are listed below -

More clients are available @ [3]. Get a IRC client that's faily stable, active in development and which supports your distribution. You can read about the comparisons of IRC client @ [4].

Also, note that most GNU/Linux distribution come with package management utility (example, Debian's apt or slackware's Swaret). So, if your distro supports package management, *use* it first before moving on to compiling source (the basic assumption holds especially true for beginners starting with GNU/Linux distros).

Using IRC networks

Now, that you have set up IRC chat client of your liking, start it up.

  • If using xchat, press "ALT+F2" and type "xchat" (without double quote).

Or use xterm/gnome-terminal/rxvt whatever likes you.

  • If using irrsi, go to your favorite terminal and type irssi.
  • All of the programs can be started using your terminal.

To join ##nepal at, follow these steps -

  • Type in "/server 8001". This command connects to the irc network called freenode at port number 8001.
  • To join another network (for example whilst remaing connected to with Xchat, you should press "CTRL+T" (control + shift + t) and then repeat step 1.

To do the same with irssi chat client, type "/window new" (create a new window). Then repeat step 1.

  • Type in "/nick <some_nickname>". This command changes your nick to <some_nickname>
  • Type in "/msg nickserv register".

This will register your nick name in Freenode so that no one else can use the same nick name. If the nick name is *already in use*, then repeat step 3 and 4 with different nick name.

  • Type "/join ##nepal". This command joins you to a channel called ##nepal. To join foss nepal channel, type in "/join #foss-nepal".
Note:: you can connect to more than 1 channel on IRC networks. Freenode limits this to 20 channel per nick.
  • IRC ettiquete is documented @ [5]. Please atleast skim through it.

You're done! Congratulations!. Greet people in the channel and welcome to the world of IRC. Have Phun! =)


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE never login to IRC network as root/super-user. The reason is this: If you login to IRC network using your root account, any vulnerability in your chat program if known by the attacker might use it to gain root access in your system. It's always a wise idea to create a seperate account to use IRC or use non-privileged account. The step are very simple to create an account. Just issue command "adduser " and then fire up your favorite chat client using that user account.

Some important references


Suggestion to improve this document are always welcomed as this will generally improve the quality of document and important features that are needed by users . =) Please drop a mail to Subir dai or myself or even post a message to #libnepal or #foss-nepal at

See you on the #channels :)