IRC Starter Guide

This is intended as just a basic guide to help people unfamiliar with IRC access and use the support channel.

What is IRC

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a form of real-time Internet text messaging (chat) or synchronous conferencing. It is mainly designed for group communication in discussion forums, called channels, but also allows one-to-one communication via private message, as well as chat and data transfers via Direct Client-to-Client.

All official Ubuntu projects use the Freenode network. The main Ubuntu support channel is #ubuntu, but the South Dakota LoCo runs its own at #ubuntu-us-sd. It's used to provide support to the South Dakota Ubuntu community as well as official SD LoCo meetings.

Installing an IRC Client

The first step to accessing IRC is obtaining and installing a client program. An easy to use, free-software client that we recommend is XChat. This should be available as a package on an Ubuntu system. You can install it using synaptic or 'sudo apt-get install xchat'.

If you are currently using Windows, a Windows executable version can be found at


With XChat, it is very easy to configure the client.

  1. Choose a unique nickname.
  2. Select Freenode from the network list.

  3. Click the "Edit..." button.
  4. Type #ubuntu-us-sd in the "Favorite Channels list.

  5. Click "Close"
  6. Click "Connect"

Note: If you are behind a firewall, it may take up to 30 seconds to connect.

Hooray, I'm on, Now what do I do?

To chat, just type in what you want to say and hit enter. It's that simple. But remember to go ahead and ask your question, ask it only once, and always be patient and courteous.

For more information

SouthDakotaTeam/KB/IRCStarter (last edited 2009-03-31 23:53:26 by phillipedison1891)