Incomplete article so far

NOTE: could someone with Ubuntu add some IRC client screenshots and i'll add some from Kubuntu (IRC client is 'Konversation')? - Ronnie Ronnie, I will add some screenshots now that I know how to do them. Yes Konversation is the default for Kubuntu and I will screenshot that too. I plan also to include xchat, and web based irc clients. Here are a couple of screen shots using XChat in Ubuntu. I put them on my server @

Review of IRC clients

Internet Relay Chat is a realtime instant messaging system that allows large groups of people to chat online together. Many software, locale and like-minded communities chat together for support, news and lots of fun. This is a basic summary of how to get IRC onto your Ubuntu distro, how to make your name, find the group you wish to chat with. You will need an internet connection present to install these applications and of course when connecting to chat through IRC.

A quick lesson;

IRC enables hundreds of thousands of internet users to communicate all at once over a series of networked IRC servers. Networks such as dalnet, efnet, freenode, ircnet, moznet and undernet host thousands of 'chatrooms' where people gather together with a common theme in mind. The process of accessing these networks is fairly simple.

  • You open your IRC application,
  • select a network that you wish to connect to
  • You wait for your application to log on, and the server will return various messages, like number of users, a MOTD (Message of the day) etc.
  • It will then want to make sure you have a unique nickname or nick for short. This can be pre-determined in your application preferences.
  • Once you have a nick, it will check if anyone has registered that nick before. This is to promote consistency and to reduce misunderstandings. If you have pre-registered, you can identify yourself with a password to confirm no-one else will be using that nick while you are on. More details on freenode user registration can be found here

  • If you wish to change your nick, type /nick yournewname and you will find name ou want, if it is not already in use.
  • Now you have a nick, you want to join in. If you know the channel you wish to join, #ubuntu for instance, simply type in the input box /join #ubuntu or /j #ubuntu and you will find yourself within a very busy support channel. Most applications have a method of listing all the channels available, but due to the sheer number of them, dialup users will want to do this rarely.
  • It is worth noting that you do not have access to every channel. Some require passwords, some require invitations from a current member and some may just boot you out because of your age, sex or nickname!
  • So you are in a Channel. Your application will normally show at least three frames. 1) a list of all the users within that channel, 2) a constantly updating window that starts with information about the channel and then relays the conversations being said, and 3) an input block for you to type your own messages or commands.
  • Now, generally whatever you enter in this box will be seen by all in the channel when you click the send button. You can send messages to individuals, open private chatrooms if the other recipient is willing, and send commands along with your message to enhance styling or gain info back from the system 'bots'. As with all netiquette, you need to observe the civilities otherwise you can be booted out of a channel.
  • In very busy channels, it is worth typing the nick of the person you are talking to as most applications will highlight this message for that user and sometimes make a beep to keep them aware of new communication.
  • Depending on your application, if your connection drops you may find it up to 60 secondsd before you return to the channel. Any chat in between that time will be lost. Some channels maintain IRC logs of the channels but they are not updated in realtime.
  • When you are done you can say your goodbyes and type /quit which will remove you from that channel.

IRC applications

ChatZilla – a popular extension for the Firefox web-browser, ChatZilla integrates well. Version at time of writing

  • To install
  • Open Firefox
  • go Tools > Add-ons > Click on 'Get Extensions' > you need to then enter ChatZilla into the search at the top. Now click on the Chatzilla link.

  • Click on the green 'Install Now' button.
  • This will bring up a software installation window. Wait until the install button highlights, then click 'Install Now'.
  • When installation is complete you will have an addon window show and you will need to restart Firefox for the extension to be available.

Once restarted, go to Tools > ChatZilla

You will now have a new window and the ChatZilla welcome in front of you. You will see various links to help you get a knowledge about IRC, however some are up to 7 years old. To join an IRC server, simply click on one listed beside the [info] tag. Virtually all Ubuntu based channels and most other open source channels you may require are on the freenode server, so click that link and you are in!

XChat – is a popular IRC client for Gnome. The current version is 2.8.4.

  • To install via the terminal.

  • Open a terminal.
  • Enter the command 'sudo apt-get install xchat'.
  • Enter your password.
  • If asked, enter 'Y'.
  • To install via Synaptic.

  • Open Synaptic package manager.
  • Enter your password.
  • Search for 'xchat'.
  • Mark the package 'xchat' from the list for installation.
  • You are asked if you want to install xchat-common too. Click on 'Mark'.
  • Apply the changes.
  • When the installation is complete you can start XChat with the command 'xchat' or via Applications > Internet > Xchat IRC.

UbuntuMagazine/HowTo/irc (last edited 2008-08-06 16:27:41 by localhost)