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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Best IRC Chat Clients for Linux – Linux Hint

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Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a protocol used mainly for text based communication over the Internet. IRC chatroom servers are usually used to facilitate communication between groups of users. Users can use any client capable of communication with IRC protocol to connect to the servers and start chatting. IRC groups are often used as the primary mode of support in many open source applications. This article will list free and open source IRC chat clients available for Linux.

XChat

XChat is a free and open source IRC client for Linux. Its main features include public and private IRC chatroom channels, simultaneous connections through tabs, file transfers, channel favorites, proxy support, auto-joining of channels, user scripts and support for chatroom specific commands.

To install XChat in Ubuntu, run the command below:

XChat can be found in the repositories of almost all major Linux distributions. You can install it by searching for the keyword “XChat” in the package manager.

HexChat

HexChat is a fork of Xchat, mainly created to provide free and open source builds for Windows. While XChat builds for Linux are free, you have to purchase a license to use XChat on Windows.

To install HexChat in Ubuntu, run the command below:

$ sudo apt install hexchat

You can install HexChat in other Linux distributions from its flathub page. Installation instructions differ from distribution to distribution, so make sure to check out the setup instructions on its flathub listing (scroll down for instructions).

Smuxi

Smuxi is a free and open source IRC client written in Mono and GTK. Its main features include tabbed channels, full-screen mode, auto joining, favorite channels, notifications, integrated terminal, customizable fonts and colors, chat history, clickable links, file transfer and so on.

To install Smuxi in Ubuntu, run the command below:

To install Smuxi in other Linux distributions, follow installation instructions available here.

Polari

Polari is a minimalistic and clutter free IRC app included in the official GNOME-3 application stack. In comparison with HexChat and Smuxi, Polari only offers bare minimum features needed to join and converse in chat rooms. If you are looking for something that just works without tons of bundled features, Polari should be apt for you.

To install Polari in Ubuntu, run the command below:

$ sudo apt install polari

You can install Polari in other Linux distributions from its Flathub page. Scroll down at the bottom of the app listing page for a setup guide.

Irssi

Irssi is one of the oldest open source IRC chat clients that can be run in a terminal. It can be customized using modules, user scripts and themes. To start chatting, you have to use some commands preceded by a “/” (forward slash). For instance, “/NETWORK LIST” will get you a list of pre-configured networks, “/CONNECT Freenode” will connect to a server and running the command “/JOIN #ubuntu” will join the official IRC chatroom of Ubuntu.

To install Irssi in Ubuntu, run the command below:

To launch Irssi, run the following command:

You can install Irssi in other Linux distributions by following installation instructions available here.

WeeChat

WeeChat is another free and open source IRC client that can be accessed from a terminal. Its main features include user scripts, multi-pane mode, customizable filters and header bars, remote connection through a web browser, proxy support, file transfer and so on.

To install WeeChat in Ubuntu, run the command below:

$ sudo apt install weechat

To run WeeChat, use the following command:

You can install WeeChat in other Linux distributions by following installation instructions available here.

Conclusion

IRC chat is mainly used where a number of users want to communicate together over a common topic. Anyone can set up a server to facilitate chat over the IRC protocol. IRC chat rooms usually have a set of rules and code of conduct guidelines defined by group maintainers and admins.

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