The insanely forgettable name of the client is irssi.

So this works fine.

sudo apt install irssi

Have a look in ~/.irssi/config for client configuration possibilities.

To run it, try something like this.

irssi -n ${USER} -c ${S} -p 6667

I think that 6667 is the normal IRC port. The $S is the server you want to connect to. Here are some servers I have used.





To join a channel called "chat".

/join #chat

I’m pretty sure this is what is necessary to create a new channel too. So if you expect there to be a channel and you’re the only one in it, maybe you made a new one.

To stop being in a channel.


Private messages can be done with msg.

/msg otherperson

General Commands

  • /help [cmd] - In practice on my server, does nothing. That’s hardcore!

  • /quit - Finished with the IRC client entirely.

  • /list - List all channels.

  • /names - List everyone present in the current channel.

  • /nick NEWNICK - Changes your nick — useful if someone already has yours.

  • /me - Sends a message prefaced with your name e.g. "/me just typed…".

  • /topic - Change the topic of the channel. Or just show it. Don’t know if anyone can do this.

  • /kick - Get rid of someone on a channel.

  • /invite - Sends an invitation to another user.

  • /statusbar window remove time - Get rid of the clock. Screen has its own clock and the updating clock will trigger screen activity monitoring. Which is meta+M by the way.

  • /set autolog on - then check "irclogs/192/#chat.log" for chat logs.

  • [C]-p,[C]-n - cycles through active channels.

  • [A]-p,[A]-n - scrollback, like [S]-PgUp in old Linux terminals.


To become an admin, use this command.

/oper root

It should then prompt you for a password. Use the credentials set in the server configuration file.


The name of the server to use is inspircd.

So this works fine for Debian.

sudo apt install inspircd

Check out the configurations in /etc/inspircd/inspircd.conf.

I found it useful to disable hostname lookup which makes almost zero sense when my clients will be logged into the server’s host. Without doing this, every start has to wait for a timeout. And for some reason, the server can’t use the system call that checks the /etc/hosts. Just change the setting here in the configuration file.

<performance nouserdns=yes ....

You can make a nice MOTD. The defaults are not pleasant so best to change this.


To configure permanently and immediately start the server up I think this is a reasonable systemd way.

sudo systemctl enable inspircd
sudo systemctl start inspircd

If that doesn’t work, try this.

sudo service inspircd start

Problems or errors? Take a closer look here.

sudo cat /var/log/inspircd.log

Also don’t forget to install irssi if the machine needs a client to test or use the server.