4. Beginner's guide on using IRC

The standard IRC client is the original ircII. It's part of most Linux distributions, and most other text-based IRC clients (notably BitchX and EPIC) are derived from it.

4.1. Running the ircII program

It's easy to use ircII. Let's say you want to connect to irc.freenode.net as mini-HOWTO.

At the command line, type:

$ irc mini-HOWTO irc.freenode.net

You can also export variables, so you won't need to use them at the command line. For bash and zsh users:

$ export IRCNICK=mini-HOWTO IRCSERVER=irc.freenode.net

For csh and tcsh users, replace export with setenv.

Add them to your shell profile (e.g. ~/.bash_profile or ~/.zprofile) when you're done.

Other common variables are IRCNAME and IRCUSER, to respectively set the ircname part of a /whois and username as seen at the first line 'mini-HOWTO is ~username@hostname (ircname)'. Keep in mind that IRCUSER won't work if you run an ident daemon (default on most distributions). If you still need to change your username (not recommended, and I hope you're not using IRC logged as root !), install oidentd from http://ojnk.sourceforge.net/ . To configure, read the oidentd.conf man page. Finally run '/usr/local/sbin/oidentd -g nobody -u nobody'. Add this to your startup scripts (e.g. /etc/rc.d/rc.local) when you're done.

If not set, IRCNICK, IRCUSER, and IRCNAME will be retrieved from /etc/passwd .

4.2. Commands

Use /help to get a list on all available commands (/help help is a good start). Replace nick by any IRCNICK.

Most of the above commands (including the use of environmental variables) will also work in other console-based clients.

4.3. IRC Etiquette


$ man adduser

On Linux channels you shouldn't: