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What programs can be used for IRC (=Internet Relay Chat)?

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closed as too broad by Braiam, Eric Carvalho, belacqua, terdon, Avinash Raj Apr 24 '14 at 4:19

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This question is probably too subjective. – Christopher Kyle Horton Nov 27 '11 at 3:25

13 Answers 13

up vote 43 down vote accepted

XChat Install Xchat

XChat is a graphical IRC Client with a GTK+ GUI. It has a look and feel similar to AmIRC for the Amiga. Special features include the mIRC extension DCC RESUME and mIRC color, multiple server/channel windows, dialog windows, and a plugin API.

It does pretty much everything you could want an IRC client to do.


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This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks! – Mike Grace Nov 5 '10 at 7:18

XChat-Gnome Install electric sheep

XChat-Gnome is very similar to XChat however it aims to have a more friendlier user interface and integrate better with your desktop. I find for starting out on IRC its much easier to get the hang off

sudo apt-get install xchat-gnome xchat-gnome-indicator



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IRSSI is the way to go:

It was even in the TV show 'Numbers'; check out the video on the Irssi homepage. (P.S. That was supposed to be funny)

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Installed by default in Ubuntu. It really serves as a very easy to use IRC client. Don't expect very advanced features though ;)

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I think Empathy is OK. You can't expect many features on IRC. – DrKenobi Oct 17 '10 at 23:16
it's ugly. Don't really know why it's the default since there must be some work to integrate it. – Sean Houlihane Dec 28 '11 at 17:38
I have to uninstall Empathy because if you connect to more than a few channels it starts to lag - and if you leave it a while it's a real memory hog! – Greg Feb 16 '12 at 12:16
Been trying for about a quarter of an hour now to use it as an IRC client on freenode. Found out that it doesn't support nickname registration! Can't chat! That's annoying!! – Mina Michael Feb 10 '14 at 17:52

Quassel is another IRC client for Ubuntu and Debian based Linux distributions. It has a Qt interface. Its main feature is to be distributed, it means that you run a quassel "headless" in a server that has a permanent connection, and your desktop/mobile client connects to that server. Quassel is your best friend if you need to be always connected to IRC whenever you are!

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if you don't want to use irssi Quassel is great. I can run headless, and do a server/client setup where you just "connect" to your irc session that was running in your remote machine, or headless – csgeek Oct 18 '10 at 16:56

Smuxi is a nice GNOME IRC client, which features indicator support like xchat-gnome, and can be run in a client/server arrangement where the server is always connected to IRC, much like irssi+screen.

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I'm very happy with my own irc-client called "f-irc" (f-irc website).

Wrote it 7 years ago (note that I've been adding features and fixing bugs like a mad men for the last 2 weeks) and it totally suits my own needs. Navigation is somewhat different than most other clients but it is consistent and also usable when you decide not to learn all those keyboard shortcuts by heart.

For fun and kicks I added a word cloud so that you can easily what happened for the last 5 minutes (which is its (configurable) refresh interval).



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Shameless self promotion ftw haha :) looks nice, downloading now – Ortund Feb 10 '15 at 9:28

There is also Konversation from the KDE libraries. Available in the main repository like most of these.


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KVIrc is one of the best as for me. Well configurable, tons of themes, strong community.


sudo apt-get install kvirc


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I got this one with your suggestion and like it. – JGallardo Jan 3 '14 at 6:31

I am surprised that no one suggested "Pidgin" -

sudo apt install pidgin

enter image description here

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I use Opera browser's built-in chat client. During Ubuntu Openweeks I just have to click the link to the classroom that is present on the openweek wiki page and the chat window opens in another tab.

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If you're looking for something dead simple, I'm becoming a fan of LostIRC.

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I use Firefox browser or Empathy

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Firefox is usually seen as a web browser rather than an IRC client...? – 8128 Oct 18 '10 at 17:10
I suppose he means the ChatZilla plugin for Firefox. – RobinJ Jul 28 '11 at 12:58

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