I am using Xubuntu 12.04.4 LTS. I have been trying to connect to freenode IRC server through Xchat application but I am getting the following error:

 Looking up irc.freenode.net
* Connecting to chat.freenode.net ( port 8001...
* Connected. Now logging in...
* *** Looking up your hostname...
* *** Checking Ident
* *** Couldn't look up your hostname
* *** No Ident response
* Closing Link: (Connection timed out)
* Disconnected (Remote host closed socket).
 Cycling to next server in FreeNode...
* Disconnected ().

Note: I am trying to connect from office-network.


The Problem

It sounds like your office likes blocking IRC. It makes sense. It's distracting.

The Solution

Method 1: Using a VPN

Proxies/VPNs are the greatest friends of students and employees trying to skip content filtering systems. However, many places have policies against using proxies/VPNs which can get you suspended or fired, respectively. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR JOB LOSS. There are many ways to implement a proxy/VPN:

Method 1a: Using a Rented/Free VPN

Many times, you can just use a rented or free VPN to do the job quickly and easily. Simply find one you like, type it in as the system VPN (network settings), and you're good to go! Some good ones I've heard about are FreeVPN.me and VPNBook. Your milage may vary.

Method 1b: Using your home PC

If you have server skills, you can set up a VPN at home to host stuffs. However, this may cause issues. Namely, slow internet and packet loss. There are many ways to do this, and there are too many to list here. Google "How to host a vpn server ubuntu" and you'll get ~730,000 results.

Method 1c: Using DD-WRT

If you have DD-WRT, you can set up a proxy server at your home. The relevant options are under Services > VPN. Choose PPTP or OpenVPN, they both work well at giving you your IRC fix.

Method 2: Find a way around

Most places I've worked or learned only had hostname/port blocking. Try using weird port numbers that are allowed, as well as using IP addresses. There is usually SOME combination that works. (My old school completely blocked HTTPS after seeing how that allows you to jump out of the filter).

Method 3: Visit your SysAdmin

Chances are, your sysadmin is human. You can go talk to him and try to get him to unblock IRC. He might just do it. Also, most IT guys are suckers for free lunches. Bring him a lunch. You'll be on his good side FAST. IT guys are usually nice anyways. Your mileage might vary though.

Method 4: Online IRC

Just use a web-IRC client. No software, no mess. And the best part is, you can just use those free online proxies to get at em.


There is obviously a reason why IRC is blocked. Just do your work and get your paycheck. IRC at home.

  • What are the free VPN's ? – rɑːdʒɑ Sep 2 '14 at 3:24
  • +1 for most IT guys are suckers for free lunches – Lucio Sep 7 '14 at 3:26
  • @Lucio I know I am :D – Kaz Wolfe Sep 7 '14 at 5:29

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