I am looking for a IRC client for the terminal that has colors, user list and just generally looks awesome ;) Any recommendations? There are loads of IRC clients in the repositories and I don't want to download them all to find the best one.

  • 2
    this question is way too subjective. as txwikinger said: a community wiki with a list of IRC clients (screenshots, features, pros/cons) would make more sense
    – Tedil
    Aug 4, 2010 at 19:20
  • Right, but what if you run it inside screen? I haven't been able to make irssi to have a nicklist. Also, what about multi-tab?
    – user244457
    Feb 4, 2014 at 12:39

5 Answers 5


IRSSI - The client of the future http://www.irssi.org/

sudo apt-get install irssi

Say no more

enter image description here

  • I use irssi myself and I definitely agree abut it being a great IRC client. Yet, I wonder what makes it the "coolest looking" one?
    – andol
    Aug 4, 2010 at 5:22
  • It has a variety of [irssi.org/themes themes] to be used with. But the greatest strength is the amount of [scripts.irssi.org plugins] that can help you tweak it's look and behavior.
    – tutuca
    Aug 4, 2010 at 12:32
  • 1
    irssi + revolutionary theme (irssi.org/themefiles/revolutionary.theme) = :D
    – Isaiah
    Aug 4, 2010 at 22:45
  • I have tried irssi but it's not clean. Whenever I do "/network remove NETWORK", all of the necessary text in the config that needs to be removed still remains. Messy config = not good
    – user2814
    Oct 14, 2010 at 8:56
  • 1
    pic of the revolutionary.theme irssi.org/themefiles/revolutionary.png
    – Suhaib
    Nov 19, 2012 at 21:06

I would prefer weechat. Apart from having colors and looking awesome it is very customizable.


A very small IRC client is ii, but has no colors out of the box. It is good for using in shell scripts etc.

  • 12
    A person switching from irssi to weechat will be as happy as one switching from screen to tmux
    – Hashken
    Sep 10, 2014 at 15:18
  • 1
    also available via ppa launchpad.net/~nesthib/+archive/ubuntu/weechat-stable
    – JoKeR
    Jul 2, 2015 at 20:01
  • Should we merge both top answers? I'm also using weechat recently...
    – tutuca
    May 4, 2017 at 14:50
  • Very user friendly for former hexchat users. Jun 23, 2021 at 3:03

Always used Epic with the SplitFire script myself.

From their site:

EPIC's development model is to provide tools to scripters rather than features to end users. Out of the box, EPIC behaves much the same way ircII-2.8.2 did in 1994. To truly leverage EPIC, you will need a script pack.


Quassel is a really good client in this way. In addition, it can be split in core and client and hence allow multiple computers all connected with the same user name.

  • Didn't know Quassel had a terminal client, does it?
    – JepZ
    Jan 11, 2018 at 21:52

I think one of the best IRC clients (ncurses based) is BitchX. It's included by default in the Fedora distros and it might be, in the future, shipped with Ubuntu.

BitchX had several security vulnerabilities, which were fixed lately. You can check BitchX 1.2 (NEW flavor, very nice) on GitHUB: Bitchx is awesome!

I recommend it for all of you who are nostalgic about good old times, also for those eager to experiment.

Another interesting IRC client is IRCII, you can find it here: ircII is awesome!

Thanks to all for them!

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