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.

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    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 '10 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 '14 at 12:39

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 '10 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 '10 at 12:32
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    irssi + revolutionary theme (irssi.org/themefiles/revolutionary.theme) = :D – Isaiah Aug 4 '10 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 '10 at 8:56
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    pic of the revolutionary.theme irssi.org/themefiles/revolutionary.png – Suhaib Nov 19 '12 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.


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 '18 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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