Irssi is a modular chat client that is most commonly known for its
text mode user interface, but 80% of the code isn't text mode
specific. We have a working but currently unmaintained GTK2 frontend
called xirssi. Irssi comes with IRC support built in, and there are
third party [ICB](https://github.com/jperkin/irssi-icb),
[Quassel](https://github.com/phhusson/quassel-irssi) protocol modules
See the `INSTALL` file.
So what's so great about Irssi? Here's a list of some features I can
think of currently:
- **Optional automation** - There's lots of things Irssi does for you
automatically that some people like and others just hate. Things like:
nick completion, creating new window for newly joined channel, creating
queries when msgs/notices are received or when you send a msg, closing
queries when it's been idle for some time, etc.
- **Multiserver friendy** - I think Irssi has clearly the best support
for handling multiple server connections. You can have as many as you
want in as many ircnets as you want. Having several connections in one
server works too, for example when you hit the (ircnet's) 10
channels/connection limit you can just create another connection and
you hardly notice it. If connection to server is lost, Irssi tries to
connect back until it's successful. Also channels you were joined
before disconnection are restored, even if they're "temporarily
unavailable" because of netsplits, Irssi keeps rejoining back to them.
Also worth noticing - there's not that stupid "server is bound to this
window, if this window gets closed the connection closes" thing that
ircII based clients have.
- **Channel automation** - You can specify what channels to join to
immediately after connected to some server or IRC network. After joined
to channel, Irssi can automatically request ops for you (or do
anything, actually) from channel's bots.
- **Window content saving** - Say /LAYOUT SAVE when you've put all the
channels and queries to their correct place, and after restarting
Irssi, the channels will be joined back into windows where they were
- **Tab completing anything** - You can complete lots of things with tab:
nicks, commands, command -options, file names, settings, text format
names, channels and server names. There's also an excellent /msg
completion that works transparently with multiple IRC networks.
Completing channel nicks is also pretty intelligent, it first goes
through the people who have talked to you recently, then the people who
have talked to anyone recently and only then it fallbacks to rest of
the nicks. You can also complete a set of words you've specified, for
example homepage<tab> changes it to your actual home page URL.
- **Excellent logging** - You can log any way you want and as easily or
hard as you want. With autologging Irssi logs everything to specified
directory, one file per channel/nick. ircII style /WINDOW LOG ON is
also supported. There's also the "hard way" of logging - /LOG command
which lets you specify exactly what you wish to log and where. Log
rotating is supported with all the different logging methods, you can
specify how often you want it to rotate and what kind of time stamp to
- **Excellent ignoring** - You can most probably ignore anything any way
you want. Nick masks, words, regular expressions. You can add
exceptions to ignores. You can ignore other people's replies in
channels to nicks you have ignored. You can also specify that the
specific ignores work only in specific channel(s).
- **Lastlog and scrollback handling** - /LASTLOG command has some new
features: -new option checks only lines that came since you last did
/LASTLOG command, -away option checks new lines since you last went
away. Regular expression matches work also, of course. Going to some
wanted place at scrollback has always been hard with non-GUI clients. A
search command that jumps around in scrollback in GUI-style is still
missing from Irssi, but there's something that's almost as good as it.
/LASTLOG always shows timestamps when the line was printed, even if you
didn't have timestamps on. Now doing /SB GOTO <timestamp> jumps
directly to the position in scrollback you wanted. Great feature when
you want to browse a bit of the discussion what happened when someone
said your name (as seen in awaylog) or topic was changed (/last
- The `docs/` directory contains several documents:
- `startup-HOWTO.txt` - new users should read this
- `manual.txt` - manual I started writing but didn't get it very far :)
- `perl.txt` - Perl scripting help
- `formats.txt` - How to use colors, etc. with irssi
- `faq.txt` - Frequently Asked Questions
- `special_vars.txt` - some predefined $variables you can use with irssi
## Bugs / Suggestions
See the `TODO` file, http://bugs.irssi.org and the GitHub issues if it is
already listed in there; if not, open an issue on GitHub or send a mail to
You can also contact the Irssi developers in #irssi on freenode.