For many like me IRC is the main chat medium to share information about things we love. Be it linux, Ubuntu, games, whatever; there are always channels with many like minded people to talk to. There are a huge number of IRC clients out there, listing them all for me would be an impossible task. However, I could list 10 IRC clients I have used over the years, which are also quite popular among IRC/Linux community.
So here is my list of 10 IRC clients I have used over the years and have enjoyed them, one way or another. This list is not a “Top 10″ list or “10 most used” list; and most of them are not exclusive to linux OS.
1) Centerim: Centerim is a fork of the centericq instant messaging client. Centerim is a text mode menu- and window-driven IM client program that supports the ICQ2000, Yahoo!, AIM, MSN, IRC and Jabber protocols.
2) Bitchx: BitchX is a free IRC client. The initial implementation, written by “Trench” and “HappyCrappy”, was a script for the IrcII chat client. It was converted to a program on its own right by panasync (Colten Edwards). BitchX 1.1 final was released in 2004. It is written in C, and is a console application. A graphical interface is also available, which uses the GTK+ toolkit. It works on most Unix-like operating systems, and is distributed under a BSD license. It is originally based on ircII-EPIC and eventually it was merged into the EPIC IRC client. It supports IPv6, multiple servers and SSL, but not UTF-8. BitchX (often called just “BX” by fans) is well known for its unique default of sending random messages on a /quit. (Source: Wikipedia).
Also known as the mother of all IRC clients.
3) Epic: EPIC is an irc client project. The EPIC software was forked from ircII-2.8.2 in fall 1994. There have been 5 generations of EPIC, of which the newest two (EPIC4 and EPIC5) are still supported and in development. EPIC is maintained by EPIC Software Labs (epicsol) which was founded by Jeremy Nelson, Jake Kuhon, Robert Chady, and has been followed on later by dozens of others. 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.
4) Erc: ERC is a powerful, modular, and extensible IRC client for Emacs. It comes with the following capabilities enabled by default.
* Flood control
* Join channels automatically
* Buttonize URLs, nicknames, and other text
* Wrap long lines
* Highlight or remove IRC control characters
* Highlight pals, fools, and other keywords
* Detect netsplits
* Complete nicknames and commands in a programmable fashion
* Make displayed lines read-only
* Input history
* Track channel activity in the mode line
5) ii: ii (irc it) is a minimalist FIFO and filesystem-based IRC client. It creates an irc directory tree with server, channel and nick name directories. In every directory a FIFO in file and a normal out file is created. The in file is used to communicate with the servers and the out files contain the server messages. For every channel and every nick name there are related in and out files created. This allows IRC communication from command line and adheres to the Unix philosophy. It consists of <= 500 lines of code and is the big brother of sic.
6) ircII: The ircII program is a full screen, termcap based interface to Internet Relay Chat. It gives full access to all of the normal IRC functions, plus a variety of additional options. This Version is able to display mIRC colors. It supports “/encrypt -cast”
7) Irssi: Irssi is an IRC client program originally written by Timo Sirainen, and released under the terms of the GNU General Public License in Jan 1999. It is written in the C programming language and in normal operation uses a text-mode user interface. Unlike some text mode IRC clients, Irssi is not based on the ircII code, and was written from scratch. This freed the developers from having to deal with the constraints of an existing codebase, allowing them to maintain tighter control over issues such as security and customization. Numerous modules and Perl scripts have been made available for Irssi to customise how it looks and operates. Irssi may be configured by using its user interface or by manually editing its configuration files, which use a syntax resembling Perl data structures.
8) Konversation: Konversation is a client for the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) protocol. It is easy to use and well-suited for novice IRC users, but novice and experienced users alike will appreciate its many features:
* Standard IRC features
* Easy to use graphical interface
* Multiple server and channel tabs in a single window
* IRC color support
* Pattern-based message highlighting and OnScreen Display
* Multiple identities for different servers
* Multi-language scripting support (with DCOP)
* Customizable command aliases
* NickServ-aware log-on (for registered nicknames)
* Smart logging
* Traditional or enhanced-shell-style
9) Kopete: Kopete is an instant messenger supporting AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, Jabber, IRC, Gadu-Gadu, Novell GroupWise Messenger, and more. It is designed to be a flexible and extensible multi-protocol system suitable for personal and enterprise use. The goal of Kopete is to provide users with a single easy-to-use way to access all of their instant messaging systems. The interface puts people first, and is integrated with the system address book to let you access your contacts from other KDE applications. IM can be intrusive, but Kopete’s notification system can be tuned so that only important contacts interrupt you.
10) KSirc: KSirc is an IRC chat client for KDE. It supports scripting with Perl and has a lot of compatibility with mIRC for general use. If you want to connect to an IRC server via SSL, you will need to install the recommended package libio-socket-ssl-perl.
There are many many more other IRC clients for Linux. These are the 10 linux IRC clients I have used personally and would recommend. What Linux IRC Client do you use? Please do share with us on the Comments.