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Internet Relay Chat was so famous in 90′s when people started to experience internet as a new communication tool. Later, Yahoo ! sweeps the Chat crowd with its Yahoo Messenger, then Rediffbol and so many have entered with their messenger applications. Of course, very few were able to stand till now. IRC uses its own protocol to establish a chat between two people.

IRC is pretty different when we compare it with the Messenger applications and chat clients.

When we look deep into the nature of IRC, and then you will understand better. The element of communication over internet is a disease on people with few known chat programs like Gtalk, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo! messenger, and few other. But a common problem in order to start a conversation is that you must know your friends or other end person email address.

With IRC its totally different, in order to start a conversation you must know which channel/room you like to chat. By considering other cool features, you may search for channel according to your wish, IRC is mainly used for group chat and also with private chat. IRC is a best choice to ask help regarding Open Source like Ubuntu, Debian, RedHat and other flavors of Linux because you get a real time response from others.

There are several application you could use to talk on IRC such as Xchat, Mirc, or even terminal based IRC clients, Web based IRC clients. But I will discuss about Xchat here (Xchat > Mirc, also its free and Opensource). Okay let’s start the game of Xchat, you can find the windows version of Xchat  hereTo install Xchat in Ubuntu Linux enter the following command in Terminal, 

$Sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get install xchat 

XChat Network Connection

When you start the program you will be greeted with a “Network List and User Info” window to choose nickname and Network for yourself, then choose “Freenode Network” to demonstrate how we will talk through IRC. Once you selected FreeNode, click connect button to launch the next screen that’s  XChat Chat Window.

How To Searching Channels in Xchat?

The coolest feature in  Xchat program is that you can search for channels with topic of your interest. To list all the channels Click on Server” in menu bar and select “List of channels”,  after few seconds you’ll get a list of thousand and more channels with search option to enter your interest. In order to understand the IRC Chat and its usage better, here I have a list of commands to help you and get the most out of it.

Basic IRC Commands

Enter all the commands next to the nickname field

1) To join a channel of your choice, 

/join #channelname


/join #ubuntu


2) The action message

/me <message>

3) To start a private message

/msg <nickname> (message)


/msg ukli

4) To start a private conversion without opening up a private window

/notice <nicknameofuser> (message)


/notice oddmunds hi

5) To see  more information about some user in your chat room.

/whois <nickname>


/whois abaerto

6) When you do not want to talk with someone, you can ignore the user so that you will not receive any more messages from that person

/ignore <nickname> ALL


/ignore tmbg ALL

7) To remove ignored nickname

/ignore -r <nickname> ALL


/ignore -r tmbg ALL

8) To set your online status to Away



/away LUNCH TIME !!!

9) To disconnect IRC from the talk

/quit <reason>


/quit Going out for LUNCH !!

10) IRC helps those who learn themselves by help command


you could also know the specific commands action

/help <command>


/help me

Hope you got a new useful info to check it out, please do share and feel free to leave your comments.

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