IRC clients for Linux

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is still widely-used nowadays as a communication method on the internet. On IRC, you will connect to IRC servers in which there will be individual chatrooms called channels. By joining a IRC server, you will be able to chat with other users who have connected to the same server, you can either chat on a channel with many other peeps or make a person-to-person conversation. Most Linux distros have official irc channels on for users to come to ask questions and help other people. There are in fact many IRC clients in Linux but in this article, I will show you several IRC clients that I personally know and have used. All these clients are available in the repository of most distros I think you know how to install them already.


Irssi is a very popular IRC client, especially among the Gentoo and Arch folks. Running completely through the command prompt and by default, irssi looks very minimalistic and simple, there is even no user list on the side like the other clients. But what makes irssi so loved is that it is highly customizable. How irssi looks and perform is totally up to the users, if you search on the internet, especially the Arch Linux forum, you will find many amazing and beautiful irssi configs. There are also many plug ins available for Irssi, that are perl scripts and users can create their own scripts as well.


Weechat is like a less-known sibling of irssi. It has the features of Irssi but is more newbie-friendly. Weechat runs through the command line as well but the default interface is more intuitive and user friendly. It is also very light and fast, highly customizable and configurable with plugins and everything can be done on Weechat with only the keyboard just like Irssi.


Xchat is the default irc client of many Linux distros like Mint, Solus, Fuduntu ... Unlike irssi and weechat that mostly target the tinkerers, XChat is a full-featured IRC client available for all important platforms which offers a pretty nice and intuitive interface. It can be easily used by beginners, while experienced users can customize it through the plugins function which supports scripting in a number of programming languages: Perl, Python, Tcl and Ruby, which are available as external plugins and contain a binary module interface, usually for the C programming language. . It is also very light and fast.


KVirc was the client I used when I was still a windows user.  However, I now find it really bulky and the default interface is not very good_looking.

Empathy and Pidgin

Empathy and Pidgin are preinstalled in many Linux distros as the default chat client. And IRC is among the many chat protocols that these two apps support. However, I dont like how there will be 2 windows when using IRC with Pidgin or Empathy. Thats why in my opinion, these 2 clients should be used as a quick way to access irc only.
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