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Irssi is a terminal-based IRC client that can be run on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. You may run Irssi from your home computer or run it on the SHellium servers. Please DO NOT compile your own version of Irssi on the SHellium servers.

One nice feature about Irssi is "Upgrading your Irssi client to the latest version can be easily done without losing the connections to the IRC servers and without restarting Irssi. You can use the UPGRADE command to load the new Irssi binary and restore your connections."

There is a very extensive list of Irssi themes you can use. Hence, you can have Irssi look just about any way you like.

There is also a very extensive list of Irssi scripts that do about anything you can think of. Be careful not to install scripts that might be considered annoying or banned from #shellium. For example, do not install an auto away script.



Log in to IRC

  • Launch Irssi. In *nix (Linux, BSD, Mac OS X, etc.), type at the terminal:
  • Connect to an IRC network:
 /connect 6667

A SSL connection can also be possible:

 /connect -ssl 7000

See "/help connect" for more details.

  • If you want to set a vhost once you've connected to IRC, you can do, for example, this command before connecting, and then "/save" for this setting to be written to file so that you do not have to run this command again after a restart:
 /set hostname
  • You can also set a vhost when you launch Irssi with:
 irssi -h

You can choose to use your psyBNC accounts via command line or with X-Chat, Irssi or BitchX.

  • Run Irssi from the command line, then type in the /connect command to connect to your account on
/connect -ssl 8000 mypassword myusername
  • If you get a "wrong password" message, it is because you are sending the wrong ident to the bouncer. Do:
 /set user_name yourshellloginname

or edit your ~/.irssi/config file and change the username field to your shell login name:

settings = {
 core = { real_name = ""; user_name = "mrhappy"; nick = "Bryanstein"; };
 "fe-text" = { actlist_sort = "refnum"; };

Add Networks

Adding a network is an easy way to connect with a specified username/nick profile. This way you can connect to different networks using different nicks.

/network add -nick <nick> -user <user> -realname <realname> -autosendcmd <cmd>
-kicks <maxkicks> -whois <maxwhois> -msgs <maxmsgs> name-of-network

For now you can leave the kicks, whois, and msgs fields blank. The autosendcmd field can be used to store commands that will be issued at connection, for example to identify your nick on the server. An example usage would be

/network add -nick iceman -user icey -realname Me -autosendcmd "/msg NickServ IDENTIFY xyz" MyNetwork

You can check if your network has been added by doing the following

/network list

Now connecting to a server using the above command is a bit different

/connect -network MyNetwork 

This will connect using the above identity settings. One Irssi session can support multiple networks connected at the same time. So you could, in theory, be connected to the same server multiple times, using different nicks and IDs. If you are connected to multiple networks, you can switch between them by pressing Ctrl-X.

You can also add a server to a network by doing the following

/server add -network MyNetwork 6667

Or for auto-connect, add -auto:

/server add -auto -network MyNetwork 6667

To get more help type

/help network

Setup Irssi-proxy

Irssi contains it's own proxy, which can be used instead of psybnc or znc if you run Irssi in a screen session. The advantage of this is that you can use one program for two purposes, and obviously comes with the advntages of any other bnc. On connect there is no backlog, however. In order to set it up, you must first connect to a server:

/server add -auto -network efnet 6667

The -auto flag will cause you to automatically connect to this server when Irssi is run, you can omit it if you like. You can also change the network and server names, along with port number, if needed. Once you are connected to the server, load the proxy module and set it up.

/load proxy
/set irssiproxy_password password
/set irssiproxy_ports efnet=2778

Once again, replace the network name and password as necessary. 2778 is the port that you will use to connect to, make sure it is accessible from outside your LAN. You can change it to whatever you want. If you connect to multiple servers and want the proxy to connect to all of them, or if you only use one server and are lazy, you can use *=2778 rather than efnet=2778.

On the client side, all you have to do is connect to the proxy like you would any other bnc. Assuming you are running Irssi-proxy on, the syntax would be:

/server 2778 password

with the appropriate port and password. Assuming that everything works, you should be connected to your screened Irssi session.


Click the link below to install Irssi for your Windows system

Windows users need to know that Irssi takes your Windows log-in name and uses that as your system name. This generally will not allow you to connect to the bouncer unless your shell name matches your Windows user name

If you have issue with connecting you must edit the user name field in the Irssi config file. The only way to create this file is to connect to a network first then close Irssi and it will be created.

  1. Launch irssi
  2. connect to a network and join a channel


/join #shellium

This will create the config file in the folder below:

C:\Documents and Settings\bryanstein\Application Data\Irssi


  1. Copy the file and name it config.bak
  2. Open the file with a text editor like notepad
  3. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the file and find this line
settings = {
 core = { real_name = ""; user_name = "mrhappy"; nick = "Bryanstein"; };
 "fe-text" = { actlist_sort = "refnum"; };

You will see your Windows user name in the user_name area. You need to change this to your SHellium login name. You can also change your nick here or you can do it later when you log into the bouncer.

  1. Launch irssi
  2. Connect to port 8000 and send your password to the bouncer
  3. Join #shellium on for more help
/connect -ssl 8000 yourpassword
 addserver :8000
/join #shellium 

This will allow you to connect to your account on the SHellium bouncer

Sprucing Things Up

Probably all of this can be done right in Irssi with the '/exec' command. However, if you're reading this a few things might just as well be pulled off in a separate shell. Any command that leads with a / is to be done in Irssi. Those lines are marked with %. Lines that begin with a $ should be entered in a shell.

You'll want to have ~/.irssi/scripts/autorun

$ mkdir -p ~/.irssi/scripts/autorun
Theme: I like this one I found on the web.
Screen Shot
$ wget -P ~/.irssi

Enable the new theme

% /set theme fear2

Hilight Window: This will put any thing you have flagged to be hilighted in a separate window at the top of Irssi. Very nice if you cruise multiple channel/networks. They all make it to one spot, and of course the channel.

$ wget -P ~/.irssi/scripts/autorun

Start the script in Irssi

% /run autorun/

Next, create the split window for the hilighting to appear. Lots of other things the '% /window' command can do.. '% /help window' will show a lot of options. However, we only need the following: *Note* It's important the window name is hilight for the script to work.

% /window new split
% /window name hilight
% /window size 6
% /hilight yOuRnIck

Note that if your messages are not going to a channel, it's probably because you are in the 'hilight' window. Just <alt> + <window #> to jump to a different window.

Statusbar: Adds the ability to customize the default lame one.

$ wget -P ~/.irssi/scripts/autorun
% /statusbar window add usercount

Advanced Windowlist: is a script that grants powerful manipulation of the active window list.

$ wget -P ~/.irssi/scripts/autorun


% /run autorun/	
% /statusbar window remove act
% /set awl_display_key $Q%K|%n$H$C$S
% /set awl_block -15

If you like the setup save it with:

% /save 

You can revert to the old act setup using:

% /script unload adv_windowlist
% /statusbar window add -after lag -priority 10 act

To save your layout settings and have Irssi automatically recreate the split hilight window on startup.

% /layout save

IGNORE: I myself hate all the joins/parts/nicks/etc pretty much anything but what someone is actually typing.

% /ignore -channels * -regexp -pattern (away|gone|back|returned) * ACTIONS

Right Justification of Nicks: Similar to the behavior of Xchat.

% /format own_msg {ownmsgnick $2 {ownnick $[-9]0}}$1
% /format own_msg_channel {ownmsgnick $3 {ownnick $[-9]0}{msgchannel $1}}$2
% /format pubmsg_me {pubmsgmenick $2 {menick $[-9]0}}$1
% /format pubmsg_me_channel {pubmsgmenick $3 {menick $[-9]0}{msgchannel $1}}$2
% /format pubmsg_hilight {pubmsghinick $0 $3 $[-9]1}$2
% /format pubmsg_hilight_channel {pubmsghinick $0 $4 $[-9]1{msgchannel $2}}$3
% /format pubmsg {pubmsgnick $2 {pubnick $[-9]0}}$1
% /format pubmsg_channel {pubmsgnick $3 {pubnick $[-9]0}{msgchannel $1}}$2

For reference ~/.Irssi should contain the following:

$ tree .irssi/
|-- config
|-- default.theme
|-- fear2.theme
`-- scripts
    `-- autorun
2 directories, 6 files

See Also

  1. Wikipedia Article on Irssi
  2. Guide to using Irssi and GNU screen
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