Frequently Asked Questions: Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

How do I connect to the SRCF's IRC Server?

You need to connect your client to If you have a suitably-configured IRC client then clicking on that link might work, or if you want to try out IRC without downloading and installing a client then the SRCF provides an IRC web interface.

How do I set up a persistent IRC connection using the SRCF?

Some people like to leave an IRC client connected to the network even when they are away from their computer, or have turned it off, so that people can continue to leave them messages for when they return. There are a couple of ways to do this, depending on whether you prefer graphical or text-based interfaces. Graphical clients can be used with the desktop service, while text-based clients can be used with screen, a program similar in intent but for command-line programs.

Since the use of the desktop service is discussed elsewhere, this FAQ item will describe the use of screen with command-line chat programs. A common choice is irssi, although there are many others. To use irssi with screen, you will first need to log in to the SRCF.

When you set up your screen session with irssi for the first time, you will want to run screen -U irssi. You will also need to do this every time the SRCF reboots, unless you set up an @reboot cron job containing screen -Udm irssi using crontab -e.

Having done this you should be presented with an empty irssi window. To connect it to our IRC server, type /SERVER ADD -auto -network SRCF, press return, then type /CONNECT and press return again. You should see the server's message of the day fill your screen. You may want to change your nick (the name people will see attached to everything you type) using /nick yourname, although you won't be allowed to use a nick that already exists. /join #srcf will connect you to the main IRC channel, or you can replace #srcf with a different channel to go somewhere else. /SAVE will save all this to the configuration file.

To disconnect from screen without quitting IRC press Ctrl-A, and then press D. This will place you back onto the command line, where you can just type Ctrl-D to quit.

When you want to reconnect later use screen -rd after you have logged in, and your should find your irssi exactly as you left it.

Why am I told "my-irc-client-is-misconfigured"

If you are seeing "nick [~username@my-irc-client-is-misconfigured]" then this is because you are not connecting to (as indicated above) but instead to some other hostname – perhaps kern, pip, shell or www. This is not recommended, since if the IRC server moves at a later date those addresses will no longer work, whereas will always be updated to point at the new location.