IRC tutorial

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Revision as of 11:20, 15 April 2010 by Steffan Wood (talk | contribs) (moved IRC Tutorial to IRC tutorial: Fix capitalization.)
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Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a multi-user, multi-channel communication system. Imagine sitting in front of your computer and communicating through typed messages with either one user in a private message, or a group of users in an IRC channel. Mibbit uses UnrealIRCd as its choice of IRC daemon, along with Anope IRC services as its choice of IRC services. Individual documentation for both the IRC daemon and the IRC services are available by clicking on their respective links.


IRC is based on a client-server model. You run a client program on your own computer which connects you to a server computer on the Internet. These servers link to many other servers to make up an IRC network, which transport messages from one user (client) to another. In this manner, people from all over the world can talk to each other live and simultaneously.

To join an IRC network, all you need is an IRC client program. The most popular clients are mIRC for the Windows operating system, Irssi for UNIX, and Linkinus for Macintosh.

Networks, servers and channels

Once you are set up with a client, you are in control. Choose a nickname you wish to be known by, then connect to one of the many different IRC networks catering to different geographical locations, interests, or philosophies.

Channels on IRC have names starting with #, such as #Help where you can get Mibbit-related help, or #Chat where users are welcome to join and chat. Usually, the name of the channel shows what it's for, but not always.

Using IRC

The point of IRC is to communicate. You may do so with either one user in a private message, or a group of users in an IRC channel.

Public conversations (channels)

There can be many thousands of channels on the largest networks, each with anywhere from one to hundreds of people. Each channel is controlled by channel operators or "ops" who have absolute authority over their channels. You should always observe basic netiquette when visiting other people's channels.

To find a public conversation (channel) use the /LIST command, either double click on the channel name that you want to join, or note it and we will use it in the command below
To join a public conversation (channel) use the /JOIN command. For example, to join #Chat type /JOIN #Chat
/JOIN #Chat
*** YourNick (username@domain.tld) has joined channel #Chat
*** Topic for #Chat: Welcome
*** Topic for #Chat set by ChanServ on Sun Jan 16 10:28:06 2010
*** Users on #Chat: YourNick FunGuy @ChanServ
To leave a public conversation (channel) use the /PART command. For example, to leave #Chat type /PART #Chat
/PART #Chat
*** YourNick (username@domain.tld) has parted channel #Chat

Private conversations (private messages)

There will also be times when you need to discuss a topic in private with another user. These messages are hidden, and can only be seen by the sender and the recipient.

To start a private conversation (private message) use the /QUERY command. For example, to start a private conversation with John type /QUERY John.

See also