Setup IRC Client

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Our IRC channel is publicly accessible. This page contains instructions for how to set up XChat for regularly connecting to our IRC channel.

Install XChat

In Ubuntu, install the xchat package (not xchat-gnome), such as by using Ubuntu Software Centre.

In Windows, you can install X-Chat for Windows, or use a web-based client.

Set up XChat


  1. Launch XChat IRC.
  2. If the XChat: Network List dialog does not appear on its own, choose XChat > Network List to open the dialog.
  3. Type in something for the nick names, user name, and real name. For example, the 5 boxes could contain these 5 entries if your full name is "John Smith":
  4. Select Skip network list on startup
  5. In the Networks list, click FreeNode. Click Edit.
  6. Select Auto connect to this network at startup
  7. In the Favorite channels: box, enter #lsdevlinux
  8. Click Close. Click Connect. The XChat: Connection Complete dialog appears. If so, uncheck Always show this dialog after connecting. and click OK.
  9. Choose XChat > Quit.
  10. Launch XChat IRC. It should automatically join our IRC channel.

When you log in to your computer, you can start XChat and leave it on.

Discussion takes place in the #lsdevlinux channel, and continuous integration server build messages are sent to #LSDevLinux-status.


  1. Choose Settings > Preferences.
  2. In the Interface - Text box category, select Enable time stamps.
  3. In the Interface - Input box category, in Nick completion sorted, click Last-spoke order.
  4. In the Interface - User list category, in Away tracking, check Track the Away status of users and mark them in a different color.
  5. In the Interface - Channel switcher category, for Switcher type click Tabs. In Show channel switcher at, click Top.
  6. Most importantly, in the Chatting - Alerts category, select Private Message and Highlighted Message for the rows of Show tray balloons on (Linux only), Blink tray icon on, and Blink task bar on.
  7. Click OK.
  8. On the View menu, clear Topic Bar.
  9. Unless using Unity, on the View menu clear Menu Bar. You can access the menu bar again by right-clicking the chat window.

Install plugins

An enormous number of third-party plugins are listed on the XChat web site. Many of them perform quite complex functions that you probably don't need. However, please consider installing an "auto-away" plugin that marks you as "away" when your computer goes idle, and marks you as "back" when you return. A very simple plugin that does this and nothing else can be obtained from this github project.

Register your nick on FreeNode

Optionally registering on FreeNode will let you send Private Messages in addition to merely talking on the public IRC channel.

You can register an IRC FreeNode username by doing these steps: (partly gleaned from )

  • Launch XChat IRC. Let it auto-connect to FreeNode.
  • Verify that the lower-left of the window has your correct preferred nick choice, "jsmith", and that the freenode tab doesn't report any nick collisions or claims that you need to authenticate for the nick you have chosen. Otherwise you may need to choose another spelling of your nick that no one else has already registered, preferably without any underscores.
  • Register by typing: /msg nickserv register <your-password> <your-email>

Note that this password should definitely be unique, and it will also probably be sent over the Internet in plaintext.

  • Protect your email by typing: /msg nickserv set hidemail on
  • Protect your nick by typing: /msg nickserv set enforce on
  • Choose XChat > Network List.
  • In the Networks list, click FreeNode. Click Edit. In the Nickserv password box, type your FreeNode password. Click Close, Close. Choose XChat > Quit.
  • Launch XChat IRC. It should auto-connect to FreeNode, authenticate to NickServ, and join our channel.
  • Check your email to confirm your email address with FreeNode.