What’s your favorite IRC server?

Forget all your social networking sites and chat rooms, they are just pretenders.  The true original art of realtime chat comes from IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and anyone who tells you otherwise will probably also try to convince you that Vista is actually good.

After many years of using different servers (and I still do to a lesser extent), I think Ive found my home at Freenode.net since it has a collection of my favorite channels, does not have spambots IM’ing you every second and more importantly is not full of “Warez”  So which channles can you find the Goblin lurking in and where can you find like minded Linux users?


The most interesting and informative site on the web has a chatroom and can be a great source of realtime scoops and friendly chat.  Since Ive started seeing some of my online friends joining me from Microsoft Watch, its developing into a great place to be with Roy friendly and timely with his posts (as always)


Chat room of the best Linux podcast on the net, some of the material discussed here is used on the show so if you want you’re 5 minutes of fame or simply want to talk with other outlaws, this is the place to be.


Home of the #!CBL distro which has (I admitt it) won me over.  Since I gave the review of CBL a rather average report and of little difference to Ubuntu, Ive changed my mind and come to appreciate just how optimized and how much quicker it is than Canonicals offering.  Join this channel to speak with other convertees!

These are my regulars, there are more which Im discovering all the time.

Openbytes IRC client of choice: Irssi, simple, functional and small!  Download it yourself today!
Openbytes IRC client of choice: Irssi, simple, functional and small! Download it yourself today!

Which client to use?

Many moons ago I was a supporter of the mIRC client for Windows.  I loved the text/terminal style GUI which always put me in mind of the BBS from yesteryear.   Those days are gone.  I havent used Windows (or indeed a Microsoft product) for a very long time in the home.  For a while I was a great supporter of Xchat (and to a lesser extent Pigeon when I had ICQ requirements aswell)

Nowadays I use exclusively Irssi (at present 0.8.12, although .13 was released at the beginning of April) which I cannot say enough good things about. Irssi is written by Timo Sirainen and released under GPL FDL 1.1

My pet hate is flashy asthetics covering up a poor product (Microsoft you listening?) and when I chat in IRC I want to chat, not to be looking at colourful icons and hundreds of buttons that Im never going to click on.

This is the main selling point of Irssi.  Its a terminal IRC client that simply works and is completely customizable by means of script.  A very small memory footprint and blisteringly fast operation make Irssi the most functional, reliable (and for a keyboard shortcut fan like myself) the most productive IRC client available on the Linux platform that I have used to date.

In a world where GFX is seen as more important than functionality (IMO and in relation to the Windows platform), Irssi is a welcome addition to my essential software.  If you are running (or thinking of running) #!CBL it comes included as part of the distro.

You can visit the Irssi homepage here: http://irssi.org/

See you on IRC!

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com


3 thoughts on “What’s your favorite IRC server?

Add yours

  1. Pingback: Twitted by _Goblin
    1. This is a really cool blog. I have to say I definitely like this post. What would you recommend as a good GUI IRC client for someone who uses a 64 bit Linux distribution? Currently I use a 64 bit Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope and I have been looking for a IRC client that is well made and also has an intuitive Graphical User Interface. You mention Irssi in your post. I have never tried it. From what you have said I do not think it has an intuitive User interface. Now I might be mistaken.

      1. Hi!

        Xchat is what I’d recommend, it has very simple but good features such as highlighted text is instantly pasted to the clipboard for the ctrl-v treatment (doesn’t sound useful on paper but is!)

        I believe the Ubuntu has it in its repositories. I found no issues with it when I played with it a while back.

        It does though depend (IMO) what you want to do with it. If a GUI is something which you want and you simply want to chat, then you could probably do worse than just using Pidgin. If you are looking more at the chat/file transfer use, then I think you would be better off with the familiar request boxes of Xchat.

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