ircII(1) interface to the Internet Relay Chat system


irc [-abdFfqrSsTtv ] [-c chan ] [-D level ] [-e protocol level ] [-H hostname Bq :port ] [-h hostname Bq :port ] [-I ircrcquick ] [-icb ] [-irc ] [-l ircrc ] [-o file ] [-P portno ] [-p portno ] [-R proxyhost Bq :port ] [nickname [server list ] ] [-- ]


The irc program is a full screen, termcap based interface to Internet Relay Chat. It gives full access to all of the normal IRC functions, plus a variety of additional options.


The following options are supported:

This adds the normal irc server list to the command line list of irc servers.
Load the .ircrc file before connection to a server, not afterwards.
-c chan
Automatically join channel chan
Start in non-full screen mode. All input is taken directly from stdin and all output goes to stdout without using any of the termcap(5) screen control codes.
-D level
Enable debugging of level This option is only available if irc is built with -DDEBUG
-e protocol level
For protocol protocol set the default encryption (SSL) level to level Currently, only "IRC" is supported for the protocol and the values that level can take are "check", "nocheck", and "off". Please also see the description of the "server list" below.
Don't use flow control (^S and ^Q) to stop start the display. This switch is ignored if the -d switch is used.
Use flow control (^S and ^Q) to stop/start the display. Normally these are both bound to other functions within . This switch is ignored if the -d switch is used.
-H hostname Bq :port
This option instructs irc to use the given hostname as the local address for DCC, and works otherwise identically to the -h option.
-h hostname Bq :port
This option instructs irc to use the given hostname as the local address. Useful only on multi-homed hosts. If the optional port segment is included, irc will attempt to bind to this local port as well as local host address. If the hostname is an IPv6 "number", it must be provided in the common Bq 12:34:ab:cd format. This means for an IPv6 "number" and port, it would be written [12:34:ab:cd]:6669
Use ICB connections by default.
Use IRC connections by default.
-l ircrc
Use ircrc Instead of the default ~/.ircrc
-o file
Set the debug output file to file This option is only available if irc is built with -DDEBUG
-P portno
Set the ICB port number to portno (default: 7326, the standard ICB port).
-p portno
Set the IRC port number to portno (default: 6667, the standard IRC port). Only supply this if you connect to a server which uses a port other than 6667.
Start up irc quickly. Don't load the IRCRC file, only the quick IRCRC file set by the
-R proxyhost Bq :port
Set the default HTTP proxy host for server connections to proxyhost:port
Reverse the normal default foreground and background colours.
Start up the ircio process to connect to the IRC server.
Don't start up the ircio process to connect to the IRC server (default).
Do use the termcap ti and te sequences when starting and exiting if they exist.
Don't use the termcap ti and te sequences when starting and exiting (default).
Print the version and release date of irc and exit.
End all option processing.

The remaining command line arguments are:

  • nickname Set the nickname (overrides the environment variable IRCNICK default: the username).
  • server list Set the list of servers with which irc will try to connect upon startup. This list is also used by the program's /server command.

For IRC connections, the format is: hostname [:portno [:password [:nick ] ] ]

For ICB connections, the format is: ICB/hostname [:portno [:nick [:group [:mode ] ] ] ] with group being the initial group and mode being the initial group mode. See /HELP ICB for more information about ICB.

If the hostname is in the format then servergroup is taken to be the Server Group for this server entry.

If the hostname is prefixed with SSLIRC/ or SSLIRCNOCHECK/ then an attempt will be made to initiate an SSL/TLS connection for this host. The SSLIRCNOCHECK/ form does not verify the remote server's certificate, which may have security implications. Please see SSL/TLS documentation for more information.

If the hostname is prefixed with PROXY/proxyname:proxyport/ then this server will be connected via specified HTTP proxy server. The NO_PROXY/ prefix will disable any global proxy setting for this server.


The Screen

The screen is split into two parts, separated by an inverse-video status line (if supported). The upper (larger) part of the screen displays responses from the IRC server. The lower part of the screen (a single line) accepts keyboard input.

Some terminals do not support certain features required by , in which case you receive a message stating this. If this occurs, try changing the terminal type or run irc with the -d option.

IRC Commands

Any line beginning with the slash character (`/' ) is regarded as an irc command (the command character may be changed; type /help set cmdchar ) Any line not beginning with this character is treated as a message to be sent to the current channel. To produce a listing of commands, type /help ? To receive information about the commands type /help <command>

The .ircrc File

When irc is executed, it checks the user's home directory for a .ircrc file, executing the commands in the file. Commands in this file do not need to have a leading slash character (`/' ) This allows predefinition of aliases and other features.


It can be helpful to predefine certain variables in in the .cshrc .profile or .login file:

The user's irc nickname.
The user's IRC realname (otherwise retrieved from /etc/passwd
The default IRC server(s) (see server option for details)
The file containing the default list of server(s), usually PREFIX/share/irc/ircII.servers This file should contain one server entry per line.
Overrides the default home path in /etc/passwd
The type of terminal in use.


default initialization file
directory into which you can put your own irc scripts, that can then be loaded with /load
directory containing message-of-the-day, master initialization, help files, and irc scripts
file loaded at the start of every irc session.
The initial list of servers if none are provided on the command line.
Message of the day. This file is displayed only once each time it is changed.


irc -c #users -p 5555
Connect IRC to port number 5555 of the default host and enter on channel #users.
irc Mermaid
Use the nickname ``Mermaid''
irc Mermaid server1:5000 server2::passwd server3
Use the nickname ``Mermaid'' and the modified server list.
irc piglet3
Use the nickname ``piglet3'' initially connecting to, with also added to the server list, both having a server group name ``ln''
irc oink ICB/
Use the nick ``oink'' making an ICB connection to
irc -d
Use dumb mode.
irc -f
Allow use of ^S/^Q to stop/start screen display.
irc -e elisa
Interface IRC with a program called ``elisa''
setenv IRCNICK Mermaid
setenv IRCNAME irc
Set the username (if not specified elsewhere) to ``Mermaid'' The user's name (when provided inside parentheses in response to a WHOIS command) is set to ``The one and only :)''


All of the irc commands are fully described in the help files package. The best way to start here is with the /HELP ? command as this prints a listing of all available help files.


irc handles the following signals

Closes all DCC connections and EXEC'ed processes.
Drops irc back to the command line.


An -nosplit Program written by An Michael Sandrof Aq Mt [email protected] . Now being maintained by An Matthew Green Aq Mt [email protected] Names of contributors and contact address can be retrieved with the /info command. This manual page written by An Darren Reed Aq Mt [email protected] , revised by An R. P. C. Rodgers Aq Mt [email protected] , by the An lynX , and by An Matthew Green Aq Mt [email protected] .


Please notify the current developer of the software of any bugs in current versions.