IRC Help

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What is IRC?

IRC (Instant Relay Chat) is a protocol that allows a large number of people to create or join a chat room to carry out discussions. Many people in the free software community use it to connect with each other and collaborate on projects. Some call it old-fashioned, we call it "timeless."

How do I connect with IRC?

Connecting to an IRC network requires a dedicated program, called an IRC client. On GNU/Linux, XChat, HexChat, and Pidgin are among the most popular. To use IRC through the terminal, the most popular options are irssi and WeeChat.

Are there any web clients to connect via IRC?

Free software web clients exist, such as kiwiirc and others, but most places we know about will place it behind reCAPTCHA, which is not free software. If you are aware of any hosted webclient that does not require running proprietary software such as reCAPTCHA, please contact

How do I connect to the FSF channel on IRC?

Once you install any one of these, enter the server and channel names to connect.

One of the most popular servers for free software is libera. Some free software channels you might want to join are: #fsf, #gnu, #dbd, and #libreplanet. Most free software projects have their own dedicated IRC channel, such as #bash and #emacs.