IRC for beginners

This document explains chatting, IRC and what software is best.

What is Chatting?

Real time, text-based communication; once you connect to and a channel, you are talking with other LinuxChix, from around the world.

Why Chat?

What is IRC?

IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat, which is text-based and immediate. You join a channel, then read and type messages to a group of people within that channel. IRC is installed on servers all over the world. LinuxChix has a server of our own.

Where is LinuxChix IRC?

You will find LinuxChix on the server (port 6667). The main channel is called #linuxchix (don't forget the # -- that's part of the name).

With some software (konqueror, chatzilla, mirc) you might be able to use this shortcut:

If this is your first time in IRC, you might want to join the beginner channel first (type: "/join #beginner" without the quotes and with no spaces in front of the slash).

What Software is Best?

Depending on your operating system, you have lots of choices. For a complete listing, see IRC Client List:



Aside from the above, there are many other good programs. Here are a few of them, divided into graphical (X, or X-windows) and terminal (term, or text-only) clients:

Mac OS


The most widely used is mIRC, but if you also use IM, you might like Trillian or Pidgin, which do both.

If you are still using Windows, but intend to learn to use open source programs and perhaps even Linux or other Unix-based operating system, you might consider using X-chat, Quassel or Pidgin in Windows. Your IRC client will still seem familiar to you after the move.