The Internet Relay Chat – IRC

Hello everybody! How are you doing? And by the way, another significant welcome question just came to me that is-

How is your Smart Phone? Doing well? Very important in current coin. Right? We know that now most of us are using these smartphones that can do “Lots of Stuff”. I mean literally you can learn, teach, gather information, get entertained, online commerce, etc, etc just with the smartphone and a successful Internet connection. You can use your smartphone to do wonders. But tell me what was the basic objective to develop a mobile phone? We already know that too, that is of course to communicate.

But, If we go back in time when this I.T sector was becoming popular and was developing on its pre-stage level. What was the medium that was used by developers to communicate with each other, while working from different places? It was and It is none other than this Internet. Okay, we know the Internet is known to provide us with wonderful platforms helpful in the development of this I.T sector. So the question is simple, what is that platform which was used by and still in the use by the developers to communicate in a more productive and professional way. Let’s have a look then on one of the most powerful platforms available long since the online development was started, that is none other than The IRC, The Internet Relay Chat.

Internet Relay Chat is a professional way to communicate in real time with developers and fellow learners worldwide even today. Why? Since most of the developers are found on IRC. Why? Because IRC provides a very efficient, lightweight or low bandwidth communication using the Internet, because of which IRC works equally well with 2G, 3G connections as well. Not only this but IRC is made to multi-task while communication. e.i You may open a browser or an IRC client to chat with other people and simultaneously can work on your machine.

Features of IRC:-

– Efficient

– fast

– low bandwidth

– lightweight

– allow multitasking

>> IRC is a service. And there are various service providers called as IRC servers. A server is capable to accommodate thousands of people, and thousands of channels on which people may talk, about a query, about a technical discussion, about a bug, about a teaching lesson, about any professional point of view.

>> IRC servers: there are a number of IRC servers available to communicate. Some are dedicated to a community like “Moznet” for Mozilla related talks. And some are general purpose like “Freenode”, etc. You may choose them with your specifications.

>> Your Nick: Whenever you communicate via IRC regardless of the server, you would be presented to your fellows with your nickname. Nick Name is of importance if you want to create your presence on IRC. People would know you by Your Nick only.

>> Registering your Nick: Your nick must be authorized with you. And it must be uniquely identified as well. For this, whatever server you want to talk on, you need to register your nick on that server. Why registering your nick is necessary? Because there are some channels which won’t allow you to enter if your nick is not registered. So if you want to make the use of IRC on a particular server to its fullest. Then it is recommended to have your nick registered. How can you register your nick on a server, we will soon see to it.

>> IRC Clients: IRC service is provided by some servers and the software which would allow you to have a complete set of several servers and channels you were talking to, with other all possible options to felicitate you with the service of IRC are called IRC clients. There are various Clients available like, xchat, hexchat (open source), irssi (terminal based), ChatZilla, etc. You may use anyone. But in this blog, we would be working on ChatZilla. But don’t you worry, commands are almost same for other clients as well.

>> ChatZilla: This IRC Client is an add-on to Firefox, generally already available with your firefox add-ons list. But if not, you may install it from HERE. then you would need to restart your browser. This add-on means that it will bound the Firefox itself. You may go to the Top-Right menu option shown in Firefox, then use customize, and finally drag or select ChatZilla (that must be available in the list with other add-ons if installed properly) to your drop-down menu.

>> Getting started with IRC:

1. open your client: ChatZilla

2. Select your Server (if ChatZilla) and enter your nick and username and other details demanded by the opening window (if any) of the Client.

You may select more than one server at one time.

// all the time your cursor is blinking on an empty line (bar) where you may type text, message and commands.

All the Commands in IRC starts with a forward slash “/” (no space must be left before this slash). If you type a valid command then it would get executed otherwise an error message will show up.


3. First let’s Register your nick in a particular server say “Freenode”:

– for this you must be in the Freenode server with an unregistered Nick. Then,

– to see if your nick is already registered type:

/msg nickserv info “your_nick”       – – without double quotes

(to know more about this command type: /msg nickserv help info)

// this will print “nickname “your_nick” isn’t registered” if it is not registered, otherwise this will print the info. About the person registered with this nick. Once you made it clear that your nick is unregistered then go ahead.

(to get help in the syntax of registering nick command type: /msg nickserv help register)

Also when you will see syntax of a command related to /msg nickserv you won’t see the clause “/msg nickserv” before syntax. But by default you need to add it. e.i: /msg nickserv help register will give its syntax to be REGISTER <password> <email-address>. Which means you need to type: /msg nickserv register “password” “”. Okay?

– type command: /msg nickserv register “your_password” “your email”        — without quotes every-time, I am just using quotes to make it more comprehensive.

– Once you will give this command an email would be sent to your given email.ID with further operations to carry out. Open your email.

– No sooner when you would carry out the command just sent to your Email. Your nick would get registered.

– To find out whether your nick is registered or not type command (in chatzilla):

/whois “your_nick”

/msg nickserv info “your_nick”

– if your nick is not registered the message would be clearly given to you, otherwise not.

// if you want to hide your email whenever someone does INFO about your nick. Give command:

/msg nickserv set hidemail on         — in freenode it is by default is hidden

* After Registering your nick you are all set to talk on this server. Which means you separately need to carry out these commands with every server you want to register your nick to. Okay?

>> NEXT time you would be entering the client on this server you would need to verify/identify yourself. So that server can be sure about authentication of the nick. To identify yourself type:

/msg nickserv identify “your_password”

// with this you are identified

in Freenode:


– You might need to set a couple of different settings of your account- like password, email, etc, that you may do with set command but this set command work differently for different servers. So, to know the exact syntax and capabilities of the set command related to the current server. Type:

/msg nickserv help set

 This will list all the variations of set [ option ] command. This will list all the options. If you want to know the syntax used with any option. Type command:

/msg nickserv help set “option”

// this option can be any option listed by help set command: take an example of changing the password. So let’s see its syntax by:

/msg nickserv help set password

given syntax is:     SET PASSWORD <new password>

which means you will type:      /msg nickserv set password <newpassword>

you may set new password

– you may set new email

– you may hide info. To be shown to others

– etc. with set command.


to join a channel in a server type command:

/join #nameOfchannel

to leave all the servers type:

/quit or /exit

to leave the current channel:


to make your status away:


to come back type:       /back

TAB completion:

– <tab completion >: this works with names of members in a channel. Suppose you want to write the name of a person/member in the channel you are in. Then just type 2-3 beginning letter and press <tab> it will complete the rest of the name automatically if a unique name is found otherwise it will show the suggestion of the similar names just as it works in Linux Terminal.


There are different commands in IRC, some for users, some for Channel Ops (operators), etc. To see the list of these commands in a server type:


or to list some basic commands type:


Then individually you may check their syntax if you wish to do so. Lengthy work, I know that.

Therefore, explaining each command is out of the scope of this blog.

Also, If you want to learn more about IRC. Type:

/help          — in ChatZilla

// this will list you some links to read (for basics) and question if you are stuck up somewhere.

See you soon, on my next blog.

Till then, have a real Curious Learning! And This, is Geekyshacklebolt

bidding you goodbye!

3 thoughts on “The Internet Relay Chat – IRC

  1. You really make it seem really easy together with your presentation however I in finding this topic to be really one thing that I believe I might never understand. It sort of feels too complex and very vast for me. I am taking a look forward for your next submit, I will try to get the dangle of it!


  2. Thanks for some other magnificent post. Where else may just anyone get that kind of info in such an ideal approach of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such info.


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