Irssi/Guide to IRC

1. Start PuTTY or a similiar program for opening a shell connection.

2. Set the PuTTY configurations according to the shell that is being used and open the connection by pressing Open. On your own computer the settings can also be saved by pressing the save button. The most essential settgins are Host Name, Port and Translation (Translation -> Character set).

As an example below are the settings for the shell provided by Metropolia:

3. Log in with your username and password. For the Metropolia shell they are the same which you use when logging on the computers or tuubi i.e.

4. If you have previously already opened irssi with a shell connection simply type screen -rd ja proceed to stage 7.

If you haven't done so previously or you get the message "There is no screen to be detached/attached." simply type screen irssi.

5. The first time you open irssi it is good to change some basic setting according to your liking. Irssi setting are changed with the command /set setting parameters. The most useful settings are:

Your default nickname (visible on channels): /set nick your_nick

Your 'real name' (or fakename): /set real_name real_name

The changed settings can be saved by the /save command. This will keep you from having to do it all over in the case that either irssi or the shell might crash.

6. Now it is time to connect to a IRC network such as IRCnet, Quakenet, Freenode etc.

Joining a network is done by the command /connect network, where network can be the networks direct address or a saved networks name.

In this case with the Metropolia shell we will be using for IRCnet either or servers.

7. Joining a channel. In IRC you can either chat directly with another user via query or publicly on channels with all the users there.

Channels are joined by /join #channel e.g. /join #Tilde

8. General about channels. The big black are in the middle show's what is happening on the channel. Channels are scrolled with the Page Up and Page Down keys. For example the mouse scroll won't work.

9. Queries. In IRC you can chat privately with someone. A query a i.e. private chat can be opened by the command /query nick where nick is the targets users nickname in IRC.

Queries work similarly to channels. Below is an example of a query.

10. Activity. In Irssi you can quickly see in which window there is something going on by the lower blue bar's [Act: ] part.

The numbers here mean windows with activity. The colour of the number tells about the sort of activity. In the example below you can see the following:

In window 2 there has been chatter since the last time it was checked (this is a channel). In window 3 there has been a hiligh (if it is a channel) or there is a new message in query (if it is a query). In window 4 there has been less important activity such as a change in the channel topic.

11. Hilight. In IRC hilightin on a channel is a very good way of getting a certain user attention to the channel. A hilghlighting messages (= message with a hilighthing word such as the users nick) senders nick will the yellow on the channel (default color).

However you should remember that even though all the users on the channel will see this message it might not hilight to them. Below is an example of a message which hilighted (in the example the user nick is derp and Scrin is another user)

12. Moving between windows. In Irssi every channel and query are in their own windows and you may move between these windows with the key combination Alt + number e.g. to move to window number 1 (status window by default) you should press Alt + 1 (number one).

In Irssi active window numbers can be seen in the lower blue bar inside the third pair of brackets e.g. [16:59:26] [derp(+i)] [2:IRCnet/#Tilde] mean that the currently active window is number 2 and that in this window is opened the channel #Tilde (in IRCnet).

You may also move between windows one by one with the Atl + arrow key to the left or rigt. Should you not have the alt key in your keyboard, you may also move between windows by the command /win number where number is the target window.

Useful command in Irssi:

Command Explanation Example
/help [command] Instructions for using the command [command]. Without the command it lists all available commands. Shows only in the status window. /help connect
/wc Closes the active window (and parts from the channel if a channel window is in question). Abbreviation from command /window close
/part #channel [reason] Leaves from the channel without closing the channels window. [reason] is a voluntary parameter. /part #metropolia too tired of this channel
/join #channel Join a channel. /join #Tilde
/whois [nick] Lists some information about the user [nick]. The listing is visible in the status window or in an open query to the /whoised user. /whois derp
/topic [new topic] Changes the channel topic. This requires the channel operator status (+o, @ character infront of the nick). Witout the new topic it shows the current topic. The latter usage does not require any special status. /topic Today we shall talk about the weather.
/names Lists all users on a channel. Can also be use via the alias /n
/quit [reason] Shuts down Irssi. [reason] is once more a voluntary parameter. NOTICE: This should't be used if you are just going off the the computer i.e. if you are going to use Irssi again. /quit I will get a life and stop ircing