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Internet Relay Chat (IRC)


Internet relay chat is a protocol for real-time text messaging between internet-connected computers. While it is dated in comparison to some other messaging protocols, it continues to be used regularly by SRCF members and as the emergency messaging platform of choice, with several servers located around the world.

We have written a tutorial on getting started with IRC, available here.

Important information


  • #welcome — a place for newcomers to say hello
  • #general — chat about anything here, we’re humans after all :)
  • #society — questions and topics about the SRCF as a society
  • #support — tech questions, SRCF-specific or not
  • #hackday — home of volunteers, future home of interested volunteers
  • #ops — infra-specific discussion, invite only (interested sysadmins encouraged to email to join!)
  • #srcf — alumni

Server details

You need to connect your client to If you have a suitably-configured IRC client then clicking on that link might work, or if you want to try out IRC without downloading and installing a client then the SRCF provides an IRC web interface.

Setting up a persistent connection

Some people like to leave an IRC client connected to the network even when they are away from their computer, or have turned it off, so that people can continue to leave them messages for when they return. There are two main ways: a bouncer or a tmux/screen instance.

For tmux/screen, a common choice is irssi, although there are many others.

If you want to use a bouncer, we recommend ZNC.


Misconfigured client

If you are seeing ‘nick [~username@my-irc-client-is-misconfigured]’ then this is because you are not connecting to (as indicated above) but instead to some other hostname – perhaps kern, pip, shell or www. This is not recommended, since if the IRC server moves at a later date those addresses will no longer work, whereas will always be updated to point at the new location.

Last modified on Tuesday Jul 13, 2021 by Charlie Jonas