10 Replies Latest reply: Jul 18, 2008 2:01 PM by osayifromcupertino
osayifromcupertino Level 1 (15 points)
How can I get on IRC using Terminal?

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.4), 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
  • red_menace Level 6 (15,000 points)
    You will need to run an IRC client application. Whether that application uses the Terminal or not (most don't) is up to the developer. You can start by checking out this list.
  • Dunolie Level 1 (15 points)
    I would recommend irssi as a good irc client. Although you need to have the xcode installed to compile it. Another way to compile it is with macports (which is handy anyway if you do a lot of CLI stuff). Make sure you complile with the perl bindings so you can use the scripts for irssi later on.
  • osayifromcupertino Level 1 (15 points)
    Whoa! Sounds complicated. XCode, Macports, Perl bindings, scripts... I don't know how to do all that stuff. Isn't there a way to IRC straight from Terminal or X11 without using a client?
  • red_menace Level 6 (15,000 points)
    The Terminal isn't some kind of magical "kitchen sink" application. It allows access to the system's Command Line Interface, and can also emulate a dumb terminal - you need something a bit smarter for IRC, such as a client application.
  • Bill Scott Level 6 (11,445 points)
    just use the unix "talk" command

    TALK(1) BSD General Commands Manual TALK(1)

    talk -- talk to another user

    talk person [ttyname]

    The talk utility is a visual communication program which copies lines from your terminal to that of
    another user.

    Options available:

    person If you wish to talk to someone on your own machine, then person is just the person's login
    name. If you wish to talk to a user on another host, then person is of the form `user@host'
    or `host!user' or `host:user'.

    ttyname If you wish to talk to a user who is logged in more than once, the ttyname argument may be
    used to indicate the appropriate terminal name, where ttyname is of the form `ttyXX'.

    When first called, talk sends the message
    Message from TalkDaemon@his_machine...
    talk: connection requested by yourname@yourmachine.
    talk: respond with: talk yourname@yourmachine

    to the user you wish to talk to. At this point, the recipient of the message should reply by typing

    talk yourname@yourmachine

    It does not matter from which machine the recipient replies, as long as his login-name is the same.
    Once communication is established, the two parties may type simultaneously, with their output appearing
    in separate windows. Typing control-L `^L' will cause the screen to be reprinted. Typing control-D
    `^D' will clear both parts of your screen to be cleared, while the control-D character will be sent to
    the remote side (and just displayed by this talk client). Your erase, kill, and word kill characters
    will behave normally. To exit, just type your interrupt character; talk then moves the cursor to the
    bottom of the screen and restores the terminal to its previous state.

    Permission to talk may be denied or granted by use of the mesg(1) command. At the outset talking is

    /etc/hosts to find the recipient's machine
    /var/run/utmpx to find the recipient's tty

    mail(1), mesg(1), wall(1), who(1), write(1), talkd(8)

    The talk command appeared in 4.2BSD.

    In FreeBSD 5.3, the default behaviour of talk was changed to treat local-to-local talk requests as
    originating and terminating at localhost. Before this change, it was required that the hostname (as
    per gethostname(3)) resolved to a valid IPv4 address (via gethostbyname(3)), making talk unsuitable for
    use in configurations where talkd(8) was bound to the loopback interface (normally for security rea-

    The version of talk released with 4.3BSD uses a protocol that is incompatible with the protocol used in
    the version released with 4.2BSD.

    Multibyte characters are not recognized.

    BSD July 3, 2004 BSD
  • Dunolie Level 1 (15 points)
    If you plan to use the terminal a lot then learning how to install stuff will be a bonus. You may just want to stick to a GUI application like Colloquy or MacIrssi 0.8.2. Both are free and worth a try .. I would argue that you can do a lot with the terminal as it is an opening to a lot of powerful tools. Vim text editor and Irssi are such tools.

    If you wish at some point to try the a Terminal irc client I would suggest going to #irssi on irc.freenode.net and asking some questions. there are 200+ users there who can give you a lot of info.

    here is a screenshot of my irssi in terminal.app


    hope this helps.

    Message was edited by: Dunolie
  • osayifromcupertino Level 1 (15 points)
    Thanks guys for all your help. Dunolle, your screenshot is very much like what I'm looking for! I tried the irc.freenode.net link and I got this error:

    Internal Server Error

    The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

    Please contact the server administrator, web@freenode.net and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

    More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

    Apache Server at irc.freenode.net Port 80

    Have they changed their URL or something? What do I do next?
  • Dunolie Level 1 (15 points)
    irc.freenode.net is a irc network (irc.* for irc protocol, like http.* is the prefix for website addresses.) I sugguest you use colloquy to start with .. you can get it here http://colloquy.info/index.html
    and then use that to connect to the freenode network (irc.freenode.net) and then join the #irssi channel (it is the easiest way to get started on irc with a mac). you may find it easier to stick with a gui in the long run. Good luck . If you need any more help you can chat to me via ichat ( robbiedunolie via aim/.mac or dunolie@gmail.com via jabber).

    Message was edited by: Dunolie
  • felideon Level 1 (0 points)
    You can use ERC (Emacs IRC). In terminal, type emacs to open up Emacs. In emacs, the command to open ERC is M-x erc RET which means "Hit ESC, then the letter X, then Return". From there the default seems to be Freenode, so hit enter a few times (maybe change your alias when prompted).

    Once logged on you just use the standard IRC commands to join channels, etc.
  • osayifromcupertino Level 1 (15 points)
    That's it! Thanks, it worked.

    It seems to work on X11 as well. What's the difference between Terminal and X11?