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Irssi 1.0.0 Released (irssi.org)
290 points by raimue on Jan 5, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 130 comments

Happy to see IRC still going strong. While I switched to irccloud.com a couple years ago--persistent session is so nice, especially for mobile!--I used CLI clients for years before.

Amusing blast from the past: back in the 90's I worked at General Magic, and wrote my own IRC client [1] for our handheld devices. I attached a Metricom wireless modem to the bottom of mine and could be on IRC from anywhere; it was like living in the future! /s

[1]: http://joshcarter.com/magic_cap/cujochat

I'm also glad to see IRC still going strong. I much prefer IRC to StackExchange (not to diminish StackExchange, it's an amazing website) when looking for answers to questions. Not because I always get an answer, but when I do it's pretty quick and it's nice to have a direct conversation with the person who is helping.

In addition, there are a lot of nice little channels out there that are just fun to hang out in.

How do you discover nice little channels that are fun to hang out in?

For me, you join them 10 years ago and never leave. The same people are still there, maybe some new ones joining every now and then. People find them out by other people asking them to join. My favorite entertainment is definitely this one Finnish music channel, where the chat can be hilarious at any given time.

In these channels there's people who've been there for almost 20 years. Sadly I parted ages ago from the channels I was chatting in the 90's. But I guess they're still there.

Join a ton of channels. Lurk for a bit, add things into the conversation. After a month or so everyone will be comfortable with you and you just keep going. More general topic channels like #startups on freenode are a bit easier to be social in. Learn the local rules and the local users. It's like any community really.

I've found that $"{someOpenSourceProject}-offtopic" sometimes works.

Other than that, I just see people mention channels sometimes and I join them.

http://irc.netsplit.de/ is a good resource. Read up on the network before joining a channel. Each has their own culture, which is somewhat important to know before you lurk around.

Gitter seems to be filling in this niche by connecting a Slack-like experience to project IRC channels. The client needs a bit of work, but it's pretty good as is I think.

>While I switched to irccloud.com a couple years ago--persistent session is so nice, especially for mobile!

https://riot.im with it's excellent IRC bridge is a solid alternative now (and fully open source).

Wow, TIL riot.im is awesome

That's pretty cool - riot integrates freenode to bridge irc.

IRC is great. I think I learned more about computing while "wasting time" on IRC game dev channels while I was a student than I ever did at actual university courses.

I remember when Alfred Perlstein (FreeBSD committer) invited me into #bsdcode on EFnet in the late 90s/early 00s after I kept pinging him with random kernel questions. Was fun idly chatting and learning from folk like John Lemon, John Baldwin, Jordan K. Hubbard (before Jobs snatched him up as Director of UNIX technology for Apple (pioneering the BSD element of today's OS X)).

Jordan works for IXsystems (freenas, trueos) now.

My entire career is based around wasting time on IRC. When I got laid off a year ago I had another offer within an hour thanks to IRC.

You don't need irccloud to get persistence. There are many bouncers/proxies that let you connect from a device with flaky connections like a phone/laptop, as long as you have some always-connected machine where you can install things. Some popular ones are ZNC, Weechat, Quassel, Smuxi.

Quassel and Smuxi.im are GUI-based ones, where you can start them one one computer and connect from another. (I've never tried them, so can't say how they fare.)

I used ZNC for a while, that's a "pure bouncer" that just connects to your irc network and then you connect your client of choice to your ZNC. Simple and easy to set up, but not very featureful.

I recently switched to Weechat, which comes with a nice CLI interface, as well as letting you connect from regular IRC clients, or from special Weechat-clients (their own protocol which gives some more control I suppose). There's an HTML5 client https://www.glowing-bear.org/ that a lot of people like. I use the Android client https://github.com/ubergeek42/weechat-android#weechat-androi... a lot, it's very nice, though from my laptop I connect from Emacs's built in client (M-x erc). I run Weechat on a Raspberry Pi 1 that I had lying around, just connected it to my router, ran "apt install weechat weechat-plugins tmux" and set "tmux new-session -d weechat -s chat" to run on startup, and added a relay: http://www.weechat.org/files/doc/stable/weechat_user.en.html...

Yes, the weechat android client is the best. Before it I used irssi and tmux for years on end, even on my phone with Irssi ConnectBot. weechat's excellent android client changed that, I basically just had to tweak its CLI UI to behave more like irssi.

Why but just run a bouncer like znc?

I even have push notifications when I get tagged or a add a special keyword.

    > Why but just run a bouncer
    > like znc
Same reason I stopped running my own mailserver and mutt; there are a limited number of things I have bandwidth for, and I'd much rather pay a tiny amount of money for someone else to Just Do It, and do it right. Also mobile.

It's quite a bit easier to run a bouncer than a mailserver! With mail, you have to worry about handling spam, and whether your messages are delivered or blocked, and all the setups are really involved.

With Weechat, as long as you manage to add a server from the UI and then `/relay add ssl.irc 8000`, you typically just need a script that runs `tmux new-session -d weechat` on startup. And it has mobile clients.

https://riot.im/ has an IRC bridge! It works quite nicely.

I like ircloud https://www.irccloud.com/, it's not free but takes care of a lot of that and nice to access anywhere.

Is it push notifications as in notifications pushed to your android/ios device? If so, how did you set it up?

I run znc + znc-push [1] + pushover [2] for push notifications on Android. Works like a charm.

[1] http://wiki.znc.in/Push [2] https://pushover.net/

I run a persistent irssi session accessible via SSH on a RPi at home, and I use this awesome irssi script + Android app to get push notifications for PMs/mentions: https://irssinotifier.appspot.com/

I do the same with an rpi/docker container. There is a pushbullet script too if you're interested.

You can get push notifications with server side irssi in tmux/screen and IrssiNotifier on Android.

No mobile clients that adaquately supports server-time / playback. I use znc+rcirx w/ some hacks to support server-time, but I still use irccloud on my phone.

I can get push notifications to my phone with a ZNC module so that's not really the hold up.

Mutter is great and free. https://www.mutterirc.com/

Can I also use a desktop client on my Mac and have private messages etc. synced properly to both Mutter and some-desktop-client-x ?

I remember having problems with this in the past using ZNC and separate mobile/laptop clients.

palaver (iOS) and ZNC do the server-time playback quite nicely as long as you use up to date versions. (and also push notifications)

ircv3 specification is shaping up to have even better capabilities there too.

I use Android

I hear good things about wee-droid (or something, it's an app that connect to a weechat in relay mode)

Tbh one of these days I'll just hack in support for the ircv3 features to [popular android client] and call it a day. Gotta love open sores :)

I wanted to use irccloud, but many IRC networks ban it in a blanket policy against "browser-based clients" because they can't get an IP address to ban if you misbehave.

It's more work but I've found Quassel + quassel-webserver ( https://github.com/magne4000/quassel-webserver ) to be a good alternative.

That's not true, if the network is ipv6 aware, each user gets his own ipv6 with irccloud.

Not to mention the hardcoded usernames.

I'm against irccloud (you're paying to be man in the middled) but they definitely sorted the "can not ban" problem.

"each user" - what defines a user?

The problem with things like irccloud from a network operator perspective isn't that it's difficult to distinguish between users. It's that these systems often subvert protections the network has deemed necessary.

Imagine example.net runs an open proxy scanner on anyone that connects. They find this reduces abuse considerably. If (e.g. irccloud) either 1) doesn't pass the originating user's ip 2) isn't trusted to pass the originating user's ip or 3) doesn't run a similar open proxy scanner, then example.net's open proxy scanner solves nothing.

1) isn't always technically trivial. 2) isn't for us to decide and 3) is probably never going to happen as the network will likely always be ahead.

If you do manage to solve 1&2 between a mitm & a network then awesome. The problem is that this requires buy in from both sides. Just because irccloud.com support it doesn't mean it will automatically work on any irc network you try and connect to.

A user is defined by an irccloud account. Each irccloud account has a unique ipv6 and unique "user" name when connecting.

IE: sid655585@<unique_ipv6>

or: uid555512@<unique_ipv6>

s = subscriber, paid member

u = unsubscriped, free member.

It's possible, of course, to use this service to register many names and launch a spam attack using it. But, in that case you can just block all `u<star>@<star>.irccloud.com`[0] (assuming you can rdns properly)

Like I said, I'm not a super large advocate of irccloud, but just as webchat passes on the originating IP via cgi module extensions, irccloud fixes problems with abuse for operators.

I know this, because I have been running a large irc network for over 10 years.

[0]: I tried everything to make asterisks appear, but hackernews is doing something funky:


Howdy! Yep I'm aware of all of that. I'm sorry for perhaps not being clear enough in my original comment.

You allude to a problem by suggesting blocking u*, these accounts can be created when the old one is blocked. Even subscriber accounts can be created at will & higher cost, though are likely less of an issue.

There is a problem that irc.example.net can't say "These users all seem to be originating from this single open proxy, lets block it." They need irccloud to do that.

Well it's been a while since I used it, but this was the state of it when I did.

Have you tried Matrix (e.g. riot.im [1])? It even has an IRC bridge, for free.

[1] https://riot.im/

Does it not bother you that irccloud can see everything you type/read on IRC?

Why would that bother you any more than that the networks you're on can see everything you type/read on IRC? Generally people are on 2-3 networks at most, and you could get a very good idea of someone from intercepting messages on any one of them...

Networks, by and large, do not intercept messages like this. The only reason someone running an IRC network would see your messages is if they are in the same channel as you.

No, and nor does IRCCloud.

Every client and every server can log everything in IRC. You don't do private chats in there.

That's what DCC Chat is for, of course no one uses it because DCC is insane.

Unless you use OTR encryption

Not in the least, should it?

Not just IRC, irssi also supports SILC (Secure Internet Live Conferencing).

Here are the highlights:


You can run irrsi in tmux.

That's how I have my weechat client setup on my VPS

Or screen.

Heh, great! And only 17 years in development!

First commit: https://github.com/irssi/irssi/commit/770ae45

> First commit: https://github.com/irssi/irssi/commit/770ae45

Three version control systems later, that commit has hints of git, svn (git-svn-id) and cvs (.cvsignore) all in one!

Good on them for fighting the good fight and not discarding history.

Right on schedule!

Time to finally switch from ircII?? /s

You know, sometimes there's an argument for taking the slow and steady approach.

I know it doesn't always jive with the current fad of "move fast, throw in a bunch of js and break things" where everything is obsolete by the time it's released, but there's frankly no need for irssi development to proceed at an urgent pace. The 0.x versions were perfectly usable.

I agree given the project and the usability of prior releases, but you have to admit a 17 year schedule is amusing in todays world.

>you have to admit a 17 year schedule is amusing in todays world

No I don't.

Oh ok, 16 year schedule, that's amusing. 17? No. 18? Nope.

This release fixes a couple of vulnerabilities, some of them found via fuzzing: https://irssi.org/security/irssi_sa_2017_01.txt

I hope I'll find time to write up a blogpost how I fuzzed irssi later.

TIL that Hanno Bock is on HN. Cool! ;)

For those interested in consulting, IRC is a great way to find clients. You can both contribute your expertise and socialize and network with developers who specialize in technologies that you know well. I've found a great number of contractors through IRC (especially freenode). The fact that it requires a modicum of tech cred to navigate makes it a bit of a self-selecting pool, which is great.

For those of us who have not yet cracked the technique of finding clients via IRC, could you please share the name of a few channels where you could network and find clients?

Hang out in the channels associated with languages where you have expertise. If you're a php expert, contribute technical expertise in ##php and socialize in #phpc. And so forth. There's a list of channels here: http://irc.netsplit.de/channels/?net=freenode

My book (link in profile) offers a free chapter on finding clients if you sign up for the mailing list. IRC is discussed in depth.

> Binary test packages for various Linux distributions are automatically generated by the openSUSE Build Service

The most underused Linux service to the rest of the community. So glad they are using this.

For those who don't know, the Open Build Service is a project mainly maintained by the openSUSE community. Aside from building all of the packages for openSUSE and SUSE's enterprise distributions, it also can build Ubuntu, Debian, Arch Linux, Red Hat and Fedora packages. It also has a collaboration system which is the primary way that openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise are built.

[Disclaimer: I work for SUSE and am an openSUSE contributor.]

Thank you for your work. It really needs to be used by more projects. This could be the destination for anyone wanting to make packages for Linux and not just Ubuntu! Can you get some people promoting this thing!!!

Is there a similar service (paid perhaps) to build for macOS?


> Support for any OS and architecture due to the use of VM's for building the packages. This includes Windows (experimental) and Mac OS X (if anyone would want to work on that).

I've moved to weechat these days, but I'm glad to see the revived project making progress.

Irsii was my daily communications hero for many years.

I agree. I've been silently (and sometimes loudly...) groaning when I hear my friends start using Irssi back when it was still completely unmaintained. There's something nice about sometimes upgrading your software and actually getting surprised by new, useful features as well as security patches, which didn't happen with Irssi until very recently.

I feel like I just discovered the Coelacanth isn't actually extinct. I initially assumed either:

1) I misread the name of something that merely looked like irssi, or 2) there was a new project names irssi that unfortunately used a name of a much older project.

There was a several year period of my life where the vast majority of my online communication took place inside irssi. And that time was not particularly recent!

Congrats to the team, awesome to see it still going.

> I feel like I just discovered the Coelacanth isn't actually extinct.

Nah, that's when you hear BitchX has done a new release.

Gosh, BitchX. Now there's something I have fond memories of. I wonder where panasync is now?

He's into computer-aided manufacturing these days.

That's funny because recently I switched exclusively to irssi for personal IM stuff, as pretty much anyone I needed to IM outside of work were on IRC. It was kind of like coming home after traveling for a long time! Heck, I've even started using Gnus to read my email again. I don't know what's gotten into me. ;)

Interesting, I just learned that one of the developer (Kenny Root) also develops the ConnectBot Android app (SSH Client)!

Congrats to the team! Long time irssi user here, I've tried to move to several other clients over the years (for change's sake rather than any real reason), but nothing ever "stuck" with me.

Relatedly to this happy news, a gentle plug for a project I was involved in: https://github.com/rburchell/irssi-relay

irssi-relay allows you to connect weechat's relay clients to an irssi instance. I don't think it's gotten much use outside the few of us that work on it, more eyes are of course welcome.

Wow. I just have to say thank you. I love irssi, but the hassle of sshing from my phone has been an issue. This solved everything. the glowing bear phone app works great, but i couldnt get the weechat android app to work.


I think it was working at some point, but I don't regularly use Android, so I don't know what might have changed there.

Please file an issue if you don't mind (and if you can dig in and try to find the problem or even fix it, so much the better!)

It's pity that Irssi only support Perl as its scripting language. In contrast, https://weechat.org/ support: Python/Perl/Ruby/lua/tcl/guile/Javascript.

UPDATE: I stand corrected.

According to the website python,tcl, and javascript can be used https://irssi.org/modules/

Thank you for the information, guess I didn't look thoroughly back when I was looking for a terminal based IRC client.

Why? Perl's not that bad.

And you really want something that has to support all those language stacks? Ew.

it is just a chat client why does it need to support all those languages

i understand that Perl5, isn't really exciting anymore

but .. i think it's ok

Why does it need to support one?

IRC client is useless without a certain degree of extensibility. Having a wide range of scripting language support is important IMO.

I've been using IRC for over 15 years without scripting anything... I wouldn't call a client "useless" without scripting support.

But you can extend it. I know that recently vim has added python support, but people used vim script to do amazing things, and look at the OS we know as emacs.

> recently vim has added python support

Sorry if this makes you feel old, but that's a literal decade ago.

git's also over a decade old :(

Man, I _am_ old.

You could, you know... learn some perl?

Devs these days, so spoiled

Social networks come and go... but IRC lasts forever! :)

I've tried sooooo many different IRC clients. I always end up coming back to irssi.

Can anyone compare it to weechat? Never used irssi but weechat is my client of choice these days since my old client fell victim to the whole gtk2/gtk3 thing.

Weechat lacks passive DCC. Otherwise, considering the respective plugin ecosystems, both can be made look and work pretty much alike.

Apples and oranges - wee Is gui. Irssi is cli.

It's "wee" - so it's minimal. Does a good job for its niche.

Cli chat clients are more flexible, with all the complexity that brings with it - but they're usually robust. Command line graphics don't change much :)

gui ones less so, but learning curve is not as steep. That said Xchat is hard to compare to weechat again, as it's a full fledged gui IRC client, rather than a minimal one. (multi network, multi server, dcc/xdcc and scriptability) and it's robust in its own niche.

Been using irssi for years now, and can't say I know/utilise all it offers, but it's great to log in to my server and screen -x into my irssi session.

I'm not sure which WeeChat you're comparing to, but practically nothing you said applies to the weechat I know[1]. It's primary interface is a CLI one, it is incredibly flexible, and it's a full fledged IRC client with every single feature you listed.

[1]: https://weechat.org/

Hmm, you're right. I had a different client in mind and confused the two - can't remember what it was called now, tried to Google but it might have died along time ago.

Hell even xchat is now hexchat. Weechat seems to be a pretty good client.

The nick list on the side does have its drawbacks when it comes to small screen realestate- but for a newbie (and beyond really. It seems to be very extedable) Friendly client it's impressive.

Erm, pretty sure weechat is a CLI based IRC program. There's plenty of interfaces for it that expose a GUI, but at its core it's command line.

There's a distinction to be made between CLI and TUI (Text user interface, curses and the like) isn't there? I think maybe that's what godmodus was getting it (considering TUIs to be a kind of GUI).

I made a mistake man, thanks for the back up though.

I had an old java based chat client in mind that I used a long time ago and had a similar name.

irssi is as much a TUI as weechat

If you are looking for Irssi with a very nice native OS X interface make sure to checkout MacIrssi https://github.com/Dakta/MacIrssi

Ofcourse Irssi wouldn't be complete without its ircII minimalist theme:


Also, +1 for Ruby support.

It also comes with security fixes that were simultaneously released as a 0.8.21 bugfix-only release:


Funny, I was using that more than 10 years ago! My source of archlinux support when KDE didn't work.

Now we got phones with internet though, so it's no longer that hard to look up stuff when your computer is half down :)

Wow, I would have guessed Irssi passed version 1.0.0 a long long time ago. I've been using it at least 10 years and it's a great and stable application.

I guess that goes to show how much I pay attention to versions.

I'm glad to see another project dropping the meaningless major version number(s). If you don't have a criteria for incrementing the major number, just drop it. This seems to finally be catching on, hopefully we'll see the billion open source projects with meaningless "0." continue to fall off.

The problem is that when you start a new project you definitely don't want to start at 1.0 and give people the impression that it's already working. Then when do you decide to go 1.0 if you keep adding features and moving the goalpost? That's kind of tricky for open source projects that don't have commercial releases.

If you have release criteria, sure, bump to 1.0 when you hit them. But if you don't have release criteria, just name it 1.0 and go from there. Version numbers don't matter as much as people think they do. This way we can avoid people having to type "0.7", "0.8" etc for 17 years instead of just "7" and "8".

I have been an irssi user for almost 15 years and I don't remember having typed the version number even once. Indeed, it does not matter so much as some people think.

Are there any good irssi/weechat relay clients for iPhone or do I just have to live with that this phone sucks for geeky things like IRC?

I certainly can't seem to find anything in the istore...

Coming from android, that was such a surprise, and similarly, a massive downer.

I used Irssi 15 years ago. Back then they announced a rewrite that was to become 1.0.

neat. I've been using irssi for half a decade. Never realized it was <1.0

Today's XKCD celebrates IRC: http://xkcd.com/1782/

long live xircon!

all said, duck yeah, irssi remains one of my fav pieces of software. watching the rise of slack and so forth has been quite amusing to me, as a longtime irc chick. my barometer for new chat networks being good or not is "can i somehow use it in irssi?"

awaiting a good and proper discord-irc bridge to make up for all the funtimes tryin to make twitch/ustream/hitbox chat work via irc.

BitchX forever!! :P

(seriously though, not really, I could never figure out how to actually use that client)

BitchX isn't that hard, it's got all the ircII stuff plus a few changes to how you do a few things. I used graphical IRC clients for years until I started working more and switched around devices too much. I'm not a fan of ZNC/BNC, so now I have a few VPS's for plex and storage that I just have irssi running inside of a screen and it works great.

I stopped using BX after a few IRC friends badgered me into switching to irssi and I haven't looked back. I'm on IRC every day and the VPS -> screen -> irssi config has worked for years, so I'm sticking to it.

Any reason you're using screen over tmux? I'm trying to decide which way to go at the moment

> seriously though, not really, I could never figure out how to actually use that client

Wait, what?

That was what everyone in my 'hood was using, back in the golden age of IRC.

Did seccomp sandboxing make it to this release? (Not in the highlights listed.)

I'm not sure seccomp sandboxing makes a great deal of sense when the process is supposed to be able to host arbitrary perl script.

The best irc-client ever! I love this client so much.

Just about time.

Still no vertically split windows?

Does irssi proxy support TLS yet?

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