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Home » , , » XChat: Multiplatform Chat Program

XChat: Multiplatform Chat Program

XChat is an IRC chat program for both Linux and Windows.

It allows you to join multiple IRC channels (chat rooms) at the same time, talk publicly, private one-on-one conversations etc.

Even file transfers are possible.

Ubuntu's default client is irssi, which lacks a graphical interface.

If you want a simple to use, GUI client, install xchat which can be found in the Universe Repositories.

Screenshots in Gnome 2.16 (Linux).
Shot 1 Shot 2 Shot 3 Shot 4
XChat 2.6.8 Settings & Server Window Minimalist Mode XChat 2.0.3

XChat 2.8.6 released (the Linux version)


• Updated translations (de, fi, fr, hu, lt, nb, ru, th, zh_CN).
• Fixed creation of ~/.xchat2/scrollback/ paths (xc284-scrollbmkdir.diff).
• Fixed a leak of file descriptors related to the scrollback feature (resource leak) (xc284-fix-scrollbfdleak.diff).
• Stopped scrollback files growing too large by fixing the file-shrink code.
• Put a "Display scrollback from previous session" into the Setup GUI (logging section) so people can turn this off without typing commands.
• Made /away work even when the reason setting is empty.
• Using /part on a channel that contains a quotation mark now works [1800855].
• Changed the default encoding to "IRC" (CP1252/Unicode Hybrid) for both Unix and Windows.
• Fixed a possible Channel List crash if you searched many times while the download was still going.
• Fixed alert balloons failing if the text contained "<" characters [1827629]. • The Drag&Drop files to userlist feature has been enabled again. • Removed the /set tab_icons setting and made it automatic (see FAQ for more info about icons). • Fixed a bug in creating files (save channel list, rawlog etc) that would set the wrong permissions. • Added command line argument --command=COMMAND which can be used in conjuction with --existing (E.K.L.). This sends any xchat command to an existing (running) client. • A private SSL key/certificate can now be loaded from ~/.xchat2/client.pem. • The Alerts settings now accept wildcards, instead of partitial string match [1807563]. • Changing away status during reconnect/disconnect will now remember it. • You can now change your Away/Back status (all networks) in the tray menu. • Favorite Channels / Auto-Join-List management: * Network List window now has a "..." button to edit the auto-join-list in a more friendly way. * Channel(text area), Tree/Tab and Channel-List right-click menus now have a "Add to Favorites" function. * Previous limit of 300 bytes has been overcome. Now up to 2 KB worth of channels/keys can be joined and it will be automatically split into multiple lines, if necessary. * Per-Channel settings now save to disk, including Logging and Scrollback settings. * /ChanOpt has been re-worked to be more like /Set. • 'hostname:port' syntax is now accepted, if it's not an IPv6 address. • The Userlist right-click menu now has icons and an option to add to friends list. If you've edited this menu before you'll still get the old one. To get the new one delete ~/.xchat2/popup.conf while XChat isn't running. • ~/.xchat2/startup.txt is now loaded on launch (like /LOAD -e). Put any commands you want executed at startup here. • The lag-o-meter now has a full scale of 1.0 seconds. • libnotify is now opened directly instead of using 'notify-send' to open tray/balloon alerts. • Added support for QuakeNet's /AUTH for nick password, when numeric 005 NETWORK=QuakeNet is detected. • You can now copy with IRC attributes and mIRC colors if CTRL key is down when a selection is finished (on mouse release). This replaces the old "Color paste" feature. • Added a 'compact' flag to gui_tweaks. This'll make the userlist and tree spacing smaller. E.g. type /set -or gui_tweaks 32 and restart to turn it on. • The /CLEAR command takes a number as paramater (how many lines to clear). • When there's missing information in the Userlist right-click menu, it'll issue a silent /WHOIS and fill it in. This includes retrieving a person's away-reason. • Perl (Lian Wan Situ) * /reloadall will now reload all the scripts that are currently load instead of simply reruning the autoload routine * gtk/glib/gdk errors and warnings have been redirected back to stderr so they will no longer show up in the text box as a result of having the Perl plugin loaded * Check if the user has perl 5.6 instead of 5.8 and give an warning dialog if they do (Peter Zelezny) * Changed timer callbacks so that they are executed in the context that they were created in * Modified Xchat::print and Xchat::command to accept array references in addition to strings for the channel and server parameters • Plugin API: * xchat_emit_print() will now trigger Sound, Blink, Icon etc type events, depending on user's settings. * Fixed a bug where not all 32 elements were available in word[]/word_eol[].

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a chat room and instant messaging system. IRC is commonly used in the open source community. There are many IRC networks, such as Freenode, EFnet and Undernet, each of these have many chat channels (equivalent to chat rooms), such as #debian, #ubuntu, #physics. Most open source projects such as Ubuntu have at least one channel where you can ask for help.

To connect to an IRC server you need an IRC client. Ubuntu's default client is irssi, which lacks a graphical interface. If you want a simple to use, GUI client, install xchat which can be found in the Universe Repositories.

Starting X-Chat and connecting to an IRC server

  1. To open XChat go to Applications -> Internet -> XChat IRC or you can run the command

    in the terminal.
  2. This will open the Server List where you will need to fill in some User Information:
    • Nick Name: Use a unique, non offensive name.
    • Second Choice: If your nick name is taken this will be used.
    • Third Choice: If you first and second are taken, you have a third choice. If all three are taken you may need to try some more names, or the server might choose something for you.
    • User Name: Gives you an ident in your hostname for example: user@isp.com

    • Real Name: Your real name, you do not have to fill this in.
  3. There are many different IRC networks, but the #ubuntu channel is on Freenode. This is a good place to ask for help with ubuntu.

  4. Once your nickname is accepted you can register your nickname by typing the following command in X-Chat

/ns register 
  • If you want to associate your email address with your nickname (in case you lose your password) just type this command in X-Chat

/msg NickServ set email your_email@address.org

Settings for Networks

You may want to put in special settings for a particular network, such as auto-joining a certain room, or passwords.

Select a server and click edit.

  • Server Password: Where your nickserv password goes.
  • Join channels: This automates connecting to your favorite channel(s).
  • Connect command: Some times you might want a send a command to the server when you join.
  • Nickserv password: Don't use this field on Freenode.
  • Character Set: UTF-8 is recommended

Press Connect to connect to the server. It is possible to connect to more then one server in the same time, you should press Connect in New Tab in that case.

How to use XChat

Using XChat is really simple, just start typing and join the online Ubuntu community. If you have no experience with IRC read An introduction to IRC

External Links

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