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Written by:
clem
Score: 241
votes: 248
Format: Article

 How to use the IRC


A. Introduction

I.R.C. stands for Internet Relay Chat. It is one of the oldest chat protocols on the Internet and among the most widely used. In Linux Mint you would use the IRC to:

  • Find other users to help you with a problem
  • Help others
  • Chat with other users

On the IRC, you don't just connect to some central server. You join "channels". A channel is like a chatroom... once you've joined the channel you can see who's connected to it, and if anyone talks in the channel it will appear on your screen.

Similarly, when you type and say something, everybody in the channel sees it. 

B. How to connect to the Linux Mint channels

B1. Using Linux Mint

Open the menu and launch "Xchat". It will connect you automatically and you'll be ready to talk with other people.

If you're using the KDE edition, launch the program called "Quassel".

B2. Using other operating systems

There are many IRC client applications which can connect you to the IRC under Windows, Mac OS and most other operating systems. 

Alternatively you can use a Web-based IRC client such as Mibbit:

  1. Open Firefox and go to http://www.mibbit.com/chat/
  2. Click on "Server" and fill in the following in the "Server address" field: irc.spotchat.org
  3. Fill in your nickname
  4. Fill in the name of the channel (see section B3 for the names of the channels used by Linux Mint)
  5. Click on the Go button.
  6. When a new tab opens with the name of the channel in the background, click on it.
  7. You're ready to chat.

B3. List of channels and network used by Linux Mint

Linux Mint uses the Spotchat IRC network (On an IRC network each channel has a unique name, so if there was only one IRC network in the World there would only be one #England channel in the world for instance. As you can imagine, there are many.).

The address for this network is: irc.spotchat.org

On this network, the distribution uses the following channels:

Channel Description Family-friendly Auto-joined?
#linuxmint-help The support channel, dedicated to questions and helping others. Yes Yes
#linuxmint-chat The chat channel, for people to talk about anything they want. Yes Yes
#pimpmymint The #pimpmymint channel, less rules and no need to be serious No No

By default, Xchat (or Quassel) will join the support and the chat channels. In the support channel you're welcome to ask questions about Linux Mint or to seek help from others. In the chat channel you can talk about anything you want (as long as it's legal and family-friendly of course).

Because Linux Mint is run by many different people, from older to younger people, having very different cultures and sensibilities, it is important that you remain calm, friendly and polite. You should also avoid any sensitive subjects such as religion, sex and politics. And you should avoid any term, insult, word that could hurt the sensibility of others. If you're interested in talking about these topics, or if you want to be able to speak freely, you should join the #pimpmymint channel instead.

To join #pimpmymint, type the following command in Xchat/Quassel:

/join #pimpmymint

C. Netiquette

There's an IRC culture on the Internet so it's important to be aware of certain things:

  • Shouting: Don't use capital letters. This is considered "shouting".
  • Flooding: Don't flood the channel (i.e. don't repeat the same thing more than once, and don't paste multiple lines of text in the channel. If you need to show somebody something that doesn't fit in a single line, use pastebin... see section D on how to use pastebin).
  • Demanding: People on the IRC are users like you, they will help you if they feel like it. Do not demand help, be nice and people will help you.
  • Disappearing: If you ask a question, wait for an answer. Don't just ask a question and go a few minutes later. Some people are connected all day, but that doesn't mean they're in front of their screen or that they're looking at the channel right now. Leave the IRC open in the background and do something else in the meantime. The more you wait the more likely you'll get an answer.
  • Picking: Unless you know someone, don't talk to him/her directly. When asking a question, ask everybody, not someone in particular. That particular person might not have the time to help you and it is considered rude to knock on people's door on the IRC.
  • Cursing: Remember that some users connected to the channel may be young children. Avoid any topics and wording that could hurt their sensibility.

D. Using pastebin to show text to other users

Sometimes you need to show the result of a command or the content of a file to people on the IRC. If you paste the text directly in your IRC client, you're likely to get kicked or banned from the channel for flooding. The solution is to use a pastebin.

A pastebin is a website which allows you to paste text and to show it to other people.

Let's try it:

  1. Open Firefox and go to http://www.pastebin.com
  2. Click on the empty text area under the title "Post a new pastebin".
  3. Paste your text in there
  4. Click the submit button
  5. Note that the address of the page has changed to something like http://pastebin.com/8vmRwcLB
  6. Copy/paste the http://pastebin.com/8vmRwcLB address in your IRC client
  7. When people click that link they will see the text you pasted.

E. Using imagebin to show images

Sometimes it's pictures you need to show. For instance, an error message, or a screenshot of your desktop.

Note: You can easily take screenshots of your desktop by pressing the Print_Screen key, or screenshots of a particular window by pressing Alt+Print_Screen.

In this case use the following website: http://imagebin.ca/

It works the exact same way as a pastebin. Fill in the form to upload your picture, copy the resulting address and paste it in your IRC client for people to click on it.


Tags: irc chat room support
Created: 4 years ago.
Last edited: 1 year ago.
Read 17591 times.

Comments
1 month ago

maggieuganda
Thanks for the basic info in basic, everyday English!! I almost feared to check this out, not knowing IRC meant. But everything I have accessed so far on Linix is useful...even when I don't have the vocabulary. Thank you.  
1 month ago

rogue
Thanks to you, sir, i won't get banned.  
2 months ago

OscarRoss
Informative! Thanks!  
2 months ago

pogiako12345
Very helpful! Thanks again Clem!  
3 months ago

anniet
Really helpful, thank you.

 
3 months ago

mapereirac
Parece muy bueno, lo leeré con calma a ver que tal, y ver si entro al "mundo" IRC !  
3 months ago

flakjakk
Good one - my first time was easy, thanks to this.  
4 months ago

jfleen
Everyone should read this before using IRC. Good info.  
4 months ago

balwantharwadikar
Thanks and very useful,  
5 months ago

highwind
Thanks and very useful,
btw, the information of pastbin may need to be updated
on IRC the chanserv recommend dpaste.com now, and It seems that http://imagebin.ca/ is not available.
 
6 months ago

blackburnsteven7
Agree Very Useful Thank's i am seeking to learn all i can of the os's operating procedure's  
9 months ago

muhlber
Thanks! Very useful!  
9 months ago

tomcoll1
Not using an irc chat in many years, this was a good gentle reminder. And I learned about pastebin, who knows I may need it some day.  
9 months ago

soloa
This tutorial reminds users how important it is to use good manners on the IRC. Thank you.  
1 year ago

jojopumpkin
I've used IRC years ago. I always felt like I was going somewhere I needed to let I friend know I was going on the off chance I disappeared.  
1 year ago

rahulrajpl
Dear Author,
How do you quote a person in IRC?
 
1 year ago

jrgsm70
It's a short tuto but extremely useful.
Now, I got a two different sites:
http://imagebin.ca/
http://www.pastebin.com
 
1 year ago

sujitnag
very helpful tutorial.  
1 year ago

gadgetboi
feels like in the 90s era when entering the IRC channel :D  
1 year ago

harmored
I'm v. new to this world and will try to be constructive in comments once I am a bit more confident in what i (think i) am doing. Thus far I like Nadia.  
1 year ago

DasFox
The IRC needs to be made up of different channels for different languages!

Clem PLEASE have someone do this, it's not fair to have everyone speaking 20 different languages in one channel, it's irritating with all the different languages spewing across the screen with no clue as to what is being spoken.

The forum isn't just in one language neither should IRC...

THANKS
 
1 year ago

misailidis
Very helpfull to someone who has never used IRC and very easy to follow
in plain English
 
1 year ago

terabyte
Very good advice. I've served on buletin-boards as a moderator several times and as an administrator just twice as one who put a buletin board together from the language up. So my comment is qualified retrospectively. terabyte  
1 year ago

ewertont
I go use IRC now.
Thx!
 
1 year ago

parth
thanks for explining it in this simple way.....great for newbies like me
 
2 years ago

animaguy
I think it is a good chatroom but i can't find the server freenode. And linux mint 13 comes with XChat by default so I am not sure why you midbit even exists.

It is a good IRC for beginners and I am not trying to complain.
 
2 years ago

Thinker
Can you also add how to register a nick?  
2 years ago

major
Personally I do not recommend using pastebin. use https://crypty.ch instead  
2 years ago

major
Allow me to add an Arabic tutorial to use IRC: https://syria.hacktivist.me/?page_id=75  
2 years ago

PCSAWICK829
Never used IRC before.. this definitely got me started on the right track. Thanks for the posting & keep up the good work!  
2 years ago

jatwood
Thanks for the information, its much appreciated.  
2 years ago

sunewbie
very helpful  
2 years ago

terabyte
verry good instructions! terabyte  
2 years ago

ssstylish
Exellent Beginner level tutorial.
I learned everything i need to know in general about the IRC.
Поздрав :D
 
2 years ago

Maxdrake
helpfully  
2 years ago

gregzeng
Have been a Linux taster for decades ... but Skype, etc rather than IRC. Now heavily using *untu distros, but IRC is not really a novice-friendly business tool, with shared whiteboards, revisions & transfers of complex files, whilst a team collaborative process is progressing.

Could you help us business (non-coders) types with the better tools, with pointers to more useful software?
 
2 years ago

Kraft
Good and correct advice.  
2 years ago

excentrica
Handy Guide!  
3 years ago

Labby
Man, it's been years since I last used IRC. Thanks for the refresher Clem! I just connected and have it running the background.  
3 years ago

RavS
Thanks a lot Clem!  
3 years ago

treefang
Very helpful.
Thanks.
 
3 years ago

Chen_q07
Great tutorial. Very helpful to me! Thanks a lot.  
3 years ago

SunWukong
Great tutorial. Now IRC chats don't look quite as daunting as they always have.  
3 years ago

ArcherSeven
Also good to know, LMDE uses #linuxmint-debian on spotchat.  
3 years ago

sayan_acharjee
Gonna use it from now on... :)  
3 years ago

orionthehunter
Good links, I didn't know about them.  
3 years ago

Tonya
Briefly and detailed = great article! Many thanks!!!  
3 years ago

Sol_Badguy
Very useful,thanks! :)  
3 years ago

grim
Awesome and useful tutorial, well done good sir! :D  
3 years ago

linXea
Respect is the key on IRC.  
3 years ago

linXea
Respect is the key on IRC.  
3 years ago

Ki3rk3gaard
kool beenz  
3 years ago

Heins
Hallo ..und viele Grüsse aus old Germany,
habe linux 10 Rc Version geladen...<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
 
3 years ago

iceman600
love this tutorial... now i know how to use IRC...
 
3 years ago

zaenal1234
this tutorial, i like.  
3 years ago

jessie0514
Thanks this very nice specially for newbies like me.  
3 years ago

titohal
It was useful for me, thanks.  
3 years ago

ron_o
This is great and I'll be showing this to more people who come into the channel's above. Not very long ago I've discontinued help because it was an exercise in futility getting that person to simply paste information to a pastebin.

Just let me add two programs that can make getting help easier (after you get to know how to use these):
1. Webboard: A paste application for text
2. Shutter: A screenshot application, image manipulator and uploader
all rolled into one.

It's not a bad idea at all to write what you have tried as a very matter-of-fact way possible. Keep it short but descriptive; bullet style is a great idea. Don't tell a story. Paste that to a pastebin.

Format:
1. Version of Mint & Desktop:
2. Experience with linux in months to years:
3. Describe in one sentence what's going on:
4. Describe as briefly as possible in bullet style what was tried.
5. Is there anything you did beforehand that you think caused it.

Paste #3 above to the IRC channel with the URL after you have asked yourself this: Can I make this description any shorter & have I tried the forums or the internet to see if other people have had the same problems?. Many times I've searched for a howto and posted the URL.

Unlikely this technique will happen in most instances but I can dream. :)
 
4 years ago

fragus
Hum! One can learn new tricks everyday. Thank you for the concise explanation.  
4 years ago

Darrel
Short and to the point, without having to wade through, redundant text. Thanks  
4 years ago

Melon_Bread
Great Intro To IRC, Thank You!  
4 years ago

suman_linuxmint
really best tutorial.. thanks!..  
4 years ago

dragonias
Great tutorial, thanks!  
4 years ago

peter_h
Thank you for this nice information. Especially the feature of the pastebin is quite new for me. Thank you.  
4 years ago

kevr
to be honest here, i've never seen such an in-depth irc guide. i didn't read it, since i'm already familiar -- but nice job.  
4 years ago

Rufus
Thanks a lot clem, I didn't knew that this IRC exists.  
4 years ago

clem
@deathgasm: lol.. so much for an introduction :) Thanks :))  
4 years ago

jkw
*cough*
clem
"I.R.C. stands for Internet Chat Relay."
*waves with the wizard staff*
"I.R.C. stands for Internet Relay Chat."
 
4 years ago

clem
@remoulder: Done.  
4 years ago

remoulder
Another great tut. Just one thing "see below on how to use pastebin" - below where?  

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