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Because discord and slack are proprietary.

I've tried a few times to get into irssi, but realized the only way I'd be able to use it is with a long term running VPS, and documenting my steps here.


Login to VPS. Start tmux with

tmux new -s irssi irssi

If you later logout, you can re attach with:

tmux attach -t irssi

or alternatively, if you only have one tmux window open:

tmux attach

NOTE: You can close the window (I have a kill shortcut on F12) or ctrl-b d to detach from tmux.

Add IRC server if not already saved.

/server add -auto -network Freenode 6667

Connect to server.

/connect freenode

Can alternatively do


Add your name to freenode, if not already saved (this is a benefit of saving the server)

/network add -nick <your-nick> Freenode

When you login, you will want to register, if you haven't already. Then follow the server's instructions for the password. The server's output often displays on a different window than your default. So


to switch to the next IRSSI window.


If you want a new window:

/window new

If you want to get rid of the split window

/window hide #

You might have to turn off the "sticky" window. It will prompt you if necessary, for example if you hit CTRL-N

Freenode Search

Servers manage search differently. You can always /list, but that is too many to read. For freenode:

/msg alis LIST * -topic electronics

There are more instructions here: But the help doc is outdated, and at least one of the examples doesn't work (2019/10). So just use above.

After you search, scroll up pages in irssi default setup with:


Just the page up key. Much easier than screen which requires changing modes.

GNU Screen

scroll up

ctrl-a ESC
pgup / pgdn

output current screen buffer to file

ctrl-a :
hardcopy  output.file  (type this)

output whole screen buffer to file

ctrl-a :
hardcopy -h output.file

Note: if file seems blank at the top, scroll down. connect w/serial

# screen /dev/ttyS0 115200

Security on IRC

Don't use your home internet connection, use a VPS. You can get VPS for extremely cheap ($10-15/yr) which are perfect for IRC.

IRC Gabbers (Politics)

IRC support chats are not for socializing. No one has time to read your hugbox. Keep it simple, and to the point. Life is short.