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There are more instructions here: But the help doc is outdated, and at least one of the examples doesn't work (2019/10).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

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.