IRC Clients for Ubuntu


I personally feel that mIRC is the best IRC client ever. Unfortunately, mIRC is not available for Linux. I tried IRC clients available for Ubuntu to find out something closest to or better than mIRC.

Xchat IRC client
It is easy to use but it is missing certain features that most mIRC users would find necessary. For example when you double click on a nick in a chatroom it displays whois info in the status tab instead of opening a query or private chat window. You can change this behavior in settings by replacing “QUOTE WHOIS %s %s” with “QUERY %s%s”. When you select some text in a chat window and right click it does not you show you an option to copy the selected text. You will have to use your keyboard shortcut CTRL+C to copy. In the input textarea, right click shows an option to paste. There are lots of other options in settings that you can change to make xchat act a lot like mIRC.

Xchat Gnome
There is Xchat Gnome the default IRC client for Ubuntu. Since Dapper it doesn’t get installed by default you will have to install it yourself. This IRC client is the gnome interface for X-chat popular IRC client. What I personally don’t like about it is that it doesn’t have tabs. Windows are listed in a sidebar tree. It has plugins support but I personally found Xchat IRC’s settings a lot better than this Gnome client.

You can chat on IRC using Gaim but the problem wit Gaim is that it treats IRC the same way it treats Yahoo! or MSN chat. People coming from mIRC wouldn’t find it easy and comfortable. For example Nicknames in the chat window (not the user list) are not clickable. So if someone says something on the main of a chatroom and you want to Private Message them then you will have to either type the command or find their Nick in the userlist and then double click it.

I also tried LostIRC, a dead simple irc client but it lacks some really basic interface features, BitchX was too advance for me. I haven’t tried Chatzilla because it was a 10 MB download. I also didn’t try any IRC client for KDE but previously when I was testing Kubuntu, I tried Konversation and loved it. Right now I am using Xchat IRC client and would love to hear if there is something better than that.

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13 thoughts on “IRC Clients for Ubuntu

  1. thanks for the list of clients (:
    I’m running ubuntu from a live cd, still getting used to it, it has Gaim which I’ve tried using before but when compared to mirc I agree – it is definately uncomfortable to use

  2. Why dont you guys go for Sun virtualbox and load an xp to you current linux box, and use mirc. With this you can mapp a drive pointed to you home folder in ubunto from within the virtual win xp machine.

    Platform Integration,:)

    I love mirc but im new to linux so im gonna try xchat and check it out. I have used pidgin to chat and irc and its ok :), no mirc = base experience but it works.

  3. I have found mirc to be best with crossover but i would try xchat. mirc through wine or other emulation is pretty crappy. even ms fonts do the magic. i have tried kopete, and other stuff but i’d stick to mirc or xchat. i am on gnome hardy btw.

  4. “When you select some text in a chat window and right click it does not you show you an option to copy the selected text.”
    Er… unless xchat blocks standard behaviour, selecting the text copies it. You paste with your middle mouse button.

    And I happen to love KVirc. I use it on Windows, OSX and Kubuntu and it is fantastic.

  5. da, IRSSI is a terminal based client and most ex-windows users including myself find it difficult to use applications in Terminal.

    vitulor, even the Kopete is not a bad IRC client if we are talking about KDE/Kubuntu.

    enigma, my problem is that I don’t like using wine. Using Wine is not a good option as you mentioned that you can not get DCC working. IRC is a basic need and there should be either a *nix version of mIRC or we should have something better than mIRC.

  6. I also am of the opinion that mirc is the best chat client. Happily, it runs just fine on ubuntu with ‘wine’. My only problems is that I can’t figure out how to get dcc working when running in ‘wine’.

  7. I am a new kubuntu user. I have been an IRC user since the early 90’s. Given the choices in (k)ubuntu, it seems I too am at a loss for finding the ‘ideal’ IRC client. I use mirc with ircN and its user settings are essential for me. I can op, control, etc through my ircN client, almost as if it were an eggdrop. I have used irssi, and it is a bit awkward for me. I never developed the desire to further it. I can use it, and be ok, but it leaves a lot to be desired. I tried KVIrc. Now… this may have potential. It is too much eye candy, uselessness, but it can be turned off, and only use what you want. Xchat gnome is worthless as you mentioned. I currently use Xchat, and am experimenting with KVIrc at the same time. KVIrc is not bad. Give it a whirl, It is in the repositories if you added the non-standards to your sources.list Hope this helps.

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