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How to Irssi

When I worked at Aframe, @mikesten put me onto IRCCloud which I used for many moons until it’s poor reliability forced me to look for a more robust solution. Here is how to Irssi.


  1. This is for setting up Irssi on a Mac. Your mileage may vary.
  2. Make sure you have the latest version of Xcode and have the Command Line Tools installed
  3. Be using Homebrew, the brilliant package manager for OS X

Download Irssi

brew install irssi

Let that er, brew. It’ll take a minute.

Set it up

Create the following file if it doesn’t already exist


Here is a basic example that should get you up and running – replace with your details.

Run Irssi

Using the following command from your terminal


Use CTRL + P and CTRL + N to cycle through windows – here is list of all the commands.

Scrolling on a Mac is a bit fiddly. If you’re on a laptop (or using a small keyboard) then hold Shift + fn and use the up/down arrow keys. If you have have a full-size external keyboard then hold Shift and use the Page Up/Down keys.

Enable auto logging

If you want to keep logs of your chats, etc then you want to

/set autolog on

Logs can be found in ~/irclogs/

Enable terminal notifications

If you want your terminal to notify you on certain conditions then

/set bell_beeps ON

Delete as appropriate. I used /set beep_msg_level MSGS HILIGHT

Use Screen because awesome

I use screen to keep a persistent connection to IRC – here is how to do that.

  • Detach from your screen session CTRL + A, D
  • Reattach your screen session screen -rd