Connecting to IRC with HexChat

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First you will need to download and install HexChat.

Connecting to an IRC network

HexChat server list
Editing a server in HexChat

To connect to an IRC network, you will need to open the HexChat client, and it should show you the server list immediately. If not click HexChat->Network list to open the network list.

Look for the network that you would like to connect to in the server list. If you can't find the network then you will need to add the network to the list. To add a network click Add on the right side of the list.

You will be able to add/remove servers, channels, and connect commands via the network editor. You can also tell HexChat to connect to only the selected server, connect automatically, bypass proxy server, Use SSL, accept invalid SSL certificates, and whether or not you want to use global user information or given information.

There are several login methods to choose from if the network you are connecting to supports it. If your server uses a different character set you can select that as well.

Once you are happy with your settings you can close the network edit window, highlight the network, and click Connect from the server list.

Once you have setup some networks to autoconnect, or whatever you want to do, you may wish to skip the network list on startup or show favorites only.

Server command

Alternatively you could skip the network list and connect via the /server command. The default port is 6667 for normal connections, and 6697 for ssl connections

Usage: /server [-ssl] <host> [<port>] [<password>]

Connecting to a channel

Channel list

Once you have connected to a network, the channel list should pop up. Select the channel(s) that you would like to join and click Join Channel. If the channel list does not show after connecting to a server, you can search channels by clicking Server->Channel List.

Join a channel

If you know the channel that you would like to join, you can skip opening the channel list and type /join <#channel>.


  1. Basic commands for beginners

External Links

  1. Search IRC networks & channels