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Irssi Logo
A screenshot of Irssi.
Original author(s) Timo Sirainen
Developer(s) The Irssi team
Initial release 1999; 15 years ago (1999)
Stable release 0.8.16 (May 29, 2014; 3 months ago (2014-05-29)) [±]
Preview release 0.8.17rc1 (July 13, 2014; 48 days ago (2014-07-13)) [±]
Written in C
Operating system Cross-platform
Type IRC client
License GNU General Public License v2 or later [1]

Irssi (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈ] (audio)) is an IRC client program for Linux, FreeBSD, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X. It was originally written by Timo Sirainen, and released under the terms of the GNU General Public License in January 1999.[2]


Irssi is written in the C programming language and in normal operation uses a text-mode user interface.[3]

According to the developers, Irssi was written from scratch, not based on ircII (like BitchX and epic).[4] This freed the developers from having to deal with the constraints of an existing codebase, allowing them to maintain tighter control over issues such as security and customization.[4] Numerous modules and Perl scripts have been made available for Irssi to customise how it looks and operates.[5] Plugins are available which add encryption[6][7] and protocols such as ICQ and XMPP.[8][9]

Irssi may be configured by using its user interface or by manually editing its configuration files, which use a syntax resembling Perl data structures.[3]


Irssi was written primarily to run on Unix-like operating systems, and binaries and packages are available for Gentoo Linux, Debian, Slackware, SUSE (openSUSE), Frugalware, Fedora, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris,[10] and Arch Linux.[11]

Irssi builds and runs on Microsoft Windows under Cygwin, and in 2006, an official Windows standalone build became available.[12]

Several versions are available for the Unix-based Mac OS X, including a text-mode version using Homebrew, MacPorts, and Fink, and two graphical versions, IrssiX, and MacIrssi.[10] The Cocoa client Colloquy was previously based on Irssi,[13] but it now uses its own IRC core implementation.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ irssi v. 0.8.16 source files (e.g. irssi-0.8.16/src/core/core.c)
  2. ^ Manual.
  3. ^ a b Danen, Vincent (May 5, 2008). "Try IRC with Irssi to communicate via chat". TechRepublic. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  4. ^ a b Sirainen, Timo. "About". Archived from the original on 2001-04-05. 
  5. ^ Van der Gaast, Wilmer (2004). "Enhance irssi with Perl". In Paul Mutton. IRC hacks. O'Reilly Books. p. 84. ISBN 0-596-00687-X. 
  6. ^ SILC encryption plugin.
  7. ^ FiSH encryption plugin.
  8. ^ ICQ plugin sourcecode.
  9. ^ Didier, Colin Jabber/Xmpp plugin.
  10. ^ a b Downloads.
  11. ^ "Arch Linux - Package Database". 
  12. ^ "Download". Archived from the original on 2006-11-15. 
  13. ^ Smykil, Jeff (August 21, 2005). "In the Loop with Tim Hatcher". Ars Technica
  14. ^ Hatcher, Tim (February 11, 2006). "Changeset 3129: Remove Irssi from the project".

External links[edit]