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Irssi Logo
Irssi Screenshot.png
A screenshot of Irssi.
Original author(s)Timo Sirainen
Developer(s)The Irssi team
Initial releaseJanuary 1999; 23 years ago (1999-01)[1]
Stable release1.2.3 (April 11, 2021; 9 months ago (2021-04-11)) [±][2]
Written inC
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeIRC client

Irssi (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈirsːi] (listen)) is an IRC client program for Linux, FreeBSD, macOS and Microsoft Windows. It was originally written by Timo Sirainen, and released under the terms of the GNU GPL-2.0-or-later in January 1999.[1]


Irssi is written in the C programming language and in normal operation uses a text-mode user interface.[4]

According to the developers, Irssi was written from scratch, not based on ircII (like BitchX and epic).[5] 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.[5] Numerous Perl scripts have been made available for Irssi to customise how it looks and operates.[6] Plugins are available which add encryption[7][8] and protocols such as ICQ and XMPP.[9][10]

Irssi may be configured by using its user interface or by manually editing its configuration files, which use a syntax resembling Perl data structures.[4]


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,[11] NetBSD, DragonFly BSD, Solaris,[12] Arch Linux,[13] Ubuntu,[12] NixOS,[14] and others.

Irssi builds and runs on Microsoft Windows under Cygwin, and in 2006, an official Windows standalone build became available.[15]

For the Unix-based macOS, text mode ports are available from the Homebrew, MacPorts, and Fink package managers, and two graphical clients have been written based on Irssi, IrssiX, and MacIrssi.[12] The Cocoa client Colloquy was previously based on Irssi,[16] but it now uses its own IRC core implementation.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Manual.
  2. ^ "Irssi 1.2.3 Released". 11 April 2021. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  3. ^ irssi v. 0.8.16 source files (e.g. irssi-0.8.16/src/core/core.c)
  4. ^ a b Danen, Vincent (May 5, 2008). "Try IRC with Irssi to communicate via chat". TechRepublic. Archived from the original on December 27, 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
  5. ^ a b Sirainen, Timo. "About". Archived from the original on 2001-04-05.
  6. ^ Van der Gaast, Wilmer (2004). "Enhance irssi with Perl". In Paul Mutton (ed.). IRC hacks. O'Reilly Books. p. 84. ISBN 0-596-00687-X.
  7. ^ SILC encryption plugin.
  8. ^ FiSH encryption plugin.
  9. ^ ICQ plugin sourcecode Archived 2006-07-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Didier, Colin Jabber/Xmpp plugin.
  11. ^ "irssi-1.1.1p0 – modular IRC client with many features (ipv6,socks,proxy)". OpenBSD ports. 2018-02-27. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  12. ^ a b c Downloads.
  13. ^ "Arch Linux - Package Database".
  14. ^ "NixOS - Package Database".
  15. ^ "Download". Archived from the original on 2006-11-15.
  16. ^ Smykil, Jeff (August 21, 2005). "In the Loop with Tim Hatcher". Ars Technica
  17. ^ Hatcher, Tim (February 11, 2006). "Changeset 3129: Remove Irssi from the project".

External links[edit]