From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Original author(s)Timo Sirainen
Developer(s)The Irssi team
Initial releaseJanuary 1999; 25 years ago (1999-01)[1]
Stable release
1.4.5[2] Edit this on Wikidata / 3 October 2023
Written inC, Perl[3]
Operating systemCross-platform
TypeIRC client

Irssi (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈirsːi] (listen)) is an Internet Relay Chat (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]

The program has a text-based user interface was written from scratch using C. It may be customized by editing its config files or by installing plugins and Perl scripts. Though initially developed for Unix-like operating systems, it has been successfully ported to both Windows and macOS.


Irssi is written in the C programming language and in normal operation uses a text-mode user interface.[5]

According to the developers, Irssi was written from scratch, not based on ircII (like BitchX and epic).[6] 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.[6] Numerous Perl scripts have been made available for Irssi to customise how it looks and operates.[7] Plugins are available which add encryption[8][9] and protocols such as ICQ and XMPP.[10][11]

Irssi may be configured by using its user interface or by manually editing its configuration files, which use a syntax resembling Perl data structures.[5]


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,[12] NetBSD, DragonFly BSD, Solaris,[13] Arch Linux,[14] Ubuntu,[13] NixOS,[15] and others.

Irssi builds and runs on Microsoft Windows under Cygwin, and in 2006, an official Windows standalone build was released.[16]

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.[13] The Cocoa client Colloquy was previously based on Irssi,[17] but it now uses its own IRC core implementation.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Manual.
  2. ^ "Release 1.4.5". 3 October 2023. Retrieved 19 October 2023.
  3. ^ "Irssi". GitHub.
  4. ^ irssi v. 0.8.16 source files (e.g. irssi-0.8.16/src/core/core.c)
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ a b Sirainen, Timo. "About". Archived from the original on 2001-04-05.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ SILC encryption plugin.
  9. ^ FiSH encryption plugin.
  10. ^ ICQ plugin sourcecode Archived 2006-07-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Didier, Colin Jabber/Xmpp plugin.
  12. ^ "irssi-1.1.1p0 – modular IRC client with many features (ipv6, socks, proxy)". OpenBSD ports. 2018-02-27. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  13. ^ a b c Downloads.
  14. ^ "Arch Linux - Package Database".
  15. ^ "NixOS - Package Database".
  16. ^ "Download". Archived from the original on 2006-11-15.
  17. ^ Smykil, Jeff (August 21, 2005). "In the Loop with Tim Hatcher". Ars Technica
  18. ^ Hatcher, Tim (February 11, 2006). "Changeset 3129: Remove Irssi from the project" Archived 2008-10-14 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]