From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from XChat)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hexchat Logo.svg
Hexchat 2.10.2 under Windows 10.PNG
Screenshot of Hexchat 2.10.2
Developer(s)Patrick Griffis[1]
Initial release6 July 2012; 8 years ago (2012-07-06)
Stable release
2.14.3 / 20 December 2019; 14 months ago (2019-12-20)[2]
Windows 10 App,
Windows 7+ 64-bit,
Windows 7+ 32-bit,
Source Code
Xchat logo.svg
Developer(s)Peter Železný (zed), Brian Evans (LifeIsPain)
Initial releaseX-Chat 1.0.0: June 29, June 29, 1999; 21 years ago (1999-06-29)[3]
Final release
2.8.9 / 28 August 2010; 10 years ago (2010-08-28)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC
Operating systemmacOS, Unix-like, Windows
Available inMultilingual
TypeIRC client
LicenseGNU General Public License

HexChat is an Internet Relay Chat client, forked from XChat. It has a choice of a tabbed document interface or tree interface, support for multiple servers, and numerous configuration options. Both command-line and graphical versions were available.

The client is available for Unix-like systems; derivatives with native support for macOS's Aqua interface are also available (see below).

XChat's main source code tree has not received any patches since 2013.[4] In the past, some Linux distributions, such as Fedora, maintained their own versions to fix bugs, keep the program working and able to build, and to resolve security issues.[5]

XChat's fork HexChat, formerly the Windows-specific X-Chat WDK, is installed by default on Linux Mint, and is still maintained, as of August 2018.[6][7]


The Internet Relay Chat client offers a graphical user interface surrounding the basic chat window. It includes all basic functionality found in most other IRC clients, including nick completion,[8] connecting to multiple servers,[9] secure connections,[10] Client-to-client protocol, Direct Client-to-Client file transfers and chats, and a plugin system for various programming languages (including at least C or C++, Perl, Python, Tcl, Ruby,[11] Lua,[12] CLISP, D, and DMDScript[13]). Plugins allow extending the features and customization of the functionality of XChat.

The default view for the client window is referred to as "tree view", but can be configured for a tabbed interface instead. Tabs change color as text arrives, other users enter or leave channels, or another user addresses the user's nickname. The interface can display clickable operator ("op") commands and others, and allows customization of fonts, event sounds, timestamps, and logging.[14] XChat implements all standard IRC commands (e.g. /NICK or /JOIN), as well as DCC chatting (/CHAT), which allows chat to continue if the IRC server is disconnected.[14]

The client runs on Unix-like operating systems,[6][15] and many GNU/Linux distributions include packages in their repositories.[16]


The main body of XChat code is licensed under the GNU General Public License. However, on August 23, 2004, the official build for Windows had become shareware, and had to be purchased after a 30-day trial period. Previous builds for Windows were removed from the official site.[17] The authors stated that the shareware fee is required due to the excessive amount of time it took to make it compile under Windows.[18] This created controversy as Peter Železný did not have the copyright to all of the code which he was claiming to re-license, as well as linking proprietary shareware enforcement code against GPL-licensed code, making the Windows version of XChat a violation of copyright law and the GPL.[19]

However, since the Unix version of XChat's code is free software under the GPL, several free non-official builds for Windows are being maintained.[20]

Derivative software[edit]


XChat has been described as popular,[21][22][23] buildable for a variety of platforms. In its heyday it was rated one of the best IRC clients for Linux.[24] IRC Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools goes into depth explaining its setup, configuration, and advanced features under Unix[21] and macOS.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://blog.tingping.se/about/
  2. ^ https://hexchat.readthedocs.io/en/latest/changelog.html
  3. ^ "News". XChat.org. September 18, 1999. Archived from the original on 1999-09-21.
  4. ^ XChat Subversion repository history, showing few commits other than to plug-in code since 2010
  5. ^ "Package xchat". apps.fedoraproject.org. Retrieved 2016-09-18.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ a b HexChat News
  7. ^ Announcement of HexChat Posted on 06 Jul, 2012
  8. ^ Whaples, Thomas (2004). "Hack #2: XChat". In Mutton, Paul (ed.). IRC Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools. O'Reilly Media. p. 63. ISBN 978-0596-00687-7.
  9. ^ IRC Hacks, p. 90.
  10. ^ IRC Hacks, p. 93.
  11. ^ Xchat-Ruby Plugin Website. ruby.sourceforge.net
  12. ^ xchat Lua plugin[permanent dead link]. ankh-morp.org.
  13. ^ xcdscript home page Archived May 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. ludost.net.
  14. ^ a b Arnote, Paul (September 2009). "Internet Relay Chat: The Forgotten Chat Frontier" Archived 2012-07-29 at the Wayback Machine. PCLinuxOS Magazine.
  15. ^ "FAQ". xchat.org.
  16. ^ "Shareware background". hexchat.github.io.
  17. ^ Preston, Allan K. (June 2006). "XChat for Windows(review of release by Silverex)". IRCReviews.org. Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2011-07-09.
  18. ^ XChat for Windows Archived 2004-08-25 at the Wayback Machine. xchat.org. "Q. Why can't XChat for Windows be free? A. [...] Building XChat for Windows is a difficult process, it requires quite some skill and expertise to accomplish. It takes time, and is by no means automated. [...]"
  19. ^ "xchat.org :: View topic - About Windows release licensing". 2007-02-16. Archived from the original on 2007-02-16. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  20. ^ Build Lineup[permanent dead link]. xchatdata.net.
  21. ^ a b IRC Hacks, p. 3
  22. ^ Hudson, Andrew; Hudson, Paul; Helmke, Matthew; Troy, Ryan (2009). "Internet Relay Chat". Ubuntu Unleashed 2010 Edition: Covering 9.10 and 10.4. Sams Publishing/Pearson Education. p. 124. ISBN 978-0672331091.
  23. ^ "IRCHelp.org".
  24. ^ "Five Best IRC Clients for Linux". Archived from the original on 2015-03-02. Retrieved 2016-04-01.
  25. ^ IRC Hacks, p. 11.

External links[edit]