Screenshot of XChat 2.8.0
|Developer(s)||Peter Železný (zed), Brian Evans (LifeIsPain)|
|Initial release||X-Chat 1.0.0: June 29, June 29, 1999|
2.8.9 / 28 August 2010
|Operating system||macOS, Unix-like, Windows|
|License||Proprietary for Windows version, GNU General Public License for others|
|Initial release||6 July 2012|
2.14.2 / 29 August 2018
Windows 10 App,
Windows 7+ 64bit,
Windows 7+ 32bit,
XChat is an Internet Relay Chat client. 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.
XChat's main source code tree has not received any patches since 2013. 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. A fork known as HexChat, formerly the Windows-specific X-Chat WDK, is still maintained, by March 2018.
XChat is a full-featured Internet Relay Chat client with a graphical user interface surrounding the basic chat window. It includes all basic functionality found in most other IRC clients, including nick completion, connecting to multiple servers, secure connections, 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, Lua, CLISP, D, and DMDScript). 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. XChat implements all standard IRC commands (e.g.
/JOIN), as well as DCC chatting (
/CHAT), which allows chat to continue if the IRC server is disconnected.
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. The authors stated that the shareware fee is required due to the excessive amount of time it took to make it compile under Windows. 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.
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.
- Silverex's Windows build based on XChat 2.8.6 (discontinued)
- XChat Aqua or XChat Azure for macOS
- XChat Gnome
- lurc, an IRC client based on XChat 1.0
- HexChat (formerly XChat-WDK), cross-platform fork which adds various features
XChat has been described as popular, buildable for a variety of platforms. In its heyday it was rated one of the best IRC clients for Linux. IRC Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools goes into depth explaining its setup, configuration, and advanced features under Unix and macOS.
- "News". XChat.org. September 18, 1999. Archived from the original on 1999-09-21.
- Announcement of HexChat Posted on 06 Jul, 2012
- XChat Subversion repository history, showing few commits other than to plug-in code since 2010
- "Package xchat". apps.fedoraproject.org. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
- HexChat News
- Whaples, Thomas (2004). "Hack #2: XChat". In Mutton, Paul. IRC Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools. O'Reilly Media. p. 63. ISBN 978-0596-00687-7.
- IRC Hacks, p. 90.
- IRC Hacks, p. 93.
- Xchat-Ruby Plugin Website. ruby.sourceforge.net
- xchat Lua plugin. ankh-morp.org.
- xcdscript home page Archived May 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. ludost.net.
- Arnote, Paul (September 2009). "Internet Relay Chat: The Forgotten Chat Frontier". PCLinuxOS Magazine.
- Preston, Allan K. (June 2006). "XChat for Windows(review of release by Silverex)". IRCReviews.org.
- XChat for Windows. 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. [...]"
- "xchat.org :: View topic - About Windows release licensing". 2007-02-16. Archived from the original on 2007-02-16. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
- Build Lineup. xchatdata.net.
- IRC Hacks, p. 3
- 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.
- "Five Best IRC Clients for Linux".
- IRC Hacks, p. 11.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to XChat.|
- Official website
- #xchat connect on freenode
- #xchat[permanent dead link] on EFnet
- Toxin XChat Themes Installer[permanent dead link]