This tutorial is specifically for the Libera Chat IRC network, the network that Wikipedia uses for IRC communication. Some features on this network aren't necessarily on other networks, and features on other networks aren't necessarily here.
Option 1: use IRC in a browser tab (easy)
In a modern web browser follow this link to visit Wikipedia's help channel.
Option 2: choose which IRC client to use (advanced)
Alternatively, to access the Libera IRC servers, you can choose an IRC client. Some popular IRC clients are listed below, or see Comparison of Internet Relay Chat clients.
- Web clients
- Most desktop operating systems (including Windows, macOS, and Linux/*nix)
- Mobile IRC clients
How do I connect?
Once you have a client, you'll need a server. You can simply use irc.libera.chat to reach the main rotation of servers. You can also find a full list by executing:
Having connection problems?
After you've obtained your client and the name of a server, you may still need a bit of help in getting connected. Take a look at this tutorial or this IRC primer on irchelp.org, which contains a variety of other useful information as well.
About the network services
If you want to use a certain nickname on the network and don't want anyone else to take it, you must register it with the network.
You can do so by typing (in any window):
/msg nickserv register password firstname.lastname@example.org, of course substituting
password for any password of your choosing, and
email@example.com with your email address. Try not to make your password too predictable or guessable, but also avoid using any password you use elsewhere since it's very easy to accidentally type your password into an IRC channel revealing it to others. You should now check your email for the confirmation message from Libera Chat, and complete the steps it contains. Please note that disposable/throwaway emails are not allowed and using one could delay or negatively affect your registration.
Registering your nickname will also allow you to be added to a channel's access list; for example, some of the people in #wikipedia-en-help have +'s beside their nicknames (to identify "helpers").
Note: You only have to register your nickname once. Every other time you connect from that point on, you need to prove who you are, with this command:
/msg nickserv identify password You can also configure your IRC client to automatically log you in when you connect; see the section below. There are some other options you can set (as well as privacy options), you'll want to get a list by typing:
/msg nickserv help
Setting your IRC client to identify upon connect
You can configure your IRC client to automatically log you in when you connect. You can look up how to do this for your specific IRC client, configure SASL (if your client supports it), or supply your password as a server password to be forwarded to NickServ. See Libera Chat's guide to logging in.
Some IRC clients allow you to automatically issue commands when connecting to a server, including logging you in:
HexChat (Windows version)
ERC is part of the GNU project. It is included with recent versions of GNU Emacs. To run, type: M-x erc - if you run erc in this way you need to pass "irc.libera.chat" as server, "6667" as port, and your nickname (you can omit the password unless you have registered the nickname).
You can speed up connection process if you put this in your init file (~/.emacs)
(defun irc () "Connect to Libera Chat" (interactive) (erc :server "irc.libera.chat" :port 6667 :nick "your_nick" :password "your_password OR nil")) (global-set-key "\C-ci" 'irc)
Then you can run the IRC client with C-c i.
If you would like to have a cloak that does not advertise Wikimedia, join #libera-cloak and say !cloakme. This will give your account a generic user/YourName cloak to hide your IP address. It should happen quickly; wait a while and try again if you're not immediately cloaked and kicked.
IRC channel list
IRC client settings
- The realname (or Full Name) can optionally be set to anything you want. It does not need to be your real name; some people enter their username here.
- The ident setting should ideally be turned on, and again can be set to anything you want.
What are some basic commands?
Here are some basic commands for IRC: (as taken from Wikibooks)
|Command||What it does||Example|
|Sign on to a server||/attach irc.libera.chat |
|/nick||Set your nickname||/nick your_nickname|
|Join a channel||/join #wikipedia-en |
|/msg||Sends a message (can either be private or to the entire channel)||Message the channel: /msg #wikipedia-en Hello, World! |
Send a private message: /msg JohnDoe Hi, John.
|/whois||Display information about a user on the server||/whois JohnDoe|
|/stats p||Displays a list of active, on-call network staff||/stats p|
|Clears a channel's text.
Clears all open channel's text.
|/away||Sets an away message. Note: Type /away again to return from away.||/away I'm away because...|
|/me||Sends an action to the channel. See example.||The following: |
/me loves pie.
would output to the chat in the case of JohnDoe:
JohnDoe loves pie.
|/quit||Disconnects you from the IRC network. You can also quit with a quit message.||/quit Off to bed.
What happens: JohnDoe has quit (Off to bed)