ircII - interface to the Internet Relay Chat system

IRCII(1) General Commands Manual IRCII(1)


ircII — interface to the Internet Relay Chat system


irc [−abdFfqrSsTtv] [−c chan] [−D level] [−e protocol level] [−H host[:port]] [−h host[:port]] [−I ircrcquick] [−icb] [−irc] [−l ircrc] [−o file] [−P portno] [−p portno] [−R host[:port]] [nickname [server list]] [−−]


The ircII program is a full screen, termcap based interface to Internet Relay Chat. It gives full access to all of the normal IRC functions, plus a variety of additional options.


The following options are supported:


This adds the normal irc server list to the command line list of irc servers.


Load the .ircrc file before connection to a server, not afterwards.

−c chan

Automatically join channel chan.


Start in non-full screen mode. All input is taken directly from stdin and all output goes to stdout without using any of the termcap(5) screen control codes.

−D level

Enable debugging of level. This option is only available if ircII is built with -DDEBUG.

−e protocol level

For protocol protocol, set the default encryption (SSL) level to level. Currently, only "IRC" is supported for the protocol and the values that level can take are "check", "nocheck", and "off". Please also see the description of the "server list" below.


Don’t use flow control (ˆS and ˆQ) to stop start the display. This switch is ignored if the −d switch is used.


Use flow control (ˆS and ˆQ) to stop/start the display. Normally these are both bound to other functions within ircII. This switch is ignored if the −d switch is used.

−H host[:port]

This option instructs ircII to use the given host as the local address for DCC, and works otherwise identically to the −h option.

−h host[:port]

This option instructs ircII to use the given host as the local address. Useful only on multi-homed hosts. If the optional port segment is included, ircII will attempt to bind to this local port as well as local host address. If host is an IPv6 "number", it must be provided in the common file ... [12:34:ab:cd] format. This means for an IPv6 "number" and port, it would be written [12:34:ab:cd]:6669.


Use ICB connections by default.


Use IRC connections by default.

−l ircrc

Use ircrc Instead of the default ˜/.ircrc.

−o file

Set the debug output file to file. This option is only available if ircII is built with -DDEBUG.

−P portno

Set the ICB port number to portno (default: 7326, the standard ICB port).

−p portno

Set the IRC port number to portno (default: 6667, the standard IRC port). Only supply this if you connect to a server which uses a port other than 6667.


Start up ircII quickly. Don’t load the IRCRC file, only the quick IRCRC file set by the



−R host[:port]

Set the default HTTP proxy host for server connections to host:port.


Reverse the normal default foreground and background colours.


Start up the ircio process to connect to the IRC server.


Don’t start up the ircio process to connect to the IRC server (default).


Do use the termcap ti and te sequences when starting and exiting if they exist.


Don’t use the termcap ti and te sequences when starting and exiting (default).


Print the version and release date of ircII and exit.


End all option processing.

The remaining command line arguments are:

nickname Set the nickname (overrides the environment variable IRCNICK; default: the username).

server list Set the list of servers with which ircII will try to connect upon startup. This list is also used by the program’s /server command.

For IRC connections, the format is: host[:portno[:password[:nick]]]

For ICB connections, the format is: ICB/host [:portno[:nick[:group[:mode]]]] with group being the initial group and mode being the initial group mode. See /HELP ICB for more information about ICB.

If the host is in the format then servergroup is taken to be the Server Group for this server entry.

If the host is prefixed with SSLIRC/ or SSLIRCNOCHECK/ then an attempt will be made to initiate an SSL/TLS connection for this host. The SSLIRCNOCHECK/ form does not verify the remote server’s certificate, which may have security implications. Please see SSL/TLS documentation for more information.

If the host is prefixed with PROXY/host:port/ then this server will be connected via specified HTTP proxy server. The NO_PROXY/ prefix will disable any global proxy setting for this server.


The Screen

The screen is split into two parts, separated by an inverse-video status line (if supported). The upper (larger) part of the screen displays responses from the IRC server. The lower part of the screen (a single line) accepts keyboard input.

Some terminals do not support certain features required by ircII, in which case you receive a message stating this. If this occurs, try changing the terminal type or run ircII with the −d option.

IRC Commands

Any line beginning with the slash character (‘/’) is regarded as an ircII command (the command character may be changed; type /help set cmdchar). Any line not beginning with this character is treated as a message to be sent to the current channel. To produce a listing of commands, type /help ?. To receive information about the commands type /help <command>.

The .ircrc File

When ircII is executed, it checks the user’s home directory for a .ircrc file, executing the commands in the file. Commands in this file do not need to have a leading slash character (‘/’). This allows predefinition of aliases and other features.


It can be helpful to predefine certain variables in in the .cshrc, .profile, or .login file:


The user’s ircII nickname.


The user’s IRC realname (otherwise retreived from /etc/passwd)


The default IRC server(s) (see server option for details)


The file containing the default list of server(s), usually PREFIX/share/irc/ircII.servers. This file should contain one server entry per line.


Overrides the default home path in /etc/passwd.


The type of terminal in use.


default initialization file


directory into which you can put your own ircII scripts, that can then be loaded with /load


directory containing message-of-the-day, master initialization, help files, and ircII scripts


file loaded at the start of every ircII session.


The initial list of servers if none are provided on the command line.


Message of the day. This file is displayed only once each time it is changed.


irc -c #users -p 5555

Connect IRC to port number 5555 of the default host and enter on channel #users.

irc Mermaid

Use the nickname “Mermaid”.

irc Mermaid server1:5000 server2::passwd server3

Use the nickname “Mermaid” and the modified server list.

irc piglet3

Use the nickname “piglet3”, initially connecting to, with also added to the server list, both having a server group name “ln”.

irc oink ICB/

Use the nick “oink” making an ICB connection to

irc -d

Use dumb mode.

irc -f

Allow use of ˆS/ˆQ to stop/start screen display.

irc -e elisa

Interface IRC with a program called “elisa”.

setenv IRCNICK Mermaid
setenv IRCNAME

Set the username (if not specified elsewhere) to “Mermaid”. The user’s name (when provided inside parentheses in response to a WHOIS command) is set to “The one and only :)”.


All of the ircII commands are fully described in the help files package. The best way to start here is with the /HELP ? command as this prints a listing of all available help files.


ircII handles the following signals


Closes all DCC connections and EXEC’ed processes.


Drops ircII back to the command line.


irc(1), ircd(8)


Program written by Michael Sandrof <[email protected]>. Now being maintained by Matthew Green <[email protected]> Names of contributors and contact address can be retrieved with the /info command. This manual page written by Darren Reed <[email protected]>, revised by R. P. C. Rodgers <[email protected]>, by the lynX, and by Matthew Green <[email protected]>.


Please notify the current developer of the software of any bugs in current versions. GNU June 6, 2017 IRCII(1)

Updated 2024-01-29 - |