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IRC (Internet Relay Chat) was invented in 1988 by Jarkko Oikarinen, making it the oldest protocol supported by Miranda IM. IRC focuses on group chats in "channels" which are similar to chat rooms. It also provides for one-to-one private messaging.



IRC is supported out of the box, simply select it during installation. On first startup, Miranda will ask you to choose a nickname, the name that will be seen by other users when you connect to and chat on IRC. Many common nicknames are already in use, and there can be length and character restrictions (Example: nicknames can't contain # and @ characters).

Note: Because IRC is group chat focused, it requires a different messaging dialog to other protocols, called the Chat plugin. The Miranda installer will automatically enable it if you select IRC. Alternatively, the TabSRMM and Scriver plugins can be used instead, as they include group chat functionality.


Quick Connect dialog.
IRC can appear overwhelming, and indeed a detailed description of everything you can do on IRC is beyond the scope of this guide. However, using IRC can be boiled down to the following steps:
  1. Connecting
  2. Joining a channel
  3. Chat

Connecting to a server

To connect to a server, select Main Menu->IRC->Quick Connect, and choose a server from the Server name drop-down box. There are many networks to choose from, each with their own set of users; Miranda's IRC channels, for example, can be found on Freenode. If you are unsure which network to choose, the IRCHelp website contains information about the various networks. Once you have selected a network, press the Connect button.

Joining a channel

After connecting to a network, the next step is to find somewhere to chat. In the main menu go to IRC->Show the list of available channels. Another window will appear, along with a warning that retrieving the list may take some time. Unless you are on one of the bigger networks this shouldn't be a problem, so confirm that you want to continue. The window will then be filled with a list of channels.

#miranda, Miranda IM's official help channel, can be found on Freenode.
Once you have found a channel on the list that you would like to join, simply double-click on its name and you will join the channel. The channel's name will also appear in your contact list. A channel's window is split into 3 parts: the nickname list, which shows everyone who is in the same channel as you; the input window, where you type what you want to say; and the main channel window, which shows everything that everyone in the channel says. When you first join a channel you might want to start by saying 'Hi' and see where it gets you...

Once you find a channel you like, you can rejoin it when you connect again by navigating to Main Menu->IRC->Join channel and typing the channel's name (don't forget to include the '#' symbol, e.g. #miranda). After you do this the first time the channel's name will be stored in the drop-down list so you don't have to type it in each time you connect.

If you don't find a channel to your liking, you can leave by right-clicking the channel in the contact list and choosing Leave channel.


How do I add servers to server list?

  1. Go to Options->Network->IRC->Account and click the '+' sign.
  2. Fill in server information. For the server in the first picture it would be:
Network: FreeNode
Server name: Random server
Internet address:
Port range: 6667 -> 6667
SSL: Off

How do I automatically join channels on connect?

  1. Options->Network->IRC->Advanced (tab)->Perform - Tick Enable
  2. Select a network from the drop-down list
  3. Enter the commands you want to perform
  4. Click + to save changes before selecting another network


/joinm #miranda
/joinm #miranda-bugs
/joinm #miranda-dev

The joinm command will join the specified channel but not make it active

More about IRC

IRC is both simple to use and very complex: while you can get by with just knowing the above, there's plenty more you can do. A lot of that can be picked up just by spending time on IRC, but if you have the time you may find it worth your while reading a bit more about it. Below are some useful links:

  • IRC on Wikipedia - Provides more background history and information on how IRC works, as well as some of the basic commands.
  • A Short IRC Primer - Anything but short, but covers nearly everything you could possibly want to know about IRC.
  • RFC 1459 - The original specification upon which IRC is based.

IRC in Miranda IM:

See also