Testing your IRC network, connect a client

After the IRC daemon was running properly, I wanted to test if everything was running as expected. The easiest way is to just connect to the server and see if you can chat.

There are a lot of IRC Clients, from very minimal solutions to huge projects with a feature list longer than the Internet itself. As always there is a handy Wikipedia list which shows the differences: Comparison of IRC clients

Besides the standard clients are some projects which stand out:

  • mIRC seems to be the most feature packed client available. Unfortunately it is only usable on Windows. It also is Shareware which has to be paid after a certain amount of time.
  • Quassel is a distributed client. This means that you can run a central core anywhere and connect multiple clients to it. This has the advantage that you can always stay connected to a server (as long as your core is connected) and access your IRC session from different devices. As users today are using more and more devices (mobile phones, tablets, home and office computers, …) this seems to be a very promising solution
  • HydraIRC proclaims to be the easiest client. It provides a lot of advanced features, but hides them behind an easy to use intuitive UI.
  • There are also a lot of clients aiming towards a specific target group. There are clients created for gamers, coders and housewifes…
  • Of course there are specialized clients for other platforms than the traditional desktop computer: You can imagine that a client on a Smartphone has to be used in another way than on a Windows Desktop.

I decided to go with HydraIRC for now as I do not want to dive into all the features the different clients provide, I just want to test if my network is set up correctly.

After downloading you can start the client right away. At first you have to create an identity, this is used as your nick and to show personal information to other users. After you created an identity you can connect to your IRC daemon. Just enter your local address and the configured port into the connect-dialog. In my case it is localhost:6697. If you use default config you do not need to enter a password.

When you start the connection you should see several messages from your daemon popping up. This is information about the server and it’s settings. You then can jump into your first channel by simply entering /join #test.

Have fun chatting with yourself.

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