Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A Collection of Tips and Tricks for XChat, Part 1

XChat is a GTK client for IRC, available on both Linux and Windows. It is one of the most popular and feature-rich IRC clients on the Linux platform, together with Konversation and KVirc. Of course, there are very good clients like Irssi too, but I'm talking only about graphical clients here.

Although by default XChat doesn't offer all the user-friendly options in its configuration dialogue, its true power stands in the possibility to configure it using /SET variables and Perl/Python scripts or even C plugins. You can practically make XChat behave in any way you want: from a powerful, personalised IRC client for daily use to an IRC help or trivia bot.

In my two recent articles I showed how to make simple Perl scripts for XChat which will change its default behaviour:

Make a Perl Script to Display Notices in Current Window
Make a Perl Script to PART/REJOIN a Channel Similar with mIRC's /HOP

In this article however I will list some of the tips and tricks I consider most popular and useful for the IRC user, leaving all that scripting behind.

Hide JOIN/PART messages using the conference mode
The conference mode can be turned on/off using the irc_conf_mode variable (which by default is 0 - disabled). By turning it on, the join/part and quit messages will not be displayed anymore, so you will be able to keep a log from an IRC meeting/tutorial/discussion without those annoying messages. Use it like this:

/SET irc_conf_mode 1

If you still want to see the messages on other channels, right-click on the channel button, go to Settings -> Hide Join/Part Messages. Tick (or un-tick, depending if you want to see them) this option.

Hide the backlog
Introduced in XChat 2.8.4, this feature will automatically display the last lines from a channel/private log when you open it again. If you want to turn this feature off use:

/SET text_replay 0

This will turn off the backlog.

Show the /WHOIS info in the current window
The /WHOIS information is shown in the status window by default. However if you are on a channel and you /WHOIS someone, you will probably want the information to be displayed in the same window, instead of having to switch on the status window to see it and then back on the channel. To do so, use:

/SET irc_whois_front 1

Change the way events are shown
You can do this using scripts, which provides a more flexible way of doing it, but I'll show here only how to use the Settings -> Advanced -> Text Events... dialogue.

For example, the Quit action looks like this by default:

%C23*%O$t%C23$1 has quit (%O%C23%B%B$2%O%C23)

However, you may also want to see the person's host, add the third parameter ($3 - host), as specified in the Number and Description fields:

%C23*%O$t%C23$1 ($3) has quit (%O%C23%B%B$2%O%C23)

See the screenshot below:

Change the location and format of logs
The default format for logs is %n-%c.log, which will log as network-channel/nick.log (e.g. FreeNode-#debian.log). The logs are kept by default in the ~/.xchat2/logs/ directory. However, you may change this and customise it to your likings:


This will log all in the logs_xchat directory inside your home directory, creating a new folder for each network, and using several conversion specifiers for the filename. In the above example, I used:

%Y for full year digits (e.g. 2009)
%m for the number of the month (e.g. 01-12)
%d for the day number (e.g. 01-31)
%c for the channel/nickname

You can find all the conversion specifiers here.

Use shortcuts for last and previous commands
By default, the up and down arrows are used for these two actions. However I always prefered ^P (CTRL+P) for last command and ^N (CTRL+N) for next command. You can add these two in the Settings -> Advanced -> Keyboard Shortcuts... menu. The screenshot below shows how the ^P command should look like, after clicking Add New and filling the necessary fields. Don't forget to press Enter in the Data 1 field, otherwise the new shortcut will be lost after closing the window (I know, extremely annoying but that's the way XChat implements it).

That's it for today. In the next part I'll also include several simple scripts and more /SET tips. Also, I recommend to see this page (offsite), it has some great XChat resources, and eventually the XChat scripts and plugins page.

More in Tux Machines

Creating a Unified Ubuntu Experience

On it's own, Ubuntu is a solid desktop Linux experience. It offers ample application choices and it's easy to use. But one area I would like to see greater focus is mirroring one desktop to another. That is, being able to find the same documents and other files I use on both desktop machines. In this article I'll explore options I've found useful in creating a unified Ubuntu Experience. Read more Also: The big lesson from Ubuntu, Windows and Coca Cola

Brave GNU world

WHEN I wrote about free software guru Richard Stallman last week, I didn’t realize I would have the opportunity to hear him speak just a few days later. Fortuitously, I got that chance when I attended the RightsCon Southeast Asia Summit at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria Hotel, where Stallman was a guest speaker. The summit, which drew 600 participants from over 50 countries, focused on protecting human rights online and fighting for an open Internet, which seemed to be a good fit for Stallman, who remains an activist at the age of 62. His talk, entitled “Brave GNU World,” was a play on the free operating system that became the centerpiece of his free (as in freedom, not as in zero-cost) software movement. Stallman began his talk with the four essential freedoms that computer users ought to have: the freedom to run a program; the freedom to study and change it in source code form; the freedom to redistribute exact copies of it; and the freedom to distribute modified versions of the program. Read more

Хамалски услуги

В даден момент от живота ни се налага да се разделим с голяма част от любимите ни вещи, които по една или друга причина сме складирали на тавана, килера или някъде другаде. Дали заради това, че са се скапали до такава степен, че е абсолютно невъзможно да бъдат използвани отново и

$13 HAT aims Raspberry Pi at real-world I/O projects

Pimoroni’s $13 “Explorer HAT” add-on for the Raspberry Pi can drive motors and touchscreens, integrate sensors, interface with 5V devices, and more. The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) add-on board standard enables the Linux-ready Raspberry Pi SBC to automatically configure its GPIO signals and drivers for use with external devices. Pimoroni has released Explorer HAT and Explorer HAT Pro models that support the HAT standard on the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, as well as the first-generation Model B+ and Model A+ boards. Read more