Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
IRC is a vital part of participating in the Linux community, but choosing an IRC client can be a daunting task for new Linux users. If you're ready to start jumping into IRC, but not sure which client to start with, we've got five great clients to choose from.
IRC and More: Pidgin
Pidgin is not an IRC client. Well, it's not exclusively an IRC client. Pidgin is actually a multi-protocol IM and IRC client that handles pretty much any instant messaging service you want to throw at it. And this is why Pidgin tops my personal list of clients.
For users who communicate with co-workers over IRC and IM, Pidgin is the best solution because it doesn't require maintaining two programs. Pidgin may not have quite as many IRC-specific features as some of the others, but it's a solid IRC client and is very user friendly. Pidgin gives you the ability to either integrate your IRC conversations in the same window as your conversations on IM networks or to separate out conversations into multiple windows.