Irssi hacks

So I’ve been breaking my pidgin IRC habit lately with irssi, and its going pretty well. I’ve been using it for about a week now, and there are a few settings and mods that have been pretty helpful in making it my client of choice.

The Hilight Window

So I’ll be honest, I’m not all that great at scrolling back through the logs that pile up when I’m away, and more specifically, oftentimes I don’t care about what was said, unless its addressed to me, or something that I’m concerned about. This is where the “hilight window comes in handy. Grab this perl script ( and put it in your ~/.irssi/scripts/autorun directory. then fire up irssi and run these commands to activate

/run autorun/
/window new split
/window name hilight
/window size 6
/hilight <your nick>

After doing all that, you’ll see a window like the one to the left. Any time your name is mentioned, that message will go to that window, along with the room it was mentioned in. Furthermore if you’re interested in things TheoreticalBob says, or any time ‘ffmpeg’ is mentioned, you can just do /hilight TheoreticalBobNow or /hilight ffmpeg respectively. Now you won’t miss messages if you’re chilling in #roomA and you’re needed in #roomB!

Hiding joins/parts

These messages are annoying to me. Personally, I dont care when someone enters or leaves the room, I just care if they’re there at that particular moment. I can look at the currently-present list if I want to talk to someone specific. Join/part messages can also fill up the valuable terminal space you have with information you simply dont care about. Turn off all Join/part/nick change messages with:

/ignore -channels #roomA,#roomB,#etc * JOINS PARTS QUITS NICKS


This is the primary reason I wanted to run irssi. With pidgin, I’d often leave one computer connected, and have like 4 nicks signed on at once. kdub, kdubois, and kdub_ all get pretty annoying to the other people in the room. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you run ‘screen’ you get a terminal that ‘runs in the background’ even when you close the window. You can quit the window, or hit ctrl-a-d to disconnect from the screen session. The sweet part is that irssi is still running in the background, collecting messages, and maintaining your IRC connection. You can reconnect with ‘screen -raAd’. This is pretty cool because you can run irssi on one computer, and connect to it from anywhere in the world over ssh. If my desktop is running irssi, i can connect back to my irssi session by ssh-ing in and running the screen command! Pretty handy…


Don’t forget to save your settings with the /save command! this tripped me up for a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m still tweaking irssi, and if any of you have any hints or tricks that you can’t live without, I would be eager to hear them!

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4 Responses to Irssi hacks

  1. Azundris says:

    It’s not like you couldn’t run finch (text-mode pidgin) in screen, though.
    As for irssi, I kicked that out in favor of weechat which at least does vertical splits and non-kludgy vertical nicklists.

  2. Brandon says:

    Heh, I am now using weechat thanks to the above comment! Oh, Internet… I love you

  3. ant1mazr says:

    the same here ! was not found of irssi but weecat is amazing, thanks azundris !

  4. jmreicha says:

    It looks like this post isn’t very active but you can do vertical and horizontal splits pretty easily in tmux. The default key binding kind of suck but after that is fixed it is amazing and better than screen IMO.

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