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IRC for the New Users

New to Rizon? First time chatterer wondering how to step into the world of conversing with people from all around the globe? You've come to the right place!

IRC for New Users offers a wealth of information that will help you get over the hurdle of learning something new. It will open up new doors and will most likely make you some new friends. 😊

This page represents the homebase of #NEW Channel on Rizon IRC Network, but most of the information provided here is valuable to anyone wanting to learn more about IRC (Internet Relay Chat). Our target is to make #new one of the *Best* Help/Chat Channels available. We also offer one of the most comprehensive sites about Internet Relay Chat available on the net today. Check here to read more about us. You can join #new now. You may even wish to check out our special Gold Star Award -- in recognition of our dedicated and chatty staff.

Throughout this site we've tried to provide a wide variety of IRC information. We've also included a great deal of specific help IRC Tutorials for those folks using AdiIRC, mIRC, HexChat and similar clients. Browse the topics or the links below -- there is something here for everyone. If you have any questions that aren't answered here, please contact us and we will do our best to help you. Enjoy your stay!

Listed below are some links that will provide valuable information for the newcomer to IRC. Jump in, explore, make your online experience the *best* it can be. 😊

What is IRC

IRC is short for Internet Relay Chat. It is a great way for individuals and teams to communicate and work together. IRC has been around for decades. It’s a time-tested system with a wealth of features.

IRC servers on the internet accept and relay messages to connected users, each of whom is running an IRC client. The clients all use the IRC protocol, a set of agreed upon rules for communication. There are many separate IRC networks on the internet. Each network has one or more servers around the world that work together to relay messages.

Each network also has many channels, sometimes called rooms, where users can gather. A channel usually has a specific topic, and a name that starts with a “#”, such as #rizon. When you enter or join that channel, it’s because you want to discuss that topic. You can also start your own channel.

You can also privately message other users in most cases. It’s also possible to configure your user modes on a network, not to get such messages. IRC has many options available, but this article will only cover a few simple ones.

Connecting to IRC

Quick Hexchat Setup Guide (Windows + Linux)

There are several useful IRC clients apps available. The one we'll use here is Hexchat.
Quick list guide:

Download and Install (first link for windows on hexchat page)

  • Click on “add”, type name.
  • Click on that name, click edit on the right.
  • Add server info.
  • Click on channel tab, add channel info.
  • Click on Connect commands, add desired connect commands.
  • Add it to system startup programs so it starts on boot…

Long Guide

Hexchat is a fork of Xchat, which was an IRC client for Linux and Windows, but ended up monetizing. Hexchat works for both Windows and Linux well, and is easily set up. It has a better feature set than Xchat, too, and is easier to use.

The advantages of using Hexchat over a web-based IRC client or some other chat engine is that you can auto-join and auto-start it, so you don’t have to worry about connecting. This increases the amount of users in a room at a given time, and because of that the “room” (called channel in IRC) becomes more active more often.

Step One: Installation
For Windows:

Click here:

Download and run the first link on the page. (x64 for 64 bit capable machines. If you’re not sure, x86 should work fine for either) Go through the installer. You don’t really have to worry about changing any of the settings if you don’t want to, the defaults are fine. You can ignore the rest of the download links, those are primarily for developers and will be packaged in the first download link.


As stated on the download page: “Nearly all distributions have official packages for HexChat. On those which don’t, you may use contributed, unofficial packages”. If you’re using Linux, you should probably be familiar with the package manager your system is using.

apt-get install hexchat
pacman -S hexchat
sbopkg >> install >> dependencies >> hexchat

Step Two: Basic Server Configuration
Once it’s finished installing, launch it if it hasn’t been launched already. You should be greeted by something like this:

[takescreenshot] hexchat1

Next, click on the name you just added and on the right click on “edit”. This may seem intimidating if you’re not used to this sort of thing (or maybe not?), but it’s simple. Simply click on the grey box that says “newserver/6667”, and type in the name and port of the IRC.

[takescreenshot] hexchat2

It is definitely recommended that you use SSL. It is not required, but it increases security for everyone by encrypting the stream making it harder to passively intercept everything. It’s still not necessarily a black-box of security, but it’s much harder to handle SSL connections than plaintext over the net. So the ideal configuration is basically shown in the above picture. For Rizon, it is:

The Rizon config is shown in the picture. Easy enough.

At this point you should be able to connect to the server, although it hasn’t been configured to join any channels. You can manually join channels by typing this command into the bottom chat box:

/join #channel-name

Where the channel name is the name of the chat room. For example: #new or #world-chat (for Rizon).

Step Three: Basic Channel Configuration Click on the “Autojoin channels” tab and simply click “add” to add any channels you would like to join when Hexchat is started. This is pretty straightforward.

[provide screenshot] hexchat3

Another useful feature Hexchat comes with is under the “connect commands” tab, in which you simply click “add” and type in any commands you want to be run when you connect to that channel. I personally have mine set to enter the login command for Rizon and I have it supply my password. E.g:

/msg NickServ identify username password

Replace username with your username and password with your password, obviously. You can also just type that command in when you log in manually, except with a slash before it:

/msg NickServ identify username password

Feel free to contact us on the forum if you have any questions or need any help. Or on IRC by clicking on this link.

Good manners in IRC

Before joining any IRC channels, you should understand basic manners online. Joining a channel is like attending a party at someone’s home. Good manners on IRC are as important as good manners when visiting someone in real life. If you show up and behave rudely, you’ll probably be asked to leave, or even be banned. Be polite, and assume the other people in the channel also have good intentions — especially if you don’t understand something they say.

It’s also important to know how people have conversations in IRC. Often a channel has more than one conversation going at a time. Again, like a party, sometimes conversations overlap, so it’s important to remember a comment may not be directed to you.

To avoid confusion, people in a conversation often use each other’s IRC nicks to indicate to whom they’re talking. The nick is followed by a colon or a comma, and then the comment. Most IRC clients also understand this rule, and notify you if someone uses your name this way.

<He-Man> Hi Rog3r it's good to see you again!
<Rog3r> He-Man: You too. 
<He-Man> So, Rog3r, What did you think about that banner image I made?
<Rog3r> Well He-Man, it's got some issues, but let me see if I can tweak it.

Another reason this rule is helpful is you cannot assume others are looking at IRC at the same time as you. They may be away from their computer, or working on something else. When you address comments, the notification will be waiting for the other person to return. That person can then reply to you.

Some channels have their own rules and guidelines. The Operators may take action if someone is being rude or abusing the channel. It’s important to understand and respect channel and community rules when you use IRC. Take the time to read them before joining any conversations. Doing so will avoid problems or misunderstandings, just like house rules when you visit someone.

Helpful IRC commands

There are many IRC commands available. This article will only cover a few.

You don’t have to type a command in a graphical client like Hexchat. Many commands can be run through the menu in the app window, or by right-clicking an object such as a network, channel, or nick.

  • /HELP displays a list of all the commands available. To read more about most commands, type /HELP followed by the command. For example: /HELP PING
  • /MSG followed by a nick and a message sends that message privately to that person. Right-click a nick, choose Open Dialog Window, and send a message, or type: /MSG He-Man Hey, can we talk about Friday plans?
  • /NICK followed by a nick will change your IRC nick. Be careful doing this when joined to channels. If you do it too often, it may be considered abuse. Click your nick at the bottom of the window and enter a new one, or type: /NICK nick-test
  • /AWAY followed by a message indicates you aren’t seated at a console where you can see IRC, although your client is still signed on. To indicate you’re back, type /AWAY without any message. You should only use this if you’ll be away for a while. A good rule of thumb is an hour or more. Frequent use may be considered abuse. Select Server > Marked Away in the menu, or type: /AWAY Back at 9pm EST
  • /BACK indicates you are no longer away, and may be used interchangeably with /AWAY in some clients. Deselect Server > Marked Away in the menu, or type one of these commands.
  • /JOIN followed by a channel name joins another channel. Select Server > Join a Channel… in the menu, or type: /JOIN #new
  • /PART disconnects your client from the current channel. You can optionally include a channel name to leave a channel other than the current one, as well as a message your client will send upon leaving. Right-click the channel in the list and select Close, or type: /PART #new Thank you and goodnight