IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is an older protocol for text chat, and is supported in our Discord server by a bot that broadcasts messages to an IRC client and vice versa. Our Discord server is optimised for Discord clients, but if you would prefer to connect through IRC, this guide will explain how to do that.
(If you already know how to use IRC, the URL is irc.uwcs.co.uk)
Setting Up IRC With A Shell Account
If you want permanent IRC, with easy access from any computer and many phones (see the JuiceSSH App), there are some easy steps to follow below. If you just want to know how to join channels and move between them, skip to the bottom sections.
Step One: Request A Shell Account
To request a shell account, go to your profile page (link found in the top right of this page, click your name when you’re logged in), click the “shell account” button on the side, and request a shell account with the username of your choice. The username can be anything, but most people tend to use their online aliases. You will be emailed the details within an hour.
Step Two: Get An SSH Client
On Windows, you need to download a program called PuTTY to access your shell account. To do this, click here.
Now, if you’re on a MAC or a Linux computer, then skip this part! Open up PuTTY and your cursor should be in the top text box labeled “hostname”. In here, with the username you chose, type “email@example.com”. Then, click the “Open” button at the bottom of the page. This will now open a terminal. If a message appears saying something about unverified hostname or fingerprint, just ignore it and continue (probably by typing “yes” and hitting enter). Then enter your password when prompted. Congratulations, you’ve accessed your shell account!
If you’re a MAC or Linux user, all you need to do is open a terminal and type “ssh firstname.lastname@example.org”, and be aware of the same warning as above.
Step Three: Setting Up Irssi
In your terminal, type “tmux”. Tmux is a program that will allow you to always have IRC open, even when you aren’t logged into your shell account. If you ever need to exit tmux, typing “ctrl b” then letting go and then typing “d” will detach it. Typing “tmux attach” in your shell account terminal will bring it back.
To set up Irssi, the IRC client, type “irssi —connect irc.uwcs.co.uk” (that’s a double dash before the connect) after you’ve opened tmux. You’re now in the CompSoc IRC! Time to join some channels…
Step Four: Joining Channels And Moving Around
To join a channel, type “/join #channelName” and you will instantly move to that channel. We suggest joining #compsoc first, but there are many other channels that are very active, such as #cs (Computer Science), #tech, #anime and many more that people will inform you of if you ask! There is no limit to the amount of channels you can join and it is the same command, typed in the bottom bar, every time. You will see that the channels are numbered at the bottom of the screen, and channel 1 is the entry channel and does not have other people in it.
The bottom status bar, along with showing you what channel you are in, will also have a list of “active” channels. These are channels that have had someone say something in them that you have not yet seen. To cycle through active channels, you can keep pressing “alt a”.
To change between channels 1-9 you can type “alt 1”, “alt 2” etc, and to access channels above that range you can type “alt leftArrow” or “alt rightArrow” which will move you up or down a channel. Typing “/win number” will take you to the channel with that number.
To talk in a channel, just type and press enter! We encourage saying hello when you enter a new channel, everyone is very friendly!
Step Five: Leaving And Returning Next Time
To leave Irssi, you need to detach tmux by typing “ctrl b” then releasing, then typing “d”. In windows, you can now press the cross button on PuTTY, on Linux or MAC, you can type “ctrl d” and you will be disconnected.
To access IRC again, in Windows you must open up PuTTY again, go through the same steps until you’ve entered your password, then type “tmux attach” and you will be in IRC again. On Linux and MAC, type “ssh email@example.com” and then do the same thing.