Tardis Beginner Tutorials/5

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Tutorial 5: Using irssi with screen for IRC on tardis

Tardis runs an irc server that is part of a larger network called Imaginarynet. For security and convenience reasons, the particular ircd (irc daemon) on tardis is only reachable from inside tardis.ed.ac.uk, and it is the only one accessable due to tardis' firewall. The irc client of choice on tardis is irssi (the alternative is a client called bitchx, which is similar in interface, but horribly annoying in function). It is a text-based client that supports all the usual things you may have used mirc for - multiple servers, plugin scripting support, and other nice things. We'll run it in a screen session so if we get disconnected / log out of tardis, our irc session will remain so we can catch up on what we missed when we come back to it (it is advisable to set yourself to away if you are going to leave a detached irc screen session for any length of time).

First make an appropriately named screen session:

screen -S irc

Then run irssi in it:


Connect to the local tardis irc server, using TLS:

/connect -ssl irc.tard.is

Then join #tardis :D

/join #tardis

Congrats! You are now idling on irc in #tardis like the rest of us. You can change your nick with /nick, and change the currently open window using alt + numberkeys. To leave a channel type /part and to close a window type /window close. Irssi commands can often be abbreviated, so the latter could also be done by simply typing /win c. To quit irc type /quit and to detach your screen session without quitting simply press ^a-d (see the previous tutorial if you don't know what this means). It is beyond the scope of this document to explain how to use irssi or standard irc commands - type /help in the status window to list commands and /help [command] to get detailed help on how to use individual commands and what they do.

Another useful trick to use is having the same irc screen session attached at several terminals where you are working, for instance in a bedroom pc and a kitchen pc, so you can just carry on using it at whichever workstation you're nearest (of course this also applies to editors etc running in screen, but we all know the most important thing is irc). You can do this by doing screen -rx irc from wherever you log in - this will not detach your old session. Now you know how to get on irc, you can always ask the nice people in #tardis for help if you have any problems or questions. The rest of the tutorials will cover ways of doing other common tasks that tardis is used for, with less emphasis on the details. By now you are expected to be able to read man pages for new programs you don't know much about, and ask on irc if you need help with anything.

Next: Setting up an account on Shout