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Currently I've been using web clients whenever I've gone on IRC, but recently I've decided to look into an actual desktop client. Preferably I'd like a nice, OS X-savvy GUI client, but I'm willing to look into irssi if it's really that good.

So what IRC client do you use on OS X (and why)?

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Make this community wiki? (No definitive answer — more of a poll) –  Jonik Aug 22 '09 at 15:11
    
Good point—it looks like one of the mods already took care of that. Actually, at first, I was kind of looking for a definitive answer, although it's true that I seem to have phrased the last sentence more like a poll question… –  htw Aug 23 '09 at 0:06
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8 Answers

Colloquy is by far my favorite IRC client for OS X.

  • The interface is beautiful and trivial to theme via CSS and HTML (the main view is simply a web page)
  • Colloquy has a large number of notification methods built-in, including Growl, sounds, bubbles, bouncing, and arbitrary AppleScript—all with good, very usable defaults that make it easy to see what you missed, when you were PM'd, and how much has gone on since you last visited a room
  • A plugin allows you to access your Colloquy session from any web browser—including an iPhone, or a touch, giving you similar benefits to running xchat/irssi/ERC on a server.
  • Sessions are logged with full formatting (when applicable)
  • Colloquy is powered by irssi, so all of the irssi commands you know and love survive
  • Colloquy has excellent support for file transfers, including customization of auto-accepts
  • Colloquy provides numerous features for having one-on-one conversations, including per-server buddy lists, DCC chat, and optional separate panes for private conversations
  • Colloquy knows most of the common modes for IRC servers, so if you end up being an op, you can configure room modes via a GUI, instead of trying to remember which + and - options need to be sent to which bot to alter room behavior
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Colloquy will NOT play well with bouncers. –  LiraNuna Aug 24 '09 at 6:05
    
Colloquy's log format is awful. It's all one long line in HTML, and it is very difficult to parse outside Colloquy, and slow to parse in Colloquy. I much prefer MacIrssi now. –  jtimberman Sep 9 '09 at 7:07
    
Erm, not that one long line of HTML isn't annoying, but it takes about two minutes with Beautiful Soup to turn it into a text dump, and you can make it easy to read simply by checking "Human-readable file formatting". –  Benjamin Pollack Sep 11 '09 at 19:50
    
@LiraNuna: Actually, it does, I use a bouncer and Colloquy works just fine with it. –  Wuffers Mar 30 '11 at 22:03
    
According to colloquy.info/project/changeset/3129 Colloquy has not been based on irssi since 2006. –  Brent Rockwood Apr 6 '13 at 22:47
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I really am an Irssi fan. I use it in screen on my Linode, so I'm always connected, and just reattach. Combined with Bitlbee and Twirssi, I use it as my communications hub.

If you want flashy eye candy, Irssi can be themed, and I believe people have scripts to integrate it with growl.

Quadpoint has lots of different articles about using Irssi here

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With irssi-proxy pthree.org/2007/01/06/irssi-proxy you can use irssi as a BNC-type thing, and connect to it from a GUI client –  dbr Aug 15 '09 at 1:57
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Colloquy. Integrates nicely with OS X, supports Growl and there’s an iPhone version too.

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The popular Mac IM client Adium has added IRC to its list of supported protocols as of the 1.4 release. Adium has always had the good looks and is very OS X-savvy, and is great if you want all your networks integrated in one application.

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This the the second time I try Adium, unfortunately, it didn't work well (mine is Snow Leopard), I tried 3 servers, it didn't connect.(I hope it's not the office network firewall) Last time I was trying it with QQ, the problem seems to be with QQ server side disallowed such useage, so not to blame Adium, but I honestly have no good experience with it. –  Miranda Jan 30 at 3:23
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I used to use Colloquy, and then I switched to LimeChat. Unfortunately, neither client works properly in Snow Leopard yet, so I started using irssi and I don't think I'll ever go back. Sure, Colloquy and LimeChat are pretty, but irssi has so much more power.

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macirssi has a nice UI. It's simple but it is based on irssi, so you get the power and stability.

macirssi works better than the others for me and its CPU usage is low. The only missing feature is coloured nicknames.

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I don't know about pretty-looking, but I've heard XChat-Aqua is pretty powerful.

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I second that, XChat Aqua is really good –  Yoann Le Touche Aug 15 '09 at 9:17
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I have tried:

  • Colloquy. Already mentioned, and I used it most recently.
  • Linkinus. Costs $, but it's quite popular on OS X by some IRC "power users" I know.

I'm now using Macirssi, and I'll probably switch from Colloquy. It has just enough OSX GUI to be functional, but all the power of irssi under the hood. A few of the aforementioned IRC power users completely switched from Linkinus to Macirssi.

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Just for anyone reading this: Macirssi is no longer maintained. The source can still be found at their github page though –  Joost Mar 11 '13 at 20:04
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