I'm looking for advice on how to run a persistent IRC client from a server and allowing me to connect from different computers.

I want the IRC client to stay connected, even when I'm bringing my laptop from work to home. I prefer to run the client on my laptop, proxying over the server. Is this possible?

An alternative is to SSH into the server and tmux the connection, but I would need to use a non-graphical IRC client?

3 Answers 3


I've got 3 suggestions, I think you'll like number 2. best.

1. My preferred solution is to install 'screen' then run irssi inside. You can ssh in and reattach to the screen or....

Load the proxy module: http://www.irssi.org/documentation/proxy You'll then be able to attach your preferred client.

In my opinion irssi is better than any gui.

2. However, I think you want Quassel. Its a graphical version. It lets you detach clients from the server as you want:

one (or multiple) client(s) can attach to and detach from a central core that stays permanently online -- much like the popular combination of screen and a text-based IRC client such as WeeChat, and similar to (but much more featureful than) so-called BNCs

Re-attaching your client will show your IRC session in the same state as you left it in (plus whatever happened while you were gone), and this even when you re-attach from a different location.

(emphasis added)

3. And as it says, BNCs (bouncers) will let you attach any client to them, but will be much more limited in features, for example scrollback. Check out BNC/ZNC etc. etc.


As you already suggested, the best option is to use irssi as your IRC client, which you will run in screen to keep running even after you disconnect from ssh.

So you go like this:

  1. Install irssi
  2. Install screen
  3. Deploy ssh
  4. Connect to the server with ssh
  5. Run screen (without any further parameters)
  6. Then run irssi
  7. Press CTRL+A followed by CTRL+D. This detaches irssi into the screen
  8. Now you can disconnect from ssh. Your IRC will keep running.
  9. When you connect back and want to get to the irssi running in screen, simply type screen -r, to resume

Sounds like you might be looking for a BNC if you're wanting to keep your client local instead of on the server. You might find ZNC useful.

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