Desktop in a shell: irssi

Continuing my series about my desktop in a shell, in this chapter I will present you my irssi setup.

Irssi is the most customized part of my setup, using many scripts from the irssi-scripts Debian package and some "from the internet", handling 6 irc networks with a total of 34 channels plus JabberXMPP, ICQ, Twitter and

My "custom" irssi settings

I like my conversations to look like "Buddy, you rock" instead of "Buddy: you rock", so: /set completion_char ,

I also like long highlighted text, so: /set emphasis_multiword on

Hide mIRC and ANSI colors when turned on. This can be used to eliminate angry fruit salad syndrome in some channels. (Quote from, do I have to say more?): /set hide_colors on

When talking in more than one channel, it sometimes comes handy to repeat something from the past said in THAT channel, not searching though all: /set window_history on

Tell irssi to shutup when away, noone will hear/see the beep anyways: /set beep_when_away off

I want my screen to inform me about new messages, so I need this: /set bell_beeps on

Beep for query text, notices, dcc, dcc text and hilight: /set beep_msg_level MSGS NOTICES DCC DCCMSGS HILIGH

My used irssi scripts (from irssi-scripts)

Show notices in the active window or the corresponding query instead of the status-window.

No further configuration needed. (from

Some really smart windowlist, see my previous post about, I won't explain its features and settings here again. (from irssi-scripts)

Show peoples real-name when they join (my $nick ←→ $name memory is poor :()

No further configuration needed. (from irssi-scripts)

Automatically sort my channels alphabetically, grouped by network.

Enable via /set chansort_autosort on

<Update>kaimi asked me yesterday, whether chansort could ignore the network and just sort ALL channels in alphabetical order. Well, it could not, until yesterday ;) Fetch either the patch against or "my" and set chansort_ignore_network to ON. You can also set chansort_ignore_windowtype to mix channels and queries if you like to.</Update> (from

Display /whois in the current window or the corresponding query instead of the status-window.

No further configuration needed. (from irssi-scripts)

Restore my nick after it is free again (like after a ping timepout).

Set the nick via /keepnick [-net chatnet] [nick] (from irssi-scripts)

Automatically authorize me on networks with NickServ.

Enable by settings services address, nick and password via:

/nickserv addnet freenode NickServ@services.
/nickserv addnick freenode Zhenech mypass (from irssi-scripts)

Set away when screen is detached.

Will be enabled automatically, but you maybe want to tweak screen_away_message :) (from irssi-scripts)

Add a /seen nick command to lookup when and where nick was online the last time.

No further configuration needed. (from irssi-scripts)

Draw a line when you switch irssi windows so you can see which part of the conversation you have already seen.

No further configuration needed.


I'm using BitlBee as my irssi-to-every-im gateway of choice ;) But while it sounds easy, my setup isn't. I am using BitlBee only to connect to, my Jabber/XMPP server. There I have a pyICQt instance running, to connect to ICQ via Jabber (yes, BitlBee would support that directly, but that would fail on me when I would like to connect from a different Jabber-client). Twitter and are handled via Jabber too: does support this by themself, for Twitter I use the service.

But besides of my strange setup, BitlBee is easy: apt-get install bitlbee, connect irssi to localhost:6667, you will be force-joined to &bitlbee, where you do:

register somepassword
account add Jabber jabberpassword
account on 0

and done, is online :)

The all awaited screenshot (from my last irssi-post):

And the whole ~/.irssi/config:, read it carefully while waiting for the next post about newsbeuter :)