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XChat setup

How to obtain XChat?

Users of gentoo systems can use "emerge xchat", and debian users can use "apt-get install xchat" to get xchat properly installed to your system. Other users go to http://www.xchat.org, click on download and choose the .rpm for your operating system (mandrake, suse, redhat,....). Installation should work via "rpm -i <nameofpackagefile>". Users that want to use the sourcecode snapshots should be able to install the program by untaring it with "tar xzvf <nameoftarfile>" and then running "configure", "make" and "make install" from the created subdirectory, assuming you have the correct developement libraries installed. (No warranty given for rpm- and source-install since i never tried those myself, but gentoo and debian worked quite well)

XChat Setup for FUMBBL

Now we need to configure our new client to connect to FUMBBL. To do this start the client. You are now prompted with the xchat servertab where you can enter most of the settings you will ever need.

On top you can enter your nicknames that will be used by the client. The client will use the first nick if it's not yet taken on the server, the second one otherwise and the third one if both of the others are already in use.

In the second line you have to enter your username (this will be displayed as username@yourhostname in the chat when you join or when someone opens a dialog with you), the realname field must be filled for some reason i don't know yet, but you can just reenter your username if you don't want to risk revealing to much of you ;-)

The last thing you see now in this window is a list of irc-networks, add a new one and call it FUMBBLNet or sth. like that. This network contains only one server irc.fumbbl.com and port is 6667, so add this server to the network, to configure the settings for this irc-network check the "Edit Mode" checkbox below the networklist. This opens some more fields.

Now we can take on the middle column. The first three fields are greyed out, since they are already set in the first two lines. You can also leave the "Server password" field empty, since there is none needed. In the next field you can enter the channels you want xchat to join after it connected to the fumbbl network, if you leave it empty xchat will just connect to the server and join no other channel. The channels have to be comma-seperated, e.g. "#channel1,#channel2,... #channelx", xchat opens a new tab for every channel you join and not a new window. In the next field you may specifiy a command xchat should issue after connecting to the network, e.g. "msg Candlejack I don't like your user guide articles" will behave like typing "/msg Candlejack I don't like your user guide articles", note that you must not use the leading "/" when you specifiy a command in a xchat menu. The charset should be left set to system default.

Now the only thing left are seven checkboxes, most of them should be left as they are, but you might check the "automatically connect on startup" checkbox, this option tells xchat to connect to the fumbbl network when it is started without waiting for you to tell it to do so, i consider this option very usefull. Next to this checkbox you see a "use proxy" checkbox, this one is checked by default but since there is no proxy yet specified in the preferences none is used on default. Some users might have to specify a proxy if they are behind a firewall, i will come to this a bit later. The bottommost checkbox at last can be checked to prevent the servertab you are currently looking at to be shown at startup, since you now should have configured your system properly you can check this option. You can access the servertab again over the X-Chat menu at any time to adjust your settings.

Now you click on connect and enter the FUMBBL chat room, enjoy.

You want more??

Okay.. i will tell you a bit more.. but not too much, since there could be written a whole lot of things and I don't know all features myself and most of the options are self-explaining;-)


If you have to use a proxy you can configure xchat to use it via the options menu entry in the prefernces menu. Go to last category "Network" and expand itby clicking on the little arrow on it's right, no click on "Network Setup". You now can specify a hostname, port, username and password for your proxy (the last two are not needed in most cases), if you don't know what to enter ask your network adminstrator about the proxy settings.

How to define fancy commands?

If you want to set up some nice, funny or even usefull commands to use with xchat like "/hug <otheruser>" resulting in "<username> hugs <otheruser>" this is what you want to read. Go to "Prefereneces", click on "lists", and choose "User Commands". You are now promted with a new window containing all available user commands your client is momentarily capable of. To create a new one just click "ADD", now you see an inserted dummy command that you can change to what you like. The left column "Name" contains what you type in your client to invoke the command, in our case "smite", the right column "Command" contains the command string executed by the client when you type the appropriate name, we would enter "me hugs %2", "%2" refers to the second word in the input line, being <otheruser> in our example. If you are done adding commands, remember to click "SAVE" otherwise the commands you just added wil be discarded.

Are there Keyboard Shortcuts?

Yes, there are :-) A list of all shortcuts and the possibilty to change them or add some new is given by clicking "Preferences", "Lists", "Shortcuts". This menu is kinda self-explaining i think, so i won't explain it here, saving us some time ;-)

The most important ones:

  • Alt+<1-9> goes to tab-window 1-9
  • Alt+<Cursor Left/Cursor Right> switches current tab with tab to it's left/right
  • Ctrl+<Page Up/Page Down> cycles to next tab

Why do the channel names in my tabs change color?

These changes indicate what happens in this channel when it's not your current front tab to show you if there is anything going on.

  • Dark Red: someone has joined or left the channel or changed his nick
  • Light Red: someone said something in the channel
  • Blue: something caused xchat to highlight something in this channel, e.g. someone adressed you with you nickname

These colors can be changed via the "options" menu.

Last update: November 29, 2004