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ZNC is an advanced IRC bouncer that is left connected so an IRC client can disconnect/reconnect without losing the chat session. Rather than connecting directly to Freenode, for example, you'll connect to the ZNC server. It keeps track of what channels you were in, allows you to connect to different servers at different times (rather than all at once), can be configured to store some backlog, etc. If you're in IRC all the time but don't want to run a server-side client like WeeChat or The Lounge, it's really nice to have.

Getting an account

IRC is an oft-abused service and bouncers are especially so; registration on my ZNC instance is closed but I will create an account for you if you'd like. Simply send me an email with your desired username and I'll reply with a temporary password.

Quick Start

After getting your account, head over to the website and log in. The first thing you want to do is go to Your Settings in the menu on the right and change your password. Open a private window to log in with the new password and make sure it works. If it doesn't, you still have your current session open so you can change it again.

Global config

ZNC can work with a global configuration or with a network-based configuration. You can configure the global settings in Your Settings under IRC Information.

Network config (NixNet)

In Your Settings under the Networks category, you will see the Add button. The Network Name must be filled in under Network Info. This name helps you distinguish between multiple networks.

In our example, we want to connect to NixNet, so just give it the name NixNet.

Things like Nickname, Alt. Nickname and so on will be taken from your global IRC configuration. You are free to change them for the specific network, however.

Head to the table with Hostname, Port, SSL and Password boxes and fill in the information below.

  • Hostname:
  • Port: 6697
  • SSL: Checked
  • Password: empty

Go to the bottom of the page and click Save and return.

Connect to ZNC


In HexChat, click HexChat -> Server List. A new window will appear with different networks you can connect to. As we are using ZNC, we want to connect to it. Click Add and fill in the ZNC server information: and hit Enter. The non-TLS port is 7000.

The rest of the configuration:

  • Nick name: what you want to be known as (for example, amolith or ShellOwl
  • Real name: same as nickname
  • User name: your ZNC username
  • Login method: Server password (/PASS password)
  • Password: your ZNC password

Hit the Close button and now Connect.

IRC Basics

  • To join a channel: /join #nixnet
  • To leave a channel: /part #nixnet
  • To ignore a user: /ignore <username>
  • To start a private conversation with someone: /msg <username> <text>