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.
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.
ZNC can work with a global configuration or with a network-based configuration. You can configure the global settings in
Your Settings under
Network config (NixNet)
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
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
Password boxes and fill in the information below.
- Password: empty
Go to the bottom of the page and click
Save and return.
Connect to ZNC
In HexChat, click
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:
znc.nixnet.services/7001 and hit Enter. The non-TLS port is
The rest of the configuration:
- Nick name: what you want to be known as (for example,
- Real name: same as nickname
- User name: your ZNC username
- Login method:
Server password (/PASS password)
- Password: your ZNC password
Close button and now
- To join a channel:
- To leave a channel:
- To ignore a user:
- To start a private conversation with someone:
/msg <username> <text>