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Once upon a time there was BitchX. Then there was Irssi. Now there is Weechat. More and more people are switching over to Weechat from Irssi, probably coz the colours make IRC easier to read and follow. Problem is, for the Irssi user, Weechat may be a tad confusing.

Weechat documentation can be tricky to follow, so this page is an attempt to make simple those bizarre and abstract commands.

Running Weechat

weechat is installed on azazel, the main login box. butlerx has written a bash script to get you started with weechat, run:


Copy and paste that into your terminal command line, hit enter, and give yourself a pat on the back. If you'd like to have a look before you run it, which you should its on [Github] Now just run


to chat to everyone

Basic use

Connecting to a server and channel

When you hit 'chat' on Redbrick, you start Irssi, you're automatically connected to a server, then you're joined to Redbrick's #lobby. This all happens behind the scenes, and with Weechat, you need to do this manually. Fear not: it's easy.

When you start Weechat, you won't get connected to a server or channel. To connect to Redbrick's IRC sever, type:

/connect irc.redbrick.dcu.ie

Then to join #lobby:

/join #lobby

As well as showing you how IRC clients (such as Weechat or Irssi or whatever) connect to stuff, this should also show you how to connect to other servers and channels outside of Redbrick.

To connect to any server, simply enter /connect <server_address>. You will probably be greeted with various messages and such from that server. To join a channel on that server, just type /join <channel_name>.


Like Irssi, you can move between windows/buffers using Alt+<num>. You can also type /buffer <num> (similar to /win <num> in Irssi). Unlike irssi you can do Alt+j then <num> to change to a number greather the 10 .

F5 and F6 move to the predecessing and successing buffer, respectively.

You can move buffers (chat windows) with /buffer move. In a channel, type:

/buffer move <num>

(where <num> is any number you want). That channel is now accessible at Alt+<num>

Changing between servers

Weechat will generally assume that whatever channel you're in, that's also the server you're operating on. So you can chat away as you wish and issue general commands.

However, for some commands, you will need to let Weechat know what server you're on.

Hit Alt+1. This will bring you to your status window. Along the bottom you will see the time, number of channels, the server you're connect to, as well as other channel stuff.

Press Ctrl+x. If you're connected to multiple servers, the server section will change, telling you which server Weechat is connect to. So now you can issue commands to that server (such as /nick) without affecting other servers.

For example, I am currently connected to irc.redbrick.dcu.ie and to irc.starchat.net. If I hit Ctrl-x I can switch to StarChat, and change my nickname there without it affecting Redbrick's IRC.


weechat has a mobile app you can get from the google play store or from the github. Before we set up the app we need to go too weechat on the terminal and type in:

 /relay add weechat 1337 (choose your own port)

then we need to set the password

 /set relay.network.password "your-secret-password"

now on the Phone launch the app and in settings In connection settings

Relay host: localhost
Relay Port: 1337 (choose your own port) 
Relay password: your-secret-password
Connect type: SSH tunnel

then in SSH Tunnel settings

SSH host: redbrick.dcu.ie
SSH username: your username
SSH port: 22

if you have an ssh key add the route to the key on your phone in SSH Private key file and put the passphrase in the SSH password/key passphrase box, if you dont just put your password in there

Special commands


Keybinds are handy, especially if you have over 10 channels open. I use Alt+<num> to get to channels, but clearly this only works from 1 up to 0 (on a keyboard). So for channels in higher numbers, you can bind keys: i.e. Alt+q gets me to channel 11; Alt+y gets me to channel 16.

 /key bind meta-q /buffer 11

"Key" and "bind" are self-explanatory. "Meta" is Weechat's word for Alt (so meta-q is the same as Alt+q). /buffer 11 is the command that's executed once meta-q (Alt-q) is typed.

You can build up these to meta-w, meta-e, meta-r for buffer 2, buffer 3, buffer 4, etc etc.

Of course, you can bind any key combo to any weechat command; it's not necessary to make them Alt+<num> commands.

Note: Watch out for caps lock if you're keybinding. If you bind Alt+y to a command, Alt+Y won't work (unless you bind that separately). If you find your binds aren't working, check your caps.


Triggers are the swiss army knife of weechat. They can replace a lot of scripts, and we're still finding things to turn into trigger

Turn any line with "nsfw" in it bright red

/trigger addreplace nsfw modifier weechat_print "${tg_notify} && ${tg_message_nocolor} =~ .*nsfw.*" "/(.*)/${tg_prefix}\t${color:red}!NSFW! ${tg_message}"

Make urls underlined and blue

/trigger addreplace url_color modifier "weechat_print" "${tg_tags} !~ irc_quit" ";[a-z]+://\S+;${color:32}${color:underline}${re:0}${color:-underline}${color:reset};" ""

Strip items such as time from screen on smaller screens

/trigger addreplace resize_small_timestamp signal signal_sigwinch "${info:term_width} < 200" "" "/set weechat.look.buffer_time_format \"\""

add items such as time from screen on bigger screens

 /trigger addreplace resize_big_timestamp signal signal_sigwinch "${info:term_width} >=200" "" "/set weechat.look.buffer_time_format %H:%M:%S "

Redact messages from specific users

Helps keep better track of the conversation than if others are replying to messages you can't see. This example replaces messages from user1 and user2 with "[REDACTED]"

/trigger addreplace shut_up modifier weechat_print "${tg_tags} =~ ,irc_privmsg, && ${tg_tags} =~ ,nick_(user1|user2|user3)," "/.*/${tg_prefix}\t${color:238}[REDACTED]"


Conditions can be used to customize weechat depending on certain variables

Turn off nicklist on small windows

/set weechat.bar.nicklist.conditions "${nicklist} && (${window.win_width} > 100 || ${buffer.full_name} == irc.bitlbee.&bitlbee)"

Hide buffer list on small terminals

/set weechat.bar.buffers.conditions "${info:term_width} > 100"

Turn off status on nonactive windows

/set weechat.bar.status.conditions "${active}"

Spell Checker

Weechat uses a handy aspell plugin to check your spelling. To enable it, either use iset or use

/set aspell.check.enabled on

Aspell has a few settings which you may find useful

/set aspell.check.real_time on
/set aspell.check.word_min_length 2
/set aspell.check.default_dict "en"
/set aspell.check.suggestions 3

Or alternatively if you use iset, search for aspell

The aspell plugin can also offer suggestions as of 0.4.0 and it can be added as an item to your status bar. The item should be added to weechat.bar.status.items. For instance:

/set weechat.bar.status.items "time |,buffer_number+:buffer_name+(buffer_modes)+ |,buffer_nicklist_count |,hotlist |,[aspell_suggest]