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Revision as of 15:59, 29 March 2013 by Creadak (talk | contribs)
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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

Dregin is a big Weechat fanboi. And as such, he has his own special builds designed for Redbrick. Azazel is the current login machine, dregin has compiled a version of Weechat that runs on azazel:


Copy and paste that into your terminal command line, hit enter, and give yourself a pat on the back.

Compiling Weechat

Weechat requires a bit of jiggery pokery before building on azazel using make && make install. Here's how to do it:

 git clone git://git.sv.gnu.org/weechat.git
 cd weechat
 ./configure --prefix=$HOME
 for f in `ls po/*.po`
   /usr/bin/msgmerge --update $f po/weechat.pot	
 make install

Creadak has also written a script that will compile and install weechat to a local directory and then tell the currently running weechat to upgrade itself, so it's perfect for cronjobbing. The script is available from http://creadak.tk/upgrade-weechat and instructions are at the top of the script.

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).

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.

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.

Cool Things


If you're using creadak's weechat script you can use the /script command to view, add/remove, and update scripts that do really handy things, if you are using any version pre 0.3.9 you'll want to use the weeget script to manage your scripts. Some really handy scripts include buffers, iset, buffer_autoclose, cron, pybuffer, shell and screen_away.

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

 aspell.check.real_time on
 aspell.check.word_min_length 2
 aspell.check.default_dict "en"

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]

You should then see something like this