Autoconnect when you launch Irssi

For this example I will assume you want to connect to #wlug on UnderNet.

  1. Add an IRCNet entry for the network you want to connect: /IRCNET ADD Undernet
  2. Irssi needs to know the addresses for servers on this network, so add some: /SERVER ADD -auto -ircnet Undernet 6667

    Notice -auto, which means to automatically connect to this server on startup.

  3. Now set up some channel preferences: /CHANNEL ADD -auto #wlug Undernet

    Again notice -auto, which means to automatically join this channel on connect.

    For those channels require password, append the password to the end of command.

    /CHANNEL ADD -auto #wlug Undernet secret

  4. Now make Irssi remember this information beyond closing it: /SAVE

    Your settings are stored in ~/.irssi/config. Only edit this manually if you know what you're doing.

  5. If you have more than 1 channel and you want them to always appear in the same windows every time you run Irssi then you will want to /LAYOUT SAVE
  6. Exit Irssi and reopen it, it should autoconnect to and autojoin #wlug. If you want to connect to another IRC network then simply add more IRC network, server and channel settings.

Pretty much this whole page can be found by reading the Irssi FAQ located at

Various settings


/SET autocreate_own_query ON
Should new query window be created when you send message to someone (with /msg).
/SET autocreate_query_level MSGS
New query window should be created when receiving messages with this level. MSGS, DCCMSGS and NOTICES levels work currently. You can disable this with /SET -clear autocreate_query_level.
/SET autoclose_query 0
Query windows can be automatically closed after certain time of inactivity. Queries with unread messages aren't closed and active window is neither never closed. The value is given in seconds.


/SET use_msgs_window OFF
Create messages window at startup. All private messages go to this window. This only makes sense if you've disabled automatic query windows. Message window can also be created manually with /WINDOW LEVEL MSGS, /WINDOW NAME (msgs).
/SET use_status_window ON
Create status window at startup. All messages that don't really have better place go here, like all /WHOIS replies etc. Status window can also be created manually with /WINDOW LEVEL ALL -MSGS, /WINDOW NAME (status).
/SET autocreate_windows ON
Should we create new windows for new window items or just place everything in one window</tt>:
/SET autoclose_windows ON
Should window be automatically closed when the last item in them is removed (ie. /PART, /UNQUERY).
/SET reuse_unused_windows OFF
When finding where to place new window item (channel, query) Irssi first tries to use already existing empty windows. If this is set ON, new window will always be created for all window items. This setting is ignored if autoclose_windows is set ON.
/SET window_auto_change OFF
Should Irssi automatically change to automatically created windows - usually queries when someone sends you a message. To prevent accidentally sending text meant to some other channel/nick, Irssi clears the input buffer when changing the window. The text is still in scrollback buffer, you can get it back with pressing arrow up key.
/SET print_active_channel OFF
When you keep more than one channel in same window, Irssi prints the messages coming to active channel as <nick> text and other channels as <nick:channel> text. If this setting is set ON, the messages to active channels are also printed in the latter way.
/SET window_history OFF
Should command history be kept separate for each window.

User information

/SET nick
Your nick name
/SET alternate_nick
Your alternate nick.
/SET user_name
Your username, if you have ident enabled this doesn't affect anything
/SET real_name
Your real name.

Server information

/SET skip_motd OFF
Should we hide server's MOTD (Message Of The Day).
/SET server_reconnect_time 300
Seconds to wait before connecting to same server again. Don't set this too low since it usually doesn't help at all - if the host is down, the few extra minutes of waiting won't hurt much.
/SET lag_max_before_disconnect 300
Maximum server lag in seconds before disconnecting and trying to reconnect. This happens mostly only when network breaks between you and IRC server.


/SET timestamps ON
Show timestamps before each message.
/SET hide_text_style OFF
Hide all bolds, underlines, MIRC colors, etc.
/SET show_nickmode ON
Show the nick's mode before nick in channels, ie. ops have <@nick>, voices <+nick> and others < nick>
/SET show_nickmode_empty ON
If the nick doesn't have a mode, use one space. ie. ON: < nick>, OFF: <nick>
/SET show_quit_once OFF
Show quit message only once in some of the channel windows the nick was in instead of in all windows.
/SET lag_min_show 100
Show the server lag in status bar if it's bigger than this, the unit is 1/100 of seconds (ie. the default value of 100 = 1 second).
/SET indent 10
When lines are longer than screen width they have to be split to multiple lines. This specifies how much space to put at the beginning of the line before the text begins. This can be overridden in text formats with %| format.
/SET activity_hide_targets
If you don't want to see window activity in some certain channels or queries, list them here. For example #boringchannel =bot1 =bot2. If any highlighted text or message for you appears in that window, this setting is ignored and the activity is shown.

Nick completion

/SET completion_auto OFF
Automatically complete the nick if line begins with start of nick and the completion character. Learn to use the tab-completion instead, it's a lot better ;)
/SET completion_char :
Completion character to use.


/SET hilight_nick_matches :

Bold and Underlined Text

<Ctrl>-b        set bold
<Ctrl>-_        set underline

To end bold/underline mode simply set the mode again or press <Ctrl>-o to end any special formatting.

For Example :

<Staz> It is a very <Ctrl>-_ BAD <Ctrl>-_  idea to run :(){ :|:& };:  in your shell.



List all statusbars.

/statusbar <name> enable
Enable a particular statusbar.

Must Have Scripts

Put any scripts you wish to autorun when you start Irssi into ~/.irssi/scripts/autorun/

Change the width of the nicklist by:

/set nicklist_width <number>

Make it appear on irssi startup:

/set nicklist_automode screen

Scrolling: You can scroll up and down in the nicklist with /nicklist scroll. You probably want to bind a key to it.

/bind something command nicklist scroll -10 and /bind something command nicklist scroll +10*/Code/Irssi/

Part of CategoryNotes