Sticky xChat Configuration

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  • xChat Configuration

    Hi there!

    This thread was created to show you in a simple way how to configure xChat IRC client. Some time ago xChat(only Windows version*) became a shareware software(just like mIRC). That means you can use it for 30 days and then you have to buy a license key to continue using it. However, the biggest advantage of xChat is that you can use it on different platforms like UNIX (for example linux) as well as MAC OS. You can read more about xChat on its official website.
    * As xChat is available for other than Windows platforms on GNU GPL license, there is a non-official, legal and free version of xChat for Windows! The client is very similar(or completely the same) as official shareware version, so the configuration should be the same as I show you below. There is a website of this non-official, free project available here

    Let's start! While creating this tutorial I was using an official xChat(2.8.9) version for Windows which you can get here. During the installation, you may choose a special language pack to be installed. Languages included in the language pack are: Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish. The default language is of course - English.



    After you install xChat, run it and Network List will appear immediately. You can see all the fields with user informations are filled by default:


    We'll fill these fields once again:

    Nick name - Your main nick you are using on IRC.
    Second choice – Alternative nick, used by xChat to connect to IRC server when (Nick name) is already taken.
    Third choice – Next alternative, would be used when both, (Nick name) and (Second choice) are already taken.
    User Name – You may write here your nick, this field is used as ident, part of our hostmask.
    Real Name – Feel free to write here your Name, nick or whatever you want. This field isn't that important ;)

    Now click marked "Add" button. In "Networks" section new server will appear, let's name it OnlineGamesNet. Here is how this window looks like after filling the fields and adding a server:


    Click "Edit" button, you will see new window, where you can change various settings of the server you have just added:


    At first click marked "Edit" button and change newserver/6667 to irc.onlinegamesnet.net/6667 and hit Enter to confirm the change. For those who have AuthServ account and want to use LoC (Login on Connect) I have marked "Server Pass" field. You need to write there AuthServName:AuthServPass. For example if my AuthServ password is MyPass, I would write there: Razr:Mypass
    !!IMPORTANT!!
    If you want to connect to your Centravi ZNC using xChat, use these server informations(configuration above is for those who don't use ZNC):
    After clicking "Add" button, name the new server CentZNC(not OnlineGamesNet) as I wrote before). Then hit "Edit" and change: newserver/6667 to znc.centravi.org/PORT and remember to change PORT to the port your ZNC is on, for example znc.centravi.org/9001. In Server Password field write ZNC username and password (not AuthServ password!) using account:password format, for example: Razr:e6HV9CN.

    Now server we will connect to is configured, hit "Close" and Network List will appear again, but now there will be OnlineGamesNet, or CentZNC server selected. Now click "Connect" button to connect to selected server. When client connects to the server, you will be informed by a pop-up saying xChat is connected to your server and a question if you want to join some channel:


    As this pop-up appears after each connection, it makes me irritated sometimes, so I have turned it off. If you want to do this too, just uncheck the checkbox saying: "Always show this dialog after connecting" I have marked this checkbox on the screen above, then leave "Nothing, I'll join a channel later." checked and click "OK" on the bottom of the pop-up window.
    Now, if you want to join any channel, just write /join #channel like I did:


    Now you will see xChat opening the channel you wanted to join, and that's it! Basic configuration is done, Though, if you are interested in IRC or xChat, I suggest to spend some time more and read the the other tutorial part I prepared for you. I described there some additional settings and features what will make your IRC life more comfortable! Let's see what these useful xChat features are.. :)



    At first let's enable Timestamp, if it's enabled, we see the time of every IRC event in every channel (message, join, part, slap etc). To enable it, click Settings -> Preferences and you will see this window:


    Set everything up just like I showed on the screen above. When you mark checkbox "Enble time stamps" xChat will show the time before every IRC event on each channel, and when you change value of "Time stamp formats" to [%H:%M:%S] time format will be Hour:minute:second.

    After that, move to Alert Tab. Look at the Alerts section. There are types of alerts (vertically) and various IRC events (horizontal). Here is how does the Alert tab look like:


    Types of alerts:
    "Show tray balloons on:" - showing "baloons" in tray when selected type of event is deteced.
    "Blink tray icon on:" - flashing tray xChat icon (if the tray icon is enabled) when selected type of event is detected.
    "Blink task bar on:" - flashing taskbar xChat icon when selected type of event is detected.
    "Make a beep sound on:" - makes your computer "beep" when selected type of event is detected

    Personally I suggest to check the box marked with green color, it will make xChat "beep" after a highlight message. It's useful when xChat is minimized and someone calls your nickname on IRC.
    Box marked with blue color will make xChat "beep" on query message, it's useful as well ;)
    If you don't want to have xChat icon in tray, simply uncheck the box next to "Enable system tray icon".

    Let's have a look at the "Highlighted Messages" section now. By default, highlight function in xChat is on and when someone calls your nick on IRC the whole line with your nick is in red color(after checking some box what I explained above you'll hear a beep as well). Here, in "Highlighted Messages" section you may add any words to highlight, so when anyone just writes one of them on any channel you are in, you will be informed just like in case of a regular highlight message. In all the fields below which have been described by me, you can separate all the words or nicks by a comma (,) and wildcards are allowed. If you want to add new word to highlight, use "Extra words to highlight" field. Nick names not to highlight allows to make excludes for nicks to highlight. If you write there your nick, you won't see highlight(it's a good way to exclude your away-nick from highlight when you are afk to prevent disturbing you). The Nick names to always highlight field allows adding nicknames, which every message will be highlighted.

    Let's move to "Logging" tab now. If you want to have all your IRC conversations logged, set everything up in this tab as I showed on the following screen. Marked box on the following screen means that xChat saves all the conversations on your disk.


    When you have Log function configured as shown above, all your logs are stored on your disk and when you want to browse them just click "Open Data Folder" button!

    Do you want xChat to join your favorite channels on connect ? That's easy! Just hit ctrl + s on your keyboard or open Network List in any other way. Then click on OnlineGamesNet, or CentZNC server(depends on which on are you using) and click "Edit" button. That's what you gonna see:


    Click the marked button with three dots and we've got next pop-up window:


    Click the marked "Add" button and new entry will appear. Change the channel name from #channel to channel what should be automatically joined on connect, for example put there #Centravi and hit "Enter". You can add more channels like that and when you are done click marked with orange button "OK". Then close server editing window with "Close" button and connect to your server, then watch xChat joining your favorite channels :)

    Some of users (including me) get irritated by red line marker what divide text in channel (a part of text you've already read and another one you haven't read). As humans, we're smart enough to know what did we read and what we should read, so the first thing I did was disabling this line. If you want to do this as well hit Settings -> Preferences -> Text box in Interface section. Uncheck the "Show line marker" box and accept changes with "OK" button.

    Some words at the end: In my opinion xChat is a good rival of HydraIRC or even mIRC, why? xChat is very developmentable(you may write scripts e.g. in Perl, Phyton, Tcl and C/C++) what is a way more than mIRC's msl language! Another big advantage is you can have xChat completely for free(more info at the begining of this tutorial). Also good to know, xChat is available on many platforms like Windows, UNIX and even MAC OS.

    It's definetely worth to try xChat!

    I wish you easy, comfortable configuration of xChat without any trobules and alot of good IRC conversations!
    Best wishes,
    Razr