There was a moment of my life where I was h24 on IRC, browsing dozens of IRC channels, being very participative and at a point of time, I even had my own IRC server.
However, over the past decade, IRC usage have been shrinking, from a million users in 2003 to 400,000 as of this year.
Nonethelesss, it remains a popular way to communicate, especially around open source project
If you are using IRC, you may be interested in Shout, a Web client to self host on your server.
Easy to install (with npm), it supports multiple users, allows connection to stay open even when you close your browser, let you allows you to connect from multiple devices at once and is smartphone friendly, thanks to its responsive design.
Shout is available on github under a MIT license.
You can directly give it a try here.
Interested to give it a shot on your server, here is how to install shout on a Debian/Ubuntu type of server.
You will first need to install node.js
1) Install nodejs and npm
– If you use Ubuntu, simple run (as root)
apt-get install nodejs npm
– If you are on Debian (Wheezy?) like me, you can install nodejs from wheezy-backports (modify your source.list accordingly) and run (in root):
apt-get install nodejs nodejs-legacy curl
and for npm, you can use the installer (still in root)
curl https://www.npmjs.com/install.sh | sh
2) Install shout
Still in root (or with sudo):
npm install -g shout
3) Tweak up the default settings (Optional)
Few configuration options are available in /usr/lib/node_modules/shout/config.js such as the port number, public/private mode (If private, will ask a password), debug mode, etc…
Simply modify it, still in root:
Save (CTRL +X, then Y)
– The default host “0.0.0.0” is not restricting any access. (If want local only, you can change this by the IP of your server)
– If you have set the “public” value as “false”, you will need to set up a new user with
shout add <name>
it will ask you for a password, that will be needed when you will access to your shout instance.
4) Simply start Shout
You should now be able to access your shout instance based on the IP:port you have configured.
Like it? Just go to say “hi” to their IRC channel (Default one when you install shout)