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ERC is a powerful, modular, and extensible IRC client for Emacs. It supports multiple channel-buffers, nick completion, keyword highlighting, and more.

The software is written in Emacs Lisp. This makes it very easy to extend, customise and adapt ERC to your own personal style. A useful feature of ERC is that you can extend the set of commands available on your IRC prompt by writing your own short Emacs Lisp functions.

ERC maintains a separate buffer for each open IRC channel and direct conversation. A sophisticated mechanism is used to indicate activity in currently hidden buffers in the mode-line, called Channel Tracking.

 ERC 5.3

Free to download



Gergely Nagy, Adrian Aichner, Andreas Fuchs, Benjamin Drieu, and many others


System Requirements
Emacs or XEmacs

Manual, Wiki, Mailing List

Selected Reviews:

Features include:

  • Works with both Emacs and XEmacs
  • Flood control
  • Timestamps
  • Join channels automatically
  • Buttonize URLs, nicknames, and other text
  • Wrap long lines
  • Highlight or remove IRC control characters
  • Highlight pals, fools, and other keywords
  • Detect netsplits
  • Complete nicknames and commands in a programmable fashion
  • Make displayed lines read-only
  • Input history
  • Track channel activity in the mode-line
  • Multi channels / multi servers: every channel is put in a separate buffer; several IRC servers may be used at the same time
  • Queries: private conversations are treated as channels, and are put into private buffers
  • Highlighting: some occurences of words can be highlighted, therefore easing conversation tracking
  • Notification: ERC can notify you that users are online
  • Channel tracking: channels can be hidden and conversation continue in the background. You are notified when something is said in such a hidden channel
  • Nick completion: ERC can complete words so as to ease the writing of nicknames
  • History: past actions are kept in history rings for future use
  • Multi languages: messages are multilingual and can be customized
  • User scripting: users can load scripts (e.g. auto greeting scripts) at ERC startup

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Last Updated Sunday, May 24 2015 @ 05:26 AM EDT

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