ERC – Emacs Internet Relay Chat client

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.

Features include:

  • Works with both Emacs and XEmacs.
  • Multi channels / multi servers: every channel is put in a separate buffer; several IRC servers can be used simultaneously.
  • Queries: private conversations are treated as channels, and are put into private buffers.
  • 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.
  • Highlighting: some occurrences 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.

Support: Manual
Developer: Gergely Nagy, Adrian Aichner, Andreas Fuchs, Benjamin Drieu, and many others
License: GNU General Public License v3.0


Return to Console Based IRC Clients Home Page

Popular series
Free and Open Source SoftwareThe largest compilation of the best free and open source software in the universe. Each article is supplied with a legendary ratings chart helping you to make informed decisions.
ReviewsHundreds of in-depth reviews offering our unbiased and expert opinion on software. We offer helpful and impartial information.
Alternatives to Proprietary SoftwareReplace proprietary software with open source alternatives: Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Autodesk, Oracle, Atlassian, Corel, Cisco, Intuit, and SAS.
GamesAwesome Free Linux Games Tools showcases a series of tools that making gaming on Linux a more pleasurable experience. This is a new series.
Artificial intelligence iconMachine Learning explores practical applications of machine learning and deep learning from a Linux perspective. We've written reviews of more than 40 self-hosted apps. All are free and open source.
Guide to LinuxNew to Linux? Read our Linux for Starters series. We start right at the basics and teach you everything you need to know to get started with Linux.
Alternatives to popular CLI tools showcases essential tools that are modern replacements for core Linux utilities.
System ToolsEssential Linux system tools focuses on small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users.
ProductivityLinux utilities to maximise your productivity. Small, indispensable tools, useful for anyone running a Linux machine.
AudioSurveys popular streaming services from a Linux perspective: Amazon Music Unlimited, Myuzi, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal.
Saving Money with LinuxSaving Money with Linux looks at how you can reduce your energy bills running Linux.
Home ComputersHome computers became commonplace in the 1980s. Emulate home computers including the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX81, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.
Now and ThenNow and Then examines how promising open source software fared over the years. It can be a bumpy ride.
Linux at HomeLinux at Home looks at a range of home activities where Linux can play its part, making the most of our time at home, keeping active and engaged.
Linux CandyLinux Candy reveals the lighter side of Linux. Have some fun and escape from the daily drudgery.
DockerGetting Started with Docker helps you master Docker, a set of platform as a service products that delivers software in packages called containers.
Android AppsBest Free Android Apps. We showcase free Android apps that are definitely worth downloading. There's a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series.
Programming BooksThese best free books accelerate your learning of every programming language. Learn a new language today!
Programming TutorialsThese free tutorials offer the perfect tonic to our free programming books series.
Linux Around The WorldLinux Around The World showcases usergroups that are relevant to Linux enthusiasts. Great ways to meet up with fellow enthusiasts.
Stars and StripesStars and Stripes is an occasional series looking at the impact of Linux in the USA.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments