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Using BitchX

IRC Tutorials.

Using BitchX

New postby Ranman on Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:11 pm

A Quick BitchX Tutorial:

To start BitchX the command 'BitchX' alone will get you in. Odds are though you want to specify a server to connect to, and an nickname to use.

BitchX -n <nickname> <server>

... is the quick and dirty way of doing it. If you would like to specif more than one IRC server I suggest putting them into a plain text file, one server per line. Then you can run:

BitchX -n <nickname> -r <server list file>

So, you've got BitchX fired up on your Linux machine now and don't really know how to use it. That's understandable; there isn't much in the way of documentation for BitchX; and it has a TON of features. We're here to help.

A few very basic command:
/whoois <nickname> - Retrieve some information about a user.
/nick <nickname> - Set your nickname
/join <channel> - Join a channel in the active window
/part <channel> - Leave a channel.
/msg <nickname> - Send a private message to somebody
/msg =<nickname> - Send a DCC message to somebody
/me <action> - Perform an action in the channel.
/q <nickname> - Dedicate a window to q "query" chat.
/q =<nickname> - Dedicate a window to a DCC chat.
/away <reason> - Let everybody in the channel know you're not there.
/back - Let everybody in the channel know you're back.

/dcc send <filename> <nickname> - Send <filename> to user - <nickname>
/dcc get <nickname> - Accept a DCC transfer from <nickname>
/dcc autoget on - Automatically accept DCC transfers from anybody.
- Not a good idea if you spend a lot of time away
- from the keys.

All these commands should be pretty straight forward. There is one concept though in particular that blows people new to BitchX out of the water sometimes. Windows in this little text based client. You have three different ways of working with windows in BitchX. Hidden windows, split windows, and wserv windows.

Hidden windows:
These are probably the most popular types of windows to use. You can keep your channels separated quite easily, and not take up any extra room on your desktop. To create a new hidden window you type:

/window new hide

Now, to switch between 'hidden' windows you hold ESC and quickly press the number of the window you want to change to. You can't hold ESC for too long though; so be fairly quick about it. If you're in a window and decide you don't want it anymore:

/window kill

wserv Windows:
The program coupled with BitchX called 'wserv' is an xterm type program that allows you to have extra windows under X acting as BitchX windows. To change windows you simply use your mouse to select the window like any other program.

To make a new window like this its:

/window create

And to destroy the window its:

/window del

Split windows:
Split windows do exactly what you think. They split the screen horizontally creating two windows out of one. To make a new window:

/window new

To switch windows with split mode you use the command:

/window goto #

Where # is the number of the window you want to switch to.

To remove a window and return the space to the remaining windows:

/window kill

Some remaining notes:
When you create any new window in BitchX it will have a shortened information bar that's only one line long. To make it look like the original one in your 'main' window run:

/window double on

Once you're in a BitchX window you can join/part channels that the changes will only show up in that window. ie: I startup BitchX and want to join two channels, and start a DCC chat with a bot. I'll give each of them their own hidden window.

/window new hide
/window new hide
/j linuxhelp
/j #freebsd
/dcc chat TH0R
/q =th0r

Now Window #1 is #linuxhelp, window #2 is #freebsd, and window #3 is a DCC chat with 'TH0R'. If I want to leave #freebsd and destroy the window I would type:

/part #freebsd
/window kill

Note that this doesn't bump window #3 into window #2's position. You still only have windows 1 and 3.

A bit of 'advanced' stuff:
The command 'exec' can be quite useful. It allows you to execute a command from the BitchX client, but more importantly you have options which allow you to spit that output into the channel or query. This can be a great tool when trying to properly relay information (ie: error messages) to others on IRC. It's also handy for showing off your uptime. To broadcast to a channel use:

/exec -o <command>

To broadcast to another use through a query or DCC chat:

/exec -m <command>

For instance, you want to show another user what your /etc/resolv.conf file looks like so they have an idea what theirs should look like. You'd run:

/exec -o cat /etc/resolv.conf

There's one more detail you should be aware of before starting BitchX; the shell variable IRCNAME will control your "Real Name" as displayed to other people on IRC when they use the /whois command on you. You don't have to set this, it's not vital, but if you would like to customize it's value set the IRCNAME shell variable before starting BitchX like this:

export IRCNAME="your irc name"

I place a command like this in my user's .bash_profile startup script (/home/username/.bash_profile).
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