A tiny IRC client written in POSIX C99.


KISS for IRC, a tiny IRC client written in POSIX C99.

Packaging status Codacy status


  • Excellent cross-platform compatibility (due to POSIX standard compliance).
  • No dependencies other than a C99 compiler.
  • Native SASL PLAIN and EXTERNAL authentication support.
  • TLS/SSL protocol capable (via external TLS utilities).
  • Chat history logging.
  • Multi-channel joining at server connection.
  • Simple shortcut commands and full support for all IRC commands in the RFC 2812 standard:
<message>                 Send a PRIVMSG to the current channel.
@<channel|nick> <message> Send a message to a specified channel or nick 
/<command>                Send command to IRC server (see RFC 2812 for full list).
/#<channel>               Assign new default message channel.
/?                        Print current message channel.
  • Color scheme definition via ANSI 8-bit colors. Therefore, one could theoretically achieve uniform color definition across all shell applications and tools.


Screenshot 1

Screenshot 1


Building and installing on KISS Linux using the Community repository:

kiss b kirc
kiss i kirc

Building and installing on Arch and Arch-based distros using the AUR:

git clone
cd kirc
makepkg -si

Building and installing from source (works on Raspbian, Debian, Ubuntu and many other Unix distributions):

git clone
cd kirc
make install


usage: kirc [-s hostname] [-p port] [-c channel] [-n nick] [-r real name] [-u username] [-k password] [-x init command] [-w columns] [-W columns] [-o path] [-e|v|V]
-s     server address (default: '')
-p     server port (default: '6667')
-c     channel name(s), delimited by a "," or "|" character (default: 'kirc')
-n     nickname (required)
-u     server username (optional)
-k     server password (optional)
-a     PLAIN SASL authentication token (optional, specified with nick)
-e     EXTERNAL SASL authentication (optional)
-r     real name (optional)
-v     version information
-V     verbose output (e.g. raw stream)
-o     output path to log irc stream
-x     send command to irc server after inital connection
-w     maximum width of the printed left column (default: '20')
-W     maximum width of the entire printed stream (default '80')

Transport Layer Security (TLS) Support

There is no native TLS/SSL support. Instead, users can achieve this functionality by using third-party tools (e.g. stunnel, socat, ghosttunnel).

  • socat example:
socat tcp-listen:6667,reuseaddr,fork,bind= ssl:<irc-server>:6697
kirc -s -c 'channel' -n 'name' -r 'realname'

PLAIN SASL Authentication

In order to connect using PLAIN SASL authentication, the user must provide the required token during the initial connection. If the authentication token is base64 encoded and, therefore, can be generated a number of ways. For example, using Python, one could use the following:

python -c 'import base64; print(base64.encodebytes(b"nick\x00nick\x00password"))'

For example, lets assume an authentication identity of jilles and password sesame:

$ python -c 'import base64; print(base64.encodebytes(b"jilles\x00jilles\x00sesame"))'
b 'amlsbGVzAGppbGxlcwBzZXNhbWU=\n'
$ kirc -n jilles -a amlsbGVzAGppbGxlcwBzZXNhbWU=


For any further questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me on #kirc or #kisslinux channels of the server.

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