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HexChat is a multi-platform IRC client for GTK.


Install hexchat. The development version hexchat-gitAUR is available in the AUR. For another fork of the legacy version, install xchat-seAUR.

For spell checking install enchant, see Language checking for available dictionaries. Restart HexChat for changes to take an effect.


HexChat stores configuration files in ~/.config/hexchat, XChat does so in ~/.xchat2.

Freenode SSL and SASL

In HexChat, enable SSL and SASL in Network List (Ctrl+S) > Freenode > Edit.

In XChat, enable SSL and change the server address from chat.freenode.net to chat.freenode.net/+6697. To enable SASL, follow Configuring SASL for XChat[dead link 2020-02-24].

GNOME integration

To use the new Notifications and messaging tray, activate the following options in Settings > Preferences > Chatting > Alerts:

  • Show tray balloons
  • Blink tray icon (optional)
  • Enable system tray icon: unchecked (the icon appears automatically if you have pending notifications)


Missing tray icon

If HexChat was loaded before the panel containing its icon, for example when the panel is forcibly reloaded, the icon may be invisible. [1] To restore the icon, run:

$ hexchat --existing --command="set gui_tray 0"
$ hexchat --existing --command="gui apply"
$ hexchat --existing --command="set gui_tray 1"
$ hexchat --existing --command="gui apply"

Or restore the main window with:

$ hexchat --existing --command="gui show"

See also