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BitchX Configuration Guide   
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BitchX Configuration Guide by Joey
Created on February 7th, 2000.
Last updated on September 19th, 2003.

BitchX is one of the most popular IRC Client available today for *nix systems. It will run on the following platforms:

  • BSDI 2.0, 2.1 and FreeBSD 2.x
  • SunOS 4.1.4, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.5.1
  • Linux (All)
  • IRIX
  • HP-UX 9.x/10.x
  • OSF/1 (DEC Alpha)
  • Ultrix
  • AIX

Based on ircii, BitchX has support for more features then even I know. There's nick completion, auto-away, protection such as friend lists, flood protection, ctcp protection and more.

Note that BitchX is not a graphical IRC client, but it will run in an X terminal, if you use X. If you are looking for a graphical IRC client try X-Chat.

You can download BitchX from The latest version at the time of writing/updating this guide is 1.0c19. You can download BitchX in many different forms, rpm, deb packages, precompiled binaries and of course, the source. For this guide we will be downloading the source package (ircii-pana-1.0c19.tar.gz)

Once you've finished downloading the source, move the file to /usr/local/src (I like to keep all my source code in /usr/local/src) by typing:

mv ircii-pana-1.0c19.tar.gz /usr/local/src

You must untar the file by running the following command:

tar -zxvf ircii-pana1.0c19.tar.gz

This will extract (unzip) all the files into a directory called BitchX. When it is done extracting, change into that directory and run the following command:


The configure command will check for the required libraries that BitchX needs in order to install. There shouldn't be any errors (hopefully) but if there is, you are likely missing a library. With a little digging you'll probably be able to figure it out. You can try copying/pasting the error message into the search box at to see what comes up.

Proceeding error free, this is the part where you can customize BitchX a little. Open up the include/config.h with your favorite editor (nano, pico, vi, joe etc) and scroll down through the file looking for anything you might want to change. Here is what I tend to change from the defaults:

When I used to use IRC, I only used to go onto the Blitzed IRC Network so I didn't really need a list of 500 other servers from a bunch of IRC network that I'll never visit. I cut the list down to a few of the Blitzed IRC servers I tend to use the most, please feel free to do the same with your favorite network.

#define DEFAULT_SERVER  "[Blitzed] "\
                        " "\
                        " "\
                        " "\

Select your default IRC Network here (dalnet, blitzed, efnet, undernet etc)

#define DEFAULT_NETWORK "blizted"

I like to change the default auto-away time from 10 minutes to 15 minutes.


I also like having cloak enabled so people on IRC won't receive a /ctcp version reply from me.


That's about all I change, you can change as much as you like but before you start re-writing the whole file, back it up just incase you goof up.

Next you will want to compile it and install the binaries/executables. To do this run the following commands (as root):

make install

This will install the BitchX binary/executable into the /usr/local/bin directory. If you don't happen to have /usr/local/bin set in your PATH you can either enter it in your PATH or create a symlink into /bin. To create the symlink, type:

ln -s /usr/local/bin/BitchX /bin/BitchX

or if you are too lazy to type BitchX:

ln -s /usr/local/bin/BitchX /bin/bx

To enter the /usr/local/bin directory into your PATH, edit your shell's configuration file. Normally this is /etc/profile for the Bash shell or .tcshrc for the tcsh shell etc..

Once you start up BitchX, it will create a directory called .BitchX in your home directory. You'll need to type ls -a in order to see it because the . before the name makes it a hidden directory to the plain ls command. If it does not create the directory, simply type /save while in BitchX and it will create it and save your current settings.

In /home/username/.BitchX, you can place the, BitchX.ircnames, BitchX.quit and BitchX.reasons files from the /usr/local/src/BitchX/ directory into it. These files do different things for example the BitchX.quit file has tons of different /quit messages that randomize when you /quit IRC.

BitchX.reasons supplies a different kick reason everytime you kick someone. Some of the quits/reasons are lame and some are alright. You can edit these files to your liking also.

Now, there are so many different commands for BitchX and I honestly do not know them all. You can type /help in BitchX to get a list of them all so I will only bother to go over a few.

  • To quicky kick and ban a user from your channel, you can simply type: /kb nick

  • To auto-join channels when you start BitchX, type: /ajoin #Linux

  • To change IRC servers, type: /server

    You might be wondering how you can switch between more than one channel, to do this hold down the control key and press X and it will take you to the other channels you are in. Some people by mistake hit control z which drops you into a console. To get back into BitchX, type fg.

    To even complicate your life more, there are over a hundred different scripts for BitchX. You can find them all at Some scripts change the look and feel, others add certain features etc.

    Having trouble? Got questions? Require further assistance? If so please feel free to visit our Help Forums and ask the experts!

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