Need to quickly integrate some IRC into your app? Running Linux? Try ii

I know, it looks like a typo, but the script ii makes IRC all better for small applications which don’t need their own re-implementation of an IRC client.

I know it’s available under Ubuntu and Debian (apt-get install ii), but I don’t know what other platforms it’s available for.

It’s not much use as a user-focused IRC client (although it would vaguely work like that with a little scripting!), but for scripts it works like a charm.

Fire it up:

ii -s IrcNetworkNode -n YourBotNickName &

You should now notice that there’s a directory been created in your home directory. Change directory to there, and you’ll see there’s now a directory for the server you just connected to. Go into that directory, and you’ll see two files, in and out.

out is just a simple text file, which you can follow with tail, or your script can just iterate over, but in is known as a FIFO, or “File In, File Out” – whatever gets put in first gets taken out first and processed, in this case, by the ii script.

echo "/j #ChannelName" > /home/username/irc/

This will create a new directory called #channelname, in which will be two new files, yep, you guessed it, in and out

Anything you write to in or read from out in this directory will be interacting with the channel. You can also send

echo "/j nickserv identify botpassword" > /home/username/irc/

Which will start a conversation with nickserv (in this case) rather than a channel.

If you want to find out more about this fantastic little script, head over to and take a look.


He/Him. Husband and father. Linux advocating geek. Co-Host on the AdminAdmin Podcast, occasional conference speaker.

Leave a Reply

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