If you are a newcomer or veteran, tech-savvy or not, this page is intended to show how to get connected with others in the Mozilla project for online chat.
The page also serves as a listing of IRC channels that are frequently used, with descriptions of their general purpose. There are also instructions for the non-technical folks on how they can join an IRC chat.
IRC stands for "Internet Relay Chat". It's a protocol for real-time chat sessions. (Read more about IRC on Wikipedia.) It was invented before the World Wide Web, so it was adopted by early open source contributors and Web developers, and it has been used by those communities ever since. Like email, no single company controls IRC. IRC servers are offered by many individuals and organizations. Users log in to a particular server to chat with other users on that server, using a client program designed for IRC; just as there are many programs for reading email, there are many different IRC client programs. Chat discussions take place in "channels," which have names starting with a '#' symbol.
Mozilla runs an IRC server to host channels for discussion of topics related to the Mozilla project.
Pick an IRC client
There are several ways to participate in IRC and here are a some options that are ideal for newcomers.
- Mibbit: is a great online chat client that doesn't require any installation and setting up an account is free.
- Chatzilla is an add-on for Firefox; it comes built-in with SeaMonkey. You can also install it standalone.
- Colloquy, a standalone Mac client with a nice looking interface. It also has a mobile client for iPad/iPhone/iTouch.
- Limechat is a cross-platform IRC client by Satoshi Nakagawa. Warning: main site is in Japanese, this is not just for Mac, there are Windows and iOS versions as well. A number of people have happily switched from Colloquy to Limechat.
- Thunderbird is a communication client made by Mozilla. As of version 15, it has IRC support.
- Instantbird is a cross-platform multi-protocol instant messaging client based on Mozilla technologies (and libpurple from Pidgin) with an emphasis on simplicity and extensibility.
- Yaaic is a free (as in freedom), multiserver, Android IRC client, now fully conformant with the UI style of the Iced Cream Sandwich (and later).
- AndChat is a free (as in beer), multiserver, IRC app for the Android platform.
Connect to the Mozilla IRC server
- Click here to connect
- enter a nickname for yourself, then click GO (no channel needed at first, but you can put one in if you know where you're going)
- look for a "Mozilla" tab right under the Mibbit logo and click on it (it doesn't come to the front automatically for some reason)
Set up a connection as per the screenshot and hit 'connect':
For those of you who have turned pictures off, the settings are:
Nickname: lsblakk_colloquy Server Protocol: IRC Chat Server: irc.mozilla.org Proxy: None Chat Server Port: 6697 Chat Server Port for users of mobile carriers that block IRC (e.g. Verizon) : 8443 NOTE : In 2012, Verizon blocked all access to irc.mozilla.org over cellular connections. Any connection attempts now get a 504 Gateway Timeout SSL Connection: Checked Username: lsblakk_colloquy Server Password: [blank] Real Name: Lukas Blakk
Use the /networks command to display the list of available IRC networks. Click on 'moznet' in the list.
- Name : Mozilla
- Address : irc.mozilla.org
- The normal port value is 6697
- Some mobile carriers (like Verizon) block all common IRC ports. If this affects you, use port 8443 instead
- NOTE : In 2012, Verizon blocked all access to irc.mozilla.org over cellular connections. Any connection attempts now get a 504 Gateway Timeout
- SSL : checked
- Nick 1 : Your IRC nickname
Choosing a nickname
Nicknames on IRC can become a major part of your identity if you spend a significant amount of time talking with people in IRC. Sometimes you may even find that people in real life call you by your IRC handle. If you're having trouble coming up with a catchy nickname or if you're concerned about getting stuck with something that seems funny now but will be tiresome to you in a few weeks, a good way to create a nickname is to take the first letter of your first and most or all of your last name to make a nick that people will recognize as you.
Often in IRC people look for others by using tab complete so if someone's name is John they might type a 'j' and then tab several times to see who's in the channel whose name starts with a 'j'.
Using just your first name can also be a good option, if it's unique. But:
- Beware that IRC "seems" case-sensitive but actually isn't: e.g. /whois mossop (all lowercase) will return info on Mossop (with initial capital) if he's online, and /nick mossop will either be refused (if Mossop is online) or make NickServ tell you that this nick is registered and that you should IDENTIFY with its password if it's yours (if he isn't). (See below about this NickServ stuff.)
- If you are new to IRC and you use a female name you will most likely at some point get private messages from people that are unwelcome. This is hopefully less frequent on the Mozilla network but this behaviour does exist anywhere that also allows anonymity so take this into consideration in choosing your nickname and make sure you are prepared to fend off jerks.
Set your nickname
Now that you're connected to the IRC server, you can set/register your nickname with Nickserv. If you’re going to be hanging around a lot (and we hope that you will!), you will want to register your nickname. That way, other people can’t pose as you on the channel and you can join password-protected channels. First, set your preferred nickname by either doing:
(where NICKNAME is the desired nickname); or if you are using a client you may have already set your nickname and/or can change it through the application's interface. Note that if someone has already registered your preferred nick, you’ll need to use a different one.
Register your nickname
Once you have settled on a nickname here’s how to register:
/msg nickserv register [YOUR PASSWORD] [YOUR EMAIL]
You do not need to include the square brackets. Email address is mandatory.
Congratulations! Your nickname is now registered.
Next time you log on, you will need to identify yourself to nickserv as follows (after you get the nickname):
/msg nickserv identify [YOUR PASSWORD]
Once you have identified yourself, you will be able to join password-protected irc channels and also, if needed, disconnect anyone using the nickname without the password. See /msg NickServ help for details.
IRC channels are like 'rooms' where people talk or hang out. Their names begin with a # (octothorpe, hash, pound sign etc.). Do not confuse them with social media 'hashtags' :-)
For most irc.mozilla.org channels you can join them with the following command:
This will open a tab, window or section in your IRC client that allows you to participate in discussions on that channel.
For a password protected channel you need to include the password:
/join #channel_name [CHANNEL PASSWORD]
If doing this command does not open a new tab or otherwise allow you to enter the channel for discussion, please check the steps above about registering your nick and make sure you have identified yourself to Nickserv.
Start a private message
You can start a private chat with another person who is also on irc.mozilla.org by doing
/msg [other person's nickname] [initiating message, like 'hi']
This creates a new tab or channel that is just between you and that person. You must have a message to create the new tab/room otherwise the /msg command will complain that there are not enough arguments.
If you want to know if the person you're trying to chat with is in the room you can either enter the first letter of their nick and then hit tab to tab-complete all the nicks in the channel that start with this letter until you see the one you are looking for or you can use
This will give you a list of all the people in the room you are currently in. To start a private chat, you must be in the room with someone. If you're not sure what room someone is in you can go to the main irc.mozilla.org tab/room and do
/whois [other person's nickname]
which will tell you (hopefully) their real name as well as list the channels they are currently in with that nick.
Create your own channel
To start a channel for multiple people to hang out and chat in, create a unique channel like this:
Now you can tell all your friends, teammates, community members where to find the backchannel you've created!
Registering a channel
If the channel you've created is going to be permanent, you'll want to register it with chanserv. Does 'chanserv' sound familiar? That's right - it works very much like 'nickserv' :)
# eg: /msg chanserv register #moz-in-my-town "a channel for people who work on mozilla and live in my town" /msg chanserv REGISTER [channel name] [password (optional)] [description]
Join some channels right now!
Being new to IRC can be intimidating. Mozilla's IRC channels are very friendly and welcoming but some of them are geared to teams trying to get things done where others are more relaxed and open to new folks giving IRC or other Mozilla tools a try.
#mozillians - meet other Mozilla project folks all over the world #newbies - kind of self-explanatory, right? #introduction - a place to get started and be welcoming to new contributors #sf,#toronto - remote office's water-cooler hotspot for socializing and planning lunch
Need General Help with IRC?
You can also get help from IRC by doing:
This will give you a list of all the IRC commands and then you can do /help [command] to get info on that particular command.
Example: /help msg IRC returns: MSG [-<server tag>] [-channel | -nick] <targets> <message> Sends a message to a nick or a channel. Usually this is used for sending private messages to other persons. Examples: /MSG friend Hi, what's up?
You can also visit irchelp.org to learn about how IRC works, or find a client you can use to connect to the chat server.
/!\ If you're using ChatZilla, note that /help is a ChatZilla command which gets you a ChatZilla answer. In ChatZilla, /commands returns the list of all known commands (including the aliases you defined yourself), and /help command (without the slash before command) gives you help on /command. These are usually enough, but you can get help from the server when using ChatZilla, by using /quote help or (on the Mozilla network) /helpop
How to ask questions on IRC
- Join a question-friendly channel like #introduction, #mozillians, #newbies, #seneca or #coding.
- Ask away! You don't have to ask permission to ask first. It is better to just blurt out your question, even though you don't know if anyone is paying attention.
- Leave your IRC client open if nobody answers right away. Most of the folks on IRC do not spend all day watching their IRC client. They just leave it open while they're doing other things. It might be an hour before the right person notices your question. When answering someone's question, especially if there's a delay, the nick of the questioner should be used in the answer so that you'll see a highlighted line with their response. (eg: "lsblakk: the answer is 42")
- Be prepared to ask in several places. Very often the first response to a question is, "I don't know, but you should ask that question in #extdev" or #developers or #devtools or #jsapi or any of a hundred other special-purpose channels. Over time, you'll get a better sense of which questions to ask where, but to start with, it's always OK to ask in #introduction.
- Remember to be courteous. Don't repeat your question every time someone new enters the room. Don't individually ask everybody in the room if they know the answer. Don't type
helllooooooooo. And if someone is rude to you, please do the rest of us a favor and respond politely anyway.
Commonly Used Mozilla IRC Channels
There are many different irc channels for various topics. If you have ChatZilla, you can just click the provided links below to join that particular channel. For other clients, connect to server irc.mozilla.org and type /join channelname, replacing channelname with the name of the channel (including the leading "#"). All channels use English unless otherwise specified.
Development and Planning
These channels are frequently used for discussions regarding development and planning of Firefox and Thunderbird.
- #firefox - Firefox project discussion and end-user help
- #thunderbird - Thunderbird project discussion and end-user help
- #seamonkey - Community project to revive the bundled application suite
- #calendar - Lightning and Sunbird calendar clients
- #bugzilla - Bugzilla project discussion
- #webtools - Bonsai, LXR, Tinderbox, and Mozbot project discussion
- #camino - Camino browser for Mac OS X
- #qa - Mozilla QA Community of users and testers dedicated to improving the quality of Firefox and other Mozilla applications
- #tb-qa - QA Community of users and testers dedicated to improving the quality of Thunderbird
- #chatzilla - Discussion about ChatZilla, the IRC client extension
- #mozwebqa - Home of Mozilla's web-testing efforts
- #webcompat - Home of Mozilla's Web compatibility effort
- #amo-editors - Support for add-on reviews and the addons.mozilla.org website
- #addons - End user support for add-ons, extensions, and themes
- #extdev - Discussion about extension development
- #themedev - Discussion about theme development
- #xul - Discussion about the XUL programming language
- #l10n - Discussion about localization (l10n) of Mozilla applications
- #accessibility - Discussion about accessibility in Mozilla applications - developers and end users welcome
- #mdn - Discussion about developer documentation
- #mdndev - Discussion about development of the documentation web site (Kuma platform)
- #mozillazine - Community for Users, Web Authors, and Testers; go here if you need help
- #mozdev - Discussion of and support for free project hosting at mozdev.org
- #sumo - Mozilla Support main channel
- #firefoxstudents - Student Ambassadors main channel
- #remo - Mozilla Reps main channel
- #remo-dev - Discussion about webdev and planning of next Mozilla Reps web properties
- #rust - General discussion about the Rust programming language
- #rust-gamedev - Computer graphics and game development with Rust
- #rust-internals - Rust compiler and library development
- #rust-osdev - Operating system development with Rust
- #womoz - Women & Mozilla Discussion channel
- #tb-support-crew - for Thunderbird support meta discussion NOT for Thunderbird support;
- informal companion IRC channel to the tb-support-crew mailing list.
- #songbird - Songbird project discussion
- #nightingale - Nightingale project discussion
- #instantbird - Instantbird project discussion
- #transvision - Transvision (l10n QA tool in PHP) project discussion
- #contributors - A offtopic channel for all contributors to chat in and discuss their projects with each other
- #planning - discussion of upcoming Firefox and Gecko branch and trunk releases
- #developers - general Firefox and Gecko development discussion
- #fx-team - Firefox front-end development discussion and team channel
- #gfx - development discussion for graphics, widget and OS-specific code
- #content - development discussion for DOM and layout code as well as Electrolysis
- #macdev - OSX developers
- #fxos - Firefox OS development
- #mobile - Fennec development discussion
- #maildev - Thunderbird development channel
- #seamonkey - SeaMonkey development channel
- #ux - discussion of visual and interactive user experience design for all Mozilla projects
- #ur - discussion of user experience research for all Mozilla projects
- #labs - discussion of development of Mozilla Labs projects
- #identity - Persona and BrowserID protocol discussion
- #webdev - the web development group's channel
- #windev - development discussion for Windows platforms
- #build - The build system - make/autoconf etc
- #releng - Build & Release channel - for issues with Mozilla Build infrastructure
- #fistbump - visual design for both products and marketing; copywriting
- #www - discussion around user-facing websites, especially mozilla.org
- #airmozilla - discussion around https://air.mozilla.org/
- #media - development discussion for audio/video and related topics like WebRTC
- #audio - development discussion for audio specifically
- #devtools - development discussion for Firefox Devtools
- #ateam - Automation & Tools development discussion
- #wiki - discussion and support channel for MozillaWiki
- #webmaker - discussion and support channel for Mozilla Webmaker
- #badges - discussion and support channel for the Mozilla Open Badges project
- #london - general chat for people connected to or interested in the London MozSpace
- #montreal - general chat for people in Montreal, including community. Bilingual channel. (French-English)
- #mozpdx - general chat for the Mozilla Portland community
- #mv - general chat for people in the Mountain View office
- #seattle - general chat for people in the greater Seattle area
- #SF - general chat for people in the San Francisco office
- #toronto - general chat for people in the Toronto office
- #tulsa - general chat for people in the Tulsa area
- #uk - general chat for the Mozilla UK community
- #vancouver - general chat for people in the Vancouver office
- #australia - general chat for the Australian Mozilla community
- #chicago - general chat for the Mozilla Chicago community
Channels in Other Languages
- #frenchmoz Main channel for the Francophone community
- #mozfr Channel for community monthly meetings
- #support-fr Technical support
- #devfr Main channel for developpers (both webdev and platform)
- #xulfr Xul technology channel
When you connect to our IRC server, you will get portscanned from 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, or 184.108.40.206. This is an unfortunate but necessary step in order to cut down on the number of viruses and other malicious users attempting to communicate via our IRC servers. The portscan is checking for common ports used by known viruses and open proxy servers to ensure that your machine is not infected before allowing you to remain connected. By connecting to our IRC servers, you agree to have your computer portscanned by our server. If you don't like this, don't connect.
Our servers do not keep records of any of your conversations, but anyone in the channels you are in might do so and publish those conversation logs (and some channels are actively logged by users on those channels). If you have questions about this, ask the other users in the channel you are concerned about (every channel has its own culture). In general, you should assume that anything you say on IRC that is not in a private message will be recorded and possibly published somewhere, and even then you are depending on your trust that the person you are sending the message to will not to share it.
Sometimes people say silly or memorable things on our server. We memorialize them forever on the quotes database managed by Tim De Pauw.
If you have access to a host that is always on you can run an irc session on it and connect/disconnect from that session without losing everything. This allows you to keep scrollback, stay present in channels when you are away, and have logs of what happens when you're not around. In this example I will use people.mozilla.org as my host. If someone can add good instructions for setting up a proxy in another way, please do. This tutorial will assume that you have an account on people.mozilla.org (or another server where you can ssh to it and run both 'screen' and 'irssi'), details on how to set this up are below. An alternative is ZNC.
On the server
ssh firstname.lastname@example.org ## create a bin dir mkdir bin cd bin vim irc ## paste the following two lines in the empty file: #!/bin/bash screen -raAd ## now hit ESC followed by :x and enter to save this file ## Start your irssi session: screen irssi
Replace <ident> and <pass> with your registered Mozilla IRC nick and password. The following creates an autoconnect to irc.mozilla.org under the name Mozilla.
/SERVER ADD -ssl -auto -network Mozilla irc.mozilla.org 6697 /NETWORK ADD -autosendcmd "/^msg nickserv <ident> <pass>;wait 2000" Mozilla
Add Channels (optional)
Replace #channel with the channel you'd like to add. <pass> is an optional field, used when an IRC channel requires a password.
/CHANNEL ADD -auto #channel Mozilla <pass>
...repeat till satisfied!