Hook up to IRC when your network blocks it

18 April 2008

Just a quick write up for my own reference really, but hopefully some other people will find it useful.

My office is hooked up to the academic JANET network in the UK and it turns out that IRC is completely blocked. This is less than ideal for my new job at Engine Yard which uses IRC extensively for customer support and communication between staff.

Rather than fight with IT department goons I managed to quickly setup irssi to proxy my IRC access via my dedicated server and avoid network port blocks. Here are the steps I followed:

  1. Download and install irssi (use the—with-proxy flag on configure) – see this doc for more info
  2. Set up irssi to access your chosen server and various options – see this doc
  3. Run irssi using screen so you can start and then detach it (this means you can log out and keep it running between sessions) – see this doc
  4. Connect your local IRC client to the server running irssi on the port you specified
  5. Use IRC!

Thanks to people on the Geekup mailing list for their help and advice


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