Irssi As A Proxy

Irssi has a fairly nice proxy feature. It's probably the best proxy I've ever used. Unfortunately, it has a few flaws and is very under documented.

I gave up on ever having a decent proxy and switched to the screen option but I still want to explain this feature so it's decently documented somewhere.

To setup the server you need to first install irssi and screen. Edit your configuration the same as you normally would to connect to any other server.

You want to proxy to load my default so edit ~/.irssi/startup and add the line "/LOAD PROXY".

You can either edit the configuration file yourself IF you know what you're doing or you can use the commands to do it. People seem to screw this up a lot so I won't show it. The irssi group seem to advise against as well.

Set a password with

/SET irssiproxy_password PASSWORD

You need to set a different port for each network in the configuration.

/SET irssiproxy_ports Freenode=7001 Bitlbee=7002

You need to make sure to save the settings.


Create a directory called scripts and then autorun underneath it.

mkdir -p ~/.irssi/scripts/autorun

Put the and scripts in the scripts directory. You want to make these run at launch time so just make a symlink to them in the autorun.

cd ~/.irssi/scripts/autorun
ln -s ../
ln -s ../proxy\

Edit the awayproxy file. It's very well commented. The other file is a drop in tool. It's not pretty or elegant, but it fixes the fact that irssi proxy doesn't have a backlog viewer available.

Now you need to setup a task to launch this on your server. We'll add this to the boot process. Edit /etc/rc.local

Add this line replacing USER with your user name.

sudo -H -u USER screen -d -m -S irssi-proxy irssi

Breaking down the command

sudo ; runs command as user
-H ; sets the home directory to the users
-u ; sets the command to act as USER
screen ; the command sudo is executing
-d -m ; starts screen detached. This solves a lot of issues later.
-S ; starts the screen session with the irssi-proxy ID.
irssi ; the command we're launching

If you want to connect to this screen session from your server to see if the proxy connection is missing something - like PM's - just log in and do "screen -r irssi-proxy" That big long command that we did made it possible to only need that little line to connect.

What did you say? You want to connect to it now? I'm afraid that's beyond the scope of this.... :P

On your client. Create an alias command. I used


We need to create a network


Then add a server to it

/SERVER ADD -auto -network Proxy 7001 PASSWORD
  • Remember that you have different ports for each proxy network

Make sure to save the settings


Hurray, all should be set up and well. Just run irssi on your local system and it should connect to the proxy.

If it isn't working for you just comment a request for help or email me and I'll be glad to help you.

If you need help I'd suggest finding some place other than their channel. It tends to be full of RTFM ass holes and pricks. Especially when you ask something they don't know the answer to. It's best to find another channel of people that use it and just ask there instead.