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Using the OMG! Ubuntu! IRC Channel – How to join in the fun

Did you know OMG! Ubuntu! has an IRC channel? Oh yeah. We like to geek out, too.

If you’ve never visited, but would like to, then this post is a quick guide on how to do just that and get the best out of the channel that you can.

How to connect to the OMG! IRC! Channel

Below are three popular ways of accessing IRC channels. I will guide you through connecting to the OMG! IRC channel in each of them.

Xchat-Gnome

XChat is probably the most popular method of using IRC in Ubuntu. By running it as a desktop application you can recieve notification bubbles, sounds, native font adoption, etc.

First things first – you need to install XChat-GNOME. You can do so by clicking the one-click install button below.

Now you need to add an account: –

  1. Open Xchat from Applications > Internet > XChat-GNOME
  2. Connect to the FreeNode server via IRC > Connect and picking ‘FreeNode’ from the list you are presented with
  3. Right click on ‘freenode’ in the left-hand pane and choose ‘Channels’
  4. Enter: #omg!ubuntu!
  5. You can set your username, real name and more options via Edit > Preferences
Main XChat-GNOME Channel view

You add X-Chat-GNOME to the messaging menu by installing the XChat-GNOME Indicator

Opera
The Opera web-browser ships with a built-in IRC client and is my preferred choice. It give you easy access to commonly performed features, nifty right-click commands and, on top of all that, looks pretty nice too.

Channel window view using Opera’s IRC feature
  1. Run the new mail & chat account wizard via Main Menu > Mail & Chat Accounts
  2. Select ‘Chat (IRC)’
  3. Enter your real name & e-mail address
  4. Choose a nickname
  5. Select FreeNode from the drop-down server list
  6. Enter the room/channel name: #omg!ubuntu!
  7. Press OK
You can now chat away by entering test in the bottom field and hitting return/enter/send.

Web

There are several websites available for connecting to IRC channels disbanding the need to install a desktop application.
Here’s how to connect using http://webchat.freenode.net/

  1. Go to webchat.freenode.net
  2. Enter a nickname
  3. Enter ‘#omg!ubuntu!’ as the channel (minus apostrophes)
  4. Click ‘Connect’

image

You can enter text in the bottom field and hit your enter/return key to send it.

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Using the channel

The channel is a friendly and relaxed place to hang out. It isn’t a formal support channel so don’t make it the first place to go if you’re wifi/xserver/mesa is playing up, but for some advice, opinions or to share in some excitement you’ll digg it.
Handy links are present in the ‘topic’ printed at the very top. These generally link to the OMG! bot command wiki (see below) the (amusing) IRC log and a prescient link to an important news article on the blog or a big development.
The IRC is modded by myself (d0od) and SuperMatt so if you have any issues we’re the people to seek out.

OMG! Bot! – Here’s there to help

The IRC has an extra special attendee to help you enjoy using the OMG! Ubuntu! IRC channel and he’s called OMG! Bot!

He can do some crazy cool stuff – all you need to do is ask him.

Here is a list of some of the common commands he provides. To use them just type them as you see and hit return: –

Vitals

  • !digest – returns the last 10 messages sent on the channel, useful if you have just joined.
  • !help – Prints this help list in a PM.
  • !news – gives you a link to the omg!ubuntu! blog.
  • !install [app] – returns an install command for the given app. Also !nstall
  • !podcast – this, when the podcast returns, prints a link to the latest episode.

Google Search

  • !google [search] – returns a search for [search]
  • !lmgtfy [search] – returns a search for [search]

Fun

  • !fact – returns a random chuck norris fact. Also !chuck !norris or !chucknorris
  • !quote [user] – returns a quote from the given user
  • !tip – One liner ubuntu tip
  • !addtip – adds a tip to the pending tips list to be approved by a moderator
  • !define – returns a definition for the given word
  • !beer – gives the caller a beer or gives [nick] a beer it [nick] is defined

You can read more on or suggest features for OMG! Bot @http://tiny.cc/omgbot

OMG! Bot! was created by, and is maintained by, the awesome JamesMR in the Channel so feel free to bug him if you’d like to know more.

Other random stuff

You can also find plenty of random/amusing stats from the IRC @http://supermatt.net/logs/omg.html