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Circe, a Client for IRC in Emacs

Build Status MELPA Stable



Circe is a Client for IRC in Emacs. It tries to have sane defaults, and integrates well with the rest of the editor, using standard Emacs key bindings and indicating activity in channels in the status bar so it stays out of your way unless you want to use it.

Complexity-wise, it is somewhere between rcirc (very minimal) and ERC (very complex).





In order to securely connect to an IRC server using TLS, Circe requires an Emacs linked against the GnuTLS library.

For displaying images, Circe requires ImageMagick.


Make sure you have MELPA Stable added to your package sources. To your .emacs, add this:

(require 'package)
(add-to-list 'package-archives
             '("melpa-stable" . "") t)

Then, use package-install to install Circe:

M-x package-install RET circe RET

After this, M-x circe should work.

Development Version

In a shell:

mkdir -d ~/.emacs.d/lisp/
cd ~/.emacs.d/lisp
git clone git://

Then add the following to your .emacs file:

(add-to-list 'load-path "~/.emacs.d/lisp/circe")
(require 'circe)

The next time you start your Emacs, you should be able to use M-x circe to connect to IRC.

Connecting to IRC

To connect to IRC, simply use M-x circe RET Libera Chat RET RET. This will connect you to Libera. You can join us on #emacs-circe by using /join #emacs-circe in the server buffer.

A more elaborate setup would require you to edit your init file and add something like the following:

(setq circe-network-options
      '(("Libera Chat"
         :tls t
         :nick "my-nick"
         :sasl-username "my-nick"
         :sasl-password "my-password"
         :channels ("#emacs-circe")

With this in your configuration, you can use M-x circe RET Libera Chat RET to connect to Libera using these settings.

If the network you are connecting to supports client certificate authentication and you have setup your certificate, you can tell circe to use it when login to the network. You can enable SASL external authentication also if the network supports it. An example to connect into Libera using a client certificate could be:

(setq circe-network-options
      '(("Libera Chat"
         :tls t
         :tls-keylist (("/full/path/key.pem"
         :sasl-external t
         :nick "my-nick"
         :channels ("#emacs-circe")

Note that sasl-external is not required in order to be able to authenticate using client certificates and not all the networks support it.


  • Sensible defaults
  • Tab completion
  • Nick highlighting
  • Automatically displaying images in channel
  • Logging
  • Spell checker
  • Ignore feature that also hides users who talk to users on your ignore list
  • Ignored messages can be toggled so they show up and then hidden again
  • TLS/SSL support
  • SASL authentication support (PLAIN and EXTERNAL methods)
  • Client certificate authentication
  • Nickserv authentication, automatic ghosting, and nick re-gain
  • Auto-join
  • Ability to reduce join/part/quit spam from lurkers
  • Automatic splitting of long lines at word boundaries
  • Netsplit handling
  • Activity tracking in the mode line
  • Fully customizeable message display
  • Topic changes can be shown as a diff
  • Automatic linking of Emacs Lisp symbols, RFCs, PEPs, SRFIs, Github issues, etc.
  • Automatic splitting of outgoing messages at word boundaries to adhere to IRC protocol limitations
  • Flood protection
  • Nickname coloring (via the circe-color-nicks module)
  • Lag monitoring (via the circe-lagmon module)
  • Automatic pasting to a paste site for long messages (via the lui-autopaste module)
  • Bar marking the last read position (via the lui-track-bar module)


Please see the Wiki for further information: