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HexChat (IRC Client), showing chat window



HexChat[1] (previously called XChat) in Whonix has been hardened according to TorifyHOWTO/XChat[2]. All servers, besides the secure (SSL) version of OFTC have been removed. You are encouraged to add the secure version of your IRC server. (Preferably a hidden service, SSL as a fallback or at best, both.) See also TorifyHOWTO/XChat.

On OFTC is the official #Tor. Note that no Whonix developers hang out there! Upstream Tor developers do not support Whonix. For getting help with Whonix, see Support.

How to start HexChat[edit]

If you are using Qubes-Whonix, complete the following steps:

Qubes App Launcher (blue/grey "Q") -> Whonix-Workstation AppVM (commonly named anon-whonix) -> HexChat IRC

If you are using a graphical Whonix-Workstation, complete the following steps:

Start menu -> Applications -> Internet -> HexChat IRC

Reset your HexChat identity[edit]

If you want to reset your HexChat identity. WARNING: this will kill HexChat, delete all your settings, scripts and logs and creates a fresh HexChat identity. Run.

Open a terminal.

If you are using Qubes-Whonix, complete the following steps.

Qubes App Launcher (blue/grey "Q") -> Whonix-Workstation AppVM (commonly named anon-whonix) -> Konsole

If you are using a graphical Whonix-Workstation, complete the following steps.

Start Menu -> Applications -> System -> Konsole



Some networks, some hidden IRC servers, such as freenode, require SASL to connect to them.

Setting up SASL is outside the scope of this document, have a look into TorifyHOWTO/XChat.

Privacy Check[edit]

Before you join any channels, whois yourself from the status window.

/whois your-user-name your-user-name

See the following screenshot. Chat (IRC Client), showing /whois of oneself.

(here for e.g i used:- /whois TNTBOMBOM TNTBOMBOM)

HexChat (IRC Client), showing /whois of oneself.

IRC General[edit]

The Ident Protocol[3] is automatically blocked because Whonix-Workstation is firewalled.

The TorifyHOWTO/IrcSilc contains general IRC safety techniques and other tips.

Connection Issues[edit]

If you see messages such as the following.

* Closing Link: (No more connections permitted from your host)
* Disconnected (Remote host closed socket)

This most likely means, the connection the the IRC server is working, however the IRC server disconnects you because they are not accepting connections from the Tor network. This is not a Whonix specific issue. All users of Tor have to deal with these issues. This is a common issue.

There is no great solution to this. Just various options that have pros and cons.

  • Use an alternative to IRC if applicable, see also Chat for alternatives.
  • Use another, Tor friendly IRC network, if possible. See this list of Tor blocking and Tor "half-friendly" IRC networks. Possible search query for search engines could be "Tor friendly IRC server".
  • See if that IRC network provides a solution for Tor users. For example freenode provides a solution for Tor users.
  • Combine Tor with a tunnel for circumvention. (Which would be a rather time consuming learning curve just to solve this issue.) Connecting to Tor before a tunnel-link (proxy/VPN/SSH) (User -> Tor -> proxy/VPN/SSH -> Internet). Start reading here at Tunnels/Introduction.
  • Use an IRC bouncer. (Which is briefly mentioned on TorifyHOWTO/IrcSilc.) However, there are probably no trustworthy free IRC bouncers. While IRC bouncers are very affordable, it is difficult sign up and pay anonymously. See also Money.

Whonix development ticket:
Migrating from IRC OFTC to Tor friendly IRC network

See Also[edit]


  1. http://hexchat.org/
  2. https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/doc/TorifyHOWTO/XChat
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ident

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