Development sources

To get started with Irssi development, first check out the git repository:

git clone

After check-out, you must run ./ It may be necessary to install additional packages. More information can be found on the wiki.

Helping Development

Hey you! Irssi is always looking for developers. Apart from fixing bugs and reviewing patches, there are also many potential areas of improvement. Some of those are:

  • Rewrite the fe-text front-end to include vertical splits, flexible and multi-line status bars, vertical bars, zoom, layout pre-sets, dynamic themes, message tags, time-stamped messages, etc.
  • Rewrite the core to optionally work in a distributed manner (where you can run the server connections on one server and connect to it with multiple fe-text front-ends)
  • Revamp the API to better integrate multiple scripting languages (like Javascript, Lua) and require less (Perl-specific) glue code
  • Fix and improve network Proxy support (SSL-enabled proxies, SSL connections over proxies, native SOCKS proxies in Irssi, better TOR support, per network proxies) (#148)
  • Extend the IRC code to work better with any IRCv3 features.
  • XMPP improvements
  • Website improvements

Also review the Unofficial Roadmap for a further source of TODOs.

If you’re lucky, you might find issues in the tracker that are labeled ‘easy’


Perl scripts can be submitted to the Irssi Script Repository by following the instructions and sending a Pull Request on Github. Next to the perl and signals documentation, the Unofficial Irssi Scripting Documentation Wiki may have additional helpful resources about writing scripts.


Most of the existing documentation regarding themes can be found in the default.theme file created by Irssi when you /save, or /save -formats. Much of themeing is artistic skills combined with trial and error. Nice themes can be submitted to the Irssi Themes Collection through a Github Pull Request.