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Quassel (Text Chat Client via IRC)

Quassel icon

Available since: version 0.8

Quassel is an IRC application that is split into two parts, a "core" and a "client". This allows the core to remain connected to IRC servers, and to continue receiving messages, even when the client is disconnected. FreedomBox can run the Quassel core service keeping you always online and one or more Quassel clients from a desktop or a mobile device can be used to connect and disconnect from it.

1. Why run Quassel?

Many discussions about FreedomBox are being done on the IRC-Channel irc://irc.debian.org/freedombox. If your FreedomBox is running Quassel, it will collect all discussions while you are away, such as responses to your questions. Remember, the FreedomBox project is a worldwide project with people from nearly every time zone. You use your client to connect to the Quassel core to read and respond whenever you have time and are available.

2. How to setup Quassel?

3. Port Forwarding

If your FreedomBox is behind a router, you will need to set up port forwarding on your router. You should forward the following ports for Quassel:

4. Clients

Clients to connect to Quassel from your desktop and mobile devices are available.

4.1. Desktop

In a Debian system, you can e.g. use quassel-client. The following steps describe how to connect Quassel Client with Quassel Core running on a FreedomBox. The first time you do this connection, Quassel Core will be initialized too.

  1. Launch Quassel Client. You will be greeted with a wizard to Connect to Core.

    • Connect to Core

  2. Click the Add button to launch Add Core Account dialog.

    • Add Core Account

  3. Fill any value in the Account Name field. Fill proper DNS hostname of your FreedomBox in Hostname filed. Port field must have the value 4242. Provide the username and password of the account you wish to create to connect to the Quassel Core in the User and Password fields. Choose Remember if don't wish to be prompted for a password every time you launch Quassel client.

  4. After pressing OK in the Add Core Account dialog, you should see the core account in the Connect to Core dialog.

    • Connect to Core

  5. Select the newly created core account and select OK to connect to it.

  6. If this is the first time you are connecting to this core. You will see an Untrusted Security Certificate warning and need to accept the server certificate.

    • Untrusted Security Certificate

  7. Select Continue. Then you will be asked if you wish to accept the certificate permanently. Select Forever.

    • Untrusted Security Certificate

  8. If this Quassel Core has not been connected to before, you will then see a Core Configuration Wizard. Select Next.

    • Core Configuration Wizard

  9. In the Create Admin User page, enter the username and password you have used earlier to create the core connection. Select Remember password to remember this password for future sessions. Click Next.

    • Create Admin User Page

  10. In the Select Storage Backend page, select SQLite and click Commit.

    • Select Storage Backend

  11. The core configuration is then complete and you will see a Quassel IRC wizard to configure your IRC connections. Click Next.

    • Welcome Wizard

  12. In Setup Identity page next, provide a name and multiple nicknames. This is how you present yourself to other users on IRC. It is not necessary to give your real world name. Multiple nicknames are useful as fallback nicknames when the first nickname can't be used for some reason. After providing the information click Next.

    • Setup Identity

  13. In Setup Network Connection page next, provide a network name of your choice. Next provide a list of servers to which Quassel Core should connect to in order to join this IRC network (such as irc.debian.org:6667).

    • Setup Network Connection

  14. Select the server in the servers list and click Edit. In the Server Info dialog, set the port 6697 (consult your network's documentation for actual list of servers and their secure ports) and click Use SSL. Click OK. This is to ensure that communication between your FreedomBox and the IRC network server is encrypted.

    • Server Info Server Info SSL

  15. Back in the Setup Network Connection dialog, provide a list of IRC channels (such as #freedombox) to join upon connecting to the network. Click Save & Connect.

    • Setup Network Connection

  16. You should connect to the network and see the list of channels you have joined on the All Chats pane on the left of the Quassel Client main window.

    • Quassel Main Window

  17. Select a channel and start seeing messages from others in the channel and send your own messages.

4.2. Android

For Android devices you may use e.g. Quasseldroid from F-Droid

By the way, the German verb quasseln means talking a lot, to jabber.

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