Installing the catgirl IRC Client

*Note: If you need to connect to multiple networks at one time, take a look at "Using the 'Catgirl' IRC with Multiple Servers (Kind of)"

Skip to: Prerequisites, Setup, Configuring.

While unrelated to anime catgirls, the catgirl IRC client by june ( is a quality tls-only terminal IRC client.

Its notable features include tab complate, clear prompts for how commands and messages will be sent, scrolling still keep the latest messages solving issues that can come from being too far scrolled back, user nicks are indicated by being colored in messages and nick colors also remain stable if users change their nicks, when channel topics are changed, the modified portions are highlighted, and visibility for filtered and ignored messages can easily be toggled.

The catgirl client is free software, and has been released under the GNU General Public License (Version 3) on


catgirl has the following requirements:

  • libretls

    • If installed from git has the following requirements for building:
      • autoconf
      • automake
      • libtools
      • pkg-config
  • ncursesw

  • Debian-based (including Ubuntu, Mint, etc.): sudo apt install autoconf automake libncursesw6 pkg-config

  • RHEL (including Oracle Linux, Fedora, CentOS Stream, etc): sudo yum install autoconf automake ncursesw pkg-config

  • NetBSD: sudo pkgin install autoconf automake ncursesw libretls

Some distros/systems such as FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD may have libretls in their package manager repos. You'll want to check with your specific programs before building, as doing so would be unnecessary if its in the repos.

For those on systems without it, you will want to run the following commands:

autoreconf -fi
make all
sudo make install

June's libretls will install to /usr/local. You will want to make sure it appears in either /etc/ or a file in /etc/ You can do so with the following command:

sudo echo "/usr/local/lib" > /etc/
sudo ldconfig

Once these are installed, you can then start installing catgirl itself.


The setup for catgirl is fairly simply. You will want to run the following commands:

make all
sudo make install


Unlike other clients, catgirl doesn't have dynamic configuration. All configuration simply happens in text files or in command line flags.

The manual page for catgirl shows the flags that can be used when connecting to a server. The only flag that you actually need for it to work is -h in the following context:

catgirl -h <host>

For example, to connect to freenode:

catgirl -h

Alternatively, to connect to

catgirl -h

If you found this guide helpful I'm planning on writing some more soon for different catgirl features and uses. Hope you enjoy the IRC experience that catgirl has to offer!