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Author(s): Michael Brutman
Programming language: C/C++
Platform: PC DOS, MS DOS, FreeDOS, DR DOS
Status: Active
License: GNU General Public License v3
Latest release: October 29th, 2011


IRCjr is a small, lightweight IRC client for DOS that is capable of running well on anything from the slowest original PCs and clones to the latest emulated and virtal machine environments. The TCP/IP code is built into it so all that is needed is the packet driver for the Ethernet hardware that you are using.

TCP/IP parameters for the TCP/IP portion of the code can be set using static configuration or using the DHCP client included in the mTCP [2] distribution, of which IRCjr is one of the applications.

IRCjr is open source as of May 2011. Earlier versions were free but source was not provided. The mTCP project [3] is hosted at Google Code. IRCjr can be downloaded from there, or found in the current FreeDOS distribution [4] .


  • CGA, MDA, EGA, and VGA display support with resolutions from 80x25 to 80x50
  • Standard 'split-screen' layout: chat area on top, 1 status line, 3 lines for user input
  • User configurable backscroll buffer
  • Toggleable beeper, timestamps, and logging to a file
  • Fast - very usable on the oldest 8088 based systems
  • Multiple channels, each in their own virtual window
  • Client-to-Client protocol message ("/me", "/version", and "/ping")
  • Runs on DOS 2.1 and up in less than 256KB

Tested machines and environments

Partial list of machines

  • Early machines: IBM PC, IBM PC XT, IBM PC AT, IBM PCjr, IBM Convertible, Compaq Portable 1, Hyundai First Step, DG One, other clones
  • IBM PS2 series (including Model 25, L40SX laptop, etc.)
  • Pentium class and higher: Pentium 133, 166, Pentium II, Dell Optiplex GX270, Acer Aspire One, etc.
  • Emulation environments: DOSBox (with HAL9000 "megabuilds"), VirtualBox, VMWare, SWSVPKT with Windows XP, Fake86

If it runs DOS and it is a close BIOS compatible machine, it will probably work. I have not found a machine that it does not work on yet.

Partial list of network cards:

  • Ethernet cards: AMD PCNet, NE1000, NE2000, 3Com 3C503, 3C509, Davicom 9008, Intel 8/16, Intel EtherExpress, WD8003, SMC 80x3 series, Accton EN166x, RTL 8008, RTL 8019, UMC UM9001L, too many to list (ISA, PCI, emulated, etc.)
  • Parallel port adapters: Xircom PE3 series
  • Serial port: PPP and SLIP

In general, if it is Ethernet or emulates Ethernet and it has a packet driver it works. This includes SLIP and PPP packet drivers that provide Ethernet emulation. But you need to have the packet driver.