Last Updated on: 3rd December 2023, 12:06 pm

Web site:
Category: Network
Subcategory: IRC clients
Platform: BSD, DOS, Linux, OS X, Windows
License: GPL
Interface: TUI
First release:

ERC – a powerful, modular, and extensible Internet Relay Chat client distributed with GNU Emacs since version 22.1.

ERC provides all the features that users expect from an IRC client:
– multi channels / multi servers: every channel is put in a separate buffer; several IRC servers may be used at the same time.
– queries: private conversations are treated as channels, and are put into private buffers.
– highlighting: some occurences of words can be highlighted, thus easing conversation tracking (ErcHighlighting)
– notification: ERC can notify you that users are online (ErcNotify)
– channel tracking: channels can be hidden and conversation continue in the background. You are notified when something is said in such a hidden channel. (ErcChannelTracking)
– nick completion: ERC can complete words so as to ease the writing of nicknames. (ErcCompletion)
– history: past actions are kept in history rings for future use. (ErcHistory)
– multi languages: messages are multilingual and can be customized. (ErcCatalog)
– user scripting: users can load scripts (e.g. auto greeting scripts) at ERC startup.

ERC works with both GNU Emacs and XEmacs; it also uses optional features specific to each flavour. It can also use some Emacs modules, such as the BBDB (Big Brother Database).

ERC was originally written by Alexander L. Belikoff and Sergey Berezin. They stopped development around December 1999. Their last released version was ERC 2.0.

In June 2001, Mario Lang and Alex Schroeder took over development and created a ERC Project at

In reaction to a mail about the new ERC development effort, Sergey Berezin said, “First of all, I’m glad that my version of ERC is being used out there. The thing is, I do not have free time and enough incentive anymore to work on ERC, so I would be happy if you guys take over the project entirely.”

Since about 2009, ERC is no longer developed as a separate project, but is maintained as part of Emacs.

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