Do you have a registered nickname in Freenode IRC network? Then probably you are asking how to join with that nick via Hexchat. One of the common errors is Nickname is erroneous or already in use. This article This article provides short instructions about get rid from that kind of error.

1. Setup Your Account


When you run Hexchat program, you will see a dialog window namely Network List with some user accounts and networks options. What you need to set here is the User Information and the IRC network.

(1) Fill the four boxes of user information with your nickname and nickname aliases. For example, my IRC nickname is Malsasa, so I enter Malsasa_, and Malsasa__, as my aliases and the last is Malsasa as my username. Both nickname and username are useful to create some automatic IRC command variables (nickname = %n, username = %u).

2. Setup IRC Network

Still in the same dialog window, do the following:

(2) Select Freenode from the Networks list.

(3) Click Edit button.

(4) Check the Use global user information option, so Hexchat will use the information you gave previously. For another options available, they are up to you.

(5) Select the login method NickServ (/MSG NickServ + password).

(6) Enter your freenode IRC nickname's password in the Password: field.

(7) Close.

(8) Restart Hexchat program.

Note: enabling Connect automatically option will connect you automatically to the selected server every time you start Hexchat.

3. Alternative Network Setup


If you found some error such as "Nickname is already in use" while you are you with the correct nickname and password, it is probably your nickname is being a "ghost" in the Freenode server. A ghost is a living nickname session in the server while the client (i.e. your computer) is being disconnected. So you need to take over your nickname by killing the "ghost". There are some ways, but here is an alternative instructions:

(1) Open Network List dialog window. (Ctrl+S)

(2) Click Edit button.

(3) Click Connect commands tab.

(4) Click Add button.

(5) Add these three Freenode commands one by one:

  • /ghost %u %p
  • /nick %u
  • /msg nickserv identify %u %p

(6) Change login method to Custom (connect commands).

4. Explanation

For the alternative settings, those three commands are Freenode IRC commands to do the following:

  • First command: /ghost [username] [password]
This command will kill the "ghost", which is your nickname, living in the Freenode server. While it is killed, Freenode will allow you to change nick into that nick.

  • Second command: /nick [username]
This command changes your current nickname into [username].

  • Third command: /msg nickserv identify [username] [password]
This command log you in with your Freenode IRC's nickname + password credentials.

Note: you may do those commands manually --if you wish-- directly from the Hexchat text input box while you are connecting to Freenode.

5. Desired Output

The normal and correct output you will see by performing this tutorial are around these lines:

>nickserv< identify ****
* End of /MOTD command.
* Malsasa sets mode +Z on Malsasa
* Malsasa sets mode +i on Malsasa
-NickServ- This nickname is registered. Please choose a different nickname, or identify via /msg NickServ identify <password>.
-NickServ- You are now identified for Malsasa.
-NickServ- You are already logged in as Malsasa.
-NickServ- Malsasa_!~Malsasa@ has just authenticated as you (Malsasa)

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