App::Twirc::Manual - User guide and reference for Twirc


Twirc is a twitter client. More precisely, it is an IRC/Twitter gateway that makes your favorite IRC client a twitter client.


Follow friends timelines
Receive replies from friends and non-friends
Post status updates
Send and receive direct messages
Follow, un-follow, block, unblock, and use most other twitter commands


You can install twirc just as you would any other CPAN distribution:

    cpanm POE::Component::Server::Twirc

Or, you can download and unpack twirc, then run it from a directory of your choice without running make install. That's the way the author runs it. If you choose this option, run make to install twirc's dependencies.


If you'd like to contribute to twirc or just want to build the distribution for some other reason, you must have the following Perl modules:



Twirc uses Config::Any, so you can configure twirc using XML, YAML, JSON, Apache-style configuration, Windows INI file format, or even Perl code.

A configuration file is not necessary, but is recommended.

Here's an example configuration in YAML:

    state_file: twirc.state
    log_level: INFO



The name of the IRC server. Defaults to twitter.irc. Every IRC server has a name. The IRC server included with twirc isn't intended to be accessed publicly. It is for your own personal use. So, the name is not significant.


The port number the IRC server binds to. Defaults to 6667.


The local address to bind to. Defaults to all to prevent others from connecting to your twirc IRC server. If you run twirc on a different system than your IRC client, you will need to provide this configuration option with a suitable address.


The IRC user/host mask used to restrict connecting users. Defaults to *@ If you run twirc on a different system than your IRC client, you will need to provide this configuration option with a suitable mask.


Password used to authenticate to the IRC server. If you don't provide this option, no password will be required. It adds a bit of security. You may want to set this option if other users have access to your system.


The name of the channel operator bot. Defaults to tweeter. Select a name that does not conflict with friends, followers, or your own IRC nick.

When running twirc, you interact with a bot in the channel. The bot carries out commands on your behalf and provides feedback, particularly when there are errors.


Text to be used as the channel operator bot's IRC full name. Defaults to "Your Friendly Twitter Agent". This is the name that will appear in response to an IRC /whois command.


The name of the channel where your twitter friends' timelines appear. This is the channel where most of your interaction with twirc occurs. It defaults to &twitter. The IRC convention for channels names is channels local to a single server begin with &. Network channels begin with #. You can use either to name, however & is more appropriate.


An alias to use for displaying incoming status updates from the owning user. This is necessary if the user's IRC nickname and Twitter screen name are the same. Defaults to me.

With the default value me, when twirc reads a status message in your timeline from your Twitter screen name, it will use me in place of your Twitter screen name in the channel.


How many status messages to display for selection when favoriting, replying, or retweeting. Defaults to 3.


When displaying a list tweets for selection, for example, in response to the "favorite" command, they will be truncated to this length to avoid cluttering the screen with long messages that wrap. Defaults to 60.


If specified, twirc will post log messages to this channel. If you set this option to &log, then you can join the &log channel and see the copious debug messages that twirc generates. This may be useful for trouble shooting or problem reporting.


Twirc supports log_level values OFF, FATAL, ERROR, WARN, INFO, DEBUG, and TRACE. The default is WARN.


File used to store state information between sessions, including Twitter OAuth access tokens, friends, and followers_ids.


To use twirc you first need to start the server:

    bin/twirc -b --state_file=twirc.state

The -b option runs twirc in the background. Drop the -b to see log messages to STDERR. (The author runs twirc and his irc client in screen,, to monitor log messages to STDERR.)

Next, connect to the server from your IRC client. I use irssi ( and my examples will use irssi commands:

    /connect localhost

On connection, twirc will automatically join you to the configured channel. The default &twitter will be assumed, here.

Your friends will be automatically joined to the channel. Friends who are also followers are given voice as a visual clue. In irssi they appear with plus sign (+) in front of their names.

To post a new status update, use the "post" command:

    post My first tweet from twirc!

In general, you enter a command followed by its arguments, if any, as a public message in the channel. There's a handy exception to that rule for sending replies. An entry that begins with a nick name, followed by a colon is treated as a reply. E.g.:

    twirc: you make twitter usable!

Is a shortcut for:

    post @twirc you make twitter usable!

twirc uses the Twitter User Streams API to receive updates in real-time.

Use IRC private messaging to send direct messages. In irssi:

    /msg friend Watch out, I'm right behind you!

The twirc server stops when you disconnect. This isn't normal IRC behavior, but twirc isn't a normal IRC server. Its only purpose is to interface with Twitter on your behalf and server no useful purpose when you're not connected.


post status

Post a status update. E.g.,

    post Now cooking tweets with twirc!
follow twitter_screen_name

Follow a new Twitter user. This creates a friend relationship and adds the friend to the channel.

unfollow twitter_screen_name

Stop following a Twitter friend. This destroys the friend relationship and removes the friend from the channel.

block twitter_screen_name

Blocks the Twitter user from receiving your Twitter feed.

unblock twitter_screen_name

Stop blocking a Twitter user.

whois twitter_user

Displays information about Twitter user. twitter_user can be either a screen name or email address.

notify on|off twitter_screen_name...

Turns device notifications on or off for the list of one or more Twitter friends. The list is space separated.

retweets on|off twitter_screen_name...

Turns retweet display on your timeline on or off for the list of one or more Twitter friends. The list is space separated.

favorite friend [ count ]

Mark a friend's tweet as a favorite. Optionally, specify the number of tweets to display for selection with count. (count defaults to 3. The default can be changed with the "favorites_count" option.)


Displays information about the remaining number of API requests available in the current hour. The rate_limit_status command does not count against the limit, itself.


Display a simple help message listing the available command names.



If you're following a particularly noisy friend, you can of course "unfollow" her. Alternatively, you can use your IRC client's features to ignore the user. In irssi:

    /ignore LoudMouth ALL
    /ignore -except -pattern @YourName LoudMouth ALL

Now, you won't hear from LoudMouth unless she @replies you, and she won't know you're ignoring her (unless she reads this tip!).

Multiple accounts

Although twirc doesn't currently support multiple accounts, there's nothing stopping you from running multiple instances of twirc, one for each account.

Here's how I do it for accounts semifor (my personal account) and twirc (twirc's feed for update notices, etc.).

First, the pertinent sections of the configuration files (in YAML format).

    # File: semifor.yml
    irc_server_port: 6667
    irc_password: secret
    irc_channel: '&twitter'

    # File: twirc.yml
    irc_server_port: 6668
    irc_password: secret
    irc_channel: '&twirc'

Next, start an instance for each account:

    bin/twirc -c semifor.yml -b
    bin/twirc -c twirc.yml -b

In your IRC client, connect to both instances (irssi here):

    /connect localhost 6667 secret semifor
    /connect localhost 6668 secret twirc

Now you've got 2 channels, one for each account---in my case, &twitter for semifor and &twirc for twirc.


Plugins are modules that are optionally included by specifying them in user configuration file in the plugins section. Some of the plugins included in the distribution are:


Squashes whitespace in tweets to a single space. See App::Twirc::Plugin::SquashWhiteSpace.


Commands are prefixed with a bang (i.e., exclamation point "!"). Text entered without a bang prefix is posted as a status update. See App::Twirc::Plugin::BangCommands.


Twirc is free open source software with no warranty of any kind. That said, it's used by some competent perl coders who may be able to help if you have trouble. Try the #net-twitter channel at

The code repository with the development branch is located at New features, and bug fixes appear there before they hit CPAN, so check the commit log there to see if a problem you've found has been addressed. And feel free to use the development branch.


Peter Roberts <>


Marc Mims <>

I'm semifor on twitter and IRC.