This article is for people somewhat experienced with Linux to give them an overview of how to get IRC running in a practical fashion. Let me say I am not an old hand or expert at this, but I've been doing it long and well enough that I thought someone starting out might appreciate the guidance. This is how I do it, and you may have, or find, better ways. Good for you.
What is IRC? Internet Relay Chat. Old school communications protocol. In Internet terms, very old. Like Newsgroups old. However, for some reason, the open source community has embraced it. Most of the technologies I use on a daily basis, from Linode to Drupal to Apache, MySQL and Ubuntu.... all are well-represented and supported by the community there. It's simply the best place to connect with people that write Open Source code, or work with Open Source technologies in a deep way. Most of these people are on Linux boxes or Macs and keep an IRC window open all the time. A lot even run it in a terminal. Gross.