Usenet News

Usenet, also called “Net News,” has thousands of worldwide discussion groups. Each discussion is carried on as a series of messages in its own newsgroup . A newsgroup is named for the kind of discussion that happens there. Each message is a lot like an email message. But, instead of being sent to a list of email addresses, a newsgroup message is sent to all the computers that subscribe to that particular newsgroup — and any user with access to that computer can read and reply to the message.


Because Usenet is a public forum, you’ll find a variety of people with a variety of opinions — some impolite, rude, or worse. Although most users are friendly and helpful, a few people seem to cause most of the problems. Until you’re accustomed to Usenet, be aware that you may be offended by some contributors and attacked (“flamed”) by others.

To read Usenet groups, you’ll need a newsreader program, also called a news client. Many email programs can read news, too. You can use any newsreader; the principles of all are about the same. Some of the more popular Unix newsreaders are slrn, nn, and trn. We show how to read news with Pine Version 4. If you haven’t used Pine before, please read Section 8.3.2 earlier in this chapter.


To set up your copy of Pine to read Usenet messages, go to the Config menu (see Section 8.3.1, earlier in this chapter) and set nntp-server to your ISP’s or company’s news server. You will need to get the name of this server from your ISP or system ...

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