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Program configuration for tin 1.9

Make the following adjustments to use our news server:

Initial configuration

Before you start tin for the first time, open a terminal and create a directory .tin with the command:

mkdir ~/.tin

You can ignore an error message if that directory already exists. With your preferred editor (vi, pico ...), open the file ~/.tin/newsrctable:

pico ~/.tin/newsrctable

You can also ignore any messages that this file does not exist yet.

Add the following line: .newsrc.netnews netnews

and save the file.

If your access is authenticated by password you can save that data permanently. To do so, open a file ~/.newsauth in the same way as above and add a line: <password> <username>

(Beware, unusual order)
where you enter your username instead of <username> and your password instead of <password>. You have received that data from us.

Save the file and protect it against unauthorized access by other users: Open a terminal window and enter the command

chmod 600 ~/.newsauth

Storing your account information in the news reader's configuration is a potential security risk. If you are unsure, please refer to our FAQ at

It is not necessary to enter a password if your institution is a member of the institutional access scheme (Anwenderzulassung) and you are accessing the server from your institution's network.

Starting tin

Open a terminal and enter the following command:

tin -g netnews

During the first start tin asks whether the not yet existing file .newsrc.netnews should be created. Confirm with the Enter key.

Create .newsrc?

After that tin connects to our news server and retrieves the list of available groups ("active file") and newsgroup descriptions ("newsgroups file"). This may take some time.

Loading newsgroups and descriptions

tin shows some pre-selected groups next.

You can enable the colored view with the "&" key. In the lower part of the screen you can see the most important commands for tin.

Main window: Pre-selected groups

To subscribe a group press "y" first, this will show the list of all groups. You can sort that list by pressing the "." key.

Move the cursor to the group, subscribe it by pressing "s". You can unsubscribe it with the "u" key. To reach a certain group you can also press "g" and enter the full name, or use "/" to search for the name or only parts of it.

The "y" key will switch back to the list of subscribed groups.

Hit Enter to open the current group. tin will show the list of available articles.

Article overview

Select an article and open it with "Enter". Afterwards you can browse with the space bar and advance to the next article with "n". The "q" key will bring you back to the article overview, the same key a second time returns to the group list.

Read article

To write an article press "w". Before you can write the message tin will ask you for the subject first.

Write article

To leave tin, press the "q" key in the main menu.

Leave tin

If you want to use tin for other news servers, open again the file ~/.tin/newsrctable and add a line like example

where is the name of that server and example a freely chosen name.

To start tin for that server, enter

tin -g example


Kontakt: DFNNetNews Administration