Provided by: inn2_2.5.2+20110413-1_i386 bug


       newsgroups - List of newsgroups and their short descriptions


       The file pathdb/newsgroups contains a list of newsgroups for which a
       short description is available.  This file is generally updated by
       controlchan(8) whenever a control message is received; it is used by
       nnrpd in response to LIST NEWSGROUPS and is only meant to provide
       information to users.  News readers often show the list of carried
       newsgroups along with these descriptions.

       It is not necessary that all the groups carried by the news server
       (that is to say all the groups listed in the active file) be listed in
       the newsgroups file.  And it is also not necessary that all the groups
       listed in the newsgroups file be carried by the news server.
       Nonetheless, it is of course better if the active and newsgroups files
       have exactly the same newsgroups.

       If you use "ctlinnd newgroup" to manually create a group, only the
       active file is updated.  You should then edit the newsgroups file in
       order to add a short description for the created group.  The same goes
       for manually removing or changing the status of a newsgroup.

       Each line of the newsgroups file consists of two fields separated by at
       least one tabulation:


       The first field is the name of the newsgroup.  The second field is its

       You can get the newsgroups file of another NNTP server with getlist(1).


       As far as the format of the newsgroups file is concerned, there is a
       preferred format for each line.  Since news administrators do not
       generally have the time to fix up the lines that are being
       automatically included from newgroup or checkgroups messages, this
       information is provided so that control message senders can craft
       better control messages.  It will also be useful for news
       administrators to know how to format the description of their local

       There should be at least one hard tab (8 column tab stops) between the
       group name and the description.  If the group name is at least 16
       characters, it should be followed with one tab.  If the group name is
       at least 8 characters, it should be followed with two tabs.  And in the
       unlikely event the group name is less than 8 characters, it should be
       followed with three tabs.  For instance:

           misc.transport.rail.europe  Railroads & railways in all of Europe.
           news.admin.nocem    NoCeM protocol policy issues and information.
           news.groups         Discussions and lists of newsgroups.

       The total line length should be at most 79 columns.  The description
       should start with a capital and not be more than 55 characters (79 -
       24) long.  If the group name is longer than 24 characters, the
       description should be correspondingly shorter.  If the group is
       moderated, it should have " (Moderated)" (note the space before the
       opening parenthesis) at the very end of the description, not counted as
       part of the length of the description.  This text must be exactly that,
       with no variations, as it is used by news software to find moderated

       Here is an example of moderated newsgroup:

           news.lists.misc     News-related statistics and lists. (Moderated)

       Traditionally, all newsgroup descriptions ended with a period, but this
       is not necessary and steals away one character that is occasionally
       useful for forming a better description.

       Some over-long descriptions could be made to easily fit the length by
       dropping useless wordings like "Discussion of" which do not
       meaningfully contribute to the description.  Others are usually pretty
       easy to get to no more than column eighty, except when the group names
       start getting really long.  Hopefully then the group name itself
       contains quite a bit of description.

       In some cases, a longer description really will be necessary; they can
       of course be used within the newsgroups file.  However, they will
       probably be less readable and less useful for some Usenet users.

       Descriptions must not contain any control characters (octets between
       0x00 and 0x1F).


       There is, at present, no good mechanism for managing the character set
       of the newsgroup descriptions.  Many non-English hierarchies include
       newsgroup descriptions in their native languages, since this is more
       useful for their users, and those are included verbatim in the
       newsgroups file.  This unfortunately means that different lines of the
       file will require different character set settings to read properly,
       and those character sets are not documented in the file.  Hopefully
       some future standard will provide a way to address this; in the
       meantime, using UTF-8 for non-ASCII characters is recommended.


       The minimal newsgroups file shipped with INN is:

           control             Various control messages (no posting).
           control.cancel      Cancel messages (no posting).
           control.checkgroups Hierarchy check control messages (no posting).
           control.newgroup    Newsgroup creation control messages (no posting).
           control.rmgroup     Newsgroup removal control messages (no posting).
           junk                Unfiled articles (no posting).

       These lines must be tab-delimited, so please be careful in case you
       copy and paste them from above.


       Written by Julien Elie for InterNetNews.  The preferred format for a
       one-line newsgroup description is based on the policies by which the
       newsgroups file in <> is
       maintained; they were originally written by David Lawrence
       <> and updated by Russ Allbery <>.

       $Id: newsgroups.pod 8822 2009-11-20 17:34:15Z iulius $


       active(5), controlchan(8), ctlinnd(8), getlist(1), nnrpd(8).