Usenet News

Note: This page is gone wacko with stuff. It needs to be reorganized. I can hardly find what I am looking for in it, much less anyone else.

What is Usenet?

Usenet is a world-wide distributed discussion system. It consists of a set of "newsgroups" with names that are classified hierarchically by subject. "Articles" or "messages" are "posted" to these newsgroups by people on computers with the appropriate software -- these articles are then broadcast to other interconnected computer systems via a wide variety of networks. Some newsgroups are "moderated"; in these newsgroups, the articles are first sent to a moderator for approval before appearing in the newsgroup. Usenet is available on a wide variety of computer systems and networks, but the bulk of modern Usenet traffic is transported over either the Internet or UUCP. " - Chip Salzenberg, "What Is USENET?"

Bolo's Philosophy of Usenet

To steal a phrase, Usenet is Big. Very Big. Bigger than you can possibly imagine.

The amount of data travelling through usenet systems is huge. As an example, uwvax stores about 120,000 articles per day, at an average article size of 3-4 KB. That's about one-half of a gigabyte of news per day. Every day, seven days a week, 4 weeks per month, 12 months per year. Hmmm ... Let's see...

And uwvax doesn't carry "all" the usenet traffic, just the primary groups! While those figures don't look so bad, they ignore the occasional (often weekly) rushes of traffic, which can easily double the above flow! If sustained, such as it was for the four weeks surrounding the 1995-1996 holiday season, that's 1/2 a Terabyte a year.

And remember the old axiom ... Usenet traffic doubles every 6 months ...

Local News Configuration

News Exchangers

uwvax exchanges news on a peer basis with the following organizations. The order approximates the inbound volume from a site.

News Feeds

These sites are Usenet leaf-nodes from uwvax's point of view. Rutgers isn't a leaf, but they stopped reciprocating their newsfeed to uwvax. I've kept feeding them as a courtesy.

Transport Software

Unix News Readers

News utilities

Software which also reads news

DOS, OS/2 and Windows News Readers

Spam Policy




What exactly, is Usenet

Reading News



Other Software

So ... You want to post to Usenet?

Sources of Information

News Hierarchies

News Administration

News Technology



Draft Standards


These RFCs contain important information about Usenet news. They aren't entirely news oriented, but the news RFCs refer to some of the other ones (such as RFC822 for message format).
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Last Modified: Wed Jun 5 12:01:43 CDT 2002
bolo (Josef Burger) <>