slrn- First Steps
slrn. It doesn't matter how you installed
slrn(from source or using a binary package), the first steps remain the same on any Unix system. If you installed
slrnas a binary package, however, it is possible that your distributor has already done some work for you.
The first thing we want to do is to customize
If you installed
slrn from source, you'll find an example
If you installed
slrn from a binary package, have a look whether your
distributor has included a global
slrn.rc and/or an example
If you cannot find a file named ``
slrn.rc'' or any other file which seems
to be a configuration file for
slrn, you can get an example from
If a global configuration file exists, it will also be read before your personal one on each startup, so you might want to look at the default settings it makes for you.
If you don't have a configuration file for
slrn yet (check your home
directory), you may copy the example configuration file and edit it with your
cp /path/to/slrn.rc ~/.slrnrc vi ~/.slrnrc
For the exact syntax and descriptions of all variables, have a look at the
``slrn reference manual'' which comes with
manual.txt''. An HTML version is also available from
If your ``From:'' header cannot be generated from your local account, you should at least set the following variables:
set hostname "doe.com" % sets the domain of your address to % ``doe.com'' set username "john" % sets the localpart of your address to % ``john'' set realname "John Doe" % sets your realname to ``John Doe''In this example, the resulting ``From:'' header is ``John Doe <email@example.com>''.
slrn.rc file is well documented; feel free to make more
changes to it if you like.
The second thing we want to do is to choose a newsserver to connect to. The
easiest way to tell
slrn which server to use is to set the environment
variable ``$NNTPSERVER'' to the hostname of your preferred newsserver. In
most cases, this is a server on a machine you have a permanent network
connection to (or even localhost, if you are running a local server like
To set it permanently, add one of the following lines to the configuration file of your favourite shell:
NNTPSERVER='server_name' && export NNTPSERVER (for sh/ksh/bash/zsh) setenv NNTPSERVER 'server_name' (for csh/tcsh)If you want to use more than one newsserver set the
$NNTPSERVERto your primary server and access the other server by starting slrn with ``
slrn -h server.name''.
Note: When using different servers, you need to specify separate
newsrc files using the ``
server'' configuration command or the
-f'' command line switch.
If your newsserver requires authentication, you also need to use the
nnrpaccess'' command. ``nnrpaccess'' and ``server'' are described in
detail in the reference manual.
slrn --create'' at your shell prompt to start
retrieve a list of all active newsgroups from the server. This can take some
time if your connection is slow; future startups (without that flag) are much
Note: If using multiple servers, you will need to use the
--create'' option for each of them.
slrn switches to full screen mode, you can press ``
exit it again.
Note: You only need to do this if you want to see the newsgroup
slrn. It works only if your newsserver has the group
descriptions in its database.
slrn -d'' at your shell prompt and wait until
This usually results in a large download which takes even longer than the
--create'' step described before.
slrn has no builtin editor. That way, you can use any editor you like.
There are two ways to tell
slrn which editor it should use.
If you want to use the same editor for all applications on your system,
just set the enviroment variables ``$EDITOR'' and/or ``$VISUAL'' to
your preferred editor (if you haven't done this already).
slrn will heed
If you want to use a special editor or just pass special arguments to it,
set the variable ``
editor_command'' in your
set editor_command "vim '+set tw=72' +%d '%s'"starts
vimwith a textwidth of 72 columns and the cursor on the first line of the message's body. For a more detailed discussion of this, see the entry ``
editor_command'' in the reference manual.
slrn from your shellprompt. Some groups which are useful for
slrn beginners should already be subscribed. You can now
subscribe to any group you are interested in:
Press the ``
L'' (capital-L!) key to list all groups matching a
specified pattern, e.g. comp.*unix*; then, go through the list and use the
s'' key to subscribe.
Now, you can start reading your news. To see the online help, press
At first, you should have a look at the ``
README'' file from the
source distribution. It gives an overview of all the documentation distributed
slrn. If you cannot find this file,
<http://www.slrn.org/documentation.html> is a good point to
This document was written by Felix Schueller and has been updated for
slrn version 0.9.9 and reformatted in SGML by Peter J Ross.