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slrn Newsreader


There are many command-line news readers you can use. My personal favorite is slrn; it is simple and quick to configure and use. Most of this document is derived from slrn's own help by pressing ? while in slrn.

Screen example

slrn ** Press '?' for help, 'q' to quit. ** Server: news-server.optonlin
 1  -        31:[JOE Soap   ]  2 2 FastMail.FM Tips
 3  -        20:[LDAP       ]    assignment :-)
 4  -        14:[Qwerty     ]  3 cleaning up incoming-archive-folders
 [34/35 unread] Group: comp.mail.pine                        -- 2/12 (Top)
From: JOE Soap 
Newsgroups: comp.mail.pine
Subject: 2 privacy tips

> You mean it does make some difference which collection is
> where? Again, see below your sig.

Yes, it does matter. This is one of the "interesting" UI
decisions that the Pine Team made. Now that you have set the
Path in the FM collection to 'INBOX.', it should work and I
recommend that you use $ (Shuffle) to move it to the top of your
folder-collections list.

All will become clear soon (I hope).

 6336 : 2 privacy tips                                       -- 1/32 (Top)
SPC:Pgdn  B:PgUp  u:Un-Mark-as-Read  f:Followup  n:Next  p:Prev  q:Quit


To get slrn to work, you need to first add the following line to your /etc/profile file:

export NNTPSERVER=news-server.somewhere.com

(where news-server.somewhere.com is the name of your own news server).

Group Screen

Cursor movement:

DOWN : Go to the next group.

UP : Go to the previous group.

Ctrl-V, Ctrl-D : Scroll to the next page.

ESC V, Ctrl-U : Scroll to the previous page.

ESC > : Go to the bottom of the list.

ESC < : Go to the top of the list.

/ : Group keyword search.


SPACE, RETURN : Enter the current newsgroup.

The following variations also download previously read articles:

ESC 1 SPACE : Enter group with article number query.

ESC 2 SPACE : Enter group, but do not apply score.

ESC 3 SPACE : Enter group with query, but without scoring.

ESC 4 SPACE : Enter the current newsgroup.

P : Post an article to the current newsgroup.

ESC P : Post or edit a postponed article.

G : Get new news from server.

K : Select scoring mode (good to add to killfile).

. : Repeat last key sequence.

Ctrl-X ESC : Read line and interpret it as S-Lang.

Ctrl-Z : Suspend slrn.

q : Quit slrn.

Group management (affects newsrc file):

c : Catchup - Mark all articles as read.

ESC u : Un-Catchup - Mark all articles as unread.

a : Add a new newsgroup.

s : Subscribe to the current newsgroup.

ESC 1 s : Subscribe to groups matching a pattern.

u : Unsubscribe from the current newsgroup.

ESC 1 u : Unsubscribe from groups matching a pattern.

m : Move newsgroup to a different location.

Ctrl-X, Ctrl-T : Transpose position of groups.

X : Force a save of the newsrc file.


ESC a : Toggle between group display formats.

l : Toggle display of groups without unread articles.

L : Toggle listing of unsubscribed groups.

ESC 1 L : Hide unsubscribed groups.

ESC 2 L : Show unsubscribed groups.

Ctrl-L, : Ctrl-RRedraw the screen.

? : Display this help screen.

Reading Screen

General movement:

n : Go to the next unread article (or next group, if at end).

p : Go to the previous unread article.

N, ESC RIGHT : Skip to next group.

ESC LEFT : Go to previous group.

! : Go to the next article with a high score.

EQUAL : Go to the next article with the same subject.

L : Go to the last read article and display it.


P : Post a new article (no followup).

ESC P : Post or edit a postponed article.

f : Post a followup to the current article.

ESC 1 f : Include all headers in the followup.

ESC 2 f : Followup without modifying (e.g. quoting) the article.

r : Reply to poster (via email).

F : Forward the current article to someone (via email).

ESC 1 F : Forward the current article (including all headers).

ESC Ctrl-S : Supersede article (you have to be the author).

ESC Ctrl-C : Cancel article (you have to be the author).

o : Save article, tagged articles or thread to file.

| : Pipe article to an external program.

y : Print article (as displayed).

ESC 1 y : Print article (unwrapped and including hidden lines).

: : Decode article, tagged articles or thread.

Ctrl-Z : Suspend slrn.

q : Return to group display.

Q : Quit slrn immediately.

Moving in the article pager:

ESC DOWN : Scroll article down one line.

ESC UP : Scroll article up one line.

SPACE : Scroll article down one page (or select next, if at end).

DELETE, b : Scroll article up one page.

> : Move to end of the article.

< : Move to beginning of the article.

LEFT : Pan article to the left.

RIGHT : Pan article to the right.

/ : Search forward in the article.

TAB : Skip beyond quoted text.

g : Skip to next digest.

Moving in the header display:

DOWN, Ctrl-N : Move to the next article.

UP, Ctrl-P =Move to the previous article.

Ctrl-D : Scroll down one page.

Ctrl-U : Scroll up one page.

ESC > : Go to the last article in group.

ESC < : Go to the first article in group.

j : Jump to article (by server number).

a : Author search forward.

A : Author search backward.

s : Subject search forward.

S : Subject search backward.

Marking as read/unread:

d : Mark article or collapsed thread as read.

u : Mark article or collapsed thread as unread.

ESC d : Mark entire (sub-)thread as read.

c : Catchup - mark all articles as read.

C : Mark all articles up to the current position as read.

ESC u : Un-Catchup - mark all articles as unread.

ESC U : Mark all articles up to the current position as unread.

x : Remove all non-tagged read articles from the list.

Article pager commands:

t : Show full headers (on/off).

ESC r : Decrypt ROT-13 (on/off).

T : Display quoted lines (on/off).

\ : Show signature (on/off).

W : Wrap long lines (on/off).

ESC ? : Reveal spoilers.

LEFT SQUARE BRACKET : Show PGP signature (on/off).

RIGHT SQUARE BRACKET : Show verbatim marks (on/off).

Ctrl-^ : Enlarge the article window.

^ : Shrink the article window.

z : Maximize / Unmaximize the article window.

h : Hide / Show the article window.

U : Search for URLs and follow them.

Header window commands:

ESC t : Collapse / Uncollapse thread.

ESC 1 ESC t : Collapse / Uncollapse all threads.

ESC a : Toggle between header display formats.

ESC s : Select threading and sorting method.

Miscellaneous actions:

K : Create a scorefile entry interactively.

ESC 1 K : Edit scorefile.

m : (Un-)mark article body for download by slrnpull.

v : Show which scorefile rules matched the current article.

The following five commands query the server if necessary:

ESC l : Locate article by its Message-ID.

ESC Ctrl-P : Find all children of current article.

ESC p : Find parent article.

ESC 1 ESC p : Reconstruct thread (slow when run on large threads).

ESC 2 ESC p : Reconstruct thread (faster, may not find all articles).

; : Set a mark at the current article.

, : Return to previously marked article.

# : Numerically tag article (for saving / decoding).

ESC # : Remove all numerical tags.

Protect article from catchup commands.

ESC 1 : Remove all protection marks.

. : Repeat last key sequence.

Ctrl-X ESC : Read line and interpret it as S-Lang.

Ctrl-R, Ctrl-L : Redraw screen.

? : Display the help screen that I derived this page from.

Privacy Online

I suggest you use a free email address when posting as spam companies have been known to harvest email addresses from news groups. To configure slrn to use this new address, create the file ~/.slrnrc and insert the following (I've added a few other handy settings here too):

set hostname "yourFreeEmailHost.com"
set username "yourEmailUsername*delete*"
set realname "yourName"
set unsubscribe_new_groups 1
set write_newsrc_flags 1
set scorefile ".slrnscore"
set editor_command "pico"


You can take a look at slrn's home page for more detail.

Also, if you have questions, post them to the newsgroup: news.software.readers.

© Roqet :: 2022-03-01 16:07:34