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tilde usenet with inn2 -- manual instructions

tilde usenet with inn2

This document describes how to configure inn2 on your server. I do not claim to be a usenet expert. These are just the things I picked up connecting to and others. All of this stuff is done for you if you use puppet-tilde.


Ensure that inn2 is installed on your system. It should be available as a package. These directions assume inn2 2.5.x.


Like I said, I only partially grasp what each of these settings truly do. They could probably be streamlined and improved. I'll go file by file and talk about what you need to change.

important all the file paths are for debian/ubuntu. they may be different on your platform (they are if you are on centos or something). I've provided them as hints.


add these lines:

  • ME:*/!local,!local.*,!collabra-internal,!control,!control.*,!junk/tilde.*::
  • innfeed!:!*:Tc,Wnm*:/usr/lib/news/bin/innfeed -y

and for each host you want to peer with (in this example,, add a line like this:



  • set "organization" to your hostname
  • set "pathhost" to your hostname


this is just an otherwise empty file with your hostname in it. Really.


should look like this:

peer ME { hostname: "localhost,, ::1" }

and then for each server you want to peer with (again, in this example,

peer {
    hostname: ""

Adding Newsgroups

the command "ctlinnd newgroup" adds a group to your system. You'll want to do this for all groups you care about whether they are local to your node or remote from other nodes.

So, let's say you run a rad tilde node called tilde.gnarly and you want to peer with and subscribe to our newsfeeds. You'll want to run ctlinnd several times:

ctlinnd newgroup tilde.gnarly # add a newsgroup for discussing your own node
ctlinnd newgroup # add a remote group
ctlinnd newgroup # add a remote group

I try to keep an updated list of all of the tildeverse's newsgroups here.

Finally, add each of these groups that you just ran through ctlinnd to /var/news/subscriptions so that when you run a usenet client it will automatically know about each of the groups.


  • Restart inn2 after making config changes
  • Be patient. Sometimes it takes a bit for messages to propagate.
  • Ask to be a peer of other nodes; otherwise you will only have read-only access to their groups
  • remember, puppet-tilde does all of this for you. if you are not running ubuntu and still want to use puppet tell me (@nate_smith) and I can get you started either adding support for your OS to puppet-tilde or help you re-use my puppet code in your own module.
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