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\input texinfo

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@include gnus-overrides.texi

@setfilename ../../info/gnus
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@settitle Gnus Manual
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Copyright @copyright{} 1995--2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
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Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or
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any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no
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Invariant Sections, with the Front-Cover texts being ``A GNU Manual'',
and with the Back-Cover Texts as in (a) below.  A copy of the license
is included in the section entitled ``GNU Free Documentation License''.
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(a) The FSF's Back-Cover Text is: ``You have the freedom to copy and
modify this GNU manual.''
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@end quotation
@end copying




% Adjust ../ if you change the following line:
\newcommand{\gnusversionname}{Gnus v5.13}
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@end iflatex
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\gnusauthor{by Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen}



@c @insertcopying
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@dircategory Emacs network features
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* Gnus: (gnus).                 The newsreader Gnus.
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@end direntry
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@title Gnus Manual (DEVELOPMENT VERSION)
@end ifset
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@title Gnus Manual
@end ifclear
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@author by Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen
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@node Top
@top The Gnus Newsreader


You can read news (and mail) from within Emacs by using Gnus.  The news
can be gotten by any nefarious means you can think of---@acronym{NNTP}, local
spool or your mbox file.  All at the same time, if you want to push your

@c Adjust ../ if you change the following line:
This manual corresponds to Gnus v5.13
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@end ifnottex

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@end ifinfo


@end iflatex

Gnus is the advanced, self-documenting, customizable, extensible
unreal-time newsreader for GNU Emacs.

Oops.  That sounds oddly familiar, so let's start over again to avoid
being accused of plagiarism:

Gnus is a message-reading laboratory.  It will let you look at just
about anything as if it were a newsgroup.  You can read mail with it,
you can browse directories with it, you can @code{ftp} with it---you
can even read news with it!

Gnus tries to empower people who read news the same way Emacs empowers
people who edit text.  Gnus sets no limits to what the user should be
allowed to do.  Users are encouraged to extend Gnus to make it behave
like they want it to behave.  A program should not control people;
people should be empowered to do what they want by using (or abusing)
the program.

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@c Adjust ../ if you change the following line:
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This manual corresponds to Gnus v5.13
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@heading Other related manuals
@item Message manual: Composing messages
@item Emacs-MIME:     Composing messages; @acronym{MIME}-specific parts.
@item Sieve:          Managing Sieve scripts in Emacs.
@item EasyPG:         @acronym{PGP/MIME} with Gnus.
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@item SASL:           @acronym{SASL} authentication in Emacs.
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@end itemize

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@end iftex

* Starting Up::              Finding news can be a pain.
* Group Buffer::             Selecting, subscribing and killing groups.
* Summary Buffer::           Reading, saving and posting articles.
* Article Buffer::           Displaying and handling articles.
* Composing Messages::       Information on sending mail and news.
* Select Methods::           Gnus reads all messages from various select methods.
* Scoring::                  Assigning values to articles.
* Searching::                Mail and News search engines.
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* Various::                  General purpose settings.
* The End::                  Farewell and goodbye.
* Appendices::               Terminology, Emacs intro, @acronym{FAQ}, History, Internals.
* GNU Free Documentation License:: The license for this documentation.
* Index::                    Variable, function and concept index.
* Key Index::                Key Index.

Other related manuals

* Message:(message).         Composing messages.
* Emacs-MIME:(emacs-mime).   Composing messages; @acronym{MIME}-specific parts.
* Sieve:(sieve).             Managing Sieve scripts in Emacs.
* EasyPG:(epa).              @acronym{PGP/MIME} with Gnus.
* SASL:(sasl).               @acronym{SASL} authentication in Emacs.
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 --- The Detailed Node Listing ---

Starting Gnus

* Finding the News::            Choosing a method for getting news.
* The Server is Down::          How can I read my mail then?
* Slave Gnusae::                You can have more than one Gnus active at a time.
* Fetching a Group::            Starting Gnus just to read a group.
* New Groups::                  What is Gnus supposed to do with new groups?
* Changing Servers::            You may want to move from one server to another.
* Startup Files::               Those pesky startup files---@file{.newsrc}.
* Auto Save::                   Recovering from a crash.
* The Active File::             Reading the active file over a slow line Takes Time.
* Startup Variables::           Other variables you might change.

New Groups

* Checking New Groups::         Determining what groups are new.
* Subscription Methods::        What Gnus should do with new groups.
* Filtering New Groups::        Making Gnus ignore certain new groups.

Group Buffer

* Group Buffer Format::         Information listed and how you can change it.
* Group Maneuvering::           Commands for moving in the group buffer.
* Selecting a Group::           Actually reading news.
* Subscription Commands::       Unsubscribing, killing, subscribing.
* Group Data::                  Changing the info for a group.
* Group Levels::                Levels? What are those, then?
* Group Score::                 A mechanism for finding out what groups you like.
* Marking Groups::              You can mark groups for later processing.
* Foreign Groups::              Creating and editing groups.
* Group Parameters::            Each group may have different parameters set.
* Listing Groups::              Gnus can list various subsets of the groups.
* Sorting Groups::              Re-arrange the group order.
* Group Maintenance::           Maintaining a tidy @file{.newsrc} file.
* Browse Foreign Server::       You can browse a server.  See what it has to offer.
* Exiting Gnus::                Stop reading news and get some work done.
* Group Topics::                A folding group mode divided into topics.
* Non-ASCII Group Names::       Accessing groups of non-English names.
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* Misc Group Stuff::            Other stuff that you can to do.

Group Buffer Format

* Group Line Specification::    Deciding how the group buffer is to look.
* Group Mode Line Specification::  The group buffer mode line.
* Group Highlighting::          Having nice colors in the group buffer.

Group Topics

* Topic Commands::              Interactive E-Z commands.
* Topic Variables::             How to customize the topics the Lisp Way.
* Topic Sorting::               Sorting each topic individually.
* Topic Topology::              A map of the world.
* Topic Parameters::            Parameters that apply to all groups in a topic.

Misc Group Stuff

* Scanning New Messages::       Asking Gnus to see whether new messages have arrived.
* Group Information::           Information and help on groups and Gnus.
* Group Timestamp::             Making Gnus keep track of when you last read a group.
* File Commands::               Reading and writing the Gnus files.
* Sieve Commands::              Managing Sieve scripts.

Summary Buffer

* Summary Buffer Format::       Deciding how the summary buffer is to look.
* Summary Maneuvering::         Moving around the summary buffer.
* Choosing Articles::           Reading articles.
* Paging the Article::          Scrolling the current article.
* Reply Followup and Post::     Posting articles.
* Delayed Articles::            Send articles at a later time.
* Marking Articles::            Marking articles as read, expirable, etc.
* Limiting::                    You can limit the summary buffer.
* Threading::                   How threads are made.
* Sorting the Summary Buffer::  How articles and threads are sorted.
* Asynchronous Fetching::       Gnus might be able to pre-fetch articles.
* Article Caching::             You may store articles in a cache.
* Persistent Articles::         Making articles expiry-resistant.
* Sticky Articles::             Article buffers that are not reused.
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* Article Backlog::             Having already read articles hang around.
* Saving Articles::             Ways of customizing article saving.
* Decoding Articles::           Gnus can treat series of (uu)encoded articles.
* Article Treatment::           The article buffer can be mangled at will.
* MIME Commands::               Doing MIMEy things with the articles.
* Charsets::                    Character set issues.
* Article Commands::            Doing various things with the article buffer.
* Summary Sorting::             Sorting the summary buffer in various ways.
* Finding the Parent::          No child support? Get the parent.
* Alternative Approaches::      Reading using non-default summaries.
* Tree Display::                A more visual display of threads.
* Mail Group Commands::         Some commands can only be used in mail groups.
* Various Summary Stuff::       What didn't fit anywhere else.
* Exiting the Summary Buffer::  Returning to the Group buffer,
                                or reselecting the current group.
* Crosspost Handling::          How crossposted articles are dealt with.
* Duplicate Suppression::       An alternative when crosspost handling fails.
* Security::                    Decrypt and Verify.
* Mailing List::                Mailing list minor mode.

Summary Buffer Format

* Summary Buffer Lines::        You can specify how summary lines should look.
* To From Newsgroups::          How to not display your own name.
* Summary Buffer Mode Line::    You can say how the mode line should look.
* Summary Highlighting::        Making the summary buffer all pretty and nice.

Choosing Articles

* Choosing Commands::           Commands for choosing articles.
* Choosing Variables::          Variables that influence these commands.

Reply, Followup and Post

* Summary Mail Commands::       Sending mail.
* Summary Post Commands::       Sending news.
* Summary Message Commands::    Other Message-related commands.
* Canceling and Superseding::

Marking Articles

* Unread Articles::             Marks for unread articles.
* Read Articles::               Marks for read articles.
* Other Marks::                 Marks that do not affect readedness.
* Setting Marks::               How to set and remove marks.
* Generic Marking Commands::    How to customize the marking.
* Setting Process Marks::       How to mark articles for later processing.


* Customizing Threading::       Variables you can change to affect the threading.
* Thread Commands::             Thread based commands in the summary buffer.

Customizing Threading

* Loose Threads::               How Gnus gathers loose threads into bigger threads.
* Filling In Threads::          Making the threads displayed look fuller.
* More Threading::              Even more variables for fiddling with threads.
* Low-Level Threading::         You thought it was over@dots{} but you were wrong!

Decoding Articles

* Uuencoded Articles::          Uudecode articles.
* Shell Archives::              Unshar articles.
* PostScript Files::            Split PostScript.
* Other Files::                 Plain save and binhex.
* Decoding Variables::          Variables for a happy decoding.
* Viewing Files::               You want to look at the result of the decoding?

Decoding Variables

* Rule Variables::              Variables that say how a file is to be viewed.
* Other Decode Variables::      Other decode variables.
* Uuencoding and Posting::      Variables for customizing uuencoding.

Article Treatment

* Article Highlighting::        You want to make the article look like fruit salad.
* Article Fontisizing::         Making emphasized text look nice.
* Article Hiding::              You also want to make certain info go away.
* Article Washing::             Lots of way-neat functions to make life better.
* Article Header::              Doing various header transformations.
* Article Buttons::             Click on URLs, Message-IDs, addresses and the like.
* Article Button Levels::       Controlling appearance of buttons.
* Article Date::                Grumble, UT!
* Article Display::             Display various stuff---X-Face, Picons, Smileys, Gravatars
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* Article Signature::           What is a signature?
* Article Miscellanea::         Various other stuff.

Alternative Approaches

* Pick and Read::               First mark articles and then read them.
* Binary Groups::               Auto-decode all articles.

Various Summary Stuff

* Summary Group Information::   Information oriented commands.
* Searching for Articles::      Multiple article commands.
* Summary Generation Commands::
* Really Various Summary Commands::  Those pesky non-conformant commands.

Article Buffer

* Hiding Headers::              Deciding what headers should be displayed.
* Using MIME::                  Pushing articles through @acronym{MIME} before reading them.
* Customizing Articles::        Tailoring the look of the articles.
* Article Keymap::              Keystrokes available in the article buffer.
* Misc Article::                Other stuff.

Composing Messages

* Mail::                        Mailing and replying.
* Posting Server::              What server should you post and mail via?
* POP before SMTP::             You cannot send a mail unless you read a mail.
* Mail and Post::               Mailing and posting at the same time.
* Archived Messages::           Where Gnus stores the messages you've sent.
* Posting Styles::              An easier way to specify who you are.
* Drafts::                      Postponing messages and rejected messages.
* Rejected Articles::           What happens if the server doesn't like your article?
* Signing and encrypting::      How to compose secure messages.

Select Methods

* Server Buffer::               Making and editing virtual servers.
* Getting News::                Reading USENET news with Gnus.
* Using IMAP::                  Reading mail from @acronym{IMAP}.
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* Getting Mail::                Reading your personal mail with Gnus.
* Browsing the Web::            Getting messages from a plethora of Web sources.
* Other Sources::               Reading directories, files.
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* Combined Groups::             Combining groups into one group.
* Email Based Diary::           Using mails to manage diary events in Gnus.
* Gnus Unplugged::              Reading news and mail offline.

Server Buffer

* Server Buffer Format::        You can customize the look of this buffer.
* Server Commands::             Commands to manipulate servers.
* Example Methods::             Examples server specifications.
* Creating a Virtual Server::   An example session.
* Server Variables::            Which variables to set.
* Servers and Methods::         You can use server names as select methods.
* Unavailable Servers::         Some servers you try to contact may be down.

Getting News

* NNTP::                        Reading news from an @acronym{NNTP} server.
* News Spool::                  Reading news from the local spool.


* Direct Functions::            Connecting directly to the server.
* Indirect Functions::          Connecting indirectly to the server.
* Common Variables::            Understood by several connection functions.

Getting Mail

* Mail in a Newsreader::        Important introductory notes.
* Getting Started Reading Mail::  A simple cookbook example.
* Splitting Mail::              How to create mail groups.
* Mail Sources::                How to tell Gnus where to get mail from.
* Mail Back End Variables::     Variables for customizing mail handling.
* Fancy Mail Splitting::        Gnus can do hairy splitting of incoming mail.
* Group Mail Splitting::        Use group customize to drive mail splitting.
* Incorporating Old Mail::      What about the old mail you have?
* Expiring Mail::               Getting rid of unwanted mail.
* Washing Mail::                Removing cruft from the mail you get.
* Duplicates::                  Dealing with duplicated mail.
* Not Reading Mail::            Using mail back ends for reading other files.
* Choosing a Mail Back End::    Gnus can read a variety of mail formats.

Mail Sources

* Mail Source Specifiers::      How to specify what a mail source is.
* Mail Source Customization::   Some variables that influence things.
* Fetching Mail::               Using the mail source specifiers.

Choosing a Mail Back End

* Unix Mail Box::               Using the (quite) standard Un*x mbox.
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* Babyl::                       Babyl was used by older versions of Rmail.
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* Mail Spool::                  Store your mail in a private spool?
* MH Spool::                    An mhspool-like back end.
* Maildir::                     Another one-file-per-message format.
* Mail Folders::                Having one file for each group.
* Comparing Mail Back Ends::    An in-depth looks at pros and cons.

Browsing the Web

* Archiving Mail::
* Web Searches::                Creating groups from articles that match a string.
* RSS::                         Reading RDF site summary.
* Customizing W3::              Doing stuff to Emacs/W3 from Gnus.

Other Sources

* Directory Groups::            You can read a directory as if it was a newsgroup.
* Anything Groups::             Dired?  Who needs dired?
* Document Groups::             Single files can be the basis of a group.
* Mail-To-News Gateways::       Posting articles via mail-to-news gateways.
* The Empty Backend::           The backend that never has any news.
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Document Groups

* Document Server Internals::   How to add your own document types.

Combined Groups

* Virtual Groups::              Combining articles from many groups.

Email Based Diary

* The NNDiary Back End::        Basic setup and usage.
* The Gnus Diary Library::      Utility toolkit on top of nndiary.
* Sending or Not Sending::      A final note on sending diary messages.

The NNDiary Back End

* Diary Messages::              What makes a message valid for nndiary.
* Running NNDiary::             NNDiary has two modes of operation.
* Customizing NNDiary::         Bells and whistles.

The Gnus Diary Library

* Diary Summary Line Format::           A nicer summary buffer line format.
* Diary Articles Sorting::              A nicer way to sort messages.
* Diary Headers Generation::            Not doing it manually.
* Diary Group Parameters::              Not handling them manually.

Gnus Unplugged

* Agent Basics::                How it all is supposed to work.
* Agent Categories::            How to tell the Gnus Agent what to download.
* Agent Commands::              New commands for all the buffers.
* Agent Visuals::               Ways that the agent may effect your summary buffer.
* Agent as Cache::              The Agent is a big cache too.
* Agent Expiry::                How to make old articles go away.
* Agent Regeneration::          How to recover from lost connections and other accidents.
* Agent and flags::             How the Agent maintains flags.
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* Agent and IMAP::              How to use the Agent with @acronym{IMAP}.
* Outgoing Messages::           What happens when you post/mail something?
* Agent Variables::             Customizing is fun.
* Example Setup::               An example @file{~/.gnus.el} file for offline people.
* Batching Agents::             How to fetch news from a @code{cron} job.
* Agent Caveats::               What you think it'll do and what it does.

Agent Categories

* Category Syntax::             What a category looks like.
* Category Buffer::             A buffer for maintaining categories.
* Category Variables::          Customize'r'Us.

Agent Commands

* Group Agent Commands::        Configure groups and fetch their contents.
* Summary Agent Commands::      Manually select then fetch specific articles.
* Server Agent Commands::       Select the servers that are supported by the agent.


* Summary Score Commands::      Adding score entries for the current group.
* Group Score Commands::        General score commands.
* Score Variables::             Customize your scoring.  (My, what terminology).
* Score File Format::           What a score file may contain.
* Score File Editing::          You can edit score files by hand as well.
* Adaptive Scoring::            Big Sister Gnus knows what you read.
* Home Score File::             How to say where new score entries are to go.
* Followups To Yourself::       Having Gnus notice when people answer you.
* Scoring On Other Headers::    Scoring on non-standard headers.
* Scoring Tips::                How to score effectively.
* Reverse Scoring::             That problem child of old is not problem.
* Global Score Files::          Earth-spanning, ear-splitting score files.
* Kill Files::                  They are still here, but they can be ignored.
* Converting Kill Files::       Translating kill files to score files.
* Advanced Scoring::            Using logical expressions to build score rules.
* Score Decays::                It can be useful to let scores wither away.

Advanced Scoring

* Advanced Scoring Syntax::     A definition.
* Advanced Scoring Examples::   What they look like.
* Advanced Scoring Tips::       Getting the most out of it.

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* nnir::                        Searching with various engines.
* nnmairix::                    Searching with Mairix.


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* Basic Usage::                 How to perform simple searches.
* Setting up nnir::             How to set up nnir.

Setting up nnir

* Associating Engines::         How to associate engines.

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* Process/Prefix::              A convention used by many treatment commands.
* Interactive::                 Making Gnus ask you many questions.
* Symbolic Prefixes::           How to supply some Gnus functions with options.
* Formatting Variables::        You can specify what buffers should look like.
* Window Layout::               Configuring the Gnus buffer windows.
* Faces and Fonts::             How to change how faces look.
* Mode Lines::                  Displaying information in the mode lines.
* Highlighting and Menus::      Making buffers look all nice and cozy.
* Daemons::                     Gnus can do things behind your back.
* Undo::                        Some actions can be undone.
* Predicate Specifiers::        Specifying predicates.
* Moderation::                  What to do if you're a moderator.
* Image Enhancements::          Modern versions of Emacs/XEmacs can display images.
* Fuzzy Matching::              What's the big fuzz?
* Thwarting Email Spam::        Simple ways to avoid unsolicited commercial email.
* Spam Package::                A package for filtering and processing spam.
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* The Gnus Registry::           A package for tracking messages by Message-ID.
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* Other modes::                 Interaction with other modes.
* Various Various::             Things that are really various.

Formatting Variables

* Formatting Basics::           A formatting variable is basically a format string.
* Mode Line Formatting::        Some rules about mode line formatting variables.
* Advanced Formatting::         Modifying output in various ways.
* User-Defined Specs::          Having Gnus call your own functions.
* Formatting Fonts::            Making the formatting look colorful and nice.
* Positioning Point::           Moving point to a position after an operation.
* Tabulation::                  Tabulating your output.
* Wide Characters::             Dealing with wide characters.

Image Enhancements

* X-Face::                      Display a funky, teensy black-and-white image.
* Face::                        Display a funkier, teensier colored image.
* Smileys::                     Show all those happy faces the way they were
                                  meant to be shown.
* Picons::                      How to display pictures of what you're reading.
* Gravatars::                   Display the avatar of people you read.
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* XVarious::                    Other XEmacsy Gnusey variables.

Thwarting Email Spam

* The problem of spam::         Some background, and some solutions
* Anti-Spam Basics::            Simple steps to reduce the amount of spam.
* SpamAssassin::                How to use external anti-spam tools.
* Hashcash::                    Reduce spam by burning CPU time.

Spam Package

* Spam Package Introduction::
* Filtering Incoming Mail::
* Detecting Spam in Groups::
* Spam and Ham Processors::
* Spam Package Configuration Examples::
* Spam Back Ends::
* Extending the Spam package::
* Spam Statistics Package::

Spam Statistics Package

* Creating a spam-stat dictionary::
* Splitting mail using spam-stat::
* Low-level interface to the spam-stat dictionary::


* XEmacs::                      Requirements for installing under XEmacs.
* History::                     How Gnus got where it is today.
* On Writing Manuals::          Why this is not a beginner's guide.
* Terminology::                 We use really difficult, like, words here.
* Customization::               Tailoring Gnus to your needs.
* Troubleshooting::             What you might try if things do not work.
* Gnus Reference Guide::        Rilly, rilly technical stuff.
* Emacs for Heathens::          A short introduction to Emacsian terms.
* Frequently Asked Questions::  The Gnus FAQ


* Gnus Versions::               What Gnus versions have been released.
* Why?::                        What's the point of Gnus?
* Compatibility::               Just how compatible is Gnus with @sc{gnus}?
* Conformity::                  Gnus tries to conform to all standards.
* Emacsen::                     Gnus can be run on a few modern Emacsen.
* Gnus Development::            How Gnus is developed.
* Contributors::                Oodles of people.
* New Features::                Pointers to some of the new stuff in Gnus.

New Features

* ding Gnus::                   New things in Gnus 5.0/5.1, the first new Gnus.
* September Gnus::              The Thing Formally Known As Gnus 5.2/5.3.
* Red Gnus::                    Third time best---Gnus 5.4/5.5.
* Quassia Gnus::                Two times two is four, or Gnus 5.6/5.7.
* Pterodactyl Gnus::            Pentad also starts with P, AKA Gnus 5.8/5.9.
* Oort Gnus::                   It's big.  It's far out.  Gnus 5.10/5.11.
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* No Gnus::                     Very punny.  Gnus 5.12/5.13
* Ma Gnus::                     Celebrating 25 years of Gnus.
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* Slow/Expensive Connection::   You run a local Emacs and get the news elsewhere.
* Slow Terminal Connection::    You run a remote Emacs.
* Little Disk Space::           You feel that having large setup files is icky.
* Slow Machine::                You feel like buying a faster machine.

Gnus Reference Guide

* Gnus Utility Functions::      Common functions and variable to use.
* Back End Interface::          How Gnus communicates with the servers.
* Score File Syntax::           A BNF definition of the score file standard.
* Headers::                     How Gnus stores headers internally.
* Ranges::                      A handy format for storing mucho numbers.
* Group Info::                  The group info format.
* Extended Interactive::        Symbolic prefixes and stuff.
* Emacs/XEmacs Code::           Gnus can be run under all modern Emacsen.
* Various File Formats::        Formats of files that Gnus use.

Back End Interface

* Required Back End Functions::  Functions that must be implemented.
* Optional Back End Functions::  Functions that need not be implemented.
* Error Messaging::             How to get messages and report errors.
* Writing New Back Ends::       Extending old back ends.
* Hooking New Back Ends Into Gnus::  What has to be done on the Gnus end.
* Mail-like Back Ends::         Some tips on mail back ends.

Various File Formats

* Active File Format::          Information on articles and groups available.
* Newsgroups File Format::      Group descriptions.

Emacs for Heathens

* Keystrokes::                  Entering text and executing commands.
* Emacs Lisp::                  The built-in Emacs programming language.

@end detailmenu
@end menu

@node Starting Up
@chapter Starting Gnus
@cindex starting up

If you haven't used Emacs much before using Gnus, read @ref{Emacs for
Heathens} first.

@kindex M-x gnus
@findex gnus
If your system administrator has set things up properly, starting Gnus
and reading news is extremely easy---you just type @kbd{M-x gnus} in
your Emacs.  If not, you should customize the variable
@code{gnus-select-method} as described in @ref{Finding the News}.  For a
minimal setup for posting should also customize the variables
@code{user-full-name} and @code{user-mail-address}.

@findex gnus-other-frame
@kindex M-x gnus-other-frame
If you want to start Gnus in a different frame, you can use the command
@kbd{M-x gnus-other-frame} instead.

If things do not go smoothly at startup, you have to twiddle some
variables in your @file{~/.gnus.el} file.  This file is similar to
@file{~/.emacs}, but is read when Gnus starts.

If you puzzle at any terms used in this manual, please refer to the
terminology section (@pxref{Terminology}).

* Finding the News::      Choosing a method for getting news.
* The Server is Down::    How can I read my mail then?
* Slave Gnusae::          You can have more than one Gnus active at a time.
* New Groups::            What is Gnus supposed to do with new groups?
* Changing Servers::      You may want to move from one server to another.
* Startup Files::         Those pesky startup files---@file{.newsrc}.
* Auto Save::             Recovering from a crash.
* The Active File::       Reading the active file over a slow line Takes Time.
* Startup Variables::     Other variables you might change.
@end menu

@node Finding the News
@section Finding the News
@cindex finding news

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First of all, you should know that there is a special buffer called
@code{*Server*} that lists all the servers Gnus knows about.  You can
press @kbd{^} from the Group buffer to see it.  In the Server buffer,
you can press @kbd{RET} on a defined server to see all the groups it
serves (subscribed or not!).  You can also add or delete servers, edit
a foreign server's definition, agentize or de-agentize a server, and
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do many other neat things.  @xref{Server Buffer}.
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@xref{Foreign Groups}.  @xref{Agent Basics}.

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@vindex gnus-select-method
@c @head
The @code{gnus-select-method} variable says where Gnus should look for
news.  This variable should be a list where the first element says
@dfn{how} and the second element says @dfn{where}.  This method is your
native method.  All groups not fetched with this method are
secondary or foreign groups.
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For instance, if the @samp{} @acronym{NNTP} server is where
you want to get your daily dosage of news from, you'd say:

(setq gnus-select-method '(nntp ""))
@end lisp

If you want to read directly from the local spool, say:

(setq gnus-select-method '(nnspool ""))
@end lisp

If you can use a local spool, you probably should, as it will almost
certainly be much faster.  But do not use the local spool if your
server is running Leafnode (which is a simple, standalone private news
server); in this case, use @code{(nntp "localhost")}.

@vindex gnus-nntpserver-file
@cindex @acronym{NNTP} server
If this variable is not set, Gnus will take a look at the
@env{NNTPSERVER} environment variable.  If that variable isn't set,
Gnus will see whether @code{gnus-nntpserver-file}
(@file{/etc/nntpserver} by default) has any opinions on the matter.
If that fails as well, Gnus will try to use the machine running Emacs
as an @acronym{NNTP} server.  That's a long shot, though.

@findex gnus-group-browse-foreign-server
@kindex B (Group)
However, if you use one @acronym{NNTP} server regularly and are just
interested in a couple of groups from a different server, you would be
better served by using the @kbd{B} command in the group buffer.  It will
let you have a look at what groups are available, and you can subscribe
to any of the groups you want to.  This also makes @file{.newsrc}
maintenance much tidier.  @xref{Foreign Groups}.

@vindex gnus-secondary-select-methods
@c @head
A slightly different approach to foreign groups is to set the
@code{gnus-secondary-select-methods} variable.  The select methods
listed in this variable are in many ways just as native as the
@code{gnus-select-method} server.  They will also be queried for active
files during startup (if that's required), and new newsgroups that
appear on these servers will be subscribed (or not) just as native
groups are.

For instance, if you use the @code{nnmbox} back end to read your mail,
you would typically set this variable to

(setq gnus-secondary-select-methods '((nnmbox "")))
@end lisp


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@node The Server is Down
@section The Server is Down
@cindex server errors

If the default server is down, Gnus will understandably have some
problems starting.  However, if you have some mail groups in addition to
the news groups, you may want to start Gnus anyway.

Gnus, being the trusting sort of program, will ask whether to proceed
without a native select method if that server can't be contacted.  This
will happen whether the server doesn't actually exist (i.e., you have
given the wrong address) or the server has just momentarily taken ill
for some reason or other.  If you decide to continue and have no foreign
groups, you'll find it difficult to actually do anything in the group
buffer.  But, hey, that's your problem.  Blllrph!

@findex gnus-no-server
@kindex M-x gnus-no-server
@c @head
If you know that the server is definitely down, or you just want to read
your mail without bothering with the server at all, you can use the
@code{gnus-no-server} command to start Gnus.  That might come in handy
if you're in a hurry as well.  This command will not attempt to contact
your primary server---instead, it will just activate all groups on level
1 and 2.  (You should preferably keep no native groups on those two
levels.) Also @pxref{Group Levels}.

@node Slave Gnusae
@section Slave Gnusae
@cindex slave

You might want to run more than one Emacs with more than one Gnus at the
same time.  If you are using different @file{.newsrc} files (e.g., if you
are using the two different Gnusae to read from two different servers),
that is no problem whatsoever.  You just do it.

The problem appears when you want to run two Gnusae that use the same
@file{.newsrc} file.

To work around that problem some, we here at the Think-Tank at the Gnus
Towers have come up with a new concept: @dfn{Masters} and
@dfn{slaves}.  (We have applied for a patent on this concept, and have
taken out a copyright on those words.  If you wish to use those words in
conjunction with each other, you have to send $1 per usage instance to
me.  Usage of the patent (@dfn{Master/Slave Relationships In Computer
Applications}) will be much more expensive, of course.)

@findex gnus-slave
Anyway, you start one Gnus up the normal way with @kbd{M-x gnus} (or
however you do it).  Each subsequent slave Gnusae should be started with
@kbd{M-x gnus-slave}.  These slaves won't save normal @file{.newsrc}
files, but instead save @dfn{slave files} that contain information only
on what groups have been read in the slave session.  When a master Gnus
starts, it will read (and delete) these slave files, incorporating all
information from them.  (The slave files will be read in the sequence
they were created, so the latest changes will have precedence.)

Information from the slave files has, of course, precedence over the
information in the normal (i.e., master) @file{.newsrc} file.

If the @file{.newsrc*} files have not been saved in the master when the
slave starts, you may be prompted as to whether to read an auto-save
file.  If you answer ``yes'', the unsaved changes to the master will be
incorporated into the slave.  If you answer ``no'', the slave may see some
messages as unread that have been read in the master.

@node New Groups
@section New Groups
@cindex new groups
@cindex subscription

@vindex gnus-check-new-newsgroups
If you are satisfied that you really never want to see any new groups,
you can set @code{gnus-check-new-newsgroups} to @code{nil}.  This will
also save you some time at startup.  Even if this variable is
@code{nil}, you can always subscribe to the new groups just by pressing
@kbd{U} in the group buffer (@pxref{Group Maintenance}).  This variable
is @code{ask-server} by default.  If you set this variable to
@code{always}, then Gnus will query the back ends for new groups even
when you do the @kbd{g} command (@pxref{Scanning New Messages}).

* Checking New Groups::         Determining what groups are new.
* Subscription Methods::        What Gnus should do with new groups.
* Filtering New Groups::        Making Gnus ignore certain new groups.
@end menu

@node Checking New Groups
@subsection Checking New Groups

Gnus normally determines whether a group is new or not by comparing
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the list of groups from the active file(s) with the lists of
subscribed and dead groups.  This isn't a particularly fast method.
If @code{gnus-check-new-newsgroups} is @code{ask-server}, Gnus will
ask the server for new groups since the last time.  This is both
faster and cheaper.  This also means that you can get rid of the list
of killed groups (@pxref{Group Levels}) altogether, so you may set
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@code{gnus-save-killed-list} to @code{nil}, which will save time both
at startup, at exit, and all over.  Saves disk space, too.  Why isn't
this the default, then?  Unfortunately, not all servers support this
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I bet I know what you're thinking now: How do I find out whether my
server supports @code{ask-server}?  No?  Good, because I don't have a
fail-safe answer.  I would suggest just setting this variable to
@code{ask-server} and see whether any new groups appear within the next
few days.  If any do, then it works.  If none do, then it doesn't
work.  I could write a function to make Gnus guess whether the server
supports @code{ask-server}, but it would just be a guess.  So I won't.
You could @code{telnet} to the server and say @code{HELP} and see
whether it lists @samp{NEWGROUPS} among the commands it understands.  If
it does, then it might work.  (But there are servers that lists
@samp{NEWGROUPS} without supporting the function properly.)

This variable can also be a list of select methods.  If so, Gnus will
issue an @code{ask-server} command to each of the select methods, and
subscribe them (or not) using the normal methods.  This might be handy
if you are monitoring a few servers for new groups.  A side effect is
that startup will take much longer, so you can meditate while waiting.
Use the mantra ``dingnusdingnusdingnus'' to achieve permanent bliss.

@node Subscription Methods
@subsection Subscription Methods

@vindex gnus-subscribe-newsgroup-method
What Gnus does when it encounters a new group is determined by the
@code{gnus-subscribe-newsgroup-method} variable.

This variable should contain a function.  This function will be called
with the name of the new group as the only parameter.

Some handy pre-fab functions are:

@table @code

@item gnus-subscribe-zombies
@vindex gnus-subscribe-zombies
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Make all new groups zombies (@pxref{Group Levels}).  This is the
default.  You can browse the zombies later (with @kbd{A z}) and either
kill them all off properly (with @kbd{S z}), or subscribe to them
(with @kbd{u}).
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@item gnus-subscribe-randomly
@vindex gnus-subscribe-randomly
Subscribe all new groups in arbitrary order.  This really means that all
new groups will be added at ``the top'' of the group buffer.

@item gnus-subscribe-alphabetically
@vindex gnus-subscribe-alphabetically
Subscribe all new groups in alphabetical order.

@item gnus-subscribe-hierarchically
@vindex gnus-subscribe-hierarchically
Subscribe all new groups hierarchically.  The difference between this
function and @code{gnus-subscribe-alphabetically} is slight.
@code{gnus-subscribe-alphabetically} will subscribe new groups in a strictly
alphabetical fashion, while this function will enter groups into its
hierarchy.  So if you want to have the @samp{rec} hierarchy before the
@samp{comp} hierarchy, this function will not mess that configuration
up.  Or something like that.

@item gnus-subscribe-interactively
@vindex gnus-subscribe-interactively
Subscribe new groups interactively.  This means that Gnus will ask
you about @strong{all} new groups.  The groups you choose to subscribe
to will be subscribed hierarchically.

@item gnus-subscribe-killed
@vindex gnus-subscribe-killed
Kill all new groups.

@item gnus-subscribe-topics
@vindex gnus-subscribe-topics
Put the groups into the topic that has a matching @code{subscribe} topic
parameter (@pxref{Topic Parameters}).  For instance, a @code{subscribe}
topic parameter that looks like

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@end example

will mean that all groups that match that regex will be subscribed under
that topic.

If no topics match the groups, the groups will be subscribed in the
top-level topic.

@end table

@vindex gnus-subscribe-hierarchical-interactive
A closely related variable is
@code{gnus-subscribe-hierarchical-interactive}.  (That's quite a
mouthful.)  If this variable is non-@code{nil}, Gnus will ask you in a
hierarchical fashion whether to subscribe to new groups or not.  Gnus
will ask you for each sub-hierarchy whether you want to descend the
hierarchy or not.

One common mistake is to set the variable a few paragraphs above
(@code{gnus-subscribe-newsgroup-method}) to
@code{gnus-subscribe-hierarchical-interactive}.  This is an error.  This
will not work.  This is ga-ga.  So don't do it.

@node Filtering New Groups
@subsection Filtering New Groups

A nice and portable way to control which new newsgroups should be
subscribed (or ignored) is to put an @dfn{options} line at the start of
the @file{.newsrc} file.  Here's an example:

options -n !alt.all !rec.all sci.all
@end example

@vindex gnus-subscribe-options-newsgroup-method
This line obviously belongs to a serious-minded intellectual scientific
person (or she may just be plain old boring), because it says that all
groups that have names beginning with @samp{alt} and @samp{rec} should
be ignored, and all groups with names beginning with @samp{sci} should
be subscribed.  Gnus will not use the normal subscription method for
subscribing these groups.
@code{gnus-subscribe-options-newsgroup-method} is used instead.  This
variable defaults to @code{gnus-subscribe-alphabetically}.

The ``options -n'' format is very simplistic.  The syntax above is all
that is supports: you can force-subscribe hierarchies, or you can
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deny hierarchies, and that's it.

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@vindex gnus-options-not-subscribe
@vindex gnus-options-subscribe
If you don't want to mess with your @file{.newsrc} file, you can just
set the two variables @code{gnus-options-subscribe} and
@code{gnus-options-not-subscribe}.  These two variables do exactly the
same as the @file{.newsrc} @samp{options -n} trick.  Both are regexps,
and if the new group matches the former, it will be unconditionally
subscribed, and if it matches the latter, it will be ignored.

@vindex gnus-auto-subscribed-groups
Yet another variable that meddles here is
@code{gnus-auto-subscribed-groups}.  It works exactly like
@code{gnus-options-subscribe}, and is therefore really superfluous,
but I thought it would be nice to have two of these.  This variable is
more meant for setting some ground rules, while the other variable is
used more for user fiddling.  By default this variable makes all new
groups that come from mail back ends (@code{nnml}, @code{nnbabyl},
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@code{nnfolder}, @code{nnmbox}, @code{nnmh}, @code{nnimap}, and
@code{nnmaildir}) subscribed.  If you don't like that, just set this
variable to @code{nil}.

@vindex gnus-auto-subscribed-categories
As if that wasn't enough, @code{gnus-auto-subscribed-categories} also
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allows you to specify that new groups should be subscribed based on the
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category their select methods belong to.  The default is @samp{(mail
post-mail)}, meaning that all new groups from mail-like backends
should be subscribed automatically.

New groups that match these variables are subscribed using
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@node Changing Servers
@section Changing Servers
@cindex changing servers

Sometimes it is necessary to move from one @acronym{NNTP} server to another.
This happens very rarely, but perhaps you change jobs, or one server is
very flaky and you want to use another.

Changing the server is pretty easy, right?  You just change
@code{gnus-select-method} to point to the new server?


Article numbers are not (in any way) kept synchronized between different
@acronym{NNTP} servers, and the only way Gnus keeps track of what articles
you have read is by keeping track of article numbers.  So when you
change @code{gnus-select-method}, your @file{.newsrc} file becomes

@kindex M-x gnus-group-clear-data-on-native-groups
@findex gnus-group-clear-data-on-native-groups
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You can use the @kbd{M-x gnus-group-clear-data-on-native-groups}
command to clear out all data that you have on your native groups.
Use with caution.
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@kindex M-x gnus-group-clear-data
@findex gnus-group-clear-data
Clear the data from the current group only---nix out marks and the
list of read articles (@code{gnus-group-clear-data}).

After changing servers, you @strong{must} move the cache hierarchy away,
since the cached articles will have wrong article numbers, which will
affect which articles Gnus thinks are read.
@code{gnus-group-clear-data-on-native-groups} will ask you if you want
to have it done automatically; for @code{gnus-group-clear-data}, you
can use @kbd{M-x gnus-cache-move-cache} (but beware, it will move the
cache for all groups).

@node Startup Files
@section Startup Files
@cindex startup files
@cindex .newsrc
@cindex .newsrc.el
@cindex .newsrc.eld

Most common Unix news readers use a shared startup file called
@file{.newsrc}.  This file contains all the information about what
groups are subscribed, and which articles in these groups have been

Things got a bit more complicated with @sc{gnus}.  In addition to
keeping the @file{.newsrc} file updated, it also used a file called
@file{.newsrc.el} for storing all the information that didn't fit into
the @file{.newsrc} file.  (Actually, it also duplicated everything in
the @file{.newsrc} file.)  @sc{gnus} would read whichever one of these
files was the most recently saved, which enabled people to swap between
@sc{gnus} and other newsreaders.

That was kinda silly, so Gnus went one better: In addition to the
@file{.newsrc} and @file{.newsrc.el} files, Gnus also has a file called
@file{.newsrc.eld}.  It will read whichever of these files that are most
recent, but it will never write a @file{.newsrc.el} file.  You should
never delete the @file{.newsrc.eld} file---it contains much information
not stored in the @file{.newsrc} file.

@vindex gnus-save-newsrc-file
@vindex gnus-read-newsrc-file
You can turn off writing the @file{.newsrc} file by setting
@code{gnus-save-newsrc-file} to @code{nil}, which means you can delete
the file and save some space, as well as exiting from Gnus faster.
However, this will make it impossible to use other newsreaders than
Gnus.  But hey, who would want to, right?  Similarly, setting
@code{gnus-read-newsrc-file} to @code{nil} makes Gnus ignore the
@file{.newsrc} file and any @file{.newsrc-SERVER} files, which can be
convenient if you use a different news reader occasionally, and you
want to read a different subset of the available groups with that
news reader.

@vindex gnus-save-killed-list
If @code{gnus-save-killed-list} (default @code{t}) is @code{nil}, Gnus
will not save the list of killed groups to the startup file.  This will
save both time (when starting and quitting) and space (on disk).  It
will also mean that Gnus has no record of what groups are new or old,
so the automatic new groups subscription methods become meaningless.
You should always set @code{gnus-check-new-newsgroups} to @code{nil} or
@code{ask-server} if you set this variable to @code{nil} (@pxref{New
Groups}).  This variable can also be a regular expression.  If that's
the case, remove all groups that do not match this regexp before
saving.  This can be useful in certain obscure situations that involve
several servers where not all servers support @code{ask-server}.

@vindex gnus-startup-file
@vindex gnus-backup-startup-file
@vindex version-control
The @code{gnus-startup-file} variable says where the startup files are.
The default value is @file{~/.newsrc}, with the Gnus (El Dingo) startup
file being whatever that one is, with a @samp{.eld} appended.
If you want to keep multiple numbered backups of this file, set
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@code{gnus-backup-startup-file}.  It respects the same values as the
@code{version-control} variable.

@vindex gnus-save-newsrc-hook
@vindex gnus-save-quick-newsrc-hook
@vindex gnus-save-standard-newsrc-hook
@code{gnus-save-newsrc-hook} is called before saving any of the newsrc
files, while @code{gnus-save-quick-newsrc-hook} is called just before
saving the @file{.newsrc.eld} file, and
@code{gnus-save-standard-newsrc-hook} is called just before saving the
@file{.newsrc} file.  The latter two are commonly used to turn version
control on or off.  Version control is on by default when saving the
startup files.  If you want to turn backup creation off, say something like:

(defun turn-off-backup ()
  (set (make-local-variable 'backup-inhibited) t))

(add-hook 'gnus-save-quick-newsrc-hook 'turn-off-backup)
(add-hook 'gnus-save-standard-newsrc-hook 'turn-off-backup)
@end lisp

@vindex gnus-init-file
@vindex gnus-site-init-file
When Gnus starts, it will read the @code{gnus-site-init-file}
(@file{.../site-lisp/gnus-init} by default) and @code{gnus-init-file}
(@file{~/.gnus} by default) files.  These are normal Emacs Lisp files
and can be used to avoid cluttering your @file{~/.emacs} and
@file{site-init} files with Gnus stuff.  Gnus will also check for files
with the same names as these, but with @file{.elc} and @file{.el}
suffixes.  In other words, if you have set @code{gnus-init-file} to
@file{~/.gnus}, it will look for @file{~/.gnus.elc}, @file{~/.gnus.el},
and finally @file{~/.gnus} (in this order).  If Emacs was invoked with
the @option{-q} or @option{--no-init-file} options (@pxref{Initial
Options, ,Initial Options, emacs, The Emacs Manual}), Gnus doesn't read

@node Auto Save
@section Auto Save
@cindex dribble file
@cindex auto-save

Whenever you do something that changes the Gnus data (reading articles,
catching up, killing/subscribing groups), the change is added to a
special @dfn{dribble buffer}.  This buffer is auto-saved the normal
Emacs way.  If your Emacs should crash before you have saved the
@file{.newsrc} files, all changes you have made can be recovered from
this file.

If Gnus detects this file at startup, it will ask the user whether to
read it.  The auto save file is deleted whenever the real startup file is

@vindex gnus-use-dribble-file
If @code{gnus-use-dribble-file} is @code{nil}, Gnus won't create and
maintain a dribble buffer.  The default is @code{t}.

@vindex gnus-dribble-directory
Gnus will put the dribble file(s) in @code{gnus-dribble-directory}.  If
this variable is @code{nil}, which it is by default, Gnus will dribble
into the directory where the @file{.newsrc} file is located.  (This is
normally the user's home directory.)  The dribble file will get the same
file permissions as the @file{.newsrc} file.

@vindex gnus-always-read-dribble-file
If @code{gnus-always-read-dribble-file} is non-@code{nil}, Gnus will
read the dribble file on startup without querying the user.

@node The Active File
@section The Active File
@cindex active file
@cindex ignored groups

When Gnus starts, or indeed whenever it tries to determine whether new
articles have arrived, it reads the active file.  This is a very large
file that lists all the active groups and articles on the server.

@vindex gnus-ignored-newsgroups
Before examining the active file, Gnus deletes all lines that match the
regexp @code{gnus-ignored-newsgroups}.  This is done primarily to reject
any groups with bogus names, but you can use this variable to make Gnus
ignore hierarchies you aren't ever interested in.  However, this is not
recommended.  In fact, it's highly discouraged.  Instead, @pxref{New
Groups} for an overview of other variables that can be used instead.

@c This variable is
@c @code{nil} by default, and will slow down active file handling somewhat
@c if you set it to anything else.

@vindex gnus-read-active-file
@c @head
The active file can be rather Huge, so if you have a slow network, you
can set @code{gnus-read-active-file} to @code{nil} to prevent Gnus from
reading the active file.  This variable is @code{some} by default.

Gnus will try to make do by getting information just on the groups that
you actually subscribe to.

Note that if you subscribe to lots and lots of groups, setting this
variable to @code{nil} will probably make Gnus slower, not faster.  At
present, having this variable @code{nil} will slow Gnus down
considerably, unless you read news over a 2400 baud modem.

This variable can also have the value @code{some}.  Gnus will then
attempt to read active info only on the subscribed groups.  On some
servers this is quite fast (on sparkling, brand new INN servers that
support the @code{LIST ACTIVE group} command), on others this isn't fast
at all.  In any case, @code{some} should be faster than @code{nil}, and
is certainly faster than @code{t} over slow lines.

Some news servers (old versions of Leafnode and old versions of INN, for
instance) do not support the @code{LIST ACTIVE group}.  For these
servers, @code{nil} is probably the most efficient value for this

If this variable is @code{nil}, Gnus will ask for group info in total
lock-step, which isn't very fast.  If it is @code{some} and you use an
@acronym{NNTP} server, Gnus will pump out commands as fast as it can, and
read all the replies in one swoop.  This will normally result in better
performance, but if the server does not support the aforementioned
@code{LIST ACTIVE group} command, this isn't very nice to the server.

If you think that starting up Gnus takes too long, try all the three
different values for this variable and see what works best for you.

In any case, if you use @code{some} or @code{nil}, you should definitely
kill all groups that you aren't interested in to speed things up.

Note that this variable also affects active file retrieval from
secondary select methods.

@node Startup Variables
@section Startup Variables

@table @code

@item gnus-load-hook
@vindex gnus-load-hook
A hook run while Gnus is being loaded.  Note that this hook will
normally be run just once in each Emacs session, no matter how many
times you start Gnus.

@item gnus-before-startup-hook
@vindex gnus-before-startup-hook
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A hook called as the first thing when Gnus is started.
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@item gnus-before-resume-hook
@vindex gnus-before-resume-hook
A hook called as the first thing when Gnus is resumed after a suspend.

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@item gnus-startup-hook
@vindex gnus-startup-hook
A hook run as the very last thing after starting up Gnus

@item gnus-started-hook
@vindex gnus-started-hook
A hook that is run as the very last thing after starting up Gnus

@item gnus-setup-news-hook
@vindex gnus-setup-news-hook
A hook that is run after reading the @file{.newsrc} file(s), but before
generating the group buffer.

@item gnus-check-bogus-newsgroups
@vindex gnus-check-bogus-newsgroups
If non-@code{nil}, Gnus will check for and delete all bogus groups at
startup.  A @dfn{bogus group} is a group that you have in your
@file{.newsrc} file, but doesn't exist on the news server.  Checking for
bogus groups can take quite a while, so to save time and resources it's
best to leave this option off, and do the checking for bogus groups once
in a while from the group buffer instead (@pxref{Group Maintenance}).

@item gnus-inhibit-startup-message
@vindex gnus-inhibit-startup-message
If non-@code{nil}, the startup message won't be displayed.  That way,
your boss might not notice as easily that you are reading news instead
of doing your job.  Note that this variable is used before
@file{~/.gnus.el} is loaded, so it should be set in @file{.emacs} instead.

@item gnus-no-groups-message
@vindex gnus-no-groups-message
Message displayed by Gnus when no groups are available.

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@item gnus-use-backend-marks
@vindex gnus-use-backend-marks
If non-@code{nil}, Gnus will store article marks both in the
@file{.newsrc.eld} file and in the backends.  This will slow down
group operation some.

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@end table

@node Group Buffer
@chapter Group Buffer
@cindex group buffer

@c Alex Schroeder suggests to rearrange this as follows:
@c <kensanata> ok, just save it for reference.  I'll go to bed in a minute.
@c   1. Selecting a Group, 2. (new) Finding a Group, 3. Group Levels,
@c   4. Subscription Commands, 5. Group Maneuvering, 6. Group Data,
@c   7. Group Score, 8. Group Buffer Format
@c <kensanata> Group Levels should have more information on levels 5 to 9.  I
@c   suggest to split the 4th paragraph ("Gnus considers groups...") as follows:
@c <kensanata> First, "Gnus considers groups... (default 9)."
@c <kensanata> New, a table summarizing what levels 1 to 9 mean.
@c <kensanata> Third, "Gnus treats subscribed ... reasons of efficiency"
@c <kensanata> Then expand the next paragraph or add some more to it.
@c    This short one sentence explains levels 1 and 2, therefore I understand
@c    that I should keep important news at 3 and boring news at 4.
@c    Say so!  Then go on to explain why I should bother with levels 6 to 9.
@c    Maybe keep those that you don't want to read temporarily at 6,
@c    those that you never want to read at 8, those that offend your
@c    human rights at 9...

The @dfn{group buffer} lists all (or parts) of the available groups.  It
is the first buffer shown when Gnus starts, and will never be killed as
long as Gnus is active.

\gnusfigure{The Group Buffer}{320}{
\put(120,37){\makebox(0,0)[t]{Buffer name}}
\put(40,60){\makebox(0,0)[r]{Mode line}}
\put(200,28){\makebox(0,0)[t]{Native select method}}
@end iflatex
@end iftex

* Group Buffer Format::         Information listed and how you can change it.
* Group Maneuvering::           Commands for moving in the group buffer.
* Selecting a Group::           Actually reading news.
* Subscription Commands::       Unsubscribing, killing, subscribing.
* Group Data::                  Changing the info for a group.
* Group Levels::                Levels? What are those, then?
* Group Score::                 A mechanism for finding out what groups you like.
* Marking Groups::              You can mark groups for later processing.
* Foreign Groups::              Creating and editing groups.
* Group Parameters::            Each group may have different parameters set.
* Listing Groups::              Gnus can list various subsets of the groups.
* Sorting Groups::              Re-arrange the group order.
* Group Maintenance::           Maintaining a tidy @file{.newsrc} file.
* Browse Foreign Server::       You can browse a server.  See what it has to offer.
* Exiting Gnus::                Stop reading news and get some work done.
* Group Topics::                A folding group mode divided into topics.
* Non-ASCII Group Names::       Accessing groups of non-English names.
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* Misc Group Stuff::            Other stuff that you can to do.
@end menu

@node Group Buffer Format
@section Group Buffer Format

* Group Line Specification::    Deciding how the group buffer is to look.
* Group Mode Line Specification::  The group buffer mode line.
* Group Highlighting::          Having nice colors in the group buffer.
@end menu

You can customize the Group Mode tool bar, see @kbd{M-x
customize-apropos RET gnus-group-tool-bar}.  This feature is only
available in Emacs.

The tool bar icons are now (de)activated correctly depending on the
cursor position.  Therefore, moving around in the Group Buffer is
slower.  You can disable this via the variable
@code{gnus-group-update-tool-bar}.  Its default value depends on your
Emacs version.

@node Group Line Specification
@subsection Group Line Specification
@cindex group buffer format

The default format of the group buffer is nice and dull, but you can
make it as exciting and ugly as you feel like.

Here's a couple of example group lines:

     25: news.announce.newusers
 *    0:
@end example

Quite simple, huh?

You can see that there are 25 unread articles in
@samp{news.announce.newusers}.  There are no unread articles, but some
ticked articles, in @samp{} (see that little
asterisk at the beginning of the line?).

@vindex gnus-group-line-format
You can change that format to whatever you want by fiddling with the
@code{gnus-group-line-format} variable.  This variable works along the
lines of a @code{format} specification, which is pretty much the same as
a @code{printf} specifications, for those of you who use (feh!) C@.
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@xref{Formatting Variables}.

@samp{%M%S%5y:%B%(%g%)\n} is the value that produced those lines above.

There should always be a colon on the line; the cursor always moves to
the colon after performing an operation.  @xref{Positioning
Point}.  Nothing else is required---not even the group name.  All
displayed text is just window dressing, and is never examined by Gnus.
Gnus stores all real information it needs using text properties.

(Note that if you make a really strange, wonderful, spreadsheet-like
layout, everybody will believe you are hard at work with the accounting
instead of wasting time reading news.)

Here's a list of all available format characters:

@table @samp

@item M
An asterisk if the group only has marked articles.

@item S
Whether the group is subscribed.

@item L
Level of subscribedness.

@item N
Number of unread articles.

@item I
Number of dormant articles.

@item T
Number of ticked articles.

@item R
Number of read articles.

@item U
Number of unseen articles.

@item t
Estimated total number of articles.  (This is really @var{max-number}
minus @var{min-number} plus 1.)

Gnus uses this estimation because the @acronym{NNTP} protocol provides
efficient access to @var{max-number} and @var{min-number} but getting
the true unread message count is not possible efficiently.  For
hysterical raisins, even the mail back ends, where the true number of
unread messages might be available efficiently, use the same limited
interface.  To remove this restriction from Gnus means that the back
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end interface has to be changed, which is not an easy job.

The nnml backend (@pxref{Mail Spool}) has a feature called ``group
compaction'' which circumvents this deficiency: the idea is to
renumber all articles from 1, removing all gaps between numbers, hence
getting a correct total count.  Other backends may support this in the
future.  In order to keep your total article count relatively up to
date, you might want to compact your groups (or even directly your
server) from time to time. @xref{Misc Group Stuff}, @xref{Server Commands}.
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@item y
Number of unread, unticked, non-dormant articles.

@item i
Number of ticked and dormant articles.

@item g
Full group name.

@item G
Group name.

@item C
Group comment (@pxref{Group Parameters}) or group name if there is no
comment element in the group parameters.

@item D
Newsgroup description.  You need to read the group descriptions
before these will appear, and to do that, you either have to set
@code{gnus-read-active-file} or use the group buffer @kbd{M-d}

@item o
@samp{m} if moderated.

@item O
@samp{(m)} if moderated.

@item s
Select method.

@item B
If the summary buffer for the group is open or not.

@item n
Select from where.

@item z
A string that looks like @samp{<%s:%n>} if a foreign select method is

@item P
Indentation based on the level of the topic (@pxref{Group Topics}).

@item c
@vindex gnus-group-uncollapsed-levels
Short (collapsed) group name.  The @code{gnus-group-uncollapsed-levels}
variable says how many levels to leave at the end of the group name.
The default is 1---this will mean that group names like
@samp{gnu.emacs.gnus} will be shortened to @samp{g.e.gnus}.

@item m
@vindex gnus-new-mail-mark
@cindex %
@samp{%} (@code{gnus-new-mail-mark}) if there has arrived new mail to
the group lately.

@item p
@samp{#} (@code{gnus-process-mark}) if the group is process marked.

@item d
A string that says when you last read the group (@pxref{Group

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@item F
The disk space used by the articles fetched by both the cache and
agent.  The value is automatically scaled to bytes(B), kilobytes(K),
megabytes(M), or gigabytes(G) to minimize the column width.  A format
of %7F is sufficient for a fixed-width column.

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@item u
User defined specifier.  The next character in the format string should
be a letter.  Gnus will call the function
@code{gnus-user-format-function-}@samp{X}, where @samp{X} is the letter
following @samp{%u}.  The function will be passed a single dummy
parameter as argument.  The function should return a string, which will
be inserted into the buffer just like information from any other
@end table

@cindex *
All the ``number-of'' specs will be filled with an asterisk (@samp{*})
if no info is available---for instance, if it is a non-activated foreign
group, or a bogus native group.

@node Group Mode Line Specification
@subsection Group Mode Line Specification
@cindex group mode line

@vindex gnus-group-mode-line-format
The mode line can be changed by setting
@code{gnus-group-mode-line-format} (@pxref{Mode Line Formatting}).  It
doesn't understand that many format specifiers:

@table @samp
@item S
The native news server.
@item M
The native select method.
@end table

@node Group Highlighting
@subsection Group Highlighting
@cindex highlighting
@cindex group highlighting

@vindex gnus-group-highlight
Highlighting in the group buffer is controlled by the
@code{gnus-group-highlight} variable.  This is an alist with elements
that look like @code{(@var{form} . @var{face})}.  If @var{form} evaluates to
something non-@code{nil}, the @var{face} will be used on the line.

Here's an example value for this variable that might look nice if the
background is dark:

(cond (window-system
       (setq custom-background-mode 'light)
       (defface my-group-face-1
         '((t (:foreground "Red" :bold t))) "First group face")
       (defface my-group-face-2
         '((t (:foreground "DarkSeaGreen4" :bold t)))
         "Second group face")
       (defface my-group-face-3
         '((t (:foreground "Green4" :bold t))) "Third group face")
       (defface my-group-face-4
         '((t (:foreground "SteelBlue" :bold t))) "Fourth group face")
       (defface my-group-face-5
         '((t (:foreground "Blue" :bold t))) "Fifth group face")))

(setq gnus-group-highlight
      '(((> unread 200) . my-group-face-1)
        ((and (< level 3) (zerop unread)) . my-group-face-2)
        ((< level 3) . my-group-face-3)
        ((zerop unread) . my-group-face-4)
        (t . my-group-face-5)))
@end lisp

Also @pxref{Faces and Fonts}.

Variables that are dynamically bound when the forms are evaluated

@table @code
@item group
The group name.
@item unread
The number of unread articles in the group.
@item method
The select method.
@item mailp
Whether the group is a mail group.
@item level
The level of the group.
@item score
The score of the group.
@item ticked
The number of ticked articles in the group.
@item total
The total number of articles in the group.  Or rather,
@var{max-number} minus @var{min-number} plus one.
@item topic
When using the topic minor mode, this variable is bound to the current
topic being inserted.
@end table

When the forms are @code{eval}ed, point is at the beginning of the line
of the group in question, so you can use many of the normal Gnus
functions for snarfing info on the group.

@vindex gnus-group-update-hook
@findex gnus-group-highlight-line
@code{gnus-group-update-hook} is called when a group line is changed.
It will not be called when @code{gnus-visual} is @code{nil}.
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@node Group Maneuvering
@section Group Maneuvering
@cindex group movement

All movement commands understand the numeric prefix and will behave as
expected, hopefully.

@table @kbd

@item n
@kindex n (Group)
@findex gnus-group-next-unread-group
Go to the next group that has unread articles

@item p
@itemx DEL
@kindex DEL (Group)
@kindex p (Group)
@findex gnus-group-prev-unread-group
Go to the previous group that has unread articles

@item N
@kindex N (Group)
@findex gnus-group-next-group
Go to the next group (@code{gnus-group-next-group}).

@item P
@kindex P (Group)
@findex gnus-group-prev-group
Go to the previous group (@code{gnus-group-prev-group}).

@item M-n
@kindex M-n (Group)
@findex gnus-group-next-unread-group-same-level
Go to the next unread group on the same (or lower) level

@item M-p
@kindex M-p (Group)
@findex gnus-group-prev-unread-group-same-level
Go to the previous unread group on the same (or lower) level
@end table

Three commands for jumping to groups:

@table @kbd

@item j
@kindex j (Group)
@findex gnus-group-jump-to-group
Jump to a group (and make it visible if it isn't already)
(@code{gnus-group-jump-to-group}).  Killed groups can be jumped to, just
like living groups.

@item ,
@kindex , (Group)
@findex gnus-group-best-unread-group
Jump to the unread group with the lowest level

@item .
@kindex . (Group)
@findex gnus-group-first-unread-group
Jump to the first group with unread articles
@end table

@vindex gnus-group-goto-unread
If @code{gnus-group-goto-unread} is @code{nil}, all the movement
commands will move to the next group, not the next unread group.  Even
the commands that say they move to the next unread group.  The default
is @code{t}.

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@vindex gnus-summary-next-group-on-exit
If @code{gnus-summary-next-group-on-exit} is @code{t}, when a summary is
exited, the point in the group buffer is moved to the next unread group.
Otherwise, the point is set to the group just exited.  The default is
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@node Selecting a Group
@section Selecting a Group
@cindex group selection

@table @kbd

@item SPACE
@kindex SPACE (Group)
@findex gnus-group-read-group
Select the current group, switch to the summary buffer and display the
first unread article (@code{gnus-group-read-group}).  If there are no
unread articles in the group, or if you give a non-numerical prefix to
this command, Gnus will offer to fetch all the old articles in this
group from the server.  If you give a numerical prefix @var{n}, @var{n}
determines the number of articles Gnus will fetch.  If @var{n} is
positive, Gnus fetches the @var{n} newest articles, if @var{n} is
negative, Gnus fetches the @code{abs(@var{n})} oldest articles.

Thus, @kbd{SPC} enters the group normally, @kbd{C-u SPC} offers old
articles, @kbd{C-u 4 2 SPC} fetches the 42 newest articles, and @kbd{C-u
- 4 2 SPC} fetches the 42 oldest ones.

When you are in the group (in the Summary buffer), you can type
@kbd{M-g} to fetch new articles, or @kbd{C-u M-g} to also show the old

@item RET
@kindex RET (Group)
@findex gnus-group-select-group
Select the current group and switch to the summary buffer
(@code{gnus-group-select-group}).  Takes the same arguments as
@code{gnus-group-read-group}---the only difference is that this command
does not display the first unread article automatically upon group

@item M-RET
@kindex M-RET (Group)
@findex gnus-group-quick-select-group
This does the same as the command above, but tries to do it with the
minimum amount of fuzz (@code{gnus-group-quick-select-group}).  No
scoring/killing will be performed, there will be no highlights and no
expunging.  This might be useful if you're in a real hurry and have to
enter some humongous group.  If you give a 0 prefix to this command
(i.e., @kbd{0 M-RET}), Gnus won't even generate the summary buffer,
which is useful if you want to toggle threading before generating the
summary buffer (@pxref{Summary Generation Commands}).

@item M-SPACE
@kindex M-SPACE (Group)
@findex gnus-group-visible-select-group
This is yet one more command that does the same as the @kbd{RET}
command, but this one does it without expunging and hiding dormants

@item C-M-RET
@kindex C-M-RET (Group)
@findex gnus-group-select-group-ephemerally
Finally, this command selects the current group ephemerally without
doing any processing of its contents
(@code{gnus-group-select-group-ephemerally}).  Even threading has been
turned off.  Everything you do in the group after selecting it in this
manner will have no permanent effects.

@end table

@vindex gnus-large-newsgroup
The @code{gnus-large-newsgroup} variable says what Gnus should
consider to be a big group.  If it is @code{nil}, no groups are
considered big.  The default value is 200.  If the group has more
(unread and/or ticked) articles than this, Gnus will query the user
before entering the group.  The user can then specify how many
articles should be fetched from the server.  If the user specifies a
negative number (@var{-n}), the @var{n} oldest articles will be
fetched.  If it is positive, the @var{n} articles that have arrived
most recently will be fetched.

@vindex gnus-large-ephemeral-newsgroup
@code{gnus-large-ephemeral-newsgroup} is the same as
@code{gnus-large-newsgroup}, but is only used for ephemeral

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@vindex gnus-newsgroup-maximum-articles
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In groups in some news servers, there might be a big gap between a few
very old articles that will never be expired and the recent ones.  In
such a case, the server will return the data like @code{(1 . 30000000)}
for the @code{LIST ACTIVE group} command, for example.  Even if there
are actually only the articles 1--10 and 29999900--30000000, Gnus doesn't
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know it at first and prepares for getting 30000000 articles.  However,
it will consume hundreds megabytes of memories and might make Emacs get
stuck as the case may be.  If you use such news servers, set the
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variable @code{gnus-newsgroup-maximum-articles} to a positive number.
The value means that Gnus ignores articles other than this number of the
latest ones in every group.  For instance, the value 10000 makes Gnus
get only the articles 29990001--30000000 (if the latest article number is
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30000000 in a group).  Note that setting this variable to a number might
prevent you from reading very old articles.  The default value of the
variable @code{gnus-newsgroup-maximum-articles} is @code{nil}, which
means Gnus never ignores old articles.
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@vindex gnus-select-group-hook
@vindex gnus-auto-select-first
@vindex gnus-auto-select-subject
If @code{gnus-auto-select-first} is non-@code{nil}, select an article
automatically when entering a group with the @kbd{SPACE} command.
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Which article this is controlled by the