Little Girl's Mostly Linux Blog

Newsreaders

Linux Newsreaders

This page was last updated on June 04, 2010.

Table of Contents


Introduction

This is a work in progress! As such, it is incomplete. I’m writing up my findings on any newsreaders I try. I’ve grabbed as many feature lists as I could easily find on the readers’ respective web pages. If I try out a program, I create my own feature list and review based on what I find. I’ve also included home page links for each program, and screenshot links when available.

As a former Windows user who’s now using Kubuntu Feisty Fawn v7.04, I wanted a newsreader similar to Forte Agent. I took a look around the Linux world and found these readers. I either have checked them out or plan to. I am not actively using all of these readers. I’ve chosen Claws Mail as my newsreader.

Since I know we all feel strongly about our newsreaders, I’m aware that readers of this page may take offense at my opinion of “their” readers. It’s just an opinion. If, however, you feel I’m in error on anything I put in here, feel free to let me know and I’ll add the corrections. Likewise, if you know of a newsreader that isn’t included on this page, feel free to let me know.

Update to introduction

Two things happened sort of simultaneously. First, my provider stopped offering newsgroups. Second, I realized that newsgroups were taking up a large chunk of my time. The combined result was that I no longer do newsgroups, and haven’t for quite some time. This page may never get finished – at least not the reviews. Since this is one of the more popular pages on this blog, it’s staying up, and I’d be happy to add to it if a new newsreader comes out or there are any corrections to the current content. For the record, any review I did is marked with the version I reviewed. In most (if not all) cases, there are more recent versions available from the authors, so please visit the home pages of any readers that look interesting to you.


Alpine

Home Download

My Review

This one installed and didn’t make a shortcut for itself. A search turned it up and I ran it from its directory. It loads in the terminal window and has many, many options. It would take quite a while to check each of them out and configure it to your taste, but I get the impression you can do a lot with this reader if you take the time to set it up. All I did in my test was give it the minimum of information (my user name, the news server address, etc.) and see if I could get a listing of groups I could subscribe to. I didn’t find how to do that, but I suppose a thorough reading of the extensive help file (accessed from within the program) would lead to instructions of how this is done. I’ll come back to this one since it will take time.

Features

Features (from the web page)

In late 2005, Computing & Communications at the University of Washington began a project to create a new family of email tools built upon the Pine® Message System. This family of tools is called Alpine. Alpine consists of a UNIX command-line program, a PC version, and a Web version.

Alpine will be licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

Why Alpine? The Pine Team wanted to reorganize the very mature Pine source code, distribute the Web version that has been very popular here at the Univerity of Washington, and relax our trademark obligation for source code quality control to a world-wide customer base.

The trademark obligation represents an ongoing administrative effort. Coincidentally, the UW is standardizing its license for the several other products we offer to the Apache License, Version 2.0.

The cleanest way to do all this was to stop developing Pine (a registered trademark) and start a new product – thus Alpine was born.

Alpine News

Oct 1, 2006 – While Alpine isn’t quite ready for release just yet, development continues at full speed. Keep checking this page for updates as the release nears.

Back to top


Claws Mail

HomeScreenshots

My Review

Versions reviewed: 3.0.0 and earlier

This is an email client and newsreader based on GTK+. It’s an absolutely amazing program if you’re coming from Windows and liked Agent as your newsreader. Not a clone, but close enough to make me happy. Very powerful, versatile program. This one is my choice over all the rest.

For a thorough review, see http://www.linux-mag.com/cache/7727/1.html.

Features

  • Handles email and news.
  • Allows creation of folders.
  • Can be used as an offline reader.
  • Can encrypt messages.
  • Can use SSL.
  • Can do a full search through From, To, Subject and Body of messages.
  • Can display a Quick Search Bar on screen.
  • X-face support.
  • Can not send HTML email.
  • Coloring is available for headers and three levels of quotes in bodies (including background coloring).
  • Messages can be tagged with text notes.
  • Messages can be padlocked as protection from deletion.
  • Messages can be scored, marked, filtered and processed.
  • Messages can be saved to disk with the header name automatically supplied. If saving to the same name later, the option to append or overwrite is offered. Handles multiple messages in this way.
  • Messages can be cancelled after being sent (depending on server support).
  • Messages can be copied (but not moved without using a filter) to folders within the program.
  • Messages are marked as having been replied to, so you can tell at a glance whether you still need to reply to any.
  • Messages can be manually deleted or marked for later deletion via filters or processing.
  • Sent messages are placed in the Sent folder, making it easy to review them.
  • Strips multiple signature lines

Features (from the web page)

Claws Mail includes all of the features you’d expect, such as:

  • Multiple accounts
  • Threaded display
  • Filtering
  • Mime attachments
  • Usenet news reading and posting
  • SSL over POP3, SMTP, IMAP4rev1 and NNTP protocols
  • GnuPG support (with GPGME)
  • User-defined headers
  • Colour labels
  • Multiple MH folder support
  • Mbox import/export
  • External editor
  • Message queueing and drafting
  • Automated mail checking
  • Line-wrapping
  • Clickable URIs
  • Addressbook
  • Printing

Claws Mail also includes a lot of useful and powerful features:

  • Plugin mechanism (see below)
  • Actions
  • Templates
  • Built-in image viewer
  • Face and X-Face headers support
  • Reply-finder
  • Fast message cache system
  • Per-folder processing mechanism
  • Spell checking (with aspell)
  • Drag’n’drop support
  • POP before SMTP authentication
  • Automatic saving of message when composing
  • Handling of Unix signals
  • Control by command-line
  • Built-in GDB crash handler (just in case ;-)
  • Customisable toolbars
  • Powerful Quick Search function
  • ‘Dynamic’ signatures
  • Font configuration
  • Themes mechanism (see available themes)
  • Automatic account selection
  • Message scoring
  • Ability to hide read messages
  • IMAP over SSH Tunnel
  • IMAP: CAPABILITY support.
  • Return-Receipt handling
  • Message priority setting
  • ‘Ignore thread’ option
  • Anti-phishing URL check
  • Configurable notification of new mail
  • 7bit and 8bit encoding of attachments
  • NNTP: auto-mark cross-posted messages
  • Configurable (non-)display of images
  • Full coloration of messages
  • User-definable quotation characters
  • Watch marked threads
  • Log window
  • Reply to part of an email
  • Replied and forwarded flags
  • Man page and documentation
  • Full GnuPG support
  • ‘On-the-fly’ changing of the type of GnuPG encryption and/or signing used (MIME/ascii) in the Compose window
  • Manual selection of MIME type and encoding for attachments
  • Save all attachments in a mail at once
  • Save 2 or more selected files to a single file
  • SSL certificate management
  • User-definable newsgroup names abbreviation length
  • Address book: import from LDIF, Mutt or Pine natively
  • Address book: import from other mailers via scripts
  • Auto-completion of recipients (also via LDAP)
  • Harvest addresses for addressbook
  • Addressbook export to various formats
  • Per-folder properties:
    • Return-receipt
    • Save messages
    • Default To:
    • Subject simplification
    • Folder CHMOD
    • Default account
    • Folder colour
    • Offline synchronisation
    • Default dictionary

How To

How to install

  1. Go to the download page
  2. Right-click the Colin’s key link under the Ubuntu section and save it to the desktop.
  3. Open a terminal window.
  4. Type:
  5. cd /Desktop
  6. Type:
  7. sudo apt-key add colin.publickey
  8. Type (replace edit in this command with the text editor you use):
  9. sudo edit /etc/apt/sources.list
  10. Using the editor, add one of these lines to /etc/apt/sources.list:
    • For 6.06 Dapper:
    • deb http://www.claws-mail.org/ubuntu/dapper/ ./
    • For 7.04 Feisty:
    • deb http://www.claws-mail.org/ubuntu/feisty/ ./
  11. Save the file and close it.
  12. Go to your package manager and install Claws Mail.

How to manually remove all messages marked for deletion

  1. Right-click any header and select “Create filter rule.”
  2. Select “Automatically.”
  3. Give the filter a name you’ll recognize. For example:
  4. Delete Marked Messages
  5. In the Condition box delete any text you find and replace it with:
  6. deleted
  7. In the Action box, type:
  8. delete
  9. Click the “Add” button.
  10. Highlight your new rule in the box at the bottom.
  11. Make sure there’s an X in the box to the left of your new rule.
  12. Click “OK”

Now any time you want to get rid of messages that are marked for deletion, go to Tools -> Filter all messages in folder or Tools -> Filter selected messages.

How to automatically remove messages marked for deletion when entering a group

  1. Right-click any header and select “Create processing rule.”
  2. Select “Automatically.”
  3. Give the filter a name you’ll recognize. For example:
  4. Delete Marked Messages
  5. In the Condition box delete any text you find and replace it with:
  6. deleted
  7. In the Action box, type:
  8. delete
  9. Click the “Add” button.
  10. Highlight your new rule in the box at the bottom.
  11. Make sure there’s an X in the box to the left of your new rule.
  12. Click “OK”
  13. Right-click the newsgroup name.
  14. Select “Properties…” from the menu.
  15. Make sure there’s an X in the box for “Process at startup”

How to move messages marked for deletion to the Trash folder

Use one of the two methods above, substituting step 5 with this step instead:

5. In the Action box, type:

move "#mh/Mailbox/trash"

How to make it so you can delete any message instantly

In your menus at the top go into Configuration -> Preferences -> Display -> Summaries and check the box for “Execute immediately when moving or deleting messages”. WARNING: Newsgroup messages are deleted completely rather than placed in the trash folder, so when they’re gone, they’re really gone.

Back to top


Cone

Home

My Review

Features

Features (from the web page)

Overview

  • An online tutorial provides a quick overview of Cone’s main features.
  • A built-in text editor for editing new messages, with search/replace and spell checking (requires aspell or pspell).
  • Shortcuts – assign frequently used text to a function key, or to an abbreviation. Insert the text by pressing the function key or typing its abbreviation.
  • Supports UTF-8 consoles (requires the wide-character version of the curses library).
  • Displays HTML mail, with automatic de-moronization (“smart quotes”, and similar clutter, is replaced by plain garden-variety punctuation).
  • Displays attached images, if invoked from an X terminal, by running Gnome’s eog, or KDE’s kview image viewer. Displays PDF attachments by running xpdf. Other, or alternative, helper applications will be added as time permits.
  • After attachments are downloaded, they can be optionally removed from the message.
  • Handles local mail folders, maildirs, IMAP and POP3 accounts, and Usenet newsgroups. All folders are shown in a hierarchical tree-like display.
  • Supports access to servers through a Socks 5 proxy, using the Courier Socks 5 API toolkit.
  • Sends mail using an external SMTP server (with/without authentication), or the local sendmail command.
  • All network protocols support SSL/TLS and SASL (CRAM-MD5, CRAM-SHA1, and LOGIN).
  • Address books (which can be stored in an IMAP folder).
  • Optional support for LDAP address books.
  • Remote configuration (share a common configuration between different instances of Cone).
  • An optional “single sign-on”. Use a single master password for multiple remote mail server accounts.
  • PGP/GPG based encryption, and digital signatures. Sent messages are automatically signed. Different signing keys may be selected for different mail accounts, and the appropriate key is automatically selected when replying to a message from an account. Selecting a message for an encryption automatically looks up keys that match the recipients’ E-mail addresses.
    • Import, export, forward and receive PGP/GPG keys as MIME attachments.
    • When a single sign-on master password is installed, the master password also handles access to passphrase-protected keys.
  • Cone shares a lot of its code base with the Courier mail server, which is why they share the same web site together.
  • Cone also serves as a platform for development of a new experimental network mail access protocol, SMAP, that offers additional functionality not available with IMAP or POP3. When Cone logs on to a SMAP-capable server, such as the current development version of Courier, additional features become available:
    1. Folder names may utilize the full UTF-8 character set, without any reserved folder hierarchy separator characters. The user does not need to be aware of the underlying mail folder implementation.
    2. Faster downloading of attachments.
    3. Faster mail sending. SMAP does not require the client to open a second SMTP connection, and send a second copy of the message via SMTP.
    4. Fast opening of large folders. Cone does not need to download the complete folder index every time the folder is opened, only what’s changed to the folder since the last time it was open.
    5. Many other useful features that are waiting to be implemented.
  • Cone owes its versatility in handling a large variety of mail protocols to the fact that it’s based on LibMAIL , a generic C++ library that provides a high-level mail-handling API. Using the –with-devel configuration setting installs the LibMAIL toolkit, which allows for development of independent E-mail software.

Back to top


Evolution

HomeScreenshots

My Review

Features

  • Can handle email and news.

Features (from the web page)

Feature Highlights

  • No viruses or worms
  • Junk filtering
  • Desktop integration
  • Developer Platform (EDS)
  • Evolution#
  • EPlugin
  • Advanced email searching
  • Web calendars
  • User-defined filters
  • Multiple accounts
  • Palm device support
  • Customized reminders
  • Multiple calendar views
  • iCalendar support
  • To-Do list
  • LDAP compatible
  • Share vCards
  • Security and encryption
  • Open Source
  • (read more…)

How To

How To Use Evolution For Newsgroups

Quoted from the manual for version 2.6

Using Evolution for News

USENET newsgroups are similar to mail, so it’s often convenient to read news and mail side by side. You can add a news source, called an NNTP server, the same way you would a new e-mail account, selecting USENET News as the source type. The news server appear as a remote mail server, and each news group works like an IMAP folder. When you click Send/Receive, Evolution also checks for news messages.

When you create a news group account, you are not subscribed to any groups. To subscribe to a news group:

  1. Click Folder > Subscriptions.
  2. Select your NNTP account, select the groups you want to subscribe to, then click Subscribe.
  3. Click Close.

Back to top


GEMINI ($ware)

HomeScreenshot

My Review

Versions reviewed: none

I haven’t tested this. It turns out it has mandatory “tidying” whereby it removes messages of a certain age automatically from newsgroups. This can supposedly be turned off in user defined folders, but not in the groups themselves, so I’m not going to use this one. The feature list below doesn’t apply to all editions. Check the chart on their page to see which features are available for each edition.

Features

Features (from the web page)

  • Mail and News in a Single Window
  • Junk Mail Filtering
  • Security
  • Templates and Auto-Replies
  • Attachment Support
  • Support for Plain and Rich Text (HTML) Messages
  • Colouring of Messages
  • Filtering and Scoring
  • Flexible Folder Display
  • Threading of Messages
  • Mailing List Support
  • Support for Multiple Accounts and Identities
  • Support for Offline and Online Use
  • Flexible New Arrivals Notification
  • Editing of Messages
  • Spell Checking
  • Easy Access to Message Source and Headers
  • Comprehensive Address Book
  • Standards and Netiquette Compliant

Back to top


Gnome ReadNews

Home

My Review

Features

Features (from the web page)

Gnome ReadNews is a Perl-extensible newsreader with MIME support. It is written with Gnome.

“Perl-extensibility” means that you can add Perl macros and hooks. Hooks can be of different types (see the documentation in the tarball).

GRN has full MIME support for reading, but not for article composing (yet).

Back to top


Gnus

Home

My Review

Versions reviewed: none

I haven’t reviewed this one yet. Comment from Hadron in the alt.os.linux.ubuntu newsgroup: “Many with a faint heart have given up trying to learn it, but its by far the most powerful offering out there – but to use it you need emacs. When you use emacs, then its like an OS in its own right :)”

Features

Back to top


KLibido

HomeScreenshots

My Review

Features

  • Designed to handle binaries (not for newsreading)

Features (from the web page)

Features:

  • Automatic joining of multi-part posts
  • Automatic decoding of posts, using the uudeview library (yEnc supported) or an internal decoder
  • Multiple servers support, with priorities and fallback if an article fails on a server and is present on another server
  • Queue balancing: KLibido spreads the bytes load across servers with the same priority
  • Multiple download threads per server support, with the ability to add or remove threads “on the fly”
  • Gracefully handles network errors, timeouts, disconnects and out-of-space errors
  • Acceptable (at least, by me :) memory usage (80-100 MB VMRss with several large groups open)
  • Filter articles by subject and state (read, unread, complete, incomplete)
  • Multi tabbed interface in IDEAl mode, to open multiple newsgroups at once
  • KParts interface for previewing posts (.nfo, images, etc…) inside the program
  • .nzb support
  • Download queue management:
    • Pause (and resume) the queue
    • Pause (and resume) the single posts
    • Drag and drop the items around to change the download order
    • Cancel download
    • Lists of finished and failed items
    • Granularity, with the ability to see the progress/status of the whole post and of the single articles of the post
    • The progress of the download is saved and survives program exits/crashes

New features/changes:

  • New option: do not automatically resize columns in headerlist (and remember columns’ sizes)
  • New option: Do not automatically sort by subject (and remember the selected sort column)
  • New option: remember order of columns in headerlists
  • Show progress for decoding
  • New action: move to bottom of the queue
  • Sort by number of articles in available groups list (i.e.: when subscribing to newsgroups)
  • New shortcuts in headerLists: clear filter (Ctrl + C) and jump to the filter entry box (Ctrl + F)
  • New option: don’t show statusbar at startup
  • French translation
  • During db migration/compact, articles are checked for consistency and discarded (KLibido should not crash anymore if there are bogus articles into dbs). A log of the discarded articles is created in the db dir (default: ~/klibido/db)
  • Progress dialog for db migrations

Back to top


Knews

HomeScreenshot

Tucows Knews pageScreenshot

My Review

Versions reviewed: unknown. Also, the home page is unavailable on 2007-12-02.

This is a really odd interface for doing news, but is lightweight and pretty easily figured out. Not my style as far as longterm use, but could be used for quick news checks when no other method of doing newsgroups is yet chosen or installed. In its odd interface is the ability to selectively download messages – either all messages available on the server or x number of messages starting at a specific message number (the message numbers are supplied by Knews). It seems to have the ability to save messages, at least for a session. I’m not certain whether this would carry over to another session. If you save a message in EXAMPLE group and then rescan EXAMPLE group, you lose the saved message. If, however, you return to EXAMPLE group after moving on to another group, the saved message is still there. Like I said, if you need a quick way to check a group, this would work. Not sure whether anyone would choose this as their usual way of reading news, however. Being able to view only one thread at a time, and not necessarily all of it at once (if it’s a long thread) is kind of odd.

Features

Features (from the web page)

Features

  • True threading, with a graphical tree for the threads.
  • Clicking on URLs.
  • Inline images.
  • Full support for reading MIME articles:
    • Handles Content-transfer-encodings QP, base64 and [x-]uue[ncode].
    • You may specify different fonts for different charsets.
    • Experimental support for a few encoding schemes for 16 bit charsets.
    • Assembly of message/partial articles.
    • Understands multipart/* articles.
    • Uses mailcap-viewers for other content-types.
    • RFC1522 decoding of headers. (Those =?iso8859-1?Q?bl=E4?= things)
  • Posting with attachments.
  • Some options that will improve things for people reading over slow lines:
    • Background threading of groups in advance.
    • Doesn’t have to read the active file on startup.
    • May cache group descriptions in a file between sessions.
    • Can use the “LIST ACTIVE wildmat” nntp extension.
    • Caching of thread information (also between sessions).
    • Internal article cache for recently read articles, maximun size 32.
    • Background pre-fetching of up to 32 articles.
    • A mechansim for reading the spool directory.
  • Kill file support. Articles can be
    • marked read (killed), or
    • marked with color blobs (hot), based on regular expressions. Also per-group kill files.
  • Regular expression searching in articles and the newsgroup list.
  • XPAT searching.
  • Sorting of threads.
  • Can use different fonts and colors for quoted text and headers in articles.
  • Lots of action procedures that can be tied to keys.
  • Supports multiple nntp servers.
  • Tagging of articles and saving or piping them in order.
  • Uudecode function. Not perfect, but handles most cases.

Back to top


KNode

HomeScreenshot

My Review

Version reviewed: 4:3.5.6-0

This one was easy to install and set up and added itself to Kontact (default program in Kubuntu) automatically, which was very nice. There’s no way to manually delete messages you’ve already read, or to protect messages you want to keep from being purged. It was also rather buggy on my system when it came to downloading new messages. Sometimes it responded – other times it didn’t. Also, it seems you must be connected to the net to read messages, so this one’s not an offline reader.

Features

  • Offline reading only
  • Can not manually delete messages

Features (from the web page)

Features

  • all basic features of a newsreader (read articles, post articles, threading …)
  • support for multiple newsservers
  • reading and composing of MIME multipart messages
  • inline display of attachments (text and images)
  • support for sending mail via smtp
  • customizable filters
  • full scoring
  • configurable fonts and colors
  • customizable hotkeys for all functions
  • Drag and drop between folders and groups
  • a good looking gui ;-)
  • usage of the mbox-format for folders

Back to top


KRN

HomeScreenshot

My Review

Features

Features (from the web page)

Features:

  • Friendly KDE based interface.
  • Offline capabilities.
  • Multiple server support.
  • Article scoring (like killfiles, only different).
  • Powerful database backend.
  • Article threading.
  • Powerful binary decoder (automatic multipart grouping planned)

Back to top


Lucy

HomeScreenshot

My Review

Features

Features (from the web page)

For years I had wondered why perl, a language that was originally designed to work with internet news systems, didn’t have a news reader of its own. Although there are some other perl based usenet programs available, these seemed designed primarily for binary downloads or web based gateways. So, I started working on a termcap based reader.

The advantage of having a newsreader written in perl is that you can extend it or customize it with relative ease.

Target audience

Lucy is for power users already familiar with usenet. It won’t hold your hand or nag you about proper etiquette. In fact, you are free to edit all the headers of your posts, if you want. (You can even violate the RFC protocols for usenet, and Lucy won’t complain unless you ask it to) This may seem like a bug, but I don’t consider it as such, it’s designed for people who are already familiar with usenet.

This newsreader is ideally suited to perl programmers. The examples include a skeleton outline for adding text-to-speech capabilities (for blind users, it works on a mac through the osascript command) as well as a built in regular expression calculator.

Lucy has many of the features you would expect from a contemporary news reader, and even a few you wouldn’t. It uses a command mode (similar in concept to the vi series of editors, but without the modes) All the keys are bind-able, that is, you can bind key(s) to the various commands.

Some of the other things it supports are subject and newsgroup filtering, lets suppose you wanted to narrow down your list of newsgroups to those containing “perl” in their names, Lucy lets you do this.

The command interface

One of the frustrating things about newsreaders (or any software programs for that matter) is remembering the keystroke to perform an action you seldom use. This is where a command interface comes in handy, commands are easier to remember than keystrokes.

When Term::ReadLine::Gnu is installed (highly recommended) command completion is available, so you only have to type a portion of the command to get a list of them. Lucy also has online help.

Swift – Like a rabbit

At first, one would be tempted to believe a perl newsreader would be slow, this is not the case with Lucy, its startup time is much faster than most other newsreaders because it will not contact the server until you’ve selected a group.

To minimize the startup time, it will load its perl modules dynamically. To improve loading time of your newsrc it uses its own variant of News::Newsrc (With dynamic creation of Set::IntSpan objects)

Currently, it requires the news server to support the XOVER command, most servers already do this (It was developed with the leafnode news server). You will find that using XOVER is much faster than downloading headers.

The UNIX way

Whenever possible, it will use external programs. This was one of the things I didn’t care for about other newsreaders, I wanted to use my favorite pager (less) to page articles, and I wanted to use my favorite mail program (mutt) for email. I don’t like having different pagers for different programs. Furthermore, you’ve probably configured your email program to your settings, why should a news reader implement its own mail interface?

To make the pager work better within the newsreader, you can configure it to use the program exit code as a keystroke. This is very handy with the lesskey utility. With this approach, jumping from ‘less’ straight into a followup is possible.

Usenet Binaries

Lucy now has better support for usenet binaries, with background downloading. (Select files to download, it figures out which parts are needed and then downloads them)

It has several new commands to help in binary readings, such as a binary thread model.

To install, unpack it wherever you want, run perl install.pl and it’ll check for modules it thinks it needs, offering to run CPAN for you. It’ll then create a simple shell script for running Lucy.

Back to top


Mahogany

HomeScreenshots

My Review

Features

Features (from the web page)

List of Features

The following information tends to be a bit outdated, but it gives a rough overview over what the program can do or will do soon. This list is not at all exhaustive.

You could also be interested to have a look at our M4_CvsLink(roadmap, doc/RoadMap.txt) to see what is coming next.

  • Full support for SMTP, POP3, IMAP, NNTP and several different mail folder file formats (including MBOX, MBX and MH).
  • Support for multiple mail folders and servers, possibility to check many incoming mail folders.
  • Full MIME support, MIME editing in composition window, support for external viewers. Support for inline display of graphics in mail viewer, no external viewer needed. Support for clickable URLs. Nicely formatted printing of messages.
  • Sorting and threading of messages including support for server-side sorting and threading for IMAP servers.
  • Optional HTML viewing.
  • Support for fax receiving via EFax.com.
  • Support for X-Faces and user-defined message headers.
  • Embedded python interpreter for powerful scripting with full object-oriented access to Mahogany’s internal structures and classes.
  • Powerful complete address and contact management database, including optional auto-collection of addresses from emails.
  • Extensive configurability, optionally different configurations for different mail folders.
  • Full internationalisation support, Mahogany can speak your language.
  • User-friendly GUI, Unix version based on GTK.
  • Full support for emacs BBDB email address databases.
  • Tree-based hierarchical folder management in main window.
  • Context sensitive, HTML based help system.
  • Secure communications for all protocols over SSL and/or TLS.
  • Easy to use and powerful filtering options.
  • PalmOS handheld mail sending and synchronisation.
  • Message templates for fully configurable replies and easy message editing.
  • Extensive search options (by author, subject, full text, etc).
  • Support for Fax mailers.
  • Dialup network management.

Currently under development

  • GPG/PGP encryption support.
  • Multi-threaded folder access to avoid lock-ups during message retrieval.
  • Drag and Drop interaction with Midnight Commander (GNOME file manager) and KDE’s kfm
  • User-friendly newsgroup and IMAP subscription management.
  • Full PalmOS addressbook synchronisation.X

Back to top


Mutt

Home
Screenshots

My Review

Features

  • Handles email and news.

Features (from the web page)

Some of Mutt’s features include:

  • color support
  • message threading
  • MIME support (including RFC2047 support for encoded headers)
  • PGP/MIME (RFC2015)
  • various features to support mailing lists, including list-reply
  • active development community
  • POP3 support
  • IMAP support
  • full control of message headers when composing
  • support for multiple mailbox formats (mbox, MMDF, MH, maildir)
  • highly customizable, including keybindings and macros
  • change configuration automatically based on recipients, current folder, etc.
  • searches using regular expressions, including an internal pattern matching language
  • Delivery Status Notification (DSN) support
  • postpone message composition indefinetly for later recall
  • easily include attachments when composing, even from the command line
  • ability to specify alternate addresses for recognition of mail forwarded from other accounts, with ability to set the From: headers on replies/etc. accordingly
  • multiple message tagging
  • reply to or forward multiple messages at once
  • .mailrc style configuration files
  • easy to install (uses GNU autoconf)
  • compiles against either curses/ncurses or S-lang
  • translation into at least 20 languages
  • small and efficient
  • It’s free! (no cost and GPL’ed)

Back to top


nn

Home

My Review

Features

Features (from the web page)

Some of the key features of nn are:

  • Menu-based article selection prior to reading the articles, with the articles sorted according to subject and posting time. This significantly reduces the time spent on news reading. No keystrokes are wasted on articles you don’t want to read, and only the articles selected on the menu will be read.
  • Uses standard .newsrc, and can leave individual articles unread.
  • Digests are automatically split and presented as ordinary articles! You can transparently save and respond to individual sub-articles.
  • Full folder support: read, save, and delete individual articles.
  • Online help and manual.
  • Built-in unshar and patch functions.
  • Built-in uudecode function which will automatically unpack, concatenate, and decode multi-part postings.
  • Easy remapping of keys with advanced macro definition features.
  • Automatic kill & selection of articles based on subject or author.
  • User specified presentation sequence of news groups based on the news group hierarchy.
  • Whole classes of news groups can easily be unsubscribed permanently, e.g., talk.all and all.politics
  • Related groups can be merged and presented as a single group, e.g. comp.emacs and all gnu.emacs groups.

Back to top


Pan

HomeScreenshots from current version

My Review

Versions reviewed: 0.14.2.91-2 and 0.120

Both versions of Pan that I tried and listed below are close runners up to Claws Mail, but neither is quite as customizable or powerful. Both are lightning fast when it comes to downloading headers and bodies. If I were coming from Windows and wanted a Forte Agent clone and didn’t want to take a chance on not necessarily stable software (i.e.: Claws Mail), I’d use Pan. Of the two versions below, I feel that version 0.14.2.91-2 is the better one. The noticeable differences:

Version 0.14.2.91-2:

  1. Offers more visible scoring (coloring of the Subject column as well as the Score column, making scoring much easier to see at a glance).
  2. Offers more robust rules than version 0.120.
  3. Offers user-defined folders.

Version 0.120:

  1. Has reliable retention of cached (downloaded) bodies.

Features (version 0.120)

  • Handles attachments.
  • Articles can be searched by subject or author.
  • Capable of offline reading.
  • Delete messages by either configuring Pan to delete messages after a specified amount of time in the News Servers preferences, or by right-clicking a message or messages and choosing Delete Article, or by hitting the delete key while a message or messages are highlighted.
  • There’s no padlock feature to protect messages you want to keep from deletion, but you can score those with a highly visible marker by selecting Watch Thread from the right-click menu.
  • Scoring can be done in various stages from Watch Thread to Ignore Thread. The method of display for scoring can be configured.
  • Supports multiple servers and binaries.
  • Supports multiple signatures.
  • You cannot send HTML messages.
  • You cannot colorize headers.
  • You cannot create folders to place messages in within Pan, but Pan will let you save messages to any location on your hard drive.
  • Three levels of user-defined quote coloring are available for message bodies as well as coloring for URLs and signatures.
  • Various layouts are available.
  • You cannot review sent messages in Pan – at least not from within it.
  • Messages aren’t marked as having been replied to.
  • Messages can be marked read.
  • Messages can display bold, underline and smilies as graphics.
  • Threaded messages auto-expand when you click on them.
  • Can display X-faces.
  • Can combine multi-part posts.

Features (version 0.14.2.91-2)

  • Handles attachments.
  • Articles can be searched by Subject, Author or Message-ID.
  • Capable of offline reading.
  • Delete messages by right-clicking and selecting Delete from the menu, or by pressing the Delete key on the keyboard.
  • There’s no padlock feature to protect messages you want to keep from deletion, but you can score those with a highly visible marker by selecting Watch Thread from the right-click menu.
  • Scoring can be done in various stages from Watch Thread to Ignore Thread. The method of display for scoring can be configured. A (user defined) colored highlight is provided in the score column and can be optionally added to the subject column, making it easy to tell at a glance which messages are being watched, ignored, etc.
  • You can set up custom filters and rules from within the program or by editing the score file.
  • Supports multiple servers and binaries.
  • You cannot send HTML messages with this one.
  • You cannot colorize headers.
  • Three levels of user-defined quote coloring are available for message bodies as well as coloring for URLs and signatures.
  • You can copy messages to folders within Pan, but not move them there. You can display Pan default (and user defined) folders independently of the newsgroup display, but not both on the screen at once.
  • Various layouts are available.
  • Messages aren’t marked as having been replied to, although you can go into the default Pan.sent folder to view your replies.
  • Messages can be marked read.
  • Can handle followup subject header changes.
  • Can combine multi-part posts.
  • Stores sent messages for later review.

How To

How to install version 0.14.2.91-2

Download the deb file from here.

The md5sum for pan_0.14.2.91-2ubuntu3_i386.deb is:

f5923d0a2ac7b3b07bc73a9e490186b7

To check the md5sum:

  1. Open a terminal and type:
  2. cd Desktop
  3. Then type:
  4. md5sum pan_0.14.2.91-2ubuntu3_i386.deb
  5. Make sure you have these files installed. If not, install them before installing Pan. Pan depends on them:
  6. libaspell15 (>= 0.50.5) [mipsel] - The GNU Aspell spell-checker runtime toolkits
    libatk1.0-0 (>= 1.6.0) - The ATK accessibility toolkit
    libc6 (>= 2.3.2.ds1-4) [not alpha, ia64] - GNU C Library: Shared libraries and Timezone data
    libc6.1 (>= 2.3.2.ds1-4) [alpha, ia64] - GNU C Library: Shared libraries and Timezone data
    libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.4.1) - The GLib library of C routines
    libgnet2.0-0 (>= 2.0.4) - GNet network library
    libgtk2.0-0 (>= 2.4.4) - The GTK+ graphical user interface library
    libgtkspell0 (>= 2.0.2) - a spell-checking addon for GTK's TextView widget
    libpango1.0-0 (>= 1.4.1) - Layout and rendering of internationalized text
    libpango1.0-common - Modules and configuration files for the Pango
    libpcre3 (>= 4.5) - Perl 5 Compatible Regular Expression Library - runtime files
    libxml2 (>= 2.6.11) - GNOME XML library
    zlib1g (>= 1:1.2.1) - compression library - runtime
  7. Open a terminal window and type:
  8. cd Desktop
  9. Then type:
  10. sudo dpkg -i pan_0.14.2.91
  11. If you get error messages, read them to see if you can resolve them. Most likely you would see unmet dependencies from the list above. If so, once again make sure you have all of the files from that list. If you get different error messages, feel free to share those in the alt.os.linux.ubuntu newsgroup and we’ll figure them out. Once you feel you’ve fixed the errors, run the command again. If you can run it without error messages, you’ve installed Pan. Close the terminal window.
  12. You’ll probably have to make your own shortcut for Pan. Create a new shortcut using ‘/usr/bin/pan’ as the command.

How to work offline in version 0.14.2.91-2

Offline reading can be done one of three ways:

  1. Right-click the group name, select “Get New Headers and Bodies”.
  2. Highlight the headers in the header pane and select “Download” from the Articles menu.
  3. In the Edit menu choose “Preferences…” and place an X in the box for “Download new headers and bodies from subscribed groups when starting Pan”.

How to determine followup subject header change behavior in version 0.14.2.91-2

Go to Edit -> Preferences… -> Header Pane there’s a check box for When a Followup subject header changes, show as new thread.

How to mark messages read in either version

Messages can be marked read by pressing m on the keyboard while highlighting the message header. Entire threads can be marked read the same way by making sure Thread Header Pane is selected under the View menu, collapsing the thread, highlighting the header of the first message and pressing m on the keyboard.

How to keep settings when upgrading to version 0.120 from version 0.14.2.91

Click here for instructions.

How to work offline in version 0.120

Offline reading can be done by selecting all messages in a group and choosing Cache Article from the right-click menu. The “Work Online” entry in the File menu toggles online and offline mode.

How to hide/show quoted text in Pan 0.120

In the menus go to View -> Body Pane -> Mute Quoted Text and left-click it to select it. Or just use the q key on your keyboard to toggle it.

How to use a signature file in Pan 0.120

  1. In the menus, go to Edit -> Edit Posting Profiles.
  2. Left-click on your profile and click the Edit button.
  3. In the Signature section place an X in the Use a Signature box.
  4. Click the Browse… button to browse to your signature file.
  5. In the Signature Type section select Text File.
  6. Click the Apply button.
  7. Close Posting Profiles.

Back to top


Pine

Home Screenshot

My Review

Features

  • Handles email and news.

Features (from the web page)

Features

  • Online help specific to each screen and context.
  • Message index showing a message summary which includes the status, sender, size, date and subject of messages.
  • Commands to view and process messages: Forward, Reply, Save, Export, Print, Delete, capture address, and search.
  • Message composer with easy-to-use editor and spelling checker. The message composer also assists entering and formatting addresses and provides direct access to the address book.
  • Address book for saving long complex addresses and personal distribution lists under a nickname.
  • Message attachments via the Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) specification. MIME allows sending/receiving non-text objects, such as binary files, spreadsheets, graphics, and sound.
  • Folder management commands for creating, deleting, listing, or renaming message folders. Folders may be local or on remote hosts.
  • Access to remote message folders and archives via the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP).
  • Internet news support via either NNTP or IMAP.
  • Aggregate operations, e.g. saving a selected set of messages at once.

Back to top


SeaMonkey

Home

My Review

Features

Features (from the web page)

Mail & Newsgroups

Junk mail controls helps you take back control of your e-mail from spammers. SeaMonkey’s adaptive junk mail control gets smarter with use and is personalized to the e-mail that you receive.

Manage your mail with customizable Labels and Mail Views. Color code your e-mail to help you prioritize. Sort your mail with views to help you through your e-mail much faster.

Multiple Accounts support helps you manage all your mail through one interface.

SeaMonkey Messenger includes Enterprise ready features such as S/MIME, return receipts, Address Books, LDAP support, and digital signing.

Back to top


slrn

HomeScreenshots

My Review

Version reviewed: 0.9.8.1pl1-28

This reader is currently under review. This information will change! Here’s what I have on it so far. This one is not for the faint of heart. It will take a bit of work to get it set up properly. Once done, this reader beats all the rest for sheer speed. This is a powerful, highly configurable newsreader which comes with some very detailed instructions to help you in your efforts to customize it. I recommend visiting Andrew’s page (see below in the How To section) to get you started.

Features

  • Online reader (for offline reading use slrnpull or Leafnode).
  • Can use SSL.
  • Supports mouse in some terminals.
  • Supports X faces.
  • Can score and color messages.
  • Messages can be threaded.
  • Supports message forwarding.
  • Supports multiple news servers.
  • Has no default editor – can use any editor.
  • Can be set up to beep at you to get your attention.
  • Fully configurable header display.
  • Messages can be cancelled if the server supports it.
  • Customizable headers.
  • Cusbomizable message sort order.
  • Can hide pgp signatures.
  • Can hide quoted text.
  • Can hide signatures.
  • Can use macros.
  • Can provide netiquette warnings.
  • Can handle broken (renamed) threads.
  • Has autosave.
  • Messages can be saved.
  • User customizable scrolling.
  • Supports signature files.
  • ….

How To

How to install

Andrew from alt.os.linux.ubuntu has a detailed page for slrn and is looking after the slrn website as well.

Back to top


Sylpheed

Home

My Review

Version reviewed: 2.3.1-1~ubuntu1.1

I got this one installed quite easily and it was a breeze to put in all the necessary information to connect and get messages. What I couldn’t find was a way to manually delete messages once I’d read them, or to protect messages I didn’t want purged later. It seems it’s more of an online reader, so this one’s a no for me. It does run lightning fast, however, in comparison with all the other newsreaders. I don’t do binaries myself, but I hear it chokes when asked to handle large binary groups.

Features

Features (from the web page)

Sylpheed has the following features. Read more…

  • Simple, beautiful, and well-polished user interface
  • Comfortable operationality which is built in detail
  • Well-organized, easy-to-understand configuration
  • Lightweight operation
  • High reliability
  • Internationalization and Multilingualization support
  • High-level Japanese processing
  • Various protocols support
  • Security features (GnuPG, SSL/TLSv1)
  • Powerful filtering and search
  • Junk mail control
  • Flexible cooperation with external commands

Back to top


Tass

Home

My Review

Features

Features (from the web page)

Tass is a full screen threaded newsreader, inspired by the Plato Notes system. I wrote Tass because I “learned” the Usenet on Notes and couldn’t stand rn. Iaian Lea added many features to Tass and renamed it to Tin (Tin stands for Tass + Iaian’s Newsreader).

Back to top


Thunderbird

Home

My Review

Version reviewed: 2.0.0.0

This reader is kind of slow to scroll on my system. I couldn’t figure out how to change the font sizes. It will let me change settings, but nothing visible happens. It’s also quite sloppy as far as cleaning up after itself. If you add a news or mail account and remove it using Thunderbird, you’ll need to go into your Thunderbird profile folder to manually remove the stuff left behind. This is a popular email program and newsreader, and makes switching over to Linux from Windows easy since you can bring all of your emails and news over to the Linux version by copying over the appropriate files.

Features

  • Email and newsreader.
  • Can work offline.
  • Messages can be marked with a star for later body download while in offline mode.
  • Can display emoticons as graphics.
  • Can show an alert and/or play a sound when new messages arrive.
  • Default text and background colors can be changed.
  • Fonts can be configured by the user.
  • Uses (default and user-defined) colored tags to categorize messages, making the header a different color from default.
  • Can view and send HTML messages.
  • Has address auto-completion.
  • Uses spell checking.
  • Can filter junk.
  • Can check for email scams.
  • Cooperates with anti-virus clients.
  • Can enter your account passwords for you.
  • Can handle incoming and outgoing attachments.
  • Can remember last selected message.
  • Has return receipt configuration.
  • Can compact folders.
  • Can automatically check for and install updates (this is on by default).
  • Can manage certificates, revocation lists, verification and security devices.
  • Can save individual messages to any folder on the computer as .eml files which can be opened from within Thunderbird as newsgroup messages.
  • Can forward messages.
  • Can print messages.
  • Can edit a copy of any message.
  • Can filter on Subject, From or Date, with multiple conditions possible.
  • Can search messages on Subject, Sender, Subject or Sender, To or CC, and Entire Message.
  • Can save entire search to a (user selected) folder within Thunderbird.
  • Can import Address Books, Mail and Settings.
  • Can customize toolbars and layout.
  • Can run more than one instance at once (i.e.: open a group in another instance).

How To

How to migrate your mail from KMail to Thunderbird

  1. Open KMail and right-click Local Folders.
  2. Select New Folder… from the menu.
  3. Type myinbox as the name in the box provided.
  4. Select mbox as the Mailbox Format.
  5. Click the OK button.
  6. Using KMail, copy the messages in your inbox into the myinbox folder you just created.
  7. Exit KMail.
  8. Open a terminal window.
  9. Type (or copy and paste) this into the terminal window:
  10. cd ~/.kde/share/apps/kmail/mail
  11. Type this into the terminal window, substituting your information for the information given in the example:
  12. cp /myinbox "~/.mozilla-thunderbird/XXXXXXXX.default/Mail/Local Folders/myinbox"

    Note: Replace .mozilla-thunderbird in this command with the name of the directory you installed Thunderbird into. If you don’t remember which directory it’s in, right-click the shortcut you use to run Thunderbird and look at the properties of the shurtcut. Pay special attention to the Command section.

    Note: Replace XXXXXXXX with the name of your default directory. To find out what it’s named, open your file manager in your home directory. Enable Show Hidden Files and find the Thunderbird directory. Inside that directory will be a directory with a name beginning with eight numbers and letters and ending in .default.

  13. Close the terminal window.
  14. Open Thunderbird. You’ll find your KMail messages in the myinbox folder.

Back to top


Tin

Home Screenshots

My Review

Features

  • Runs in a terminal window.

Features (from the web page)

tin is a threaded NNTP and spool based UseNet newsreader for a variety of platforms.

Back to top


trn

Home

My Review

No idea how to configure this one. I got it to run and tell me something was amiss with my access file, but it wouldn’t tell me where or what that file was. Will try this one again later.

Features

Features (from the web page)

Description

trn4 is a threaded version of the old rn newsreader, with roughly the same key definitions and look. It displays the thread tree in the corner of the screen, and has customizeable macros and regular-expression killfiles. It also includes Pnews4, a stand-alone program for posting news articles, and in the latest version incorporates the scoring features of strn.

Back to top


Trulsnews

HomeScreenshot

My Review

Features

Features (from the web page)

I and a couple of friends have made a gui news-reader based on Motif. It currently runs on (at least) Solaris 2 and Linux. It is written in c++ and compiles with g++.

Back to top


XPN

HomeScreenshots

My Review

Version reviewed: 0.7.0

This one requires no install. Just uncompress it and run ./xpn.py to launch the program. It can work offline. Initial download of a group is rather slow (several minutes per group) on my (admittedly low-end, but not that bad HP Pavilion ze5185) system, but once finished it handles itself well speed-wise. Fetching new headers must be done manually. You cannot colorize headers. Replying to messages can be done by keyboard command or by clicking on an icon in the toolbar. The right-click menu doesn’t offer any options for writing messages. Changing the background color changes the color of the background of every other article in the headers pane, and the full background of the groups and message pane. I changed the settings for defining custom header text and background color, but couldn’t seem to find where in the program this change takes place. If I find it, I’ll post here. Whirled Peas from the alt.os.linux.ubuntu newsgroup says it marks articles you’ve replied to.

Features

  • Is available in English, Italian, French and German.
  • Can download bodies automatically, making it possible to work offline.
  • Can not delete articles manually. To remove articles, one must set up purging, which is handled automatically by XPN.
  • Can score messages.
  • Can mark threads to watch.
  • Can mark messages to keep.
  • Can handle ROT13.
  • Can add random taglines to your messages (adds them as the first line of the sig).
  • Supports ROT13.
  • Can define an external editor.
  • Can define custom colors for text, three levels of quotes, URLs and your sig.
  • Can define custom background color.
  • Can define custom header text and background color.
  • Can define custom Charset.
  • Customizable headers.
  • Five layouts to choose from.
  • Can reply by email.
  • Displays X-faces.
  • One-key reading (space bar takes you from one message to the next and scrolls through the message one screen at a time (CTRL + SPACE scrolls backwards inside a message).
  • Offers an Outbox with which you can manage outgoing, sent and drafted mails and articles.
  • Can cancel articles you wrote (dependent on server support).
  • Can supercede articles you wrote (dependent on server support).
  • Can search globally on From, Subject, Message-ID, References and Body.
  • Customizable keyboard shortcuts.

Features (from the web page)

  • On-Line/Off-Line Mode
  • MIME Standards
  • Scoring
  • Multiple Layouts
  • Colors
  • Random TagLines
  • X-Face
  • Internationalization

Back to top



XRN

Home Screenshot

My Review

Features

Features (from the web page)

Notable features of XRN include:

  • As of XRN version 9.00, article threading is supported.
  • XRN warns the user when he is composing a followup which will be posted to multiple newsgroups (i.e., cross-posted). Furthermore, when the user submits an article for posting, XRN warns the user if his article will be posted in an excessive number of newsgroups, and asks if he wants to re-edit the article to post to fewer groups. Finally, the person who installs XRN at a site may configure it to completely prohibit postings to more than a specified number of newsgroups.
  • XRN has numerous features for utilizing bandwidth more efficiently when communicating with the server over a slow network, e.g., over a SLIP or PPP connection.
  • XRN supports NNTP authentication, including traditional user-name/password authentication and “AUTHINFO GENERIC” authentication. If you need to specify a user-name and password to connect to your NNTP server, XRN will probably do what you need.
  • XRN’s interface is highly configurable — all XRN commands can be accessed through either buttons or key bindings, and you can control exactly which buttons are visible and the order in which they appear. Furthermore, since XRN uses the standard Xt mechanism for defining key bindings, you can redefine any of the key bindings to suit your personal preferences.
  • XRN supports newsgroup-specific signature files, hierarchy-specific signature files, executable signature files (i.e., XRN will run your signature file as a program and use the program’s output as your message signature), and any combination of these.
  • XRN does extensive pre-fetching while you are reading News, so that when you’re ready to move on, what you’re going to see next usually has already been retrieved from the server.
  • XRN can scan for new articles in the background while you are reading News, so you don’t have to wait for it to check for new articles in all groups before you can read any of them.
  • XRN has support for multi-lingual messages, button labels, etc. Currently, German and French supported; other languages can be added easily.

Back to top



XVNews

Home

My Review

Features

Features (from the web page)

XVNews is a Usenet newsreader based on the XView toolkit. It dates from the early 1990s and is getting a bit long in the tooth. It’s completely lacking in support for HTML, MIME, XML, drag-and-drop, or anything similar. Some of us still love it.



Obligatory Happy Ending

And they all lived happily ever after. The end.

Back to top

4 Comments »

  1. Thanks for the review … but please be informed that the current version is 1.2.6, 0.7 is quite old ;)
    Regards.

    Comment by Nemesis — June 4, 2010 @ 6:26 am

    • Yeah, sorry about that. :( I figured I’d put which version I reviewed so anyone who looked over any reviews would at least know that, and hopefully go to the page of the actual software to see if there are new versions. I no longer use newsreaders, so I think I should change the introduction of this page. I can’t take this page down, though, because it’s one of the most popular pages on the blog, and it’s still serving its initial purpose, which is to gather together as many Linux newsreaders as possible into one place so it’s easy to check them all out. :)

      Comment by mostlylinux — June 4, 2010 @ 10:00 am

  2. One notable major difference between a BBS or web forum and also Usenet is the absence of a central server and also dedicated administrator.

    Comment by Arturo Vannuland — June 13, 2010 @ 3:45 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: