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slrn is a text-based news client. It runs through a textual user interface and is highly customizable. It uses the S-Lang library.


To run slrn, you will have to set up an environment variable with the newsgroups server you wish to use (it is a good idea to put it into your .bashrc so you don't have to export it again for each session):


Two important slrn configuration files are .slrnrc for basic configuration and .jnewsrc that contains the list of newsgroups.

To create .slrnrc from a sample startup file for slrn:

# cp /usr/share/doc/slrn/slrnrc /home/your_username/.slrnrc

To create .jnewsrc, run the following:

# slrn -f /home/your_username/.jnewsrc --create

User account

To set up your newsgroup account, you have to set up the following parameters in .slrnrc

set username "desired_username"
set hostname "desired_hostname"
set replyto "some_name <>"


To set up a signature uncomment the following line in .slrnrc:

set signature ".signature"

Also, you have to create .signature file in your home folder and put your signature in it.


To set up encoding (i.e. utf8) uncomment the following lines in .slrnrc:

charset display utf8
charset outgoing utf8

Displaying all posts

By default slrn will only shows unread posts. If you are used to having all posts listed in a certain newsgroup, this will be a big change for you. To have all posts listed add the following to your .slrnrc:

setkey group "set_prefix_argument(4); () = select_group();" " "

See Also

  • slrn Official slrn website.
  • slrn FAQ slrn frequently asked questions