NGLister(1) Tool to download newsgroup information from news servers


nglister [ -u username ] [ -p password ] [ -P port ] hostname filename

nglister -h | --help


NGLister is a tool to download information about groups and other information available on an NNTP (Usenet news) server. It is designed to be fast and simple; just specify the server and the information you want, and NGLister will send it to standard output.

You can write the information to a file by appending:

> filename

to the end of your command-line.


To install NGLister, you will need a current version of Python <URL:>. NGLister requires only one other piece of software: Optik. You can find it at

To install, run this command as root: python install


-u username
Specifies the user name to use for logging into the server. Use this only if your server requires authentication.
-p password
Specifies the password to use for logging into the server. Use this only if your server requires a password.
-P port
Specifies the numeric port to use when connecting. Most servers listen on port 119, the default NNTP port, so that value is used by the default. This option will only be needed rarely.
Specifies the name of the NNTP server.
Specifies the name of the data to retrieve from the remote NNTP server. Most people will use active or newsgroups here. The set of files supported varies from one server to the next. Please note that this parameter does not denote an output filename or even a real filename; just the type of information you want from the server. Here is a list of commonly-supported information types. Additional items are specified in RFC2980 <URL:> with the LIST command.
  • active lists all newsgroups and describes their numbering.
  • newsgroups lists the newsgroup descriptions. Note that most servers do not carry descriptions for all groups, and the groups that lack a description will not be listed here at all.
  • active.times describes how recently each newsgroup has seen activity.
  • motd shows the server's "Message Of The Day" -- that is, current news about the server.
Displays brief usage help.


  • Network News Transport Protocol as specified in RFC 977
  • Common NNTP Extensions as specified in RFC 2980
  • Standard Python 2.2.1 as implemented on POSIX-compliant systems.


NGLister and this manual, are Copyright (C) 2003 John Goerzen.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place, Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA


NGLister its libraries, documentation, and all included files, was written by John Goerzen <[email protected]> and copyright is held as stated in the COPYRIGHT section.

NGLister may be downloaded from the Subversion repository <URL:> or from the Debian package page <URL:>.