nngrab(1) news retrieval by keyword (nn)


nngrab [ -c ] keyword


nngrab invokes nn on all USENET articles whose subject (or keyword) field(s) contain an instance of keyword. nngrab is a fast equivalent for:

       nn -mxX -s/keyword all

For example,

       nngrab tesla

will retrieve items concerning Nikola Tesla.

Keyword case is ignored unless -c is specified, and the keyword can be a regular expressions (escaped to avoid conflicts with the shell). For example,

       nngrab "n.*tesla"

The range of search includes all newsgroups on the system, including ones which are unsubscribed.


$db/subjects  subject database


nngrab can be much faster than the equivalent command shown above, if the tertiary news subject database generated by the nnspew(8) daemon exists. To enable the faster operation, nnspew must be executed regularly by cron.

nngrab uses egrep(1) to scan the subject database, so if you are not running fast egrep (GNU-style) this is all for naught.

nngrab will use a subject database generated by nnspew independent of its age. Thus, if you stop running nnspew, remember to remove the subjects file as well.


Under version 6.4 onwards, search of the "Keywords:" field is not supported.
Search on name is not possible either.


James A. Woods, NASA Ames Research Center
E-mail: [email protected]