Download: Latest version is 1.0.0

Version 1.0.0 was released on February 24, 2004. Newstap software and documentation copyright (c) 2000-2004 Aaron Trickey, and is released under the terms of the GNU GPL.

About newstap

Newstap is a program for retrieving news from one or more sources, formatting it appropriately, and delivering it to one or more destinations as regular electronic mail messages (directly to files, via external programs, or via SMTP). It currently only (usefully) supports NNTP news retrieval, although it supports that fairly well.

Newstap aims to be flexible, relatively easy to set up, and fast. It can be compared to the common `fetchmail' program in that you set it up once and forget about it; just run it periodically to populate your inbox.

I have let this software sit idle for several years. Recently, I was contacted by a user who needed simple authentication support; this prompted not only that feature's introduction, but also a handful of cleanups and bugfixes. More importantly, it got me using the software again. The current release is 1.0.0; while it doesn't do everything it could, it does what it does well. Please let me know if you find otherwise!


I provide a source archive that should compile and install on any system with GNU Make, GCC, and a Unixy set of C libraries. Just type make and make install. I compile and use it under Slackware 9.1; I have also compiled and tested it under Redhat 9 and Cygwin/Windows 2000, and heard that it works well under Debian.

In addition, Matej Cepl has created a Debian package. I don't use Debian myself, so I'm limited in how much I can support it, but I uploaded it to SourceForge for the convenience of Debian users.

Basic Usage

I have placed an HTMLized version of the manpage online, so you can read more details. What follows is a quick glimpse to see if Newstap meets your needs.

To use Newstap, you must create a configuration file. Following Unix tradition, it should be located in your home directory and named ".newstaprc". Once that file is set up, you simply run "newstap" whenever you want to fetch messages; the configuration file is the only thing you have to set up. (Newstap will create one other file, ".newstap.state", to keep its current state between runs.) Here is an example .newstaprc:

deliver message | procmail

nntp {
    group alt.immortal.super-grover

What that instructs Newstap to do is:

Now, Newstap configuration files can be far more complex than that; you can use any number of NNTP servers, you can use multiple forms of message delivery, you can limit downloads by article counts or byte counts, you can specify different options for different servers or groups, and more. Refer to the manpage for an in-depth overview of the configuration file; since Newstap has no other configuration method, that's about all the manpage needs to talk about.

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