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Use a Newsreader: A Guide to the TYPO3 Newsgroups

TYPO3 is known for its grand community providing great support on a very familiar and friendly basis. Beginners, advanced users and experts are sharing their great knowledge and helping so-called "newbies" on a daily basis.

This tutorial will give you a short overview of the advantages of a newsreader and it will hopefully motivate you to do "the switch" from mailing lists to the newsgroups. It's simple and it's really worth it!

A better way of distributing messages

Messages from the mailing lists are simply mails, pouring into your mailbox like any other email. If you use the newsgroups, these messages (often called "postings", not mails) are fetched, managed and also sent from a special program (a "newsreader", or "news client"). You surely have gotten used to your favorite mailing lists, and that's ok, because each mailing list represents a newsgroup or vice versa. So you won't have to learn something new when it comes to the structure.

Advantages of the Newsgroups

There are a lot of advantages of using newsgroups instead of mailing lists:

  • Clear separation of mails (your mailbox) and postings. No need for setting up filters in you mail program to keep track of the info that comes in.Everything sits nicely where it belongs.
  • Threading: "threaded view" is the most powerful feature you have when you do it "the newsgroup way". It means that you have a view of coherent messages, which gives you a visual impression of how the discussion went (who answers who etc.).
  • Easier subscribing/unsubscribing to groups. Just a few clicks, and you can easily add groups or remove the ones you don't want to follow any more. You could - for example - download all headers of a special group, select the postings you are interested in (maybe months old), get the info you wanted and then unsubscribe. This flexibility is simply not possible using the mailing list. Unlike mailing lists, the newsserver does not require any subscription!
  • Get organized! Newsgroups can be ordered nicely to the criteria of your choice, time, author, thread name...You can even filter out authors or topics you don't want to be bothered with. Keep your mailbox clean, and have a better overview on what's happening in the TYPO3 community.
  • Save traffic! Since you only get the headers of the messages, it's your own decision which mails you want to download (read) and which not. This is the big reason why everybody should use accurate subjects for their messages.
Doing it the newsgroup way! Setting it up:

Even if you don't know it, you most likely have a newsreader (or "news client") on your computer. For example: Microsoft Outlook Express (which is not the No.1 choice, by the way). Recommended newsreaders are Mozilla Thunderbird, Mozilla (the suite) or Opera (includes a newsreader, too).

We can't go into details about all the news clients around (more info here: OpenDirectory about newsreaders), but if you are undecided, here is the recommendation: use the great mail/newsclient Thunderbird by Mozilla. It's free, works on most platforms and sticks to the standards. We like that.

If, for some reasons, you have to use Outlook Express, please, do us a favor: install the small program Quotefix for OE to correct some errors of Outlook's newsreader.

To connect to the newsserver you need the following information:

  • Servernamenntp://
    (Depending on your newsreader you might first have a menu, where you choose that you want to use a newsgroup and where you then only have to provide the servername without protocol; that means only as
  • Serverport: 119
    (If you see a checkbox for activating a secure connection via SSL, do not activate it. This would change the port you use to 563, which is currently not supported.)
  • No authentication is required to communicate with the server.

If you have trouble accessing newsgroups from your workplace, school etc., it might be an issue to talk about with your network administrator; this person should enable port 119 (NNTP) to make newsgroups work.

Note for Thunderbird users

One more tip for Thunderbird users: If you want to always see the threads with the latest replies sorted at the top, go to

"View -> Sort by -> Group by Thread" and then "View -> Sort by -> Date".

There you go, the threads with the latest messages will be sorted at the top!