Configuring a Linux Newsgroup (NNTP) Server

Linux OS Configuration

A basic installation is sufficient to provide what you need. You need to only networking support and a few other minor applications, such as lynx and some configuration utilities. No XWindows or any other servers. The only thing out of the ordinary that you need is the development tools, specifically the GCC compiler. The problem you will face is that the version of INND that ships with Red Hat has some configuration issues out of the box. Several of the configuration unities generate errors and you will have a hard time making the server start. Install your server without the “news server” and manually download the source code for inn from

Downloading and Installing INND

INND is written and maintained as INN by Internet Software Consortium. In addition to INN, ISC maintains and writes BIND (Berkley Internet Name Daemon) the worlds most popular DNS Server, and a Linux DHCP server. The latest release of INN is 2.3.3. The source code, which is written in ANSI C can be downloaded and is approximately 1.5 MB is size. It comes in a gziped tarball named inn-2.3.3.tar.gz. Your first step is to unpackage the application for installation which can be done as follows.

The result of the unpackage is a directory [inn-2.3.3] which contains the source code of inn. There are a few files in this directory you need to be concerned about. The first is README. This contains the instruction for compiling and running inn. It will usually point you to INSTALL for detailed installation instructions. You will also notice a configure script on the left. This is the first command you going to run, as it will allow you to configure the source files for compilation and make sure that all dependencies are present. The job of the configure script is to allow you to change the default behavior of the installation so that you can, for example, use a different directory for news articles than the default. In my case I want to use a /news folder as the article storage point so I will supply two parameters to the configure script.

./configure –with-db-path=/news –with-spool-path=/news/threads

This will produce lots of output as components are verified to ensure that they are installed. The end result of the configure script is a series of files that describe how inn will be installed.