9 Best Free and Open Source Linux Usenet Tools

Usenet is a worldwide distributed Internet discussion system. It was founded in 1980 to enable users to read and post public messages to various newsgroups. As such, it predates forums, blogs, instant messaging and P2P networks.

The importance of Usenet as an environment for discussion has diminished over recent years given the increasing popularity of internet forums and blogs. However, the newsgroup community remains very active and vocal. It continues to be a great resource of information, and to obtain support from like-minded individuals. Moreover, Usenet is a popular means of downloading files including Linux distributions.

Unlike web forums, Usenet does not have a central server or a dedicated administrator. Instead, Usenet is distributed among a conglomeration of servers that store and pass messages to each other. There are several different types of newsreaders. Some newsreaders are intended primarily for discussions, others are better suited for downloading files. Newsreaders that help users to adhere to the netiquette are evaluated by the Good Netkeeping Seal of Approval (GNKSA). There are also tools which are dedicated for downloading files only.

The ratings chart below summarizes our verdict. Only free and open source software is eligible for inclusion.

Ratings chart for the best free and open source Usenet tools

Click the links in the table below to learn more about each tool.

Usenet Tools
SABnzbdWeb-based binary newsgrabber with NZB support
RadarrMovie collection manager for Usenet and BitTorrent
NZBHydraMeta search for newznab indexers and torznab trackers
JackettImplements the Torznab and TorrentPotato APIs
PanBased on GTK2 and looks like Forte Agent
ProwlarrIndexer manager/proxy
NyuuCommand-line binary usenet poster
ThunderbirdMail/news client with RSS and integrated spam filter support
LottaNZBSimple and automated downloader

Besides Thunderbird, there are other email clients, such as Claws Mail and Sylpheed, that offer basic Usenet functionality.

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