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1.9.4 USENET newsgroups


USENET is a worldwide electronic news and discussion forum with a heavy contingent of so-called ``newsgroups''---discussion areas devoted to a particular topic. Much of the development of Linux has been done over the waves of the Internet and USENET, and not suprisingly there are a number of USENET newsgroups available for discussions about Linux.

The original Linux newsgroup was alt.os.linux, and was created to move some of the discussions about Linux out of comp.os.minix and the various mailing lists. Soon, the traffic on alt.os.linux grew to be large enough that a newsgroup in the comp hierarchy was warranted; a vote was taken in February of 1992, and comp.os.linux was created.

comp.os.linux quickly became one of the most popular (and loudest) USENET groups; more popular than any other comp.os group. In December of 1992, a vote was taken to split the newsgroup in order to reduce traffic; only comp.os.linux.announce passed this vote. In July of 1993, the group was finally split into the new hierarchy. Almost 2000 people voted in the comp.os.linux reorganization, making it one of the largest USENET Call For Votes ever.

If you do not have direct USENET access, but are able to send and receive electronic mail from the Internet, there are mail-to-news gateways available for each of the newsgroups below.

comp.os.linux.announce is a moderated newsgroup for announcements and important postings about the Linux system (such as bug reports, important patches to software, and so on). If you read any Linux newsgroups at all, read this one. Often, the important postings in this group are not crossposted to other groups. This group also contains many periodic postings about Linux, including many of the online documents described in the last section and listed in Appendix A.

Postings to this newsgroup must be approved by the moderators, Matt Welsh and Lars Wirzenius. If you wish to submit and article to this group, in most cases you can simply post the article as you normally would (using Pnews or whatever posting software that you have available); the news software will automatically forward the article to the moderators for approval. However, if your news system is not set up correctly, you may need to mail the article directly; the submission address is

The rest of the Linux newsgroups listed below are unmoderated.
This is the most popular Linux newsgroup. It is for questions and answers about using, setting up, or otherwise running a Linux system. If you are having problems with Linux, you may post to this newsgroup, and hopefully receive a reply from someone who might be able to help. However, it is strongly suggested that you read all of the available Linux documentation before posting questions to this newsgroup.

This newsgroup is for questions and discussion about running a Linux system, most commonly in an active, multi-user environment. Any discussion about administrative issues of Linux (such as packaging software, making backups, handling users, and so on) is welcome here.

This is a newsgroup for discussions about development of the Linux system. All issues related to kernel and system software development should be discussed here. For example, if you are writing a kernel driver and need help with certain aspects of the programming, this would be the place to ask. This newsgroup is also for discussions about the direction and goals behind the Linux development effort, as described (somewhat) in Section 1.6.

It should be noted that this newsgroup is not (technically) for discussions about development of software for Linux, but rather for discussions of development of Linux. That is, issues dealing with applications programming under Linux should be discussed in another Linux newsgroup; comp.os.linux.development is about developing the Linux system itself, including the kernel, system libraries, and so on.

This newsgroup is for all discussion which doesn't quite fit into the other available Linux groups. In particular, advocacy wars (the incessant ``Linux versus Windows NT'' thread, for example), should be waged here, as opposed to in the technical Linux groups. Any nontechnical or metadiscourse about the Linux system should remain in comp.os.linux.misc.

It should be noted that the newsgroup comp.os.linux, which was originally the only Linux group, has been superseded by the new hierarchy of groups. If you have access to comp.os.linux, but not to the newer Linux groups listed above, encourage your news administrator to create the new groups on your system.

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Next: 1.9.5 Internet mailing lists Up: 1.9 Sources of Linux Previous: 1.9.3 Books and other

Matt Welsh