Gnus Manual. Node: SOUP

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6.4.4: SOUP

In the PC world people often talk about ``offline'' newsreaders. These are thingies that are combined reader/news transport monstrosities. With built-in modem programs. Yecchh!

Of course, us Unix Weenie types of human beans use things like uucp and, like, nntpd and set up proper news and mail transport things like Ghod intended. And then we just use normal newsreaders.

However, it can sometimes be convenient to do something a that's a bit easier on the brain if you have a very slow modem, and you're not really that interested in doing things properly.

A file format called SOUP has been developed for transporting news and mail from servers to home machines and back again. It can be a bit fiddly.

First some terminology:


This is the machine that is connected to the outside world and where you get news and/or mail from.

home machine

This is the machine that you want to do the actual reading and responding on. It is typically not connected to the rest of the world in any way.


Something that contains messages and/or commands. There are two kinds of packets:

message packets

These are packets made at the server, and typically contain lots of messages for you to read. These are called `SoupoutX.tgz' by default, where X is a number.

response packets

These are packets made at the home machine, and typically contains replies that you've written. These are called `SoupinX.tgz' by default, where X is a number.

  1. You log in on the server and create a SOUP packet. You can either use a dedicated SOUP thingie (like the awk program), or you can use Gnus to create the packet with its SOUP commands (O s and/or G s b; and then G s p) (see SOUP Commands).
  2. You transfer the packet home. Rail, boat, car or modem will do fine.
  3. You put the packet in your home directory.
  4. You fire up Gnus on your home machine using the nnsoup backend as the native or secondary server.
  5. You read articles and mail and answer and followup to the things you want (see SOUP Replies).
  6. You do the G s r command to pack these replies into a SOUP packet.
  7. You transfer this packet to the server.
  8. You use Gnus to mail this packet out with the G s s command.
  9. You then repeat until you die.

So you basically have a bipartite system---you use nnsoup for reading and Gnus for packing/sending these SOUP packets.

  • SOUP Commands Commands for creating and sending SOUP packets
  • SOUP Groups A backend for reading SOUP packets.
  • SOUP Replies How to enable nnsoup to take over mail and news.
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