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Latest version is 5.04.25
Latest TEST version is 2009.05.01

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download Xnews Welcome to my little corner of the software world. Here you'll find Xnews, a free Usenet newsreader for Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP. It's written in Delphi. I'm Luu Tran, by the way.

Quick Xnews tips

  • New users are often confused or annoyed by Xnews opening an article or thread when they click on the subject. The solution is simple: don't click on the subject! Instead, click in any of the other columns, like From or Date or Lines.
  • To decode yEnc files, make sure you're using the latest Xnews version. yEnc files should decode transparently (you don't need to do anything special).
  • To install/update Xnews, just unzip all files into a directory of your choice. It's safe to overwrite everything. All your data/settings will remain intact.
  • Look at Special | Keyboard mapping. You may find commands you did not know of!
  • Use the queue, Luke! To decode several binaries, you have to first queue them by pressing space or click on the Q column. Then, hit F4 (decode).


So, what does this thing have?
  • 100% GNKSA 2.0 (Good Net Keeping Seal of Approval) compliant.
  • Plonk file (aka bozo bin).
  • Quick filter (type in a regex and only articles whose subject/author match it will be shown)
  • Score file for advanced filtering.
  • Support for multiple servers/identities.
  • Subscribed groups can be organized into categories.
  • Remappable keyboard.
  • Binaries handling (mime, base64, uuencode, what have you).
  • Optional header and article caching; plus: folders for permanent archival.
  • more...
I update this program about once a week (ed: okay, now it's more like once a year), so check here early and often for the latest version.

Here's a screen shot of subscribed groups; here's one of articles in split screen mode and one in full screen mode; here's one of the editor. If you're wondering why everything is so big, it's because I'm blind as a bat. Don't worry, those aren't default font and colors, which you can change in any event.

The manual is online too.


You may have noticed the banner added to the top of this page. In the interest of full disclosure, the nice folks at newsguy invited me to partner with them, so I do get a referral credit if you click the banner and sign up for a newsguy account. Gotta feed my usenet habit somehow :)

Seriously, I want to thank newsguy for generously hosting Xnews for free since 2002. I have an account with them myself: their news servers have excellent completion and I can pretty much saturate my FIOS line with one connection (not to brag or anything). Plus they're really great people! So by all means, please check them out.

Update: Xnews users, if you sign up here, you get one month free!

Xnews on Linux

No I haven't ported Xnews to Linux :-( Sorry. BUT, here are some tips for running Xnews under wine(x).

Email stupidity

My bad: due to a completely boneheaded screw up, I haven't been getting my email xnews @ It was hopelessly clogged with spam and I just cleared it out yesterday. Sorry about about that. You should be able to email me now. Please put xnews somewhere in the subject even if your email isn't about xnews because I have the newsguy filter set to send everything else into the trash.

This just in: I'm not dead :)

The eternal richedit control (riched32.dll) problem

It seems under Windows 2000 and XP (and possibly Millenium), EM_SETTEXT, the command I use to set the editable region, doesn't have any effect in the richedit control as far as wrapping is concerned. This means that text still wraps at the window's boundary rather than at a specific width. !UPDATE: setting the no automatic vertical scrolling style doesn't seem to have the same effect, causing the screen to scroll down as the article loads.! So if you're using Win2K+, please please download and unzip this into your Xnews directory.

SSL access: Part Deux.

Hmm, maybe the SSLTunnel program below doesn't work with Xnews after all. How bizarre; was I hallucinating before? Anyway, try this one from Download the exe and both dlls. The program has various command line options, but the syntax you need is this

stunnel.exe -c -d <localport> -r <remotehost>:<remoteport>
Example: accessing Netscape's secure news server. Note: for secure news, the <remoteport> is usually 563.
stunnel.exe -c -d 1199 -r
In Xnews, add a server. For server name, enter localhost or (either will work). Enter Netscape for alias. Change the port number to 1199. That should do the trick.

If you're using Windows2000, you may notice that the screen jumps around wildly whenever you open an article that's longer than one visible screen. It appears Microsoft changed something with the richedit control. I'm too lazy to figure out the fix, so for now, download this file and unzip it into the Xnews directory. The file contains the old dll and an empty file called Xnews.exe.local which tells Windows to use private dll for Xnews in order to avoid dll conflicts.

You can now use Xnews to access news servers that require SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). Just download the free SSL Tunnel by the Indy (formerly Winshoes) team. Basically, you point Xnews to a local server/port and point SSLTunnel to the remote server/port you want to connect to. Here, for example, is how to set up Xnews and SSL Tunnel to access Netscape's secure news server.

Select Start | Run. Enter <path>SSLTunnel.exe 119 563. <path> is of course the folder you put SSLTunnel.exe in; 119 is the local port. You can actually use anything else, but 119 will do. If you have a local news server running on port 119, use a different number, like 1190. Just be sure to set Xnews to use the same port.; is the remote news server; and 563 is the standard port for secure news. Now run Xnews and add a server. For server name, enter localhost or (either will work). Enter Netscape for alias. That's it. Everything should work normally. You can write a little batch file to automate the whole thing, e.g.

c:\utils\SSLTunnel.exe 119 563
Maybe when I feel industrious I'll add native support for SSL, but since few servers require it, I'm not terribly motivated.

Massimo Cerro has kindly translated the latest manual into Italian and posted it here:

All the talks about the PIII's ID code and Win98's Global Unique ID remind me of Xnews' own IDToken. From the manual:
This is a string Xnews embeds in Message-ID in order to track your posts and alert you to replies to your articles. You can use any string of letters and numbers. I use my email without the @ and . luutrangeocities. The idea is to use a string that noone else is likely to use.
By default, I generate this string by taking your email address and strip out the . and @. In retrospect, maybe this was not such a good idea as some users who go through great length to hide their email may not appreciate having it embedded inside Message-ID and References headers (albeit in an altered form). But, you can change this to anything you like, including using a seemingly random string of letters and numbers. And if you're really paranoid, just delete it (just use empty string). You'll lose the convenience of having Xnews flag replies to your posts, of course. [By the way, if your news server does not accept client-generated message ids, this entire discussion is moot.]

Anyway, I just want Xnews users to be aware of this issue. I don't want people to be caught by surprise then flaming me. This is really a feature designed to help you, not some lame corporate attempt to track you for marketing purposes.


  • (~680k) from newsguy
  • For programmers only: TPerlRe 1.2: (~24K) Perl-compatible regular expression package for Delphi. Free, with source and demo. Based on Philip Hazel's PCRE package.
  • You can download the latest test build here.
  • Need a zip/unzip utility? This page has a bunch of free ones.
  • If you like to mess around with some of Xnews' icons, check out DC's page.
  • Luca ha tradotto Xnews (il programma, non il manuale) in italiano, con l'ausilio di resource hacker. Pagina per il download...
  • Christophe Esperado, travaillant indépendamment, a adapté une version Française de Xnews, disponible à: Tous les dialogues, menus et messages ont été traduits en Français. Il a même ajouté un installateur et des icônes à la barre des menus. Jettez-y un oeil. [In English: Working independently, Christophe Esperado has created a French version of Xnews. He's translated all the dialogs, menus, and messages into French, and has even added an installer for it. Have a look.]


  • Though it's pretty spare, you should read the manual. The change log is also a good place for mining info.
  • Massimo Cerro has kindly translated Xnews' manual into Italian. You can download it from here.
  • Lerche has a German translation.
  • A French translation by Thomas Lemoine can be found here.
  • Someone named "sizer" has written an article on how he has set up Xnews for downloading binaries. You can use his example as a guide for your own set up.
  • David Breach has an illustrated guide on the Setup dialog. Also, a FAQ, and other goodies.
  • Ralf Hasse has a menu reference for Xnews.
  • Another nice tutorial, primarily geared towards downloading binaries. Lots of illustrative screenshots.
If you have written or know of other guides / manuals for Xnews, please email me: xnews @ Please put xnews somewhere in the subject because I have the newsguy filter set to send everything else into the trash.

If you like this program...

then please do one or more of the following:
  1. Propagate the program. Upload it to a software library, make a link to this page, tell a friend, etc.
  2. If you're a Delphi programmer and you've got a cool component you think will improve Xnews, consider sending it to me
  3. Hey, I ain't too proud to take donations :) You can send me an on-line gift certificate from Just make it out to "Luu Tran" (Do include your email in your gift message so I can acknowledge and say thank you.)

    Or, you can send me a donation via PayPal. I can use it to buy all the junks I get from eBay :)


If you have a question or problem, please:
  1. read the manual.
  2. read it again.
  3. try to figure it out yourself.
  4. try harder.
  5. ... and if you're still stuck, post your question to If you do not have access to a news server, or if you have not set up a newsreader, you can try reading through Google.
Note: Due to past bad experiences, I've regrettably decided to stop answering technical support questions via email. Please direct your questions to the newsgroup. Thank you.

Xnews © 1998-<insert current year here> Luu Tran. All rights reserved.
(Yes, it's all mine mine mine :-)

Unnecessary garbage follows....

The New York Times
Los Angeles Times

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Eliot

"Je ne fais pas de mal en restant ici"