This basically means you set up a subscription of some sort and then follow
the news as they come in. Be careful not to bite over more than you can
chew, information overload is more than a buzzword. There is also
rather more junk out there than is just annoying, it is a real problem
these days. Read critically and be prepared to unsubscribe.
There are two distinct medias for getting continuous updates: news and
mailing lists, though sometimes news is gatewayed to mail and vice
versa. In general news is a larger volume, larger noise source compared to
mailing lists. Trying to follow too many newsgroups is like drinking from a
Getting access to Usenet News is outside the scope of this HOWTO, there are
others that will help you with getting and reading News directly from a
Linux system. If you have never used News before you should be careful to
read the introductory information thoroughly. In spite of looking like an
anarchy it does have its own distinct culture, follow a newsgroup for some
time before posting yourself. Most importantly, look out for postings
called Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ as they will show you
the ropes for the group it is posted to, and most likely give you the
answer to what you are looking for. Asking an FAQ will earn you severe
negative credibility points as well as a place in many killfiles.
FAQs should be posted regularly but if you cannot find it you can always
find it at the
main FAQ archive
Still, there is a lot of noise, spam and junk in News and this is where
killfiles come in. You will need a news reader with killfile capability and
when properly set up it will scan through a newsgroup according to a search
key of your own design and mark all flagged postings as already read so you
don't have to be bothered by the noise. This improves the signal-to-noise
ratio and lets you concentrate on the important parts. Similarly, if you
make noise in News others will killfile you so if you later were to ask for
help they will never see your post.
Now to business: the following is a list of useful newsgroups:
Unlike Usenet News a mailing list is centralised, someone sends a mail to
the server and the server in return mails everyone that is subscribed to
that particular list. These lists are generally low volume but also very
low noise. Any breaches of the charter will be looked harshly upon. Equally
seriously it will delay the development or the project that the list is
dedicated to. When you subscribe you will normally get an introductory mail
describing the charter, again you are strongly recommended to read this
There are many types of mail servers that can handle a list and you will
need some information on how and where you can subscribe.
One of the most common list servers is Majordomo which is what the
list server at
is running. To learn how it works you send a mail message with the word
help in the body. If you send it something it cannot parse you will
get this help message anyway.
If you instead mail it the word lists you will be returned a list of
all mailing lists it serves, and that can be a considerable number.
Other mailing lists use several addresses, one where you send your requests
such as subscribe and unsubscribe, and one where you send your
contributions to the list which is usually also the address from which the
list is also redistributed to you.
Again, sending it the message help or something it cannot parse will
give you the help information.
An example: you send the word subscribe to the
and then you get mail from and contribute to the
list address email@example.com
until you unsubscribe.
A few tips before you start sending in to mailing lists:
Do not send subscribe etc. to the list itself, only to the
server address, otherwise you will look silly and you will annoy
people. There can be several thousand subscribers to a list and if such errors were to
pour in the noise would be too much.
When you subscribe you will often get an introductory message
sent to you automatically. Read it carefully as this should answer
most of the initial questions.
Do not gateway mailing lists to news without asking first as this
can cause mailing loops as well as spam.
As mentioned above,
is one of the main mailing list servers and here is an abbreviated index
of what is available for the Linux community:
linux-8086 (Linux on Intel 8086 processors)
linux-admin (Administration of Linux systems)
linux-alpha (Linux on the Alpha processor platform)
linux-arm (Linux on the Arm processor platform)
linux-bbs (Linux Bulletin Board Systems)
linux-c-programming (C-programming with Linux)
linux-diald (Dial on demand daemon)
linux-doc (Linux documentation)
linux-fido (Linux fido network)
linux-fsf (Linux and the Free Software Foundation)
linux-ftp (Linux File Transfer Protocol)
linux-gcc (Linux and the GNU C compiler)
linux-gcc-digest (Digests of the above)
linux-hams Amateur Radio and Linux discussions
linux-hppa (Linux on the HP Precision Architecture processor platform)
linux-ibcs2 (Linux and the Intel Binary Compatibility system)
linux-ipx (Linux and Novell IPX networking protocol)
linux-isdn (Linux and Integrated Services Digital Network)
linux-japanese (Linux and Japanese extensions)
linux-kernel (Linux kernel)
linux-kernel-announce (Announcements for the above)
linux-kernel-digest (Digests of the linux-kernel list)
linux-kernel-patch (Linux kernel patches)
linux-laptop (Linux on laptops)
linux-lugnuts (Linux User Groups)
linux-mca (Linux and the IBM Micro Channel Architecture bus)
linux-mips (Linux on the MIPS processor platform)
linux-msdos (Linux and MSDOS)
linux-msdos-devel (Linux - MSDOS development)
linux-msdos-digest (Digest of the linux-msdos list)
linux-net (Linux and networking)
linux-new-lists (New mailing lists for Linux)
linux-newbie (Linux and the inexperienced)
linux-opengl (Linux and the OpenGL graphics system)
linux-ppp (Linux and the Point-to-Point Protocol)
linux-raid (Linux and Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives)
linux-scsi (Linux and Small Computer Systems Interface)
linux-serial (Linux and the serial system)
linux-seyon (Linux terminal system)
linux-smp (Linux Symmetric Multi Processing)
linux-svgalib (Linux and the SVGA library)
linux-tape (Linux and tape storage)
linux-term (A Linux communications program)
linux-userfs (Linux User File System)
linux-x11 (Linux and the X Window System, Version 11)
linux-x25 (Linux and the X25 Networking Protocol)
sparclinux (Linux on the SPARC processor platform)
ultralinux (Linux on the Ultra-SPARC processor platform)
There are of course a number of other lists on other server. As this
is in a constant state of flux there is little point in naming all but
the most important here. Instead you could check out a web page that
maintains such a
list of lists
on various servers of interest to Linux users. It also offers an user friendly
interface to subscribe or unsubscribe to the various lists directly.
Many have been disappointed at the lack of information on Linux in the
trade press. This is probably because certain commercial products would
not stand up for any comparison and the advertisers would not stand it
at all. Fortunately there is one Linux specific journal, called
the Linux Journal. More information on subscription etc. can be
found at the
home page. A table of contents is usually also available online.
Another commercial paper magazine is the
which also offers table of contents and some excerpts online.
(formerly known as Performance Computing)
gives a lot of Linux coverage.
and probably a few others as new ones seem to pop quite frequently.
for up to date information on current news services.
New web pages with literally daily news on linux are popping up
everywhere, many are quite professional in layout as well as in
scope. One of the bigger ones is
which serves out news daily.
For those who cannot afford the time to follow the net on an hourly
basis yet need the important news quickly there is the
Linux Weekly News,
which gives you a weekly update of important news, including
securities alerts and also announcements of new and updated
You can also find directions to IRC online chat lines at
There are also a number of more hardware oriented web sites
worth visiting, such as
for general hardware reviews, and
Storage review for the latest in disk, tape and other storage technology..