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Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)
RFC 3977

Document type: RFC - Proposed Standard (October 2006; Errata)
Updated by RFC 6048
Obsoletes RFC 977
Updates RFC 2980
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-03-02
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

IETF State: (None)
Consensus: Unknown
Document shepherd: No shepherd assigned

IESG State: RFC 3977 (Proposed Standard)
Responsible AD: Scott Hollenbeck
Send notices to: rra@stanford.edu, ned.freed@mrochek.com, clive@demon.net

Network Working Group                                         C. Feather
Request for Comments: 3977                                      THUS plc
Obsoletes: 977                                              October 2006
Updates: 2980
Category: Standards Track

                 Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)

Status of This Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).

Abstract

   The Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) has been in use in the
   Internet for a decade, and remains one of the most popular protocols
   (by volume) in use today.  This document is a replacement for
   RFC 977, and officially updates the protocol specification.  It
   clarifies some vagueness in RFC 977, includes some new base
   functionality, and provides a specific mechanism to add standardized
   extensions to NNTP.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     1.1.  Author's Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.  Notation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   3.  Basic Concepts  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     3.1.  Commands and Responses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
       3.1.1.  Multi-line Data Blocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
     3.2.  Response Codes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
       3.2.1.  Generic Response Codes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
         3.2.1.1.  Examples  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     3.3.  Capabilities and Extensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
       3.3.1.  Capability Descriptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
       3.3.2.  Standard Capabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
       3.3.3.  Extensions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
       3.3.4.  Initial IANA Register . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
     3.4.  Mandatory and Optional Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Feather                     Standards Track                     [Page 1]
RFC 3977         Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)      October 2006

       3.4.1.  Reading and Transit Servers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
       3.4.2.  Mode Switching  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
     3.5.  Pipelining  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
       3.5.1.  Examples  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
     3.6.  Articles  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
   4.  The WILDMAT Format  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
     4.1.  Wildmat Syntax  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
     4.2.  Wildmat Semantics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
     4.3.  Extensions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
     4.4.  Examples  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
   5.  Session Administration Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
     5.1.  Initial Connection  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
     5.2.  CAPABILITIES  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
     5.3.  MODE READER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
     5.4.  QUIT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
   6.  Article Posting and Retrieval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
     6.1.  Group and Article Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
       6.1.1.  GROUP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
       6.1.2.  LISTGROUP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
       6.1.3.  LAST  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
       6.1.4.  NEXT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
     6.2.  Retrieval of Articles and Article Sections  . . . . . . . 45
       6.2.1.  ARTICLE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
       6.2.2.  HEAD  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
       6.2.3.  BODY  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
       6.2.4.  STAT  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
     6.3.  Article Posting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
       6.3.1.  POST  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
       6.3.2.  IHAVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
   7.  Information Commands  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
     7.1.  DATE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
     7.2.  HELP  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
     7.3.  NEWGROUPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
     7.4.  NEWNEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

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