Copyright 2003-2005, Johan Billing (email@example.com)
Copyright 2009, Peter Krefting (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copyright 2008, 2010, Robert James Clay (email@example.com)
JamNNTPd is an attempt to merge dying fidonet technology with modern Usenet
newsreaders. Basically, JamNNTPd is NNTP server that allows newsreaders to
access a JAM messagebase. (If you didn't understand a word of this, you
probably don't want to use JamNNTPd anyway).
JamNNTPd can be used with both Linux and Windows. An executable binary is
only suppplied for Windows, Linux users need to compile JamNNTPd themselves.
The copyright of JamNNTPd belongs to Johan Billing. Permission to use, copy
and distribute JamNNTPd is granted provided that this copyright notice is
included. Permission to modify JamNNTPd is granted. Distributing modified
versions of JamNNTPd is allowed provided that the documentation clearly
states that it is a modified version. Parts of JamNNTPd may be freely used
in other projects as long as credit is given.
JamNNTPd uses JAMLIB for reading and modifying JAM messagebases. JAMLIB is
copyright 1996 Björn Stenberg and is released under the GNU Lesser General
Public License (see included file src/jamlib/LICENSE).
I cannot guarantee that there are no security leaks in JamNNTPd. If you
decide to use it, you do it on your own risk. If you use JamNNTPd under
Linux, you should avoid running it with root privileges.
4. Using JamNNTPd
4.1 Configuration options
The behaviour of JamNNTPd can be configured using the configuration options
specified below. These can be given to JamNNTPd in two ways:
1) As commandline arguments
2) In a configuration file (see -config command). The preceding dash (-)
is optional when an option is given in a file, it will be added if missing.
A configuration file with the default settings can be created with the
If JamNNTPd is run without any commandline arguments at all, it will attempt
to read options from a file called "jamnntpd.config" if present. Under Linux,
JamNNTPd will look for this file in the "/etc" directory and under Windows
in the current directory.
It is not necessary to specify any configuration options at all unless when
fine-tuning JamNNTPd, the default have been designed to be sensible.
-port <port> or -p <port>
Set the port where JamNNTPd listens for connections. The default is 5000.
-max <maxconn> or -m <maxconn>
The maximum allowed number of connections at one time. The default is 5.
-groups <groupsfile> or -g <groupsfile>
-allow <allowfile> or -a <allowfile>
-users <usersfile> or -u <usersfile>
-xlat <xlatfile> or -x <xlatfile>
Use these to override the default locations of the config files.
-logfile <logfile> or -l <logfile>
Use this to override the default location of the log file.
Disables echoing of log messages to the console window.
If this option is used, JamNNTPd will print all sent and received text
to the console window. Useful for testing.
Options for displaying messages:
Get address from the Origin line instead of the OADDRESS field of the JAM
message header. This option makes JamNNTPd slower, but may be useful if
your tosser does not set the OADDRESS field.
JamNNTPd by default MIME-encodes headers with non-ascii characters. If you
use this option, JamNNTPd will instead send the headers as plain 8-bit text.
Makes JamNNTPd use strict article counters for netmail messages. Normally
JamNNTPd uses article counters that include all messages, not only those
that the user is allowed to read. That behaviour is much faster, but may
cause your newsreader to indicate the presence of new messages in the
netmail area even when there are only messages for other users. Using this
option will make JamNNTPd slower, but speed seems to be acceptable for
small netmail areas with up to 1000 messages. Users will never be allowed
to actually read netmail messages of other users even when this option is
Sets the default of the flowed and showto settings (if no default is
specified on the commandline, both will be on by default)
flowed: If flowed is on, JamNNTPd will use format=flowed (section 6.5),
otherwise it will wrap long lines to a fixed width.
showto: Since there is no receiver for news messages, JamNNTPd can display
the receiver name as a part of the sender name. With this option,
this behaviour can be turned on or off.
These can be modified by the user by logging in with parameters (section 4.4)
Options for posting messages:
JamNNTPd normally strips "Re:" from subject lines of followups. Use
this option if you want to retain the "Re:".
JamNNTPd normally puts the information from the X-Newsreader or User-Agent
header field in the tearline of posted messages. This option disables this
behaviour and leaves the tearline blank.
JamNNTPd normally adds a REPLYADDR kludge with the e-mail address of the
sender in posted messages. Use this option if you don't want REPLYADDR
kludges. See also see section 6.4 below.
JamNNTPd normally writes the timezone into a TZUTC kludge when a message
is posted. You can use this option if you don't want to create TZUTC kludges.
Disallows the cancelling (deleting) of messages by the users. If allowed,
users can only cancel messages from one of their "realnames" and only if
the message has not yet been sent.
The quoting style of most newsreaders is different from traditional fidonet
software. If you enable this option, JamNNTPd will try to change any quoted
lines to fidonet style. This means that it will try to insert the initials
of the person you reply to before the '>' character and also that it will try
to compound multiple generations of quotes, i.e. "AA> BB>" will be changed
Reformatting quotes in this way means that the user who posts a message will
no longer have final say over the final content of the message since it will
be changed after he or she sends it to JamNNTPd. Since this in principle is
a bad thing even if quoted text will look a lot better after reformatting,
this option is turned off by default.
Normally JamNNTPd uses the text found in the Organization header line as
the Origin line text in posted messages. You can use this switch to
override the Organization line and set your own origin for all posted
If desired, JamNNTPd can add a suffix to posts from unauthenticated users.
To activate that feature, specify the suffix here.
Example: -guestsuffix " [GUEST]".
If you specify a filename here, JamNNTPd will write a line to this file
with the messagebase and message number for each message that is posted.
The file follows the ECHOMAIL.JAM format supported by some tossers.
Options for configuration files:
Read options from the specified configuration file.
Create a configuration file with the default settings.
4.2 Access rights
Access rights in JamNNTPd is based on access groups. Every newsgroup in
JamNNTPd belongs to an acess group. Access groups are named using one letter,
typically A to Z (access groups are case-insensitive). In the configuration
files, you can use "*" for "all groups" and "-" for "no groups".
When a user connects to the server, he/she gets access to two set of access
groups. The first set of groups are for read access and the second set of
groups are for post access. Users are only allowed to read newsgroups that
belong to an access group they have read access to and are only allowed to
post to newsgroups belong to an access group that they have post access to.
The default access groups for users are configured in the "allow" file.
A user might get access to additional access groups if he/she logs in to the
server using the AUTHINFO command. The groups associated with a user are
defined in the "users" file.
4.3 Configuration files
JamNNTPd uses four configuration files:
1) In the "groups" file, the JAM areas that JamNNTPd should provide as
newsgroups are configured.
2) In the "allow" file, the IP numbers that are allowed to use the server
are listed. Here you also set the default access rights for users before
they log in.
3) In the "users" file, you can list users that should be given access to
additional groups if they log in.
4) In the "xlat" file, you can configure translation between the different
character sets used in your JAM messagebase and your newsreader.
The format of these files can be seen in the example configuration files.
You do not need to restart JamNNTPd if you change them since they are read
every time a new connection to the server is made.
4.4 Logging in with parameters
Since it is likely that all users will not prefer the same settings for the
flowed and showto options (see section 4.1), these can be modified by the
user by logging in with parameters.
If you want to set these options, login using a login name of this format:
If you want to set options without logging in, just omit the user name and
enter anything as your password.
JamNNTPd should compile with most compilers. I use gcc under Linux and MinGW
under Windows. To compile JamNNTPd, go to the src directory and type either
"make linux" or "make win32" depending on what platform you are compiling
JamNNTPd on. After a successful compilation, you will find a file called
"jamnntpd" or "jamnntpd.exe" in the src directory.
6.1 The NNTP protocol
JamNNTPd supports most of the basic NNTP protocol as specified in RFC-977.
The commands IHAVE, NEWGROUPS and NEWNEWS are not implemented, but at least
give valid response codes if a newsreader tries to use them. JamNNTPd also
supports the XOVER and AUTHINFO commands as specified in RFC-2980. XOVER
never sends information about the line counts and byte counts of messages.
6.2 Format of news messages
JamNNTPd probably breaks the RFC-1036 specification on some minor points,
but seems to work well enough with most newsreaders.
MIME is supported. Headers with non-ascii characters are encoded using
quoted-printable or base64 unless disabled with -noencode. Message bodies
are always sent as 7bit or 8bit. The charset is always set to "us-ascii"
if a message does not contain non-ascii characters.
Posted messages can either be in plain text (8bit or 7bit) or encoded
with quoted-printable of base64. Posted messages are only accepted if they
are in the format text/plain (i. e. HTML and multipart messages will be
rejected). Crossposted messages will be rejected. Messages longer than
20 000 bytes will also be rejected.
6.3 MSGID / Message-ID
JamNNTPd does not present the MSGIDs found in the JAM messagebase as
Message-IDs to the newsreader, but rather uses its own dummy Message-IDs
instead. The references line in followups will be replaced by the proper
When a message is posted to a JAM messagebase, JamNNTPd converts the original
from address to a REPLYADDR kludge. According to FSC-0035, REPLYADDR kludges
should be accompanied by a REPLYTO line. JamNNTPd does not create a REPLYTO
line, but this should not be a major problem. If you want to disable the
REPLYADDR kludge altogether, use the -noreplyaddr option.
A recent extension to MIME (RFC-2646) specifies a format for "flowed" text,
i. e. text that only has line breaks between paragraphs and not after every
line. This format is more well-suited for fidonet messages than the
traditional format since fidonet has always used "flowed" text.
JamNNTPd uses format=flowed unless disabled with the -def_flowed switch or
with login parameters, and it is preferable to use a newsreader that also
supports this format. Unfortunately, only few newsreaders support this format
today. JamNNTPd will also work with other newsreaders, but messages will look
slightly worse both on the NNTP and fidonet side.
6.6 Character set translation
JamNNTPd has good support for character sets. The character set translation
is configured in the "xlat" file and uses CHS files in the GoldED+ format for
the actual translation. Extended CHS files with 256 character translations
are supported and a character may be translated to up to four characters.
JamNNTPd now also supports netmail. In netmail areas, users can only read
messages to or from one of the names configured in the jamnntpd.users file.
Replies to netmails are handled transparently and the name and address of
the recipient are taken from the original message. When a user wants to write
a new netmail, the name and address of the recipient are specified on the
first line of the new message using this format:
To: Johan Billing, 2:15/87
A To: line can also be used to specify an alternative recipient in both
netmail and echomail areas.
6.8 Tested newsreaders
JamNNTPd has been found to work with the following newsreaders:
Outlook Express 6.00.2800.1106
40tude Dialog 18.104.22.168
Forte Free Agent 1.93/32.576
Of these, only Mozilla seems to support format=flowed.
7. How to create additional *.chs files
The *.chs files in the "xlat" and "unicode/xlat" directories are character
set translation tables in the GoldED+ format. The files were created from
mappings files found at this URL:
Fallback sequences for characters that don't exist in the target charset
were taken from Markus Kuhn's transliteration tables found at the URL below:
If you want to create additional translation tables, you can easily do so
with the supplied utility "makechs".
Syntax for makechs:
makechs <fromchrs> <destchrs> <frommap> [<destmap>]
<fromchrs> is the fidonet name of the charset you want to convert from.
<destchrs> is the fidonet name of the charset you want to convert to.
<frommap> is the Unicode mappings file for the source charset.
<destmap> is the Unicode mappings file for the destination charset. If
you don't supply a mappings file, makechs will instead create a chs file
that converts the source charset to utf-8.
The output of makechs is written to the console and needs to be redirected
to the desired file.
makechs IBMPC LATIN-1 map/cp437.txt map/8859-1.txt >437_iso.chs
makechs IBMPC UTF-8 map/cp437.txt >437_utf.chs
Mappings files for all imaginable character sets can be found at the Unicode