NNTP Drafts

The following Internet-Drafts related to the Network News Transfer Protocol have been published via the IETF process. The information here copies information also available from the IETF Datatracker, but focuses only on drafts related to NNTP.

Follow the IETF link for each draft to see all historic versions available from the IETF archive and diffs between versions.

Also see the Netnews Drafts for Internet-Drafts related to the Netnews article format, which includes some material relevant to NNTP (such as newsgroup name formats).

Individual Drafts

The following drafts were submitted by individuals outside of the official work of an IETF working group, but are relevant or related to the NNTP protocol.

NHNS - Netnews Hierarchy Names System (IETF)

NHNS is a system and service based on a DNS-like structure that has been discussed, developed and deployed under the umbrella of the RIPE NetNews Working Group.

This draft documents a protocol to publish Usenet newsgroup hierarchy lists inside DNS using TXT and RP records and thereby avoid many of the abuse and authentication problems of control messages. I believe it was deployed as an experiment but never widely used. It's similar in goal to the Netnews Administration System (NAS) (published as RFC 4707), but using DNS as a protocol.

draft-diaz-nhns-01.txt 2002-08 21KiB
draft-diaz-nhns-00.txt 2000-10 13KiB
An NNTP Extension for Dynamic Feed Adjustment

This document describes an extension to the Network News Transport Protocol that allows NNTP peers to dynamically adjust their criteria for sending network news articles to one another. This extension provides only for the addition of 'negative' criteria, i.e., criteria for articles that are not to be sent. It is believed that a more comprehensive scheme allowing for 'positive' criteria, while desirable, would not receive wide deployment in the Internet because of concerns about security and intellectual property. The extension described in this document does not present these concerns and allows for gains in network efficiency.

The problem this draft was trying to solve — pushing feed updates to peers without manual negotiation — is still a problem, but I don't know of any implementations of this protocol.

(The normal IETF archive link for this draft is broken for some reason, but the link with the version appended seems to work.)

draft-court-dynfeed-01.txt 1998-08-11 11KiB
draft-court-dynfeed-00.txt 1998-03-03 15KiB
HNEWS: An HTTP-Tunneling News Protocol (IETF)

This document defines HNEWS (HTTP News Protocol), an HTTP-tunneling news protocol. The NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) protocol described in RFC 977 is recast as HTTP CGI (Common Gateway Interface) requests that may be filled by any server that supports CGI. Two new commands are defined for connecting and disconnecting from an HNEWS server. Also, a mechanism for session state management is described.

This is rather entertaining. An early form of REST as an interface to netnews! I don't know if this was ever implemented; it certainly never caught on.

draft-stockwell-hnews-protocol-00.txt 1998-06-17 15KiB
The hnews URL Scheme (IETF)

HNEWS is an HTTP-tunneling variant of the NNTP news protocol. This document defines the format of Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) identifying news messages and groups provided by HNEWS servers. The syntax of 'hnews' URLs is designed to be compatible with the current common usage of the 'news' URL scheme.

This goes with the previous draft, and as with it, I don't know that it was ever implemented.

draft-stockwell-hnews-url-00.txt 1998-06-17 4KiB
A Protocol for the Transmission of Net News Articles over IP Multicast (IETF)

Mcntp (Multicast News Transfer Protocol) provides a way to use the IP multicast infrastructure to transmit NetNews articles between news servers. Doing so will reduce the bandwidth that is actually needed for transmission of articles which is mostly done via NNTP. This does not affect how news reading clients communicate with servers.

I think either this or the protocol in the next draft was actually done experimentally for a while, and it might have been worthwhile to reduce the traffic volume taken up by widespread distribution binary posts, but now netnews is probably too small compared to available bandwidth to warrant the effort.

draft-rfced-exp-rupp-04.txt 1998-03-08 24KiB
draft-rfced-exp-rupp-03.txt 1997-09-16 23KiB
draft-rfced-exp-rupp-02.txt 1997-06-08 20KiB
draft-rfced-exp-rupp-01.txt 1997-05-27 19KiB
draft-rfced-exp-rupp-00.txt 1997-04-29 16KiB
Network News Distribution Protocol: Architecture and Design Guidelines (IETF)

This document describes an architecture and a set of protocols for distributing Netnews via IP multicast enabled networks. The architecture is designed to be useful in the global Internet. In particular, it allows multiple news servers to cooperate on multicasting each new article only once. To facilitate scalability to tens of thousands of news servers, it also provides for receive-only multicast participants (that continue to send articles via conventional NNTP).

A competing multicast NNTP proposal.

draft-bormann-mnnp-nndp-00.txt 1998-03 23KiB
NNTP Full-text Search Extension (IETF)

This document describes a set of enhancements to the Network News Transport Protocol that allows full-text searching of news articles in multiple newsgroups. The proposed SEARCH command supports functionality similar to the [IMAP4] SEARCH command, minus user specific search keys (i.e., ANSWERED, DRAFT, FLAGGED, KEYWORD, NEW, OLD, RECENT, SEEN) and minus search keys based on headers that do not exist in news (i.e., CC, BCC, TO).

This proposed protocol was never widely implemented. Search is a very hard problem. The IETF NNTP working group gave up on trying to standardize PAT due to problems with whitespace and internationalization. Doing a proper job of a search extension will be a substantial amount of work.

draft-ballou-nntpsrch-04.txt 1997-09 18KiB
draft-ballou-nntpsrch-03.txt 1997-05-01 18KiB
draft-ballou-nntpsrch-02.txt 1997-01-29 15KiB
draft-ballou-nntpsrch-01.txt 1997-01-29 15KiB
draft-ballou-nntpsrch-00.txt 1996-11-15 15KiB
NNTP Generic Data Extensions (IETF)

This document describes a set of enhancements to the Network News Transport Protocol that provide a generic mechanism by which clients and servers can exchange configuration information. It was originally designed as a method by which an NNTP client could request URLs from the server in order to access out-of-band information. It is not however limited to URLs and may be used to communicate such things as language settings, client prefences, formatting information, etc. The protocol additions are designed in a manner which allows the client and server to exchange key/data pairs of arbitrary text strings.

I don't know of any implementation of this protocol. So far as I know, it's been abandoned.

draft-hernacki-nntpget-00.txt 1997-07-15 7KiB
NNTP LIST Additions

This document describes a set of enhancements to the Network News Transport Protocol [NNTP-977] that allows extended server specific information to be obtained by the client. These enhancements will be made as new arguments to the existing LIST verb described in the NNTP protocol [NNTP-977].

These LIST extensions weren't incorporated into the eventual RFC 3977, but all of the interesting ones were standardized in RFC 6048. The remaining commands are LIST PRETTYNAMES (which isn't different enough from LIST NEWSGROUPS to be worth implementing) and LIST XACTIVE. The latter differs from the standard LIST ACTIVE only in that it can return arbitrary newsgroup flags, and RFC 6048 extended LIST ACTIVE to support all the flags that any implementation has found useful.

(There is a bug in the IETF Internet-Draft archive for this draft that causes it to attempt to retrieve a -05 version that doesn't appear to exist. The link with the version appended seems to work.)

draft-hernacki-nntplist-02.txt 1997-07-15 10KiB
draft-hernacki-nntplist-01.txt 1996-11-25 8KiB
draft-hernacki-nntplist-00.txt 1996-10-21 8KiB

Drafts of Published RFCs

The following drafts are earlier versions of documents that were eventually published as RFCs.

Network News Transfer Protocol (IETF)

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.

This document was published as RFC 3977.

draft-ietf-nntpext-base-27.txt 2005-06-08 243KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-26.txt 2005-05-20 241KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-25.txt 2005-02-10 225KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-24.txt 2004-08-03 206KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-23.txt 2004-08-26 206KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-22.txt 2004-03-21 199KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-21.txt 2004-03-08 196KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-20.txt 2003-10-16 187KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-19.txt 2003-08-01 169KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-18.txt 2003-04-25 165KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-17.txt 2003-03-01 153KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-16.txt 2003-01 134KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-15.txt 2002-01 161KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-14.txt 2001-11 132KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-13.txt 2001-03 145KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-12.txt 2000-11 142KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-11.txt 2000-10 143KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-10.txt 2000-07 141KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-09.txt 1999-11 133KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-08.txt 1999-08 128KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-07.txt 1998-12 93KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-06.txt 1998-08 92KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-05.txt 1998-03 101KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-04.txt 1998-03 101KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-03.txt 1997-12 96KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-02.txt 1997-09 83KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-01.txt 1997-09 83KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-base-00.txt 1997-09 83KiB
draft-barber-nntp-news-00.txt 1996-09 80KiB
NNTP Extension for Authentication (IETF)

This document defines an extension to the Network News Transport Protocol (NNTP) which allows a client to indicate an authentication mechanism to the server, perform an authentication protocol exchange, and optionally negotiate a security layer for subsequent protocol interactions during the remainder of an NNTP session.

This document was published as RFC 4643.

draft-ietf-nntpext-authinfo-10.txt 2005-08 52KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-authinfo-09.txt 2005-06 52KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-authinfo-08.txt 2005-05 51KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-authinfo-07.txt 2005-03 50KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-authinfo-06.txt 2005-01 51KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-authinfo-05.txt 2004-10 48KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-authinfo-04.txt 2004-08 46KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-authinfo-03.txt 2004-08 46KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-authinfo-02.txt 2004-07 45KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-authinfo-01.txt 2004-06 46KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-authinfo-00.txt 2004-04 43KiB
NNTP Extension for Streaming Feeds (IETF)

This memo defines an extension to the Network News Transport Protocol (NNTP) to provide asynchronous (otherwise known as "streaming") transfer of articles. This allows servers to transfer articles to other servers with much greater efficiency.

This document was published as RFC 4644.

draft-ietf-nntpext-streaming-06.txt 2005-06 27KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-streaming-05.txt 2005-05 27KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-streaming-04.txt 2005-03 27KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-streaming-03.txt 2005-01 26KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-streaming-02.txt 2004-10 26KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-streaming-01.txt 2004-02 17KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-streaming-00.txt 2003-06 16KiB
Using TLS with NNTP (IETF)

This memo defines an extension to the Network News Transport Protocol (NNTP) to allow an NNTP client and server to use Transport Layer Security (TLS). The primary goal is to provide encryption for single-link confidentiality purposes, but data integrity, (optional) certificate-based peer entity authentication, and (optional) data compression are also possible.

This document was published as RFC 4642.

draft-ietf-nntpext-tls-nntp-09.txt 2005-09 30KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-tls-nntp-08.txt 2005-08 30KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-tls-nntp-07.txt 2005-06 29KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-tls-nntp-06.txt 2005-05 30KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-tls-nntp-05.txt 2005-03 30KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-tls-nntp-04.txt 2005-01 31KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-tls-nntp-03.txt 2004-10 29KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-tls-nntp-02.txt 2004-09 28KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-tls-nntp-01.txt 2003-10 25KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-tls-nntp-00.txt 2003-02 25KiB
The 'news' and 'nntp' URI Schemes (IETF)

This memo specifies the 'news' and 'nntp' Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) schemes that were originally defined in RFC 1738. The purpose of this document is to allow RFC 1738 to be made obsolete while keeping the information about these schemes on standards track.

This draft was based on earlier versions by Charles Lindsey, Paul Hoffman, and Alfred S. Gilman. See the IETF pages for draft-lindsey-news-nntp-uri, draft-hoffman-news-nntp-uri, and draft-gilman-news-url.

This document was published as RFC 5538.

draft-ellermann-news-nntp-uri-11.txt 2008-04-02 43KiB
draft-ellermann-news-nntp-uri-10.txt 2008-03-18 42KiB
draft-ellermann-news-nntp-uri-09.txt 2008-02-23 42KiB
draft-ellermann-news-nntp-uri-08.txt 2007-11-14 40KiB
draft-ellermann-news-nntp-uri-07.txt 2007-11-05 39KiB
draft-ellermann-news-nntp-uri-06.txt 2007-10-30 38KiB
draft-ellermann-news-nntp-uri-05.txt 2007-02-19 34KiB
draft-ellermann-news-nntp-uri-04.txt 2006-12-01 32KiB
draft-ellermann-news-nntp-uri-03.txt 2006-11-19 31KiB
draft-ellermann-news-nntp-uri-02.txt 2006-11-05 31KiB
draft-ellermann-news-nntp-uri-01.txt 2006-10-22 23KiB
draft-ellermann-news-nntp-uri-00.txt 2005-05-18 14KiB
draft-lindsey-news-nntp-uri-00.txt 2005-05 13KiB
draft-hoffman-news-nntp-uri-04.txt 2005-01 9KiB
draft-hoffman-news-nntp-uri-03.txt 2004-11-30 9KiB
draft-hoffman-news-nntp-uri-02.txt 2004-10-20 9KiB
draft-hoffman-news-nntp-uri-01.txt 2004-09-18 7KiB
draft-hoffman-news-nntp-uri-00.txt 2004-08-17 7KiB
draft-gilman-news-url-02.txt 1998-03-09 7KiB
draft-gilman-news-url-01.txt 1998-03-04 6KiB
draft-gilman-news-url-00.txt 1997-08-31 6KiB
NNTP Additions to LIST Command (IETF)

This document defines a set of enhancements to the Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) that allows a client to request extended information from NNTP servers regarding server status, policy, and other aspects of local configuration. These enhancements are made as new keywords to the existing LIST capability described in RFC 3977.

This memo updates and formalizes the LIST DISTRIBUTIONS and LIST SUBSCRIPTIONS commands defined in RFC 2980. It also adds the LIST COUNTS, LIST MODERATORS and LIST MOTD commands, and specifies additional values returned by the existing LIST ACTIVE command for the status of a newsgroup.

This document was published as RFC 6048.

draft-elie-nntp-list-additions-05.txt 2010-08-13 57KiB
draft-elie-nntp-list-additions-04.txt 2010-08-06 56KiB
draft-elie-nntp-list-additions-03.txt 2010-03-22 55KiB
draft-elie-nntp-list-additions-02.txt 2010-01-10 54KiB
draft-elie-nntp-list-additions-01.txt 2010-01-08 51KiB
draft-elie-nntp-list-additions-00.txt 2009-11-14 43KiB
NNTP Extension for Compression (IETF)

This document defines an extension to the Network News Transport Protocol (NNTP) to allow a connection to be effectively and efficiently compressed.

TLS also allows compression at that layer, but this defines a way to compress streams without TLS and can be done more efficiently. The server side is implemented in INN 2.6.1 and later. The only client I'm aware of at the moment is flnews.

This document was published as RFC 8054.

draft-murchison-nntp-compress-06.txt 2016-10-26 51KiB
draft-murchison-nntp-compress-05.txt 2016-06-23 47KiB
draft-murchison-nntp-compress-04.txt 2016-06-18 46KiB
draft-murchison-nntp-compress-03.txt 2016-06-10 45KiB
draft-murchison-nntp-compress-02.txt 2015-11-12 33KiB
draft-murchison-nntp-compress-01.txt 2010-01-26 31KiB
draft-murchison-nntp-compress-00.txt 2010-01-21 24KiB
Use of Transport Layer Security (TLS) in NNTP (IETF)

This document provides recommendations for improving the security of the Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) when using Transport Layer Security (TLS). It modernizes the NNTP usage of TLS to be consistent with TLS best current practices. This would update RFC 4642 if published as a standard.

Also see the differences between these recommendations and RFC 4642.

This document was published as RFC 8143.

draft-elie-nntp-tls-recommendations-05.txt 2017-02-07 33KiB
draft-elie-nntp-tls-recommendations-04.txt 2017-01-05 32KiB
draft-elie-nntp-tls-recommendations-03.txt 2016-12-26 32KiB
draft-elie-nntp-tls-recommendations-02.txt 2016-12-21 26KiB
draft-elie-nntp-tls-recommendations-01.txt 2016-08-05 21KiB
draft-elie-nntp-tls-recommendations-00.txt 2016-07-23 20KiB
Netnews Administration System (NAS) (IETF)

The Netnews Administration System (NAS) is a framework to simplify the administration and usage of network news (also known as Netnews) on the Internet. Data for the administration of newsgroups and hierarchies are kept in a distributed hierarchical database and are available through a client-server-protocol. The database is accessible by news servers and news administrators as well as by news readers. News servers can update their configuration automatically; administrators are able to get the data manually. News reader programs are able to get certain information from an NAS server, automatically or at a user's discretion, to provide detailed information about groups and hierarchies to the user.

This document was published as RFC 4707. This is an experimental track RFC and I don't believe this protocol was widely implemented.

draft-dfncis-netnews-admin-sys-07.txt 2005-07 77KiB
draft-dfncis-netnews-admin-sys-06.txt 2003-06 74KiB
draft-dfncis-netnews-admin-sys-05.txt 2002-11 74KiB
draft-dfncis-netnews-admin-sys-04.txt 2001-09 73KiB
draft-dfncis-netnews-admin-sys-03.txt 2001-05 73KiB
draft-dfncis-netnews-admin-sys-02.txt 2000-11 73KiB
draft-dfncis-netnews-admin-sys-01.txt 2000-05 80KiB
draft-dfncis-netnews-admin-sys-00.txt 2000-01 72KiB
Common NNTP Extensions (IETF)

In this document, a number of popular extensions to the NNTP protocol defined in RFC977 are documented and discussed. While this document is not intended to serve as a standard of any kind, it will hopefully serve as a reference document for future implementers of the NNTP protocol. In the role, this document would hopefully create the possibility for some level of interoperability among implementations that make use of extensions.

This document was published as RFC 2980. It's now mostly obsolete. The most interesting commands described here were included in the standards-track RFCs that updated the protocol.

draft-ietf-nntpext-imp-03.txt 1998-08 52KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-imp-02.txt 1998-05 56KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-imp-01.txt 1997-12 53KiB
draft-ietf-nntpext-imp-00.txt 1997-10 53KiB
Last modified and spun 2022-08-07