Usenet Improvement Project

The Problem -
And The Solution

Home: What Is The Project?
Underlying Issue
Other Voices A G-Grouper Is Born
Gmail - A Warning
Filters Other Stuff

Filters - Examples 2


Agent Users: We have been informed that beginning with release 5.00/32.1170 Agent can finally filter on the Message-ID header. Thus, for users of that release and newer, the work-arounds recommended on this page are no longer necessary. Those users can find filtering instructions here; users of older versions should continue reading this page.

Some news clients (probably the most common of these being Thunderbird, Agent and OE) are incapable of filtering on the Message-ID header that every post includes; in fact, some are incapable of filtering on most headers. There are undoubtedly other clients with that problem, as well, that are not listed above.

Because of this disability a workaround is needed. Luckily, certain programs exist, for Linux, Windows and Mac installations, which provide this. We will discuss four. They are are local news servers/proxies that you can install on your system that perform the role of a new link that stands between the external news feeds you use and your news client. They receive the news posts from your external server feeds and pass them along to your client, where you see them; your posts generally go to them, and are in turn passed along to your external feeds. Thus, on the inbound side, they're able to provide the weaker news clients with pre-chewed newsgroups by doing the filtering that they - those news clients - can't handle.

In terms of installation and setup, is this more work than if your news client could filter adequately on its own? Of course. Can this be avoided? Not if you cling to one of these less competent news clients. That said, here we go.

The programs we'll deal with here, linked later, are:

Like the list of clients that need help from these programs, this list is not claimed to be complete; for instance, another similar program is slrnpull. Here at the Project, Hamster Playground and leafnode are employed for making Thunderbird usable. This is not to say that TB is a favored news client here; it's only used with the servers. Our other clients don't need this kind of help.

This page is about filtering out Google Groups traffic and isn't intended to be an installation and general usage guide for external programs required to compensate for the shortcomings of news clients. It is, like the rest of this site, specifically about filtering rules.

Install whatever of these programs you require, according to your operating system(s). Configure them for your external news servers and create an account in your news client that points to them (the local servers or proxies). See the note at the bottom of the page if you have trouble installing the software of your choice.


Read leafnode's config file. It may be in /etc/leafnode. In the appropriate place, and if this is not already done, point it to the file you want to use for filters. If one doesn't already exist put it in the same directory as config. It will be a text file. Add this line:


Note that this syntax will change when leafnode version 2, still in early testing, is released.


From the main menu go to Configuration|Files|NewsScoreFile. Add these lines:

=-9999 Message-ID googlegroups


Notes:   The NewsProxy/nfilter home page doesn't mention Windows XP or Vista. That's because the page has not been updated. The program works with both of those. Also, the file at the nfilter site is slightly broken, but works fine with a very simple change. If you've already downloaded the file, exe you have is just a self-extracting zip file, but it doesn't self-extract. So just change the .exe extension to .zip and open it with your favorite zip utility. Or get the same zip here.

Include the following line in your nfilter.dat file in the program directory:

* drop Message-ID:*googlegroups*


Find or create Noffle's noffle.conf file. It may be in /etc or you may have to create it there. Create this line for it.

filter action=discard group=*\>$

Note: Instruction on the installation and general operation of the various programs discussed here is beyond the scope of this website. The Project is about the Google Groups posting problem, and how to obtain relief from its symptoms through precision filtering of posts originating there. For assistance with the installation and general operation of these programs, please check the usual channels for such information: their documentation (manuals and help files); FAQs and other online resources; and, if necessary and those sources have been exhausted, the excellent Usenet group