Tutorial screencasts for Emacs

Gnus Part 1

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I’ve picked up something this time which I’ve always wanted to study properly – Gnus. The Emacs news and email reader. This is going to be a multipart episode since Gnus is so big. I don’t know how many exactly but as of now, I’ve got a 3 part thing planned.

Also, the hiatus was unexpected. Things should be smoother now.


Other formats are available on the Archive.org page.

Comments welcome.


  1. The gnus-select-method variable decides where to pick news from.
  2. M-x gnus starts gnus.
  3. g refreshes subsribed groups.
  4. F looks for new groups.
  5. ^ takes you into the server buffer.
  6. RET will do different things depending on where you are. On a group, it will show you articles in the group.
  7. t toggles topics in the Groups buffer.
  8. L shows all groups (including ones with no unread articles).
  9. l shows only groups with no unread articles.
  10. c catches up a group marking all articles as read.
  11. U is used to subscribe to a group.
  12. Information on groups and articles in cached in the .newsrc.eld file which you shouldn’t delete.
  13. Gnus uses .gnus as a startup file.
  14. gnus-secondary-select-methods is the variable that controls sources other than the primary one mentioned in gnus-select-method. Mail sources usually come here.
  15. The mail-sources variable specify where the mail backends should pick data up from.
  16. The nnmail-split-methods function can be used to split mail depending on criteria like sender etc.

Further reading

  1. The Gnus manual.
  2. The Gnus category on emacswiki for lots of tips and tricks.


  1. The recipe used to generate the mailbox.


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