Basic NNTP Protocol

Release Notes: In keeping with the RKT design guidelines, RFC977 has been split up into over 30 separate files. (The complete RFC977 is available at:

For convenience, links to related topics are provided on each page: they follow the RFC text. (These links and cross references are not part of RFC977)

Related entry points into the Usenet RKT for Developers:

Network Working Group Brian Kantor (U.C. San Diego)
Request for Comments: 977 Phil Lapsley (U.C. Berkeley)
February 1986

Network News Transfer Protocol

A Proposed Standard for the Stream-Based
Transmission of News

Status of This Memo

NNTP specifies a protocol for the distribution, inquiry, retrieval,
and posting of news articles using a reliable stream-based
transmission of news among the ARPA-Internet community. NNTP is
designed so that news articles are stored in a central database
allowing a subscriber to select only those items he wishes to read.
Indexing, cross-referencing, and expiration of aged messages are also
provided. This RFC suggests a proposed protocol for the ARPA-Internet
community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements.
Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

RFC977 1. Introduction

RFC977 2. The NNTP Specification
RFC977 2.1. Overview
RFC977 2.2. Character Codes
RFC977 2.3. Commands
RFC977 2.4. Responses
RFC977 2.4.1. Text Responses
RFC977 2.4.2. Status Responses
RFC977 2.4.3. General Responses
RFC977 3. Command and Response Details
RFC977 3.1. The ARTICLE, BODY, HEAD, and STAT commands
RFC977 3.2. The GROUP command
RFC977 3.3. The HELP command
RFC977 3.4. The IHAVE command
RFC977 3.5. The LAST command
RFC977 3.6. The LIST command
RFC977 3.7. The NEWGROUPS command
RFC977 3.8. The NEWNEWS command
RFC977 3.9. The NEXT command
RFC977 3.10. The POST command
RFC977 3.11. The QUIT command
RFC977 3.12. The SLAVE command
RFC977 4. Sample Conversations
RFC977 4.1. Example 1 - relative access with NEXT
RFC977 4.2. Example 2 - absolute article access with ARTICLE
RFC977 4.3. Example 3 - NEWGROUPS command
RFC977 4.4. Example 4 - posting a news article
RFC977 4.5. Example 5 - interruption due to operator request
RFC977 4.6. Example 6 - Using the news server to distribute news between systems.
RFC977 4.7. Summary of commands and responses.
RFC977 4.7.1. Commands
RFC977 4.7.2. Responses
RFC977 4.8. A Brief Word about the USENET News System
RFC977 5. References
RFC977 6. Acknowledgements
RFC977 7. Notes

Overview and Related Topics
Up to: NNTP Protocol

RKT Rapid-Links:[Search] [RKT Tips] Path:For Developers / NNTProtocol