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1 Authentication to an NNTP server with tin
3 Tin is able to do authentication to news servers according to the "Common
4 NNTP Extensions" (this document is available at ). There are several ways
5 of authentication described in that text which are referred to as Original
6 AUTHINFO, AUTHINFO GENERIC, and AUTHINFO SIMPLE. Tin supports the Original
7 AUTHINFO and if tin is linked against libgsasl and the server announces it
8 as described in RFC 3977  it supports the AUTHINFO SASL PLAIN mechanisem
9 as described in RFC 4643 . In addition to answers to authentication
10 requests as described in the "Common NNTP Extensions", tin also provides
11 authentication at connection startup.
13 Unfortunately, you cannot rely on the response codes of authentication
14 requests as described in the "Common NNTP Extensions"; today's news servers
15 mostly send NNTP codes 480, regardless of the type of authentication they
16 expect. Therefore, authentication is always done in the same manner: First,
17 tin tries AUTHINFO SASL PLAIN authorization (see above). If this fails or is
18 unavailable, Original AUTHINFO is used. If this does not work for you
19 (which it should), please contact me to track this problem down. There are
20 known problems with the reference nntp server available at ftp.academ.com --
21 this is a server bug and not tin's fault; if you need a patch or workaround,
22 drop me a mail.
24 Authentication requests will be handled whenever they occur; the command
25 that caused the request will be sent again.
27 For an authentication with the Original AUTHINFO method, tin needs a
28 user-name and a password for the current news server. This information is
29 obtained from a file .newsauth in the $HOME directory. The format of the
30 .newsauth file is as follows:
32 news.server1 password1 [username1]
33 news.server2 password2 [username2]
36 The first line matching the current news server is taken. The delimiters
37 between the fields MUST be spaces or TABS. If a password contains spaces,
38 you have to surround the whole password by double quotes. If no user-name is
39 given for the current news server, the user-id of the user who started tin
40 is assumed. Mind that tin expects unix line endings ('\n'), a
41 .newsauth-file with dos line endings ('\r\n') or mac line endings ('\r')
42 is likely to cause trouble.
44 Security consideration: Make sure that the .newsauth file cannot be read by
45 others. Tin checks the permissions of the file and complains if they are
46 insecure (i.e., if they are not -rw-------) but continues.
48 If you do not have a .newsauth file in your $HOME directory, tin prompts
49 you for a user-name and a password. This is not done automatically at
50 connection startup, because there is no way for tin to find out if an
51 authentication at this time is needed. If you need to authenticate at the
52 beginning of your news session, use the -A option when invoking tin or just
53 provide a .newsauth file.
55 The AUTHINFO SASL PLAIN authentication method requires tin to be linked
56 against libgsasl.
58 The AUTHINFO SIMPLE authentication method is not supported by tin (and
59 possibly won't be since nobody seems to use it and there are some problems
60 with the protocol). If you need this, drop me a message or see the source
61 code in auth.c. With the specification at , the implementation should not
62 be difficult.
64 Dirk Nimmich (2000-01-22)
68  <http://www.karlsruhe.org/rfc/rfc2980.txt>
69  <http://www.karlsruhe.org/rfc/rfc3977.txt>
70  <http://www.karlsruhe.org/rfc/rfc4643.txt>