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2. Programs you will need

2.1 FidoGate

This is the gateway software, which will convert the Fido-messages into usenet-news/mail and vice versa. The latest release is version 3.9.7.

FidoGate is developed by Martin Junius (, 2:2452/110).

You can find the latest version at and usually some time later at

2.2 ifcico

This is a mailer similiar to BinkleyTerm, but it is more unix-like as it doesn't wait actively (which doesn't bother with Dos) and is very similiar to uucico from UUCP. ifcico comes with the package ifmail. The latest version is 2.8f. The older 2.8d keeps an ugly bug so don't use this version.

Ifcico was developed by Eugene Crosser (, 2:5020/230).

The package ifmail comes with its own gateway software, but I prefer to use FidoGate as my gateway software, so this HOWTO will only describe the configuration with FidoGate.

The latest version is uploaded by Eugene to and

2.3 News-Transport-Agent (NTA)

As News-Transport-Agent one can use cnews as well as INN. To help you to choose one of them, here are some of the pros and cons of both programs:

I myself used cnews in former times, but now I am using INN, because INN is considerably easier to configure than cnews.


As older Slackware-Distributions came with a cnews that was extremly crippled (e.g. all man-pages were missing), one should use at least the cnews package from Slackware 2.1. As an alternative, one can get a hold of the complete source-distribution and compile it themselfs. I used the performance-release from 93/02/20 from By now there are newer releases, but I haven't tried them yet. I will refer in this HOWTO to the older version and I don't plan to update this certain part in the future.


The latest Slackware-Distribution contains cnews as well as INN, so now everyone has a choice. This INN should work, but I prefer to compile and configure my software myself, so I am using the source of INN-1.4sec, which can be found at

2.4 Mail-Transport-Agent (MTA)

Here one has the choice between smail and Sendmail V8. Smail is the smaller and simpler package to configure, but it has some small bugs. Sendmail V8 is not very easy to configure, but there is a configuration with the macro-processor M4, which simplifies the configuration enormously, so configuring Sendmail should be as simple as smail. I myself changed from smail to Sendmail.


As the old version of smail had a bug in the uuname-driver (which is only important when using UUCP) I used version from Since I have upgraded to Sendmail, I will no longer support the configuration files of smail in this HOWTO anymore. Slackware now contains Sendmail instead of smail, so it shouldn't be too difficult to get rid of smail.

Sendmail V8

The contemporary version of Sendmail V8 is 8.7.6, but there shouldn't be any problems with version >8.6.9. Version 8.6.9 has a big security-gap, but this is only important if the computer is connected to the Internet via TCP/IP. One can find the latest version of Sendmail at ftp://FTP.CS.Berkeley.EDU/ucb/src/sendmail/, but as I already mentioned it's also a part of the Slackware-Distribution. It is very important to install the complete configuration files, which are hidden in a package with the confusing name smailcfg.tgz.

2.5 newspack

If you install cnews, INN or smail as sources, you should get the latest version of newspak. This package contains the adjustments of various mail and news programs (cnews, INN, smail, sendmail-IDA, tin, trn, nn, elm, uucp,...) to Linux. Until now, I haven't been able to find a newspak that also contained adjustments for Sendmail V8. However, I've found one inside the Slackware-sources in the directory n/sendmail.

2.6 Newsreader

One can use any newsreader, e.g. tin, nn, trn, xvnews, xrn, slrn, knews,.. If one uses cnews, it should have a UUCP-mode, i.e. not only NNTP, otherwise one has to install the nntpd, which is quite difficult without any documentation. I suggest using tin, because tin is easy to use and requires minimal work to configure.

2.7 Mailreader

Here you can use what you wish: elm, pine, mail, xmail, xmailtool, xfmail,...

2.8 Packers

Some packers come with the distributions. If special packers are missing one can get them from various servers like which have a packer-directory:


unzip51 can unpack the new ZIP-format, too. There is now a zip, which can pack the new format.


unarj241 unpacks ARJ-archives, but there's no packer for Linux.


lha existst as a Linux-port, too.


Old, but very important packer, as nodelists are packed with arc. There is at least one Linux-port.


unrar101 unpacks RAR-archives, I haven't found a RAR-packer, yet. One can find the sources to unrar at:

2.9 TIC-processor

There are some small TIC-processors, which were written in PERL. Especially tic010b.tgz (also known as lt010b.tgz) by Cees de Groot (, 241:10000/1512) can be mentioned. This program is part of the ifmail-package since version 2.8a and can be found in the directory ifmail/misc/contrib/tic.

There is also a TIC-processor included in FidoGate called ftntick. Last I have to mention the packet FidoTools-0.9 which can be found at and which mainly contains a tic processor.

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