NNTP (USENET) and SSL HOWTO
Read the Pegasus Mail (POP3) and SSL HOWTO for the background information.
Table of contents
The required pieces of the puzzle are:
- Agent - (using version 1.9)
- Any USENET reader should work, but I haven't tried any other programs. Free Agent is a viable option for the cheap.
- stunnel - (using version 3.22)
- Batch files
What is stunnel? Stunnel is a program that allows you to encrypt arbitrary TCP connections inside SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) available on both Unix and Windows. In accordance to its Unix roots, the Windows port of stunnel is a bare-bones console program. No fancy bells, whistles, or help files. Just 38K of text, text, and more text.
- Download the latest Windows binary.
- I recommend saving it in the same directory as Agent. Or, if you're super-l33t and using Pegasus Mail too, just skip all of this and grab the batch file.
- The filename is convoluted with the version number. Rename it to
stunnel for ease of use.
- Download the two pre-compiled SSL libraries (near the bottom of the page with the stunnel binary) into the
- If you miss these files ssltunnel will not work
- Drop to an MS-DOS box (command prompt), change to the Pegasus Mail directory, and execute this command:
stunnel -c -d 119 -r news.u.washington.edu:563
- No need for your NetID since it'll be sent from Agent.
You should see something similar to:
2001.11.27 18:53:25 LOG5[16310699:16474727]: Using 'news.u.washington.edu.563' as tcpwrapper service name
2001.11.27 18:53:27 LOG5[16310699:16474727]: stunnel 3.22 on
x86-pc-mingw32-gnu WIN32 with OpenSSL 0.9.6b 9 Jul 2001
2001.11.27 18:53:27 LOG5[16310699:16474727]: FD_SETSIZE=4096, file ulimit=-1 (unlimited) -> 2000 clients allowed
Congratulations, you've created a SSL tunnel
Minimize the window and continue to the next step.
Setup is simple on the Agent side:
1) Open up the "User and System Profile" screen (Under the "Options" menu item).
2) Change the radio button to "Log in with a username and password". DO NOT choose the bottom radio button.
3) Click the "System" tab.
4) Change the "News server" to
You're done! Try reading some messages.
I written two small batch files to simplify the stunnel process. The files assume that stunnel and the file reside in the same directory as Agent.
Or download this ZIP file with both batch files.
- stunnel + Agent
- Use this file when stunnel isn't started and you want immediate access to Agent. After launching, stunnel will remain minimized in the taskbar. Remember to place this file in the same directory as Agent.
- stunnel only
- Useful in the StartUp folder. This launches stunnel in a minimized state but doesn't call Agent.
- I've yet to figure out a way of having two stunnel's in a single DOS box.