Next steps for Gmane

As many of you know Gmane website has been off the air for a few weeks after Lars announced ‘The End of Gmane’ on his blog. For many of us who relied on Gmane for our day-to-day mailing list fix, it was cold turkey time.

I think I first came across Gmane in the mid 2000’s when I was wrangling an Apache server in the middle of the night and Altavista (remember that) popped up a link. For me, Gmane became part of my Swiss army-knife so I was really quite sad to see it go offline.

I petitioned some of our directors to allow us to offer to take it over and in the end we entered into agreement with Lars to take over Gmane. The assets of Gmane have been placed into a UK company Gmane Ltd.

As part of the agreement, we have received the INN spool with all the articles but none of the code that drives the site. We’ve started rebuilding parts of the site just to get it back online, its not perfect and there are pieces missing but we’re working on building all the functionality back into the site.

We’ve rebuilt the storage system using ElasticSearch as the document store. We have used it for many projects and have nothing but a good experience. The site is currently a mixture of Python and PHP, the priority has been given to get the original functionality back in place; then work with the community to decide which of the Gmane interfaces are relevant and what we need to change to bring it up-to-date.

We’ll do our utmost to continue in Lars’ footsteps, his hardwork and dedication to maintain this valuable Internet resource.

Thank you Lars for the hardwork that you’ve put into Gmane over the past nearly two decades, all of the Gmane users are grateful to you!


20 thoughts on “Next steps for Gmane”

  1. Here’s an interesting alternative to consider: you could “host” mailing lists on Reddit. It has a decent UI, mobile apps and it supports threaded comments. You don’t have to pay for much storage or bandwidth, all you need to do is host a (low overhead) script to suck in emails and spit out requests to Reddit’s API.

  2. Hi,

    Lars said he was going to provide the raw news spool to people who asked for it but has never responded to inquiry. Can you make it available, or upload it if I give you a place to put it?

    I would like to continue to maintain a high quality NNTP feed of things for those who prefer not to be locked into web browsers and javascript and other things for simple text mail, and the message history is interesting as is in its own right.

    I’ve run a public Usenet site for many years,, and would add it here under the gmane hierarchy. It could even be peerable which was something requested of Gmane but never developed.


  3. Wow great news and thank you for doing this! It seems sad that this type of infrastructure project isn’t given resources by the community at large (think about what would happen to some older projects if key mailing servers were to go dark). Do you get some funding from the Linux Foundation etc for doing this type of work?

    My vote is for the (framed) threaded view to come back in some shape or form. The ability to follow a thread and yet link focus (and link to) an individual post within the thread (so you could see what was above and below it) was invaluable…

  4. The contrast make reading the content virtually impossible. I have no idea what is says. I’m reading very light grey on white. The newspaper industry understood many of these issues 100 years ago, yet all over the web I see sites like this and just…. weep! 🙁

  5. Will the NNTP service continue? I was admittedly lazy about NNTP while there was a web interface, but when that went down and I heard the NNTP interface was still up, I was rather happy at the thought of using NNTP instead of these massively inefficient operating systems called web browsers.

    1. Yes the NNTP service is currently migrating but we are committed to maintaining it. We will probably expand it by propagating the gmane.* hierarchy via our Usenet peering.

      1. A big thank you for doing this, and more so for wanting to keep the NNTP/usenet side of things running.

        I feel I have ‘grown up’ with the help of usenet, for more than 25 years of thinking and learning because of it and gmane has been a really big part of that.

        The thought of the loss of all of that knowledge to a reddit or google groups style web forum would be a real leap backwards.

        …again thanks,
        and would be happy to help beater out the lumps and bumps.

  6. Wow! Thanks for taking this over.

    I have been connected to gmane for more years than I care to remember. I have to admit that almost always my connection has been over NNTP on Thunderbird but it is a great resource.

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