It may be a beta last updated in 2006, but for me it offers everything I need in a newsgroup binaries reader!
It may be a beta last updated in 2006, but for me it offers everything I need in a newsgroup binaries reader!

A short and sweet review!

Since changing my newsgroup provider to the excellent TigerUSENET (my experiences coming soon), I took the opportunity to play around with a few newsgroup binary readers, only to find that Im happiest (and get best results with) a package that was discontinued a good time ago and still in an early version.

The package?  Well it should be obvious by the title, Klibido of course!

So whats Klibido for?  In a nutshell its for downloading binaries from newsgroup posts.  Before anyone blows the “youre a pirate” trumpet at me, Id like to remind you that there are many newsgroups which not only post FOSS, but there are those that have files from the Amiga PD scene from many years ago.   Just like Bittorrent, Usenet can get a bad wrap in regards to piracy, however since its not the most straight forward of beasts to get to grips with, I believe it keeps away many of the people with flippant copyright views and sends them over to BT or other p2p simply because they want something for nothing and want it handed to them on a plate.

So what does Klibido offer?  Pretty much what you would expect from a binary newsgroup reader, but since my search for a better one for Linux proved fruitless (unless a reader here can tell me otherwise) Im going to stick with Klibido and champion it here!

List of features (from site):

  • Automatic joining of multi-part posts
  • Automatic decoding of posts, using the uudeview library (yEnc supported) or an internal decoder
  • Multiple servers support, with priorities and fallback if an article fails on a server and is present on another server
  • Queue balancing: KLibido spreads the bytes load across servers with the same priority
  • Multiple download threads per server support, with the ability to add or remove threads “on the fly”
  • Gracefully handles network errors, timeouts, disconnects and out-of-space errors
  • Acceptable (at least, by me🙂 memory usage (80-100 MB VMRss with several large groups open)
  • Filter articles by subject and state (read, unread, complete, incomplete)
  • Multi tabbed interface in IDEAl mode, to open multiple newsgroups at once
  • KParts interface for previewing posts (.nfo, images, etc…) inside the program
  • .nzb support
  • Download queue management:
    • Pause (and resume) the queue
    • Pause (and resume) the single posts
    • Drag and drop the items around to change the download order
    • Cancel download
    • Lists of finished and failed items
    • Granularity, with the ability to see the progress/status of the whole post and of the single articles of the post
    • The progress of the download is saved and survives program exits/crashes

Conclusion:

I personally dont think you can have a better newsgroup package than this.  Despite the fact that it appears discontinued its very stable and the only time I noticed a crash & subsequent recovery was with machines with low memory that were trying to either search or view a few large newsgroups at the same time.

That being said, Ive not closed my mind to finding an alternative.  During my search, I came across a Windows binary (thats Wine compliant) called Binary News Reaper which I found to be very good and although Im sure to be shown up as wrong in relation to other good Linux alternatives, I would say Reaper is a good second best to Klibido.

Except for a few small issues mainly related to asthetics and organization of tabs/windows, I really dont see where else this package can be improved.  Maybe that was one of the reasons it was discontinued?  The release is stable and providing youre not downloading a bohemoth of a newsgroup, its memory footprint is small.  Klibido apparently never got out of the beta stage, and as I understand the last update was in 2006. That being said, do not think for one minute that this package is incomplete or lacking (its not) and its a testament to the hard work put into it.

The Klibido homepage can be found here: http://klibido.sourceforge.net/

I dont think you will find many issues with this software, and for me its a worthy addition to my distro and another example of a FOSS package that “does exactly what it says on the tin”

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com