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News (17.Oct.2006) - v0.6.0 released

v0.6.0 features major feature enhancements, mainly the support for downloading all those naughty web image galleries through index sites providing links. The links are browsed only if they or their description matches a given regexp keyword, so you reaally get just what you want. Yay! Also, files can now be tagged and viewed with keywords.

Open posts: Debian package maintainer. If you're using PIMPPA and could maintain the Debian package, please email. As the PIMPPA releases do not happen too often, the job would mainly entail fixing the few naggings at bugs.debian.org. The upstream (that is, me) is willing to fix problems that are caused by the original source code if I'm personally informed of them.


PIMPPA is a tool to loot binaries from newsgroups (and ftp sites, but the ftp support is probably deprecated). PIMPPA tries to achieve complete "hands free" -operation where possible. The system is best suited for the Connoisseur, the Collector and the Worshipper of the Mighty Crond.

Current features

  • Attempts to skip duplicates and spam before downloading actual messages.
  • Further duplicate discarding based on filenames & MD5 -checksums.
  • Allows user-definable, content-based pruning scripts for even more involved discarding.
  • Intelligent multipart handling, downloads only complete postings.
  • Supports multiple newsservers.
  • Filename-based sorting of accepted files to proper directories.
  • Can be used to hunt known file series, extensions or message subject patterns and skip the rest.
  • Supports automatic file integrity testing and transformation.
  • Several tools and scripts for file maintenance and viewing.
  • Knowledge is kept in SQL database, making it relatively easy for you to write your own custom scripts and utilities.
  • Cronable: come back next week to check the filtered catch.
  • Optional Gnome GUI (shell-use recommended).
  • It's free! - GPL'ed Open Source.

Downsides (its not perfect)

  • Software requirements. A bit on the heavy side.
  • The GUI could be better.
  • Installation and use. You might actually have to read some of the documentation.


To see whats new, check ChangeLog.

Several key functions of PIMPPA have been delegated to external, well-performing packages. You will need to install them before installing PIMPPA.

Required components:

  • MySQL to maintain the database (v5.0.18 or newer).
  • Suck to download newsgroups (v4.3.2 or newer).
  • Uudeview to decode the news (v0.5.18 or newer).
Optional components:
  • wget for WWW image fetching through image gallery index sites (v1.10.2 or newer should be ok).
  • fget for FTP support. It must be patched to work with pimppa. (v1.0.3 and v1.1 can be patched).
  • GNOME for GUI. PIMPPA operates and compiles well without a GUI, though.


Mailing lists

There's three PIMPPA-related mailing lists. Currently they have really low or no traffic. But the more, the merrier.
  • pimppa-devel - List for those who are interested in developing pimppa.
  • pimppa-leve - About the experimental IRC fserve dl component Leverlåda.
  • pimppa-users - General discussion list for all users. Quite quiet.


  • PIMPPA project page on SourceForge. It includes a public discussion forum, but if possible, please use the mailing lists instead.
  • CVS web access to PIMPPA source code. Bleeding edge devel versions - sometimes.
    You can also fetch the latest snapshot easily with

    $ cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous@cvs.pimppa.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/pimppa co pimppa

    To compile the stuff from CVS, do "./bootstrap" before running "./configure".

Other applications that might be of interest
  • Binary News Reaper -- This news downloading program might be preferred to PIMPPA. It appears to have lots of similar features with a better user interface.
  • GNUnet -- Anonymous file sharing with trust based economics.
  • Freenet -- Similar to GNUnet, but coded with Java
  • KLibido -- A news downloader for KDE
  • brag A commandline tool to download and decode news.
  • ubh -- "Usenet Binary Harvester."
  • Napnews -- Gnutella-compatible tool to leech news binaries, with bandwidth control & multiple server support.
  • GIFT -- GNU Image Finding Tool, an open source content based image retrieval system. Imagine how nice such functionality would be in pimppa. ;)
  • imgSeek -- Another package to do content based image retrieval in a local database. Unfortunately it doesn't usually do semantically meaningful associations.


I encourage you to send all your ideas, thoughts and criticism to the pimppa-users@ mailing list mentioned above, so we can discuss them. Bug-reports, patches etc. are most welcome and can be sent straight to the head honcho.

In any case, pour 'em in!

Email: iwronsky(at)users(dot)sourceforge(dot)net