Usenet Newsgroups: An Evolutionary Journey of Endurance and Online Banter

By  //  June 30, 2023

Back in the day, before the internet was ruled by the likes of Facebook and MySpace, a radical communication network known as Usenet newsgroups was already an oldtimer from 1979. Dreamed up by the geniuses Tom Truscott and James Ellis at Duke University, Usenet turned the online world upside down. It let people exchange messages and files across computers worldwide. 

In this post we’ll dive deeper in the Usenet Groups. So, get ready to dive into the wild history of Usenet, its explosive growth, its epic contributions, and its current status as the hipster alternative to mainstream social networks.

Origins and Early Growth:

Once upon a time in the late 1970s, when the internet was a secret hideaway for brainy scientists and military aficionados, Truscott and Ellis stepped in with a brilliant idea: Usenet, a cozy corner for Unix system users to collaborate. Little did they know that this humble creation would soon explode like a virtual firecracker, attracting universities and institutions from all corners of the globe, even the Soviet Union joined the party! 

By the ’90s, Usenet had blossomed into a wild realm of over 9,500 discussion groups, covering topics ranging from the mysteries of computer science to the crucial question of what color socks to rock on Tuesdays. It transformed into a bustling town square of the digital world, where minds collided, knowledge flowed, and lifelong connections were forged. 

Usenet’s Contributions:

Usenet, was a game-changer in every sense of the word. It wasn’t just a cozy corner for Unix system users; it became the go-to spot for cutting-edge tech news. 

Dont believe us? 

Here are some mind-blowing examples: Linus Torvalds, the genius behind Linux, made a splash by announcing his creation on Usenet. Tim Berners-Lee, the audacious inventor of the World Wide Web, shared his groundbreaking creation with the world there. And if that wasn’t enough to make your jaw drop, Marc Andreessen wowed everyone with his revolutionary Mosaic web browser. Usenet was the place to be, where the coolest of cool kids gathered and shaped the digital landscape like no other platform could even dream of.

Other contributions to the modern digital world. 

  • Collaboration & problem-solving: Usenet fostered collaboration for Unix users.
  • Global discussions: Usenet connected institutions worldwide.
  • Diverse groups: 9,500+ discussion groups covered vast topics on Usenet.
  • Digital community building: Usenet formed lasting connections.
  • Tech news hub: Usenet became hotspot for breaking news.
  • Anonymity & privacy: Usenet offered safe space for privacy.
  • Cultural impact: Usenet shaped online communities.
  • Diverse discussions: 9,500+ newsgroups covered vast topics on Usenet.

Usenet Today:

Sure, Usenet may not be the talk of the town like it used to be, but let me tell you, it’s still going strong. In fact, it’s become somewhat of a hidden gem, a secret hideout where you can escape the prying eyes of modern social networks. Anonymity is the name of the game, my friends, and that’s precisely what attracts millions of users to Usenet, seeking their own little corner of the internet.

Now, we can’t turn a blind eye to the elephant in the room: there’s some not-so-legal stuff floating around in Usenet’s depths. We’re talking about pirate booty, naughty smut, and everything in between. It’s like a treasure trove of questionable content. But hold on to your hats because there’s more to this story. 

Google, yes, the internet giant itself, decided to jump into the Usenet game and acquired the Usenet Discussion Service from This search engine giant is slowly investing and taken over Usenet, and for a good reason. Check it out at

Usenet’s legacy lives on, and it’s clear that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. New Usenet tech such as Newsreader clients (SABnzbd), NZB files, Binary retention, Spam filtering, Usenet search engines, Usenet providers and much more are also making it to the scene. 

So, if you’re looking for a hidden sanctuary or just a place to explore the wild side of the internet, Usenet is your ticket to adventure.

Usenet Newsgroups Still Active Today.

Believe it or not, amidst the chaos of modern websites and social media, there are still some die-hard Usenet groups keeping the fire alive. Check out these groovy groups that refuse to fade away:

  1. comp.lang.*: Geeks unite! This Big 8 newsgroup is the go-to spot for computer enthusiasts discussing programming languages, sharing knowledge, and solving tech puzzles.
  2. comp.os.linux.misc: Linux lovers rejoice! This newsgroup is all about geeking out on everything Linux. Get your fix of kernel optimization, hardware support, and general Linux chit-chat right here.
  3. alt.bitcoins: Slow and steady wins the race in this group dedicated to the wild world of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Share your wisdom, ask questions, and ponder the future of digital moolah.
  4. alt.folklore.computers: Calling all vintage tech nerds! This group is like a treasure trove of old computer tales, programming wizardry, and computing history. It’s like stepping into a time machine and geeking out with fellow enthusiasts.
  5. rec.arts.anime: Anime aficionados assemble! Whether you’re into Pokémon or Naruto, this newsgroup is a vibrant community of anime lovers discussing the latest episodes, sharing fan art, and arguing about the best waifus.


In a world dominated by social media giants, Usenet newsgroups still hold a special place in the hearts of those seeking a refuge from the noise. Despite its evolution, Usenet remains a testament to the enduring spirit of online communities, where geeks, enthusiasts, and pioneers connect, share knowledge, and let their nerdy flags fly high. 

So, next time you stumble upon Usenet, remember the epic journey it has traveled and the banter it continues to inspire. 

Dont know where to start? Check this fantastic guide on how to start with Usenet, and join the party!

Long live Usenet!