Newsgroup Binaries with HellaNZB and LottaNZB faster than you can say "Cloverfield"

a howto article.

From nothing to downloading in about 5 minutes and that's with juice breaks. The file finished downloading in the amount of time it took me to put together this article. As an added bonus, HellaNZB will repair and extract your files for you, so you don't have to do any of that work -- your computer does it all for you, automatically.

LottaNZB is a clever and attractive frontend to HellaNZB.

"Why should I care about Usenet Binaries anyway?"

  • Because torrents can take forever to download and you often don't know what you're really downloading, or who is watching you download (these all apply pretty much specifically to non-private trackers). Usenet is the underbelly of the net (I have heard that the FBI uses fake child porn groups on Usenet routinely to set up sting operations on would-be child predators) and it has been around forever.
  • A lot of stuff hits Usenet first -- many of the torrents you see contain files that originated on Usenet.
  • There's stuff on Usenet that you can't find on torrent sites

You will need:

  • Linux (pretty much any distro will do but Ubuntu or Debian will make it easy because of awesome/fairly simple package management)
  • An NNTP service provider -- check your ISP first; many ISPs have free NNTP service but with crappy redundancy (sometimes a week or less). I'm using Verizon with their crappy redundancy, but it is free. Paid newsgroup services are generally very reliable with very high rate of redundancy and speed for very low cost. If you don't have a paid newsgroup service you're severely limiting your chances of finding anything useful to download that is older than one week.
  • A little patience, the desire to get binaries for free.

How you do it:

sudo apt-get install hellanzb
sudo apt-get install python-elementtree python-glade2 python-gtk2
goto lottanzb website and follow build instructions
goto nzb search site such as binsearch and look for your file
Ok, tired of writing instructions. Hope this helps.

If using LottaNZB as a frontend, config file can be found at
If just using hellanzb, config file can be found at
$HOME$/.hellanzb/hellanzb.conf or /etc/hellanzb.conf

*If you want this setup to automagically extract your rar files for you, go to the hellanzb.conf file -- open terminal, run command:
gedit .lottanzb/hellanzb.conf
and change
Hellanzb.SKIP_UNRAR = True
Hellanzb.SKIP_UNRAR = False
also change
Hellanzb.UNRAR_CMD = False
Hellanzb.UNRAR_CMD = "/usr/bin/unrar"


Anonymous said...

What about Windows?

Anonymous said...

You may try out my recently developed firefox add-on, which allows platform independent remote control of your hellanzb daemon, check out Some Feedback would be really nice.

Cu Guido

Noah said...

Hopefully I'll get around to it. Looks cool.

Your site's security certificate doesn't "play nice" with Firefox 3.

Anonymous said...

I had to change

Hellanzb.UNRAR_CMD = "/usr/bin/unrar-free"


Hellanzb.UNRAR_CMD = "/usr/bin/unrar"

using ubuntu 8.04.

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