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3.3 Selecting a Group


Select the current group, switch to the summary buffer and display the first unread article (gnus-group-read-group). If there are no unread articles in the group, or if you give a non-numerical prefix to this command, Gnus will offer to fetch all the old articles in this group from the server. If you give a numerical prefix n, n determines the number of articles Gnus will fetch. If n is positive, Gnus fetches the n newest articles, if n is negative, Gnus fetches the abs(n) oldest articles.

Thus, SPC enters the group normally, C-u SPC offers old articles, C-u 4 2 SPC fetches the 42 newest articles, and C-u - 4 2 SPC fetches the 42 oldest ones.

When you are in the group (in the Summary buffer), you can type M-g to fetch new articles, or C-u M-g to also show the old ones.


Select the current group and switch to the summary buffer (gnus-group-select-group). Takes the same arguments as gnus-group-read-group—the only difference is that this command does not display the first unread article automatically upon group entry.


This does the same as the command above, but tries to do it with the minimum amount of fuzz (gnus-group-quick-select-group). No scoring/killing will be performed, there will be no highlights and no expunging. This might be useful if you’re in a real hurry and have to enter some humongous group. If you give a 0 prefix to this command (i.e., 0 M-RET), Gnus won’t even generate the summary buffer, which is useful if you want to toggle threading before generating the summary buffer (see Summary Generation Commands).


This is yet one more command that does the same as the RET command, but this one does it without expunging and hiding dormants (gnus-group-visible-select-group).


Finally, this command selects the current group ephemerally without doing any processing of its contents (gnus-group-select-group-ephemerally). Even threading has been turned off. Everything you do in the group after selecting it in this manner will have no permanent effects.

The gnus-large-newsgroup variable says what Gnus should consider to be a big group. If it is nil, no groups are considered big. The default value is 200. If the group has more (unread and/or ticked) articles than this, Gnus will query the user before entering the group. The user can then specify how many articles should be fetched from the server. If the user specifies a negative number (-n), the n oldest articles will be fetched. If it is positive, the n articles that have arrived most recently will be fetched.

gnus-large-ephemeral-newsgroup is the same as gnus-large-newsgroup, but is only used for ephemeral newsgroups.

In groups in some news servers, there might be a big gap between a few very old articles that will never be expired and the recent ones. In such a case, the server will return the data like (1 . 30000000) for the LIST ACTIVE group command, for example. Even if there are actually only the articles 1–10 and 29999900–30000000, Gnus doesn’t know it at first and prepares for getting 30000000 articles. However, it will consume hundreds megabytes of memories and might make Emacs get stuck as the case may be. If you use such news servers, set the variable gnus-newsgroup-maximum-articles to a positive number. The value means that Gnus ignores articles other than this number of the latest ones in every group. For instance, the value 10000 makes Gnus get only the articles 29990001–30000000 (if the latest article number is 30000000 in a group). Note that setting this variable to a number might prevent you from reading very old articles. The default value of the variable gnus-newsgroup-maximum-articles is nil, which means Gnus never ignores old articles.

If gnus-auto-select-first is non-nil, select an article automatically when entering a group with the SPC command. Which article this is controlled by the gnus-auto-select-subject variable. Valid values for this variable are:


Place point on the subject line of the first unread article.


Place point on the subject line of the first article.


Place point on the subject line of the first unseen article.


Place point on the subject line of the first unseen article, and if there is no such article, place point on the subject line of the first unread article.


Place point on the subject line of the highest-scored unread article.

This variable can also be a function. In that case, that function will be called to place point on a subject line.

If you want to prevent automatic selection in some group (say, in a binary group with Huge articles) you can set the gnus-auto-select-first variable to nil in gnus-select-group-hook, which is called when a group is selected.

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