subscriptions - Default recommended subscriptions
The pathetc/subscriptions file contains a list of newsgroups that is returned by the NNTP command LIST SUBSCRIPTIONS.
Clients that support this command usually send it the first time they connect to a new news server. They use the returned list to initialize the list of subscribed newsgroups. The subscriptions file therefore should contain groups intended for new users, for testing, or that contain FAQs and other useful information for first-time Usenet users.
The syntax of the subscriptions file is trivial; it is a simple list of newsgroup names, one per line. The order of newsgroups may be significant; the news reading client may present the groups in that order to the user.
Be aware that use of the LIST SUBSCRIPTIONS command is not widespread (though documented in RFC 6048) and most news clients will never ask for this file.
A typical subscriptions file may look like:
news.announce.newusers news.newusers.questions local.test local.general local.talk misc.test misc.test.moderated news.answers news.announce.newgroups
This gives the client the FAQs and question newsgroup for new users first, then a local newsgroup for testing and various commonly-read local discussion groups, followed by the world-wide test groups, all the FAQs, and announcements of new world-wide newsgroups. If there is a local new users group, one might want to list it first.
Written by Bettina Fink <email@example.com> for InterNetNews.