Networking HowTos
Networking HowTos

Installing Newznab on Ubuntu

January 1, 2013 Linux, Other, Ubuntu

Ever wanted to run your own usenet search engine? This howto will go through the steps required to install the Newznab usenet indexer on Ubuntu. Ubuntu 12.04 was used for this guide, however all current versions of Ubuntu should be the same.

Installing and setting up MySQL
$ sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client
Run the MySQL client:

$ mysql -u root -p

You will be asked for MySQL root password. If you don’t have a password set for the root account, simply press enter when prompted.
Create a new mysql user:

CREATE USER 'newznab'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'somepassword';

Create a new blank database for newznab to use:


Assign permissions for the newly created mysql user:

GRANT ALL ON newznab.* TO 'newznab'@'localhost';

Flush the privileges to make sure the newly added users and permissions are ready to use:


Exit the MySQL client:


Installing Apache and PHP
$ sudo apt-get install apache2 php5 php5-dev php-pear php5-gd php5-mysql php5-curl
Downloading and Installing Newznab
Download Newznab

$ wget

Check for the latest release from
Install the unzip package if it’s not already installed

$ sudo apt-get install unzip

Unzip Newznab

$ unzip

Move the extracted Newznab files to the apache www folder.

$ sudo mv newznab-0.2.3 /var/www/newznab

Change the permissions of the Newznab website folder to Apache has full access.

$ sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/newznab
$ sudo chmod 777 -R /var/www/newznab/nzbfiles
$ sudo chmod 777 -R /var/www/newznab/www/covers

Create the Apache site file for Newznab

$ sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/newznab

Paste in the following:

        Listen *:8082
        <VirtualHost *:8082>
                <Directory /var/www/newznab/www/>
                Options FollowSymLinks
                AllowOverride All
                Order allow,deny
                allow from all
                DocumentRoot /var/www/newznab/www
                LogLevel warn
                ServerSignature Off

Change the port number and any other settings to suit your requirements.
Enable the newznab site in the Apache config.

$ sudo a2ensite newznab

Enable the Apache rewrite module

$ sudo a2enmod rewrite

Modify the Apache PHP settings

$ sudo nano /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini

Make the following changes:

find change it to
max_execution_time = 30 max_execution_time = 90
memory_limit = 128M memory_limit = 256M
;date.timezone = date.timezone = <your timezone here>

Replace <your timezone here> with your the correct timezone for your location. Use the correct timezone format as per
Save the file and exit the editor.
Also make these same changes (except the memory_limit setting) to the command line version of PHP:

$ sudo nano /etc/php5/cli/php.ini
find change it to
max_execution_time = 30 max_execution_time = 90
;date.timezone = date.timezone = <your timezone here>

Save the file and exit the editor.
Restart Apache:

$ sudo service apache2 reload

You should now be able to browse to the Newznab site, which will load the initial configuration / installation options for Newznab.
Initial Configuration of Newznab
Using the above example, Apache/Newznab will be listening on port 8082, so make sure you browse to


Replace ip_address with the IP or hostname of your Newznab server.
Once you load the webpage, it should go through a number of initial configuration steps.
Step 1:
Make sure the “pre flight check” runs through OK without any “Errors”.
Step 2:
Set up the database connection.
Enter the MySQL username and password that you set up in the MySQL configuration section.
Step 3:
Set up the news server configuration. Enter your server address, username, and password for your usenet provider.
Step 4:
Save the settings.
Step 5:
Set up the admin user.
Enter a username, password, and email address to use.
Step 6:
Set a NZB file path. This should default to the correct location.
Post Installation of Newznab
The installation is now complete and you are ready to use Newznab.
Feel free to remove the installation files after everything is working fine:

$ sudo rm -rf /var/www/newznab/www/install

You can now log into Newznab (using the username and password created in Step 5 above) and customize the site and indexing options.
Note: Setting up the indexing options is beyond the scope of this howto article.

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  • Simon January 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Thanks very much for the guide.
    I’m wondering if you could help me with a further question regarding setting up newznab (well MySQL in particular).
    I would like to move the mysql database to a different drive on my system as I know that it will get quite large after retrieving and processing headers.
    I have tried following a few guides but I seem to run into permissions errors when trying to restart mysql?
    Would you be able to give a quick step by step in taking the setup from your how-to above, and moving the mysql datadir to another drive on the same machine?

    • admin January 6, 2013 at 1:23 am

      No worries. I’ll look into writing a howto on moving the MySQL databases, but in the meantime, I would recommend you disable the MySQL AppArmor profile in case that’s whats causing the issues. AppArmor is installed by default with Ubuntu, so there’s a good chance that’s where the issue is, as it wont know where your new MySQL data folder is, and will block access to it.
      To disable the MySQL profile in AppArmor:

      $ sudo ln -s /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.mysqld /etc/apparmor.d/disable/usr.sbin.mysqld
      $ sudo service apparmor reload

      Probably a good idea to restart MySQL after disabling the MySQL AppArmor profile, however I’m not sure if its actually required.
      Re-enable the AppArmor profile:

      $ sudo rm /etc/apparmor.d/disable/usr.sbin.mysqld
      $ sudo service apparmor reload

      See how you go with the above.