If your system has been set up for reading Usenet news, getting started with Gnus is easy—just type M-x gnus.
On starting up, Gnus reads your news initialization file: a
file named .newsrc in your home directory which lists your
Usenet newsgroups and subscriptions (this file is not unique to Gnus;
it is used by many other newsreader programs). It then tries to
contact the system’s default news server, which is typically specified
NNTPSERVER environment variable.
If your system does not have a default news server, or if you wish to use Gnus for reading email, then before invoking M-x gnus you need to tell Gnus where to get news and/or mail. To do this, customize the variables gnus-select-method and/or gnus-secondary-select-methods. See Finding the News in The Gnus Manual.
Once Gnus has started up, it displays the group buffer. By default, the group buffer shows only a small number of subscribed groups. Groups with other statuses—unsubscribed, killed, or zombie—are hidden. The first time you start Gnus, any group to which you are not subscribed is made into a killed group; any group that subsequently appears on the news server becomes a zombie group.
To proceed, you must select a group in the group buffer to open the summary buffer for that group; then, select an article in the summary buffer to view its article buffer in a separate window. The following sections explain how to use the group and summary buffers to do this.
To quit Gnus, type q in the group buffer. This automatically records your group statuses in the files .newsrc and .newsrc.eld, so that they take effect in subsequent Gnus sessions.