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GravitySSL and Connecting to Secure Servers

Skip this dialogue crap and go to the setup.

Stunnel is a third party application that enables you to use Gravity, or any news reader, to access secure servers like Netscape (secnews.netscape.com). I would like to thank Don Mastrovito for getting me over the hump and doing the legwork. Most of the instructions are his.

Stunnel connects to the remote server. You then set up Gravity to connect to stunnel at "localhost" or 127.0.0.1, using the correct port number. In this case SSL uses port 563.

We will use material from www.stunnel.org. Another site that offers information on stunnel is Luu's XNews site. I don't have the current URL.


Note: You will have to change the path to the stunnel file, I am using C:\programs\stunnel\stunnel-3.20.exe in the examples but you can put it anywhere. I am also using stunnel-3.20.exe but there may be new versions.

SETUP

  1. Download the latest stunnel win32 binary from
    http://www.stunnel.org/download/binaries.html (new browser window)
    It will be named something like "stunnel-3.20.exe"

  2. Put stunnel-3.20.exe in a folder and create a shortcut to it.

  3. Right click on the shortcut and select "properties." In the "Target" box put this:
    C:\programs\stunnel\stunnel-3.20.exe  -c -d 563 -r secnews.netscape.com:563

    The above entry connects to netscape server secnews.netscape.com. Replace the server name if you are connecting to another server. Also, use your path to stunnel.

  4. Double click the shortcut. If things are ok a DOS box will open and stunnel will be running.

    NOTE: You may get an error about missing .dll files. In that case you need to go back to the download page and download the files named libeay32.dll and libssl32.dll (scroll down, they are at the bottom). I put them in the same folder as stunnel. Later Windows versions may require them in another location like windows\system.

  5. I use CTRL + C to stop stunnel (I guess I should read the manual).

  6. Next, you need to add a server to Gravity. Use 127.0.0.1 or "localhost" (don't include the quotes) for the server address. Set the NNTP port to 563. The other Gravity settings are the same as for non-secure servers.

That's all there is to it. Whenever you want to use to use the secure server you first start stunnel with the shortcut and then connect with Gravity.

If you need to use other secure servers, create other shortcuts.


Tom