Panic Inc.

Panic Blog

From the desk of Cabel
Portland, Oregon 97205

The Future of Unison

Magnet512Unison — our excellent OS X app for accessing Usenet Newsgroups and the many wonders and mysteries contained within — has reached the end of its road after years of faithful service.

First, a brand-new Unison 2.2.

Unison’s end is bittersweet. The market for a Usenet client in 2014 isn’t exactly huge. But if you know Panic,  you know we do our very best to never drop things awkwardly — we like to leave our apps in a good place for our (very) valued users.

So we’re excited to release a nice, final update to Unison.

Unison 2.2 adds the #1 feature request for Unison: multi-connection downloads for much faster transfers. It also adds a lot more Retina assets for more beautiful browsing on newer machines, and fixes many little bugs and quirks.

It’s a great update for all Unison fans.

Now free, and unsupported.

While we can no longer work on Unison or offer support for it, the good news is it’s also freeThis version of the app will be automatically unlocked for all users, no serial needed.

Just download it right there:

What about Unison Access?

For now, Unison Access will continue to work just as it does today for all current subscribers. That said, we’re no longer accepting new signups. We figure we’ll migrate people to another service at some point in the future. If that happens, we’ll contact you by e-mail.

Thank you sincerely.

Our deepest thanks to each and every one of  you who used, bought, or enjoyed Unison. We really enjoyed making this app and providing it to you. We hope it serves you well into the future!

Posted at 11:02 am 65 Comments

Oh, and to answer a possible incoming question: it’s not practical for us to open source Unison. But if major problems arise in the future, we will definitely check them out — some of us still use Unison too!

Thanks for making Unison. It was a great run.

This is disappointing news. Unison is hands down, the best usenet client out there… Also Panic’s usenet access has been fast, broad in scope and fantastic as well. I really is sad to see that there is not enough of a market for these apps/services.

Now I must go cry.

What about the possibility of open-sourcing it so it can live on?

Sigh, sorry, I should read.

Steve Jordi

11/6/2014 12:25 PM

Too bad,
I was hoping a basic way to store messages (archive them) into personal folders. Now what? After waiting for two years, I’m left with installing a VM with Windows just to run Forte Agent??? Yeah… Windows, ouch :-)
Very disappointed… Especially after being told that it was still under development.

But it *was* still under development, Steve – the new version, just released today, is proof of that. And now it’s not any more. All good things…

Doh, I’ve already got it to crash. Loaded headers for a group, did a search by “from”, preview more than one image…. rainbow spinner

Billy Y..

11/6/2014 4:25 PM

Thanks for keeping the Unison Access service. It can easily saturate a 1Gb path to Phoenix from the east coast. Can’t ask for more than that, heh.

Resets all subscribed newsgroups to unread.

installed the new version and also redownloaded all headers form the main server but not from the other ones (embarcadero and corel), they all remain grey. Looks like I’ll revert back to the previous version.

Too bad, but totally understood. Could you elaborate a little on *why* it is not possible to open source Unison?

Mark R Friedman

11/7/2014 6:50 AM

It was great while it lasted. I miss CandyBar, too.

Very sad to hear this. I’ve been using Unison on a daily basis since it first came out about 10 years ago. To play it safe I renamed my old version “Unison” and the new version “Unison”. The new version runs great on my 2013 iMac and Yosemite. I hope it will be many years before Unison starts coughing up blood. God, this sucks!

Hey Panic: thanks for 10 great years with Unison. I’ve loved using it for the past decade as my single favorite app. And thanks for all the other great apps you make.

Sad about this but glad the app exists, and has for so long. Was using Thoth before Unison *shudder*! Would have been nice to see it get a Yosemite-style icon in its last update.

Sad to see Unison go but it would be great to see a 2.2.1 version with a glossless Yosemite-like icon and a UI shave and haircut to fit with the new OS as it moves into retirement. Think of it as a new pair of comfy slippers to impress the existing care home residents.

I’d vote for a 2.2.1 as well, just to fix the crashes. Version 2.2 crashed on me three times this morning alone and I’ve sent the crash data back to Panic. I tried reinstalling the previous version, but it says I only have 6 days left to use it, so I guess the 2.2 install removed my license. If you can’t fix the crashes in 2.2, how about re-releasing 2.1.7 for free too so I can safely back-track? Thanks for a great product, hate to see it go.

Mark Surloff

11/7/2014 9:16 AM

Unison is great! So sorry to see it go.

This is a real bummer. I, too, have been a long time Unison user. Sad to see it go. If not open source, how about having another developer pick it up? I would if I had the time and knowledge.

RIP Unison. You left before your time.

Leonidas Sarros

11/7/2014 9:48 AM

Thanks for all these years with Unison!It was and will be the best newsreader for mac users.
I will continue to use it as will be compatible with Mac OS X at the next years .

Ted Goranson

11/7/2014 10:41 AM

Thanks. I stopped using it years ago, but appreciated it when I did. How you are handling this really has class.

Tim LaMadrid

11/7/2014 9:26 PM

Well, crap. I guess this means you won’t be working on an iOS version then?

Shawn Levasseur

11/8/2014 4:43 AM

Thanks for a graceful landing. And for supporting Unison for as long as you have.

Thanks for providing us with such a great Usenet experience for all these years!

II think it would be a good idea to liberate Unison v1.8.1 as well.
It is the work horse of the family, and the only bug free one.


Reda Lemeden

11/9/2014 3:50 AM

I’d be happy to contribute to Unison if it gets open-sourced.

Will it come to Mac AppStore? I don’t see the update there yet…

How do I cancel usenet access…don’t use it and want to save the $9/month

Sad to hear this… I never understood why people are not using newsgroups much more but cumbersome web forums… Seems I’m getting old, like the tools I use.

1. As a reminder, you can always use the previous versions of Unison if this version doesn’t work well for you.

Download older Unison builds here.

2. We can’t work on Unison anymore, especially now that it’s free, but if you have a reproducible crash please e-mail our support team — don’t comment here as we won’t see it — so we can take a look at it.

Sad news for users, but probably great for Panic Inc.
When you gotta move on, you gotta move on…

Thank you for the best Usenet app while it lasted!!
(and for as long as it will last….)

Cabel, are you receiving the crash reports from the app itself? I was assuming that if I tell it to send the report to you when it reopens after the crash, that you’d be getting it and that there wouldn’t be a need to send an email.

Still waiting for an answer for the Mac AppStore…

There no update yet there, but APple can be slow at times, so I am waiting for nothing?

Sad news indeed: Unison has been part of my daily workflow since 2004, one of my first stops every morning. I’ll continue to use Unison as long as I can; in the meantime, thanks for ten great years.

This is a great disappointment. I only recently discovered Unison and was so happy to finally find a good Mac NNTP client. It’s nice that you are offering the refund for recent purchasers but I’d much rather have ongoing development and support for the product. (sigh) I guess it’s back to using my Windows based software for this.

Sad to see Unison go, but I understand.

Are you going to make the MAS version free as well?

Is v2.2 supposed to work with Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite? It fails for me every time with Authentication Error – I don’t use any passwords, and confirmed with my on-line service provider that all setup entries are correct.

I’ve really like it since the v1 days. Sad to see it go especially with 2.2 being bit buggy. Wish there was a little bit more dev time to get the couple issues it has with multi connection downloads fixed and the crashes. Cabel, let me know if you do decide to fix anything and need a hand.

Wow, pretty good. Almost 2015 and something finally broke my Unison 2.1.10 for Mac — Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite! Unison 2.1.10’s downloads won’t start automatically in Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite. They go to the queue and must be manually started part by part. Version 2.2 doesn’t work at all in Yosemite, by the way.

Thanks for your work on this over the years – happy user since 2005. Sorry to see it go, but I understand the reason totally. And if you ever feel the need to change your mind, I’ll understand that totally also!

Guess what, the problem of the Unison 2.1.10 queue needing to be started manually part by part is gone again, after installing the Mac OS X 10.10.1 update! This unsupported software is fully functional again!

“Version 2.2 doesn’t work at all in Yosemite, by the way.”

Yes, it does. It works just fine. I’ve been using it since this news came out.

I’m sad about Unison reaching EOL. Best client I’ve ever used. But thanks Cabel and company for bringing it to us in the first place. :)

Sorry, I just went to Panic because I can’t get the latest version to work or 2.1.10 either. I’ve really enjoyed Unison and am sorry to see it go. Can anyone recommend a replacement ? OK to email me direct.

I just paid for a few month ago. Would have been nice to know this then.

So long, Unison, and thanks for all the Gifs.

Really sorry to see Unison go, I really love that app. What makes the goodbye bitterer yet: every time I open Unison 2.2, it somehow automatically opens Safari and re-downloads itself. I guess it’s becoming a bit cranky with old age.

Mark R Friedman

11/24/2014 2:26 PM

I downgraded to 2.1 and my history (groups, rules, servers) were deleted.


But it’s not crashing.

The new multi-connection download results in a much lower throughput if you download small files (100 MB) with many connections (30) over a fast connection (250 Mbit/s). Is there a way to somehow switch back to the old download method?

Thx for this milestone of Usenet software. I used Unison since 2012 and it found its place in my virtual machine with OS 10.9.

Anthony Maw

11/29/2014 10:13 PM

Best NNTP news browser and downloader ever written! There is no competition from either the Windows or Linux space that is as user-friendly as Unison. Unison belongs up there in computer science history like the Mac computer and the invention of the mouse!

I would like to say “thanks for a great product”. I am sorry to see it go. I will update mine and enjoy it until the cows come home. Thanks…

A wonderful app! Thank you!

and thanks for the continued support thru to Yosemite.
Hope Unison will stay around for a long time.


I’ve been using Unison for years and love it. Upgraded to 2.2 when it was announced, but also find far too many problems running it on Mac OS 10.11. It crashes regularly, downloads hang all the time. Good think I’ve kept the last version installed to roll back to. Anyway, thanks for this app. I’m sorry to see it go!

Matthew Trager

12/25/2015 5:18 AM

Have new 5k mac running el capitan
Know unsupported now but fyi seems if i change header downloads limit in preferences unison will no
longer download additional or new headers in groups
Wiping and reloading drive reinstall fixed problem so just don’t change header number and seems to be holding barring a few random quits normally when running multiple internet apps

Kate Turner

1/29/2016 2:02 PM

I’ve loved Unison, and so when I installed new system software on my Mac, I downloaded new copies of both Unison 2.1.10 and Unison 2.2. I set them up exactly the same way they’d been set up before, and even checked it against the copy of Unison on my old laptop. Neither of the new copies will work. What is going on?? And what can I do? I can’t find any tech support link anymore. But it doesn’t make sense – why should it work fine on my one computer, and not at all on this one? Any tips would be appreciated.

Rich Schonthal

2/3/2016 9:21 PM

Why not make this open source? I’ll work on it.

@Frank DeStefano,
Unison is no longer supported by Panic. Version 2.2 is free of charge. For questions I think you’ll be better of sending an email to

does anyone know where unison stores the list of currently downloading file. which it reloads when you start up unison? I have one which I keep deleting, but when I restart unison it reappears.

Unison, which I’ve used for years, suddenly stopped working (as in none of the newsgroups will open) a few weeks ago. Should I go back to an earlier version? Is there anything I can do?

Despite current problems, it’s been great and I’m very sorry you’re not continuing.



Hope this helps.

Thanks for all the years. Luckily there are plenty of alternatives.

April 2016…. and still the best Usenet download client in my opinion (from a long time user!!).
Making it open source is a fantastic suggestion though. Give the fans something to get their teeth in to and continue this great piece of software.

Excellent as ever, all that 2.2 needs for seamless downloads is to restrict the number of connections allowed (Preferences/Servers) to half the ones one’s server does. For likewise seamless other internet traffic, cap it there at about 80% of one’s available bandwidth.
Which, after months of trial & error, effectively refutes all of my previous criticism.

caveat: never bothered to upgrade OS X 10.9.5

Still works fine for me under El Capitan 10.11.5 & later