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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for control.ctl (redhat section 5)

CONTROL.CTL(5)			       File Formats Manual			   CONTROL.CTL(5)

       control.ctl - specify handling of Usenet control messages

       The  file <pathetc in inn.conf>/control.ctl is used to determine what action is taken when
       a control message is received.  If <usecontrolchan in inn.conf> is ``true'', it is read by
       the  controlchan  script,  which  can be invoked as channel program by innd(8).	When con-
       trol.ctl is modified, controlchan notices this automatically and reload it.   If  <usecon-
       trolchan in inn.conf> is ``false'', it is read by the parsecontrol script, which is called
       by all the control scripts.  (For an explanation of how the control scripts  are  invoked,
       see innd(8).)

       The file consists of a series of lines; blank lines and lines beginning with a number sign
       (``#'') are ignored.  All other lines consist of four fields separated by a colon:

       The first field is the name of the message for which this line is  valid.   It  should  be
       either  the  name  of the control message or the word ``all'' to mean that it is valid for
       all messages.

       The second field is a shell-style pattern that matches the email  address  of  the  person
       posting	the message.  (The poster's address is first converted to lowercase.)  The match-
       ing is done using the shell's case statement (or the equivalent); see sh(1) for details.

       If the control message is ``newgroup'' or ``rmgroup'' then the third field  specifies  the
       shell-style  pattern  that  must match the group being created or removed.  If the control
       message is ``checkgroups'' then the third field specifies the shell-style pattern that  is
       used  to determine which newsgroups are processed for checking.	If the control message is
       of a different type, then this field is ignored.

       The fourth field specifies what action to take on control messages that match  this  line.
       The following actions are understood:

       doit   The  action  requested  by the control message should be performed.  In some cases,
	      the control script will also  send  mail	to  <USER specified with --with-news-mas-
	      ter at configure>,  but  if  notification  of  the  action  should  always be sent,
	      doit=mail should be used instead (see below).

	      If the control message has an argument, this is treated as a ``doit''  action.   If
	      no  argument  was  given,  it  is  treated  as  a  ``mail'' entry.  This is used in
	      ``sendsys'' entries script so that a site can request its own newsfeeds(5) entry by
	      posting  a  ``sendsys  mysite''  article.  On the other hand, sendsys ``bombs'' ask
	      that the entire newsfeeds file be sent to  a  forged  reply-to  address;	by  using
	      ``doifarg''  such  messages  will  not  be  processed  automatically.   (Processing
	      ``sendsys'' control messages is still not recommended, even with this  work-around,
	      unless  they  are  authenticated	in some fashion.  The risk of having news servers
	      turned into anonymous mail bombing services is too high.)

	      The action is performed, but a log entry is written  to  the  specified  log  file,
	      file.   If  file	is the word ``mail'' then the record is mailed.  A null string is
	      equivalent to /dev/null (in other words, with a null string, nothing is logged).	A
	      pathname	that  starts with a slash is taken as the absolute filename to use as the
	      log.  Otherwise, the log entry is written to  <pathlog in inn.conf>/file.log.   The
	      log is written by writelog (see newslog(8)).

       drop   No action is taken; the message is ignored.

	      If   the	 value	starts	with  the  string  ``verify-''	(for  example,	``verify-
	      news.announce.newgroups'') then PGP verification of the  control	message  will  be
	      done  using  the	key  issued  by the ``user'' defined by the rest of the string --
	      ``news.announce.newsgroups'' in this example.  If no  logging  is  specified  (with
	      =file  mentioned	below),  notification  of successful ``newgroup'' and ``rmgroup''
	      messages and the output of ``checkgroups'' messages will	be  mailed  to	the  news

	      PGP  verification is done as for the ``verify-*'' entries, and a log entry is writ-
	      ten to the specified file.  (In the case of ``checkgroups''  messages,  this  means
	      the  shell  script  output  of  the ``checkgroups'' message will be written to that

       log    A one-line log notice is sent to standard error.	innd(8) normally directs this  to
	      the file <pathlog in inn.conf>/errlog.

	      A  log  entry  is  written to the specified log file, file, which is interpreted as
	      described above.

       mail   A mail message is sent to the news administrator.

       Processing of a ``checkgroups'' message will never actually  change  the  active(5)  file.
       The  difference	between  an action of doit (or verify) and an action of mail for ``check-
       groups'' control messages lies only in what mail is sent; doit will mail the news adminis-
       trator a shell script to create, delete, or modify newsgroups to match the ``checkgroups''
       message, whereas mail will just mail the entire message.  In either case, the news  admin-
       istrator  will  have  to  take  action to implement the ``checkgroups'' and if the mail is
       ignored, nothing will be changed.

       Lines are matched in order; the last match found in the file is the one that is used.  For
       example, with the following three lines:


       A  newgroup  coming  from ``group-admin'' at a ISC machine will be honored if it is one of
       the listed hierarchies and if it has  a	valid  signature  with	the  ``news.announce.new-
       groups'' key.  If ``kre'' posts a newgroup message creating ``aus.foo'', then mail will be
       sent.  All other newgroup messages are ignored.

       Use of the verify action for processing	``newgroup'',  ``rmgroup'',  and  ``checkgroups''
       messages  is  strongly recommended.  Abuse of control messages is rampant, and authentica-
       tion via PGP signatures is currently the only reliable way to be sure that a control  mes-
       sage  comes  from  who  it  claims  to be from.	Most major hierarchies are now using PGP-
       authenticated control messages.

       In order to use verify actions, the PGP key ring of the news user must be  populated  with
       the  PGP  keys of the hierarchy maintainers whose control messages you want to honor.  For
       more details on PGP-authenticated control messages and the URL  for  downloading  the  PGP
       keys of major hierarchies, see pgpverify(8).

       Control	messages  of type ``cancel'' are handled internally by innd(8) and cannot be con-
       trolled by any of the mechanisms described here.

       Written by Rich $alz <rsalz@uunet.uu.net> for InterNetNews.  This  is  revision,
       dated 2000/08/17.

       controlchan(8), inn.conf(5), innd(8), newsfeeds(5), pgpverify(8), scanlogs(8).


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