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

EXPIRE.CTL(5)									    EXPIRE.CTL(5)

       expire.ctl - control file for Usenet article expiration

       The file <pathetc in inn.conf>/expire.ctl is the default control file for the expire(8) or
       expireover(8) program, which read it at start-up.  It serves two purposes: it defines  how
       long  history entries for expired or rejected articles are retained, and it determines how
       long articles not stored in a self-expiring storage method are retained.  If  all  of  the
       storage	methods  used  by the server are self-expiring (such as CNFS), only the ``/remem-
       ber/'' setting described below is necessary or used.

       Blank lines and lines beginning with a number sign (``#'') are ignored.	All  other  lines
       should be in one of two formats.

       The  first  format  specifies  how  long  to keep history entries for articles that aren't
       present in the news spool.  These are articles which have either already  expired  out  of
       spool or which the server rejected (and ``remembertrash'' was set to true in inn.conf(5)).
       There should only be one line in this format, which looks like:
       where days is a floating-point number that specifies the minimum number of days a  history
       record  of  a given message ID is retained, regardless of whether the article has expired.
       (History entries are always retained at least until an article fully expires.)

       The reason to retain a record of an old articles is to handle the case where a peer offers
       old articles that were previously accepted and then expired.  Without a setting like this,
       the server would accept the article again and readers would see duplicate articles.  Arti-
       cles  older  than a certain number of days won't be accepted by the server at all (see the
       ``-c'' flag of innd(8)), and this setting should probably match that time period (14  days
       by default) to ensure the server never accepts duplicates.

       This setting does not affect article expirations.

       Most  of  the  lines in this file will be in the second format, either four or five colon-
       separated fields as follows:
       The former is used for class based expiry which means ``groupbaseexpiry''  in  inn.conf(5)
       is  ``false'',  and  the  latter is used for group based expiry which means ``groupbaseex-
       piry'' in inn.conf is ``true''.	Both formats can not coexist each other.

       Where classnum field used for class based expiry is the number that you specified in stor-

       The pattern field used for group based expiry is a list of wildmat(3)-style patterns, sep-
       arated by commas.  This field specifies the newsgroups to which the line is applied.  Note
       that the file is interpreted in order and the last line that matches will be used, so gen-
       eral patterns (like a single asterisk to set the defaults) should appear at the	beginning
       of the file, before more specific settings.

       The  modflag  field used for group based expiry can be used to further limit newsgroups to
       which the line applies, and should be chosen from the following set:
	      M    Only moderated groups
	      U    Only unmoderated groups
	      A    All groups
	      X    Removes the article from all groups that it appears in
       (The X flag is special; normally articles are not completely deleted until they expire out
       of  every  group they were posted to, but if an article is expired by a line with an X, it
       is deleted out of all newsgroups it was posted to immediately.)

       The rest of three fields are used to determine how long an article should be  kept.   Each
       field  should  be either a number of days (fractions like ``8.5'' are allowed) or the word
       ``never.''  The most common use is to specify the default value for how	long  an  article
       should  be  kept.   The first and third fields -- keep and purge -- specify the boundaries
       within which an Expires header will be honored.	They are ignored if  an  article  has  no
       Expires	header.   (In  other  words,  if an article does not have an Expires header, only
       default field is used and the Date header is be honored to expire.  But if an article  has
       an  Expires  header, default is not used, and articles are expired no faster than the time
       set with keep and kept no longer than the time specified with purge regardless of  Expires
       headers).   One	should think of the fields as ``lower-bound default upper-bound.''  Since
       most articles do not have an Expires header, the second field tends to be the most  impor-
       tant and most commonly applied one.

       The  keep  field  specifies  how  many  days  an  article should be kept before it will be
       removed.  No article in the matching newsgroups or class will be removed if  it	has  been
       received for less than keep days, regardless of Expires header.	If this field is the word
       ``never,'' no article in the matching newsgroups or class will ever be expired.

       The default field specifies how long to keep an article if no Expires header  is  present.
       If  this  field is the word ``never'' then articles without explicit expiration dates will
       never be expired.

       The purge field specifies the upper bound on how long an article can be kept.  No  article
       will be kept longer then the number of days specified by this field.  All articles will be
       removed after then have been kept for purge days.  If purge is the word ``never'' then the
       article will never be deleted.

       If  the	line  for  classnum is not defined, keep, default and purge are assumed to be all
       ``0''.  (See below for default definition.)

       It is often useful to honor the Expires header in articles, especially those in	moderated
       groups.	 To  do  this, set keep to zero, default to whatever value you wish, and purge to
       never (or alternately set purge to some large number, like 365 days for a maximum  article
       life of a year).  To ignore any Expires header, set all three fields to the same value.

       For  group based expiry, there must be exactly one line with a pattern of ``*'' and a mod-
       flags of ``A'' -- this matches all groups and is used to set the expiration default.   And
       for  class  base  expiry,  there  can  be exactly one line with a class of ``255'' -- this
       matches all class and can be used to set the  expiration  default.   In	either	case,  it
       should be the first expiration line.

       For class based expiry;
	    ##	How long to keep expired history
	    ##	class 0 stay for two weeks
       For group based expiry;
	    ##	How long to keep expired history
	    ##	Most things stay for two weeks
	    ##	Believe expiration dates in moderated groups,
	    ##	up to six weeks
	    ##	Keep local stuff for a long time

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

       expire(8), expireover(8), inn.conf(5), storage.conf(5), wildmat(3).


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