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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for newsfeeds (redhat section 5)

NEWSFEEDS(5)			       File Formats Manual			     NEWSFEEDS(5)

       newsfeeds - determine where Usenet articles get sent

       The  file  <pathetc  in inn.conf>/newsfeeds specifies how incoming articles should be dis-
       tributed to other sites.  It is parsed by the InterNetNews server innd(8) when  it  starts
       up, or when directed to by ctlinnd(8).

       The  file  is  interpreted  as a set of lines according to the following rules.	If a line
       ends with a backslash, then the backslash, the newline, and any whitespace at the start of
       the  next  line	is  deleted.   This is repeated until the entire ``logical'' line is col-
       lected.	If the logical line is blank, or  starts  with	a  number  sign  (``#''),  it  is

       All  other  lines are interpreted as feed entries.  An entry should consist of four colon-
       separated fields; two of the fields may have optional sub-fields, marked off by	a  slash.
       Fields  or sub-fields that take multiple parameters should be separated by a comma.  Extra
       whitespace can cause problems.  Except for the site names, case is significant.	The  for-
       mat of an entry is:
       Each field is described below.

       The  sitename is the name of the site to which a news article can be sent.  It is used for
       writing log entries and for determining if an article should be forwarded to a  site.   If
       sitename  already  appears in the article's Path header, then the article will not be sent
       to the site.  The name is usually whatever the remote site uses to identify itself in  the
       Path  line,  but  can  be almost any word that makes sense; special local entries (such as
       archivers or gateways) should probably end with an exclamation point  to  make  sure  that
       they  do  not have the same name as any real site.  For example, ``gateway'' is an obvious
       name for the local entry that forwards articles out to a mailing list.  If a site with the
       name  ``gateway''  posts  an article, when the local site receives the article it will see
       the name in the Path and not send the article to its own ``gateway'' entry.  See also  the
       description  of	the ``Ap'' flag, below.  If an entry has an exclusion sub-field, then the
       article will not be sent to that site if any of the names specified as excludes appear  in
       the  Path  header.  The same sitename can be used more than once -- the appropriate action
       will be taken for each entry that should receive the article, regardless of  the  name  --
       although  this is recommended only for program feeds to avoid confusion.  Case is not sig-
       nificant in site names.

       The patterns specify which groups to send to the site  and  are	interpreted  to  build	a
       ``subscription  list''  for the site.  The default subscription is to get all groups.  The
       patterns in the field are wildmat(3)-style patterns, and are matched in order against  the
       list  of  newsgroups that the local site receives.  If the first character of a pattern is
       an exclamation mark, then any groups matching the pattern are removed from  the	subscrip-
       tion,  otherwise  any  matching	groups	are  added.  For example, to receive all ``comp''
       groups, but only comp.sources.unix within the sources newsgroups,  the  following  set  of
       patterns can be used:
       There  are three things to note about this example.  The first is that the trailing ``.*''
       is required.  The second is that, again, the result of the last match is the  most  impor-
       tant.  The third is that ``comp.sources.*'' could be written as ``comp.sources*'' but this
       would not have the same effect if there were a ``comp.sources-only'' group.

       There is also a way to subscribe to a newsgroup negatively.  That is to say, do	not  send
       this  group  even  if the article is cross-posted to a subscribed newsgroup.  If the first
       character of a pattern is an atsign ``@'', it means that any article  posted  to  a  group
       matching  the  pattern  will  not be sent even though the article may be cross-posted to a
       group which is subscribed.  The same rules of precedence apply in that the last	match  is
       the  one  which	counts.   For  example, if you want to prevent all articles posted to any
       "alt.binaries.warez" group from being propagated even if it  is	cross-posted  to  another
       "alt"  group or any other group for that matter, then the following set of patterns can be
       If you reverse the alt.* and alt.binaries.warez.* patterns, it would  nullify  the  atsign
       because	the result of the last match is the one that counts.  Using the above example, if
       an article is posted to one or more of the alt.binaries.warez.* groups and is cross-posted
       to misc.test, then the article is not sent.

       See innd(8) for details on the propagation of control messages.

       A  subscription	can  be  further  modified  by specifying ``distributions'' that the site
       should or should not receive.  The default is to send all articles to all sites that  sub-
       scribe  to  any of the groups where it has been posted , but if an article has a Distribu-
       tion header and any distribs are specified, then they are checked according to the follow-
       ing rules:

       1.     If  the  Distribution  header  matches any of the values in the sub-field, then the
	      article is sent.

       2.     If a distrib starts with an exclamation point,  and  it  matches	the  Distribution
	      header, then the article is not sent.

       3.     If Distribution header does not match any distrib in the site's entry, and no nega-
	      tions were used, then the article is not sent.

       4.     If Distribution header does not match any distrib in the site's entry, and any dis-
	      trib started with an exclamation point, then the article is sent.

       If  an article has more than one distribution specified, then each one is according to the
       above rules.  If any of the specified distributions indicate that the  article  should  be
       sent,  it is; if none do, it is not sent -- the rules are used as a ``logical or.''  It is
       almost definitely a mistake to have a single feed that specifies distributions that  start
       with an exclamation point along with some that don't.

       Distributions  are text words, not patterns; entries like ``*'' or ``all'' have no special

       The flags parameter specifies miscellaneous parameters.	They  may  be  specified  in  any
       order; flags that take values should have the value immediately after the flag letter with
       no whitespace.  The valid flags are:

       <size  An article will only be sent to the site if it is less than size bytes  long.   The
	      default is no limit.

       >size  An  article  will  only  be sent to the site if it is greater than size bytes long.
	      The default is no limit.

	      An article will only be sent to the site if it meets the requirements specified  in
	      the checks, which should be chosen from the following set:
		   c	Exclude all kinds of control messages
		   C	Only include all kinds of control messages
		   d	Distribution header required
		   e	Only include message whose newsgroups in
			Newsgroups header all exist in active
		   o	Overview data is created
		   O	Propagate articles without X-Trace header
			even if ``O'' flag is specified
		   p	Do not check Path header for the sitename
			before propagating (the exclusions are
			still checked).
	      If  both	``c''  and  ``C'' are specified simultaneously, the last specified one is

	      If a site is being fed by a file, channel, or exploder (see below), the server will
	      normally	start  trying  to write the information as soon as possible.  Providing a
	      buffer may give better system performance and help smooth out  overall  load  if	a
	      large  batch  of	news  comes in.  The value of the this flag should be two numbers
	      separated by a slash.  The first specifies the point at which the server can  start
	      draining	the  feed's I/O buffer, and the second specifies when to stop writing and
	      begin buffering again; the units are bytes.  The default is  to  do  no  buffering,
	      sending output as soon as it is possible to do so.

       Ccount If  this flag is specified, an article will only be sent to the site if the follow-
	      ing is true: The number of groups it is posted to, plus the square of the number of
	      groups  followups  would appear in, is no more than count newsgroups.  30 is a good
	      value for this flag.

       Fname  This flag specifies the name of the file that should be used if it is necessary  to
	      begin  spooling  for the site (see below).  If name is not an absolute pathname, it
	      is taken to be relative to <pathoutgoing in inn.conf>.  Then, if the destination is
	      a directory, the file togo in that directory will be used as filename.

       Gcount If this flag is specified, an article will only be sent to the site if it is posted
	      to no more than count newsgroups.  This has the problem of filtering out many FAQs,
	      and also RFDs/CFVs for group creation. The C or U flags are a better solution.

       Hcount If this flag is specified, an article will only be sent to the site if it has count
	      or fewer sites in its Path line.	This flag should only be used as  a  rough  guide
	      because of the loose interpretation of the Path header; some sites put the poster's
	      name in the header, and some sites that might logically be considered to be one hop
	      become  two  because  they  put  the posting workstation's name in the header.  The
	      default value for count is one.

       Isize  The flag specifies the size of the internal buffer for a file feed.  If  there  are
	      more  file  feeds  than  allowed by the system, they will be buffered internally in
	      least-recently-used order.  If the internal buffer grows bigger  then  size  bytes,
	      however,	the  data will be written out to the appropriate file.	The default value
	      is <SITE_BUFFER_SIZE in include/config.h> (typically (16 * 1024 )) bytes.

	      The newsgroups that a site receives are modified according to the modifiers,  which
	      should be chosen from the following set:
		   m	Only moderated groups
		   u	Only unmoderated groups

	      If  this flag is used then articles sent to this feed must contain a X-Trace header
	      and the first field in the header must match originator.	Originator can be a  list
	      of  wildmat(3)-style  pattern.   The  list is separated by ``/''.  Article is never
	      sent, if the first character of the pattern begins with ``@'' and rest of the  pat-
	      tern  matches.   One  use of this flag is to restrict the feed to locally generated

	      The nice priority that this channel or program feed should receive.  This should be
	      a  positive  number between 0 and 20, and is the priority that the new process will
	      run with.  This flag can be used to raise the priority to normal if you  are  using
	      the ``nicekids'' in inn.conf(5).

       Ssize  If  the  amount of data queued for the site gets to be larger than size bytes, then
	      the server will switch to spooling, appending to a  file	specified  by  the  ``F''
	      flag,  or  <pathoutgoing	in inn.conf>/sitename if the ``F'' flag is not specified.
	      Spooling usually happens only for channel or exploder feeds.

       Ttype  This flag specifies the type of feed for the site.  Type should be a letter  chosen
	      from the following set:
		   c	Channel
		   f	File
		   l	Log entry only
		   m	Funnel (multiple entries feed into one)
		   p	Program
		   x	Exploder
	      Each feed is described below in the section on feed types.  The default is Tf.

       Ucount If this flag is specified, an article will only be sent to the site if followups to
	      this article would be posted to no more than count newsgroups.

       Witems If a site is fed by file, channel, or exploder, this flag controls what information
	      is  written.   If  a  site  is  fed by a program, only the asterisk (``*'') has any
	      effect.  The items should be chosen from the following set:
		   b	Size of wire formatted article in bytes
		   e	The time article will be expired as
			seconds since epoch
			``0'' means there is no ``Expires'' header
		   f	Token of the article (equivalent to ``n''),
			      use sm(8) to get the actual article
		   g	The newsgroup the article is in;
			if cross-posted, then the first of the
			groups this site gets (the differnece from
			``G'' is that article belongs to its
			newsgroup even if it is congrol message)
		   h	Article's Message-ID hash key
		   m	Article's Message-ID
		   n	Token of the article, use sm(8) to get the
			      actual article
		   p	The time the article was posted as seconds
			since epoch
		   s	The site that fed the article to the
			server; from the Path: header or the IP
			address of the site that sent the article
			depending on the ``logipaddr'' field in
			if ``logipaddr'' is ``true'' and IP
			address is ``'' which means the
			article is feeded from localhost (e.g.
			from rnews), the result will be retrieved
			from Path: header
		   t	The time article was received as seconds
			since epoch
		   *	Names of the appropriate funnel entries;
			or all sites that get the article
		   D	Value of the Distribution header; ? if
			none present
		   G	Where the article is stored; if cross-
			posted, then the first of the groups this
			site gets (the differnece from ``g'' is
			that cmsg belongs to ``control.cmsg'')
		   H	All headers
		   N	Value of the Newsgroups header
		   P	Article's Path header
		   O	Overview data
		   R	Information needed for replication
	      More than one letter can be used; the entries will be separated  by  a  space,  and
	      written in the order in which they are specified.  The default is Wn.

	      The  ``H''  and ``O'' items are intended for use by programs that create news over-
	      view databases.  If ``H'' is present, then the all the article's headers are  writ-
	      ten  followed  by a blank line.  An Xref header (even if one does not appear in the
	      filed article) and a  Bytes  header,  specifying	the  article's	size  (see  ``b''
	      description  below  for clarifying size meaning), will also be part of the headers.
	      If used, this should be the only item in the list; if preceded by other items, how-
	      ever,  a	newline will be written before the headers.  The ``nteO'' generates input
	      to the overchan(8) program.

	      The asterisk has special meaning.  It expands to	a  space-separated  list  of  all
	      sites  that  received  the  current article.  If the site is the target of a funnel
	      however (i.e., it is named by other sites which  have  a	``Tm''	flag),	then  the
	      asterisk	expands  to  the names of the funnel feeds that received the article.  If
	      the site is fed by a program, then an asterisk in the param field will be  expanded
	      into  the  list of funnel feeds that received the article.  A site fed by a program
	      cannot get the site list unless it is the target of other ``Tm'' feeds.

       The interpretation of the param field depends on the type of feed,  and	is  explained  in
       more detail below in the section on feed types.	It can be omitted.

       The  site named ME is special.  There must be exactly one such entry, and it should be the
       first entry in the file.  If the ME entry has an exclusion sub-field,  then  the  articles
       are  rejected if any of the names specified as excludes appear in the Path header.  If the
       ME entry has a subscription list, then that list is automatically prepended  to	the  sub-
       scription list of all other entries.  For example, ``*,!control,!junk,!foo.*'' can be used
       to set up the initial subscription list for all feeds so that local postings are not prop-
       agated  unless  ``foo.*''  explicitly  appears in the site's subscription list.	Note that
       most subscriptions should have ``!junk,!control'' in their pattern list; see  the  discus-
       sion  of ``control messages'' in innd(8).  (Unlike other news software, it does not affect
       what groups are received; that is done by the active(5) file.)

       If the ME entry has a distribution subfield, then only articles that match  the	distribu-
       tion  list  are	accepted; all other articles are rejected.  A commercial news server, for
       example, might have ``/!local'' to reject local postings from other, misconfigured, sites.

       Innd provides four basic types of feeds: log, file, program, and channel.  An exploder  is
       a  special  type  of  channel.	In addition, several entries can feed into the same feed;
       these are funnel feeds, that refer to an entry that is one of the other types.  Note  that
       the  term ``feed'' is technically a misnomer, since the server does not transfer articles,
       but reports that an article should be sent to the site.

       The simplest feed is one that is fed by a log entry.  Other than a  mention  in	the  news
       logfile, <pathlog in inn.conf>/news, no data is ever written out.  This is equivalent to a
       ``Tf'' entry writing to /dev/null except that no file is opened.

       A site fed by a file is the next simplest type of feed.	When the site should  receive  an
       article,  one  line  is	written to the file named by the param field.  If param is not an
       absolute pathname, it is taken to be relative to  <pathoutgoing in inn.conf>.   If  empty,
       the filename defaults to <pathoutgoing in inn.conf>/sitename.  This name should be unique.

       When  a	site  fed  by a file is flushed (see ctlinnd), the following steps are performed.
       The script doing the flush should have first renamed the file.  The server tries to  write
       out  any  buffered  data, and then closes the file.  The renamed file is now available for
       use.  The server will then re-open the original file, which will now get created.

       A site fed by a program has a process spawned for every article that  the  site	receives.
       The  param  field  must be a sprintf(3) format string that may have a single %s parameter,
       which will be a token.  Standard input will not be set to the  article.	 Standard  output
       and  error  will  be set to the error log ( <pathlogininn.conf>/errlog.)  The process will
       run with the user and group ID of the <pathrun in inn.conf> directory.  Innd will  try  to
       avoid  spawning	a  shell if the command has no shell meta-characters; this feature can be
       defeated by appending a semi-colon to the end of the command.  The full	pathname  of  the
       program to be run must be specified; for security, PATH environment is not searched.

       If  the	entry  is  the	target of a funnel, and if the ``W*'' flag is used, then a single
       asterisk may be used in the param field where it will be replaced  by  the  names  of  the
       sites  that  fed  into the funnel.  If the entry is not a funnel, or if the ``W*'' flag is
       not used, then the asterisk has no special meaning.

       Flushing a site fed by a program does no action.

       When a site is fed by a channel or exploder, the param field names the process  to  start.
       Again,  the  full  pathname  of the process must be given.  When the site is to receive an
       article, the process receives a line on its standard input telling it about  the  article.
       Standard output and error, and the user and group ID of the all sub-process are set as for
       a program feed, above.  If the process exits, it will be restarted.  If the process cannot
       be  started,  the server will spool input to a file named <pathoutgoing in inn.conf>/site-
       name.  It will then try to start the process some time later.

       When a site fed by a channel or exploder is flushed, the server closes down its end of the
       pipe.   Any pending data that has not been written will be spooled; see the description of
       the ``S'' flag, above.  No signal is sent; it is up to the program to notice  EOF  on  its
       standard input and exit.  The server then starts a new process.

       Exploders are a superset of channel feeds.  In addition to channel behavior, exploders can
       be sent command lines.  These lines start with an exclamation point, and their interpreta-
       tion  is  up  to  the exploder.	The following messages are generated automatically by the
	      newgroup group
	      rmgroup group
	      flush site
       These messages are sent when the ctlinnd command of the	same  name  is	received  by  the
       server.	 In  addition, the ``send'' command can be used to send an arbitrary command line
       to the exploder child-process.  The primary exploder is buffchan(8).

       Funnel feeds provide a way of merging several site entries into a  single  output  stream.
       For  a  site  feeding  into a funnel, the param field names the actual entry that does the

	      ##  Initial subscription list and our distributions.
	      ##  Feed all moderated source postings to an archiver
		   :Tc,Wn:<PREFIX specified with --prefix at configure>/bin/archive -f -i \
	      ##  Watch for big postings
		   :exec awk '$1 > 1000000 { print "BIG", $2, $3 }' >/dev/console
	      ##  A UUCP feed, where we try to keep the "batching" between 4 and 1K.
	      ##  Usenet as mail; note ! in funnel name to avoid Path conflicts.
	      ##  Can't use ! in "fred" since it would like look a UUCP address.
		   :W*,Tp:/usr/ucb/Mail -s "News article" *
	      ##  NNTP feeds fed off-line via nntpsend or equivalent.
	      ##  Real-time transmission.
		   :Tc,Wnm:<PREFIX specified with --prefix at configure>/bin/nntplink -i stdin mit.edu
	      ##  Two sites feeding into a hypothetical NNTP fan-out program:
		   :Tc,Wmn*:<PREFIX specified with --prefix at configure>/bin/nntpfanout
	      ##  A UUCP site that wants comp.* and moderated soc groups

       The last two sets of entries show how funnel feeds can be used.	For  example,  the  nntp-
       fanout program would receive lines like the following on its standard input:
	      <123@litchi.foo.com> comp/sources/unix/888 nic.near.net uunet.uu.net
	      <124@litchi.foo.com> ne/general/1003 nic.near.net
       Since  the  UUCP  funnel  is  only  destined  for one site, the asterisk is not needed and
       entries like the following will be written into the file:
	      <qwe#37x@snark.uu.net> comp/society/folklore/3
	      <123@litchi.foo.com> comp/sources/unix/888

       Written by Rich $alz <rsalz@uunet.uu.net> for InterNetNews.  This  is  revision,
       dated 2002/08/23.

       active(5), buffchan(8), ctlinnd(8), inn.conf(5), innd(8), wildmat(3).


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