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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for actsync (redhat section 8)

ACTSYNC(8)									       ACTSYNC(8)

NAME
       actsync, actsyncd - synchronize newsgroups

SYNOPSIS
       actsync [-b hostid] [-d hostid] [-g max] [-i ignore_file]
	       [-I hostid] [-k] [-l hostid] [-m] [-n name]
	       [-o fmt] [-p min_%_unchg] [-q hostid] [-s size]
	       [-s spool_dir] [-t hostid] [-T] [-v verbose_lvl]
	       [-z sec] [host1] host2

       actsyncd [-x] actsync.cfg [debug_level [debug_outfmt] ]

DESCRIPTION
       Actsync(8)  permits  one  to synchronize, compare or merge two active(5) files.	With this
       utility one may add, change or remove newsgroups on the local news server to make it simi-
       lar  to the list the newsgroups found on another system or file.  The synchronization need
       not be exact.  Local differences in newsgroup lists may be maintained and preserved.  Cer-
       tain newsgroup errors may be detected and optionally corrected.

       There  are several reasons to run actsync(8) (or actsyncd(8)), on a periodic basis.  Among
       the reasons are:

	    A control message to add, change or remove a newsgroup may fail to reach your site.

	    Your control.ctl(5) is out of date or incomplete.

	    News articles for a new newsgroup arrive ahead (sometimes days ahead) of the  control
	    message.

	    Control  messages  may  be	forged,  thus  bypassing  the  restrictions found in con-
	    trol.ctl(5).

	    Your active(5) file may have been trashed.

       If either host1 or host2 begin with a ``.''  or ``/'', then they assumed to be a name of a
       file  containing  information in the active(5) format.  The getlist(1) utility may be used
       to obtain copy a remote system's active file via its NNTP server, or an FTP client program
       can    get    retrieve	 such	 a    file    from    an    FTP    archive    (such    as
       ftp://ftp.isc.org/pub/usenet/CONFIG/active; see more about this below).	Newsgroup  infor-
       mation  from  a	file  may be treated as if it was obtained from a host.  In this man page
       host1 and host2 are called hosts, even though they may be file names.

       If a host argument does not begin with ``.''  or ``/'', is assumed to  be  a  hostname  or
       Internet  address.   In	this  case,  actsync(8)  will attempt to use the NNTP protocol to
       obtain a copy of the the specified system's active file.  If the host argument contains	a
       ``:''  , the right side will be considerd the port to connect to on the remote system.  If
       no port number ist specified, actsync(8) will connect to port 119.

       Regardless how the active file information is obtained, the actions of  actsync(8)  remain
       the same.

       If  only one host is specified, it is assumed to be host2.  If host1, is not specified, it
       assumed to be the default local NNTP server as specified  by  the  NNTPSERVER  environment
       variable, or by the server value found in inn.conf(5).

       The  newsgroup  synchronization	by  default, involves all newsgroups found on both hosts.
       One may also synchronize on a subset of newsgroups by directing actsync(8) to ignore  cer-
       tain newsgroups from both systems.

       The  actsyncd(8)  daemon  provides a convenient interface to configure and run actsync(8).
       If a host is not initially reachable, the daemon will thrice retry 9 times, waiting 6 min-
       utes  before  each  retry.  This daemon runs in the foreground, sending output to standard
       output and standard error.

       If the -x flag is given to actsyncd(8), then a ctlinndxexec will  be  used  instead  of	a
       ctlinndreload to load the newly modified active file.

       The  configuration filename for the daemon is given in the actsync.cfg argument.  The act-
       sync.cfg file understands the following options:

	    host=host2
	    ftppath=/remote/path/to/active/file
	    spool=<normally patharticles in inn.conf>
	    ignore_file=ignore_file
	    flags=actsyncd (8) options

       The host, ignore_file and flags lines are mandatory.

       The keyword must start at the beginning of the line, and there may be no whitespace before
       the ``='' character.  Blank lines are ignored.  Comments start with ``#'' and are ignored.
       All other lines may produce undefined results.

       The host config file line refers to the host2 value to sync off of.  The ftppath directive
       causes  the  machine  named  in the host line to accessed as an ftp server, retrieving the
       file named.  If the filename ends in .gz or .Z, then it will automatically be uncompressed
       after  retrieval.  The spool config file lines determines where top the news spool tree is
       to be found.  The ignore_file config file line names the ignore file to be  used  by  act-
       sync(8).   The  flags  config  file line refers to all flags that you wish to pass to act-
       sync(8).

       Note that the -i ignore_file option and the -o format option should not be  given  in  the
       flags= line because they are automatically taken care of by actsyncd(8).

       INN  is	shipped with default values of ftp.isc.org for host and /pub/usenet/CONFIG/active
       for ftppath.  You can read about the policies used for maintaining  that  active  file  at
       ftp://ftp.isc.org/pub/usenet/CONFIG/README.   Consider  sychronizing  from  this file on a
       daily basis by using cron.

OPTIONS
       The options to actsync(8) are as follows:

       -b hostid
	      This flag causes actsync(8) to  ignore  newsgroups  with	``bork.bork.bork''  style
	      names.   That  is,  newsgroups whose last 3 components are identical.  For example,
	      the following newsgroups have bork style names:

		   alt.helms.dork.dork.dork
		   alt.auto.accident.sue.sue.sue
		   alt.election.vote.vote.vote

	      The value hostid determines on which hosts this action is performed:

		   0	neither host
		   1	local default server
		   2	remove server
		   12	both servers
		   21	both servers

	      The default is -b 0, no bork newsgroups are ignored.

       -d hostid
	      This flag causes actsync(8) to ignore newsgroups that have all numeric path  compo-
	      nents.   The  hostid value is interpreted the same as in -b.  For example, the fol-
	      lowing newsgroups have numeric path components:

		   alt.prime.chongo.23209
		   391581.times.2.to_the.216193.power.-1
		   99.bottles.of.treacle.on.the.wall
		   linfield.class.envio_bio.101.d

	      The newsgroups directory of a newsgroups with a all numeric  component  could  con-
	      flict with an article from another group.  For example, the directory for the first
	      newsgroup listed above is the same path as article number 23209 from the newsgroup:

		   alt.prime.chongo

	      The default is -d 0, all numeric newsgroups from both hosts will be processed.

       -g max Ignore any newsgroup with more than max levels.  For example, -g 6 would ignore:

		   alt.feinstien.votes.to.trash.freedom.of.speech
		   alt.senator.exon.enemy.of.the.internet
		   alt.crypto.export.laws.dumb.dumb.dumb

	      but would not ignore:

		   alt.feinstien.acts.like.a.republican
		   alt.exon.admendment
		   alt.crypto.export.laws

	      If max is 0, then the max level feature is disabled.

	      By default, the max level feature is disabled.

       -i ignore_file
	      The ignore_file allows one to have a fine degree of control over	which  newsgroups
	      are  ignored.   It  contains a set of rules that specifies which newsgroups will be
	      checked and which will be ignored.

	      By default, these rules apply to both hosts.  This can be modified by using the  -I
	      hostid flag.

	      By  default, all newsgroups are checked.	If no ignore_file if specified, or if the
	      ignore file contains no rule lines, all newsgroups will be checked.

	      Blank lines, and text after a ``#'' are considered comments and are ignored.

	      Rule lines consist of tokens separated by whitespace.  Rule lines may be one of two
	      forms:

		   c	newsgroup [type ...]
		   i	newsgroup [type ...]

	      If  the  rule  begins  with  a  c  then  the rule requests certain newsgroups to be
	      checked.	If the rule begins with an i then the rule requests certain newsgroups to
	      be  ignored.  The newsgroup field may be a specific newsgroup, or a wildmat(3) pat-
	      tern.

	      If one or more types are specified, then the rule applies to the newsgroup only  if
	      is  of  the specified type.  Types refer to the 4th field of the active(5) file.	A
	      type may be one of:

		   y
		   n
		   m
		   j
		   x
		   =group.name

	      Unlike active files, the group.name may be a newsgroup name or  a  wildmat(3)  pat-
	      tern.  Also, ``='' is equivalent to ``=*''.

	      For given rule line may, one may not repeat a given pattern type.  For example, one
	      may not have more than one type that begins with ``='', per line.  However, one may
	      achieve  the  effect  of	multiple ``='' types by using multiple rule lines for the
	      same group.

	      By default, all newsgroups are candidates to be checked.	 If  an  ignore  file  is
	      used, each newsgroup in turn is checked against the ignore file.	If multiple lines
	      match a given newsgroup, the last line in the ignore file is used.

	      For example, consider the following ignore file lines:

		   i *.general
		   c *.general m
		   i nsa.general

	      The newsgroup: ba.general would be ignored if it was not moderated.  The newsgroup:
	      mod.general would be checked if it was moderated.  The newsgroup: nsa.general would
	      be ignored even if it was moderated.

       -I hostid
	      This flag restricts which hosts, the ignore file	applies.   The	hostid	value  is
	      interpreted the same as in -b.

	      This flag may be useful in conjunction with the -m merge flag.  For example:

		   actsync -i actsync.ign -I 2 -m host1 host2

	      will  keep all newsgroups currently on host1.  It will also will only compare host1
	      groups with non-ignored newsgroups from host2.

	      The default is -I 12, newsgroups from both hosts to be ignored per the  -I   hostid
	      flag.

       -k     By default, any newsgroup on host1 that is in error will be considered for removal.
	      This causes actsync(8) simply ignore such newsgroups.  This  flag,  in  combination
	      with -m will prevent any newsgroup from being scheduled for removal.

       -l hostid
	      Flag  problem  newsgroups  of type ``='' from host1 or host2 as errors.  The hostid
	      value is interpreted the same as in -b.  Newsgroups of type  ``=''  are  newsgroups
	      active  entries that have 4th field that begins with ``=''.  I.e., a newsgroup that
	      is equivalent to another newsgroup.

	      A newsgroup that is equivalent to itself, or that is in a  equivalence  chain  that
	      loops around to itself is a problem.  A newsgroup that is in a chain that is longer
	      than 16 is a problem group.  A newsgroup that is equivalent to a non-existent news-
	      group  is  a  problem.  A newsgroup that is equivalent to a newsgroup that is has a
	      error of some kind a problem.  However,  a  newsgroup  that  is  equivalent  to  an
	      ignored newsgroup is not a problem.

	      By default, problem newsgroups from both hosts are marked as errors.

       -m     Merge  newsgroups  instead of sync.  By default, if a newsgroup exists on host1 but
	      not host2, it will be scheduled to be removed.  This flag  disables  this  process,
	      permitting newsgroups unique to host1 to be kept.

       -n  name
	      Newsgroups  that	are created, are created via the ctlinnd(8) command.  By default,
	      the creator name used is actsync.  This flag changes the creator name to name.

       -o  fmt
	      Determine the output / action format of this utility.  The fmt may one of:

		   a	output in active(5) format,
		   a1	output in active(5) format,
			    and output host1 non-error ignored groups
		   ak	output in active(5) format, but use host2
			    hi & low (2nd & 3rd active fields) values
			    for any newsgroup being created
		   aK	output in active(5) format, but use host2
			    hi & low (2nd & 3rd active fields) values
			    for all newsgroups found in host2
		   a1k	output in active(5) format, but use host2
			    hi & low (2nd & 3rd active fields) values
			    for any newsgroup being created,
			and output host1 non-error ignored groups
		   a1K	output in active(5) format, but use host2
			    hi & low (2nd & 3rd active fields) values
			    for all newsgroups found in host2,
			and output host1 non-error ignored groups
		   ak1	same as a1k
		   aK1	same as a1K
		   c	output in ctlinnd(8) format
		   x	no output, directly exec ctlinnd(8) commands
		   xi	no output, directly exec ctlinnd(8) commands,
			    in an interactive mode

	      The a, a1, ak, aK, a1k, a1K, ak1 and aK1 style formats allow  one  to  form  a  new
	      active  file instead of producing ctlinnd(8) commands.  They use hi & low values of
	      0000000000 and 0000000001 respectively for newsgroups that are created.  The ak and
	      aK  variants change the the hi & low (2nd & 3rd active fields).  In the case of ak,
	      newsgroups created take their hi & low values from host2.  In the case of  aK,  all
	      newsgroups found on host2 take their hi & low values from host2.

	      The c format produces ctlinnd(8) commands.  No actions are taken because actsync(8)
	      simply prints ctlinnd(8) commands on standard output.  The sync (or  merge  if  -m)
	      with host2 may be accomplished by piping this output into sh(1).	A paranoid person
	      might prefer to use x or xi in case a newsgroup name or type contains bogus charac-
	      ters  that might be interpreted by sh(1).  Even so, this output format is useful to
	      let you see how host1 may be synced (or merge) with host2.

	      The sync (or merge if -m) may be accomplished directly by use of the x.  With  this
	      format,  actsync(8)  uses  the execl(2) system call to directly executes ctlinnd(8)
	      commands.  Because of the exec, there is no risk	of  bogus  newsgroups  containing
	      bogus  characters causing a shell to do bogus (or dangerous) things.  The output of
	      such execs may be seen of the verbosity level is at least 2.

	      The actsync(8) utility will pause for 4 seconds before each command is executed  if
	      -o x is selected.  See the -z sec flag below.

	      The  xi  format  interactively  prompts  on standard output and reads directives on
	      standard input.  One may pick and choose changes using this format.

	      Care should be taken when producing active(5) formatted output.  One  should  check
	      to  be  sure  that actsync(8) exited with a zero status prior to using such output.
	      Also one should realize that such output will not contain lines ignored by  the  -i
	      ignore_file process even if -p 100 is used.

	      By default, -o c is assumed.

       -p min_%_unchg
	      By  default,  the  actsync(8)  utility  has  safeguards  against performing massive
	      changes.	If fewer than min_%_unchg percent of the  non-ignored  lines  from  host1
	      remain  unchanged,  no  actions  (output,  execution, etc.)  are performed and act-
	      sync(8) exits with a non-zero exit status.  The min_%_unchg may be a floating point
	      value such as 66.666.

	      A change is considered a host1 line that was found to be in error, was removed, was
	      added or was changed.  Changing the 2nd or 3rd active fields via -oak or -o aK  are
	      not considered changes by -p.

	      To  force actsync(8) to accept any amount of change, use the -p 0 option.  To force
	      actsync(8) to reject any changes, use the -p 100 option.

	      Care should be taken when producing active(5) formatted output.  One  should  check
	      to  be  sure  that actsync(8) exited with a zero status prior to using such output.
	      Also one should realize that such output will not contain lines ignored by  the  -i
	      ignore_file process even if -p 100 is used.

	      By  default,  96% of the lines not ignored in host1 must be unchanged.  That is, by
	      default, -p 90 is assumed.

       -q hostid
	      By default, all newsgroup errors are reported on standard errors.  This flag quiets
	      errors from host1 or host2.  The hostid value is interpreted the same as in -b.

       -s size
	      If  size>0,  then  ignore  newsgroups with names longer than size, and ignore news-
	      groups equivalenced to names longer than size.  Length checking is perform on  both
	      the local and remote hosts.

	      By default, size is 0 and thus no length checking is performed.

       -t hostid
	      Ignore  improper	newsgroups  with  only	a top component from host1 or host2.  The
	      hostid value is interpreted the same as in -b.  The following newsgroups	are  con-
	      sidered proper newsgroups for top only names:

		   control
		   general
		   junk
		   test
		   to

	      For example, the following newsgroup names are improper because they only contain a
	      top level component:

		   dole_for_pres
		   dos
		   microsoft
		   windoes95

	      By default, all improper top level only newsgroups from the remote (  -t	2  )  are
	      ignored.

       -T     This  flag causes host2 newsgroups from new hierarchies to be ignored.  Normally if
	      only host2 has the newsgroup chongo.was.here then it will  be  created  for  host1.
	      However  if  host1  does not have any 'chongo.*' newsgroups and this flag is given,
	      then chongo.was.here will be ignored and will not be created on host1.

       -v verbose_lvl
	      No default, actsync(8) is not verbose.  This flag controls the verbosity	level  as
	      follows:

		   0	no debug or status reports (default)
		   1	print summary,
			    if work was needed or done
		   2	print actions, exec output & summary,
			    if work was needed or done
		   3	print actions, exec output & summary
		   4	full debug output

       -z sec If  -o  x is selected, actsync(8) will pause for sec seconds before each command is
	      executed.  This helps prevent innd(8) from being busied-out if a	large  number  of
	      ctlinnd(8) commands are needed.  One can disable this sleeping by using -z 0.

	      By  default, actsync(8) will pause for 4 seconds before each command is executed if
	      -o x is selected.

EXAMPLES
       Determine the difference (but don't  change  anything)  between	your  newsgroup  set  and
       uunet's set:

	    actsync news.uu.net

       Same as above, with full debug and progress reports:

	    actsync -v 4 news.uu.net

       Force a site to have the same newsgroups some other site:

	    actsync -o x master

       This may be useful to sync a slave site to its master, or to sync internal site to a gate-
       way.

       Compare your site with uunet, disregarding local groups and certain local differences with
       uunet.  Produce a report if any differences were encountered:

	    actsync -v 2 -i actsync.ign news.uu.net

       where actsync.ign contains:

	    # Don't compare to.* groups as they will differ.
	    #
	    i	 to.*

	    # These are our local groups that nobody else
	    # (should) carry.  So ignore them for the sake
	    # of the compare.
	    #
	    i	 nsa.*

	    # These groups are local favorites, so keep them
	    # even if uunet does not carry them.
	    #
	    i	 ca.dump.bob.dorman
	    i	 ca.keep.bob.dorman
	    i	 alt.tv.dinosaurs.barney.die.die.die
	    i	 alt.tv.dinosaurs.barney.love.love.love
	    i	 alt.sounds.*	=alt.binaries.sounds.*

       To interactively sync against news.uu.net, using the same ignore file:

	    actsync -o xi -v 2 -i actsync.ign news.uu.net

       Based  on  newsgroups  that you decided to keep, one could make changes to the actsync.ign
       file:

	    # Don't compare to.* groups as they will differ.
	    #
	    i	 to.*

	    # These are our local groups that nobody else
	    # (should) carry.  So ignore them for the sake
	    # of the compare.
	    #
	    i	 nsa.*

	    # These groups are local favorites, so keep them
	    # even if uunet does not carry them.
	    #
	    i	 ca.dump.bob.dorman
	    i	 alt.tv.dinosaurs.barney.die.die.die
	    i	 alt.sounds.*	=alt.binaries.sounds.*

	    # Don't sync test groups, except for ones that are
	    # moderated or that are under the gnu hierarchy.
	    i	 *.test
	    c	 *.test    m	# check moderated test groups
	    c	 gnu.*.test
	    c	 gnu.test  # just in case it ever exists

       Automatic processing may be setup by using the following actsync.cfg file:

	    # host to sync off of (host2)
	    host=news.uu.net

	    # location of the ignore file
	    ignore_file=<PREFIX specified with --prefix at configure>/etc/actsync.ign

	    # where news articles are kept
	    spool=<patharticles in inn.conf>

	    # actsync(8) flags
	    #
	    # Automatic execs, report if something was done,
	    #	 otherwise don't say anything, don't report
	    #	 uunet active file problems, just ignore
	    #	 the effect entries.
	    flags=-o x -v 2 -q 2

       and then by running actsyncd(8) with the path to the config file.

	    actsyncd <PREFIX specified with --prefix at configure>/etc/actsync.cfg

       One may produce a trial actsyncd(8) run without changing anything on the server by supply-
       ing the debug_level arg:

	    actsyncd <PREFIX specified with --prefix at configure>/etc/actsync.cfg 2

       The  debug_level  causes  actsyncd(8) to run actsync(8) with an -v debug_level (overriding
       any -v flag on the flags line), prevents any changes from  being  made  to  the	active(5)
       file,  writes  a  new active file to standard output and writes debug messages to standard
       error.

       If the debug_outfmt arg is also given to actsyncd(8) then the  data  written  to  standard
       output  will be in -o debug_outfmt instead of in -o a1 format.  The following /bin/sh com-
       mand:

	    actsyncd <PREFIX specified with --prefix at configure>/etc/actsync.cfg 4 >cmd 2>dbg

       Will operate in debug mode, not change the active(5) file, write ctlinnd(8) style commands
       to cmd and write debug statements to dbg.

       To  check  only	the  major hierarchies against news.uu,net, use the following actsync.ign
       file:

	    # by default, ignore everything
	    i *

	    # check the major groups
	    c	 comp.*
	    c	 gnu.*
	    c	 sci.*
	    c	 alt.*
	    c	 misc.*
	    c	 news.*
	    c	 rec.*
	    c	 soc.*
	    c	 talk.*

       and running:

	    actsync -i actsync.ign news.uu.net

       To determine the differences between your old active and your current default server:

	    actsync <pathetc in inn.conf>/active.old -

       To report but not fix any newsgroup problems with the current active file:

	    actsync - -

       To detect any newsgroup errors on your local server, and to  remove  any  *.bork.bork.bork
       style silly newsgroup names:

	    actsync -b 2 - -

       The active file produced by:

	    actsync ... flags ... -o x erehwon.honey.edu

       or by:

	    actsync ... flags ... -o c erehwon.honey.edu | sh

       is effectively the same as the active file produced by:

	    ctlinnd pause 'running actsync'
	    rm -f active.new
	    actsync ... flags ... -o a1 erehwon.honey.edu > active.new
	    rm -f active.old
	    ln active active.old
	    mv active.new active
	    ctlinnd reload active 'running actsync'
	    ctlinnd go 'running actsync'

       It should be noted that the above 'pause', 'actsync', 'reload' and 'go' method is faster.

CAUTION
       Careless  use of this tool may result in the addition change or removal of newsgroups that
       you don't want.	You should avoid using the x output format until you are sure it will  do
       what you want.

BUGS
       If  a  newsgroup appears multiple times, actsync(8) will treat all copies as errors.  How-
       ever, if the group is marked for removal, only one rmgroup will be issued.

       The timeout for ctlinnd(8) commands is fixed at 30 seconds when running in ``x'' or ``xi''
       output format.  Perhaps the timeout value should be controlled via a command line option?

SEE ALSO
       active(5),
       simpleftp(1),
       mod-active(8),
       ctlinnd(8),
       getlist(8),
       inn.conf(5).

HISTORY
       Written	by  Landon  Curt Noll <chongo@toad.com> for InterNetNews.  Updated to support ftp
       fetching by David Lawrence <tale@isc.org>.

										       ACTSYNC(8)


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