Provided by: leafnode_1.11.4-2ubuntu1_i386
fetchnews - fetch news via NNTP
fetchnews [-q] [-v] ... [-x number] [-l] [-n] [-f] [-P] [-w]
Leafnode is a USENET package intended for small sites, where there are
few users and little disk space, but where a large number of groups is
The design of leafnode is intended to self-repair after problems, and
to require no manual maintenance.
Fetchnews (formerly called "fetch") is the program which submits and
retrieves new articles to or from the upstream NNTP server.
-q Be quiet. Suppresses some warnings. This flag cancels any
previously encountered -v flags.
-v Be verbose. This flag cancels any previously encountered -q
flags. A maximum of four -v can be used (the more v, the more
-v Warn about non-critical errors.
-vv Be verbose whenever a group command occurs.
-vvv Be verbose whenever an article command occurs.
-vvvv For debugging purposes. Don’t expect the additional output to
-w Wait mode. This causes the XOVER update (which runs after the
article fetch phase) to run in the foreground. By default, the
XOVER update runs in the background, detached from the shell, on
systems that offer a working fork(2) call. Helpful for debugging
and to avoid terminal clobbering when fetchnews is run manually.
Go number articles back and try to re-fetch what’s missing. This
can be useful to pull data from broken servers that have either
overview and group data out of synch or create articles out of
article number order.
-l Don’t use supplementary servers (-l is supposed to mean
"local"). This does speed up the operation quite a bit.
-n Do not expire newsgroup subscriptions. Technically: do not
unlink files in the interesting.groups directory.
-f Erase the active.read file, thus force redownloading the whole
active file from all upstream servers. This is usually occurring
only very infrequently because it takes a long time. See
timeout_active in leafnode(8).
-P Only post articles that have accumulated in the out.going
directory but do not fetch articles from upstream servers.
fetchnews will exit with code 0 if it could connect to all servers and
encountered no other errors. It exits with code 2 when it was unable to
connect to at least one server, and it exits with code 1 on other
FILES AND CONFIGURATION
is a file to track when the active files have been successfully
downloaded from the upstream servers the last time. If it is
missing, this has the same effect as giving the -f option. It is
only created after the active file of each upstream servers has
been downloaded successfully.
See leafnode(8) for the list of other files affected, and for
information on configuring fetchnews.
LN_SKIP_GROUPS=pattern[,pattern[...]] (since v1.9.53)
If set, all groups that match one of the wildmat(3) patterns
will be skipped during the fetch. This can be used as a quick
way of skipping binary groups during daytime, for instance,
env ’LN_SKIP_GROUPS=*binary*,alt.*’ /usr/sbin/fetchnews -nq
This variable is parsed as an unsigned integer value and
determines how many seconds fetchnews will wait when trying to
obtain the lock file from another leafnode program. 0 means to
wait indefinitely. This variable takes precedence over the
Here is a brief description of what fetchnews does.
First, after connecting to the upstream NNTP server, all articles that
have the u+r permission (0400) flag set in /var/spool/news/out.going
are posted using POST. If a posting fails, that article is moved to
/var/spool/news/failed.postings which an administrator has to clean up
once in a while. Moving a file back to /var/spool/news/out.going is
sufficient to retry the post it. The u+r flag is checked to prevent
posting an (incomplete) article that leafnode(8) is still receiving at
the same time. If a posting succeeds, the article is removed from
out.going in order to not post it twice into a moderated newsgroup on a
different server (which would send multiple copies of the article to
the moderator). Note: older fetchnews versions tried to post on all
servers first, but failed to do so when one of the servers could not be
reached. If you need to work around a dodgy upstream server that is
fast but doesn’t forward your posts reliably, prohibit posting to this
server using the nopost server option in the configuration file, see
Second, the upstream server’s list of newsgroups (obtained using LIST
and LIST NEWSGROUPS) is merged into leafnode’s (if timeout_active has
expired, the active.read file is not present or the active file is
empty) or updated (with NEWGROUPS).
Third, fetchnews iterates over the list of newsgroups, performing a
GROUP, an XOVER (if supported) or XHDR Message-ID and a number of HEAD
and BODY or ARTICLE commands for each group which has been read
recently. It assumes that for the particular group it is looking at,
"maxage" was set to the groupexpire or global expire. As a consequence,
it makes only sense to set maxage lower than or equal to expire.
Fetchnews does not use NEWNEWS. NEWNEWS is not used because it is
often very expensive and therefore also disabled at many sites.
After some experiments, I decided that it was better to fetch all the
articles in a group than to optimize away some; users would complain
too loudly when the optmizer guessed wrongly.
The only way to control what newsgroups are accessible to local users
is to control what the upstream server lets fetchnews read, and that
will not keep out all crossposts (endemic in e.g. the alt.sex groups).
If your site is big enough that you need to control newsgroup access,
consider using a news server which is designed for a big site.
Fetchnews sets its real and effective uid to "news" when started as
root and refuses to run if it cannot get this user ID.
Fetchnews ignores the "Supersedes:" and "Control:" headers.
Older versions of fetchnews posted any articles found in out.going.
Since v1.9.23, fetchnews will only post article files that have their
user executable bit set. Leafnode sets this bit after it has
successfully received a post. This behaviour avoids posting incomplete
articles when leafnode receives a post at the same time fetchnews is
Written by Arnt Gulbrandsen <email@example.com> and copyright 1995-96
Troll Tech AS, Postboks 6133 Etterstad, 0602 Oslo, Norway, fax +47
Modified by Cornelius Krasel <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Markus Enzenberger <email@example.com> and Randolf Skerka
<Randolf.Skerka@gmx.de>. Copyright of the modifications 1997-1999.
Modified by Matthias Andree <firstname.lastname@example.org>, copyright of the
leafnode(8), texpire(8), newsq(1),