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       newsfeeds - determine where Usenet articles get sent


       The  file /etc/news/newsfeeds specifies how incoming articles should be
       distributed 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  collected.   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 format 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
       significant 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 subscription, 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  important.   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 used:
       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 subscribe to any of the groups where it has
       been posted , but if an article  has  a  Distribution  header  and  any
       distribs  are  specified,  then  they  are  checked  according  to  the
       following 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 negations were used, then the article is not sent.

       4.     If  Distribution header does not match any distrib in the site's
              entry, and any distrib 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 meaning.

       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

       <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:
                   d    Distribution header required
                   p    Do not check Path header for the sitename before
                        propagating (the exclusions are still checked).

              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.

       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
              /var/spool/news/out.going.   Then,  if  the  destination  is   a
              directory,  the  file  togo  in  that  directory will be used as

       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.

       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 then 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 (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

       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
              /var/spool/news/out.going/  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.

       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 the article in bytes
                   f    Article's full pathname
                   g    The newsgroup the article is in;
                        if cross-posted, then the first of the groups this
                        site gets
                   m    Article's Message-ID
                   n    Article's pathname relative to the spool directory
                   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
                   t    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
                   H    All headers
                   N    Value of the Newsgroups header
                   O    Overview data
                   R    Information needed for replication
                   P    Path header information needed for inpaths
              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  overview databases.  If ``H'' is present, then the
              all the article's headers are written 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, will
              also  be  part of the headers.  If used, this should be the only
              item in the list;  if  preceeded  by  other  items,  however,  a
              newline will be written before the headers.  The ``O'' generates
              input to the overchan(8) program.  It, too, should be  the  only
              item in the list.

              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 should only be one such entry, and
       it should be the first entry in the  file.   If  the  ME  entry  has  a
       subscription  list,  then  that  list is automatically prepended to the
       subscription   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
       propagated unless ``foo.* explicitly appears in the site's subscription
       list.  Note that most subscriptions should have  ``!junk,!control''  in
       their  pattern  list;  see  the  discussion  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 distribution  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

       The simplest feed is one that is fed by a  log  entry.   Other  than  a
       mention  in  the  news  logfile,  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 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 /var/spool/news/out.going.  If empty, the filename defaults
       to /var/spool/news/out.going/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 given a pathname for
       the article, relative to the news spool directory.  The full path  name
       may  be  obtained  by  prefixing  the %s in the param field by the news
       spool directory prefix.  Standard input will be set to the  article  or
       /dev/null  if  the  article cannot be opened for some reason.  Standard
       output and error will be set to the error log.  The  process  will  run
       with  the  user and group ID of the /var/run/innd 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 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 /var/spool/news/out.going/sitename.  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 interpretation is up to the exploder.
       The following messages are generated automatically by the server:
              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 feeding.

       For  more  details on setting up different types of news feeds, see the
       INN installation manual.


              ##  Initial subscription list and our distributions.
              ##  Feed all moderated source postings to an archiver
                   :Tc,Wn:/usr/lib/news/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:/usr/lib/news/bin/nntplink -i stdin
              ##  Two sites feeding into a hypothetical NNTP fan-out program:
              ##  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 nntpfanout program would receive lines like the following
       on its standard input:
              <> comp/sources/unix/888
              <> ne/general/1003
       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
              <> comp/society/folklore/3
              <> comp/sources/unix/888


       Written by Rich $alz <> for  InterNetNews.   This  is
       revision 1.35, dated 1996/12/17.


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