Provided by: leafnode_1.11.8-1_amd64 bug


       leafnode - NNTP server for small (dialup) sites




       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 desired.

       The design of leafnode is intended to self-repair after problems, and to require no manual

       The  leafnode  program  itself  is the NNTP server.  It is run from inetd(8), xinetd(8) or
       tcpserver when someone wants to read news.  The other parts of the package, fetchnews  and
       texpire,  are  responsible for fetching new news from another server, and for deleting old


       No authentication or  access  control  is  supported.   This  is  a  deliberate  omission:
       Implementing this is a job which should not be redone for each and every service.

       It  is  mandatory  that you use external access control mechanisms like tcpd, inetd/xinetd
       compiled with libwrap support, tcpserver with -x option and the like and that these are in
       effect.  tcpd and libwrap are components of Wietse Venema's fine tcp_wrappers package.

       As  a  very  rough last line of defense against abuse, leafnode will drop connections from
       outside your LANs by default. You can configure leafnode to let  go  of  this  restriction
       (look  for the allowstrangers option), but don't do that unless tight access control is in
       place.  Someone will abuse your computer sooner or later. Promised.

       I recommend that either firewalling or tcpd be used for access control.


       All these files and directories must be readable by the user  "news".  It  is  recommended
       that,  unless  otherwise stated, that the user "news" be the only user in the group "news"
       and these files  belong  to  "root:news"  (user:group)  so  leafnode  cannot  modify  your
       configuration or filter files.

       /etc/news/leafnode  should  not  be writable by the user "news", but it must be executable
       for at least any of the group that  the  user  "news"  is  in.   /etc/news/leafnode/config
       contains  the  configuration parameters for leafnode.  It must not be writable by the user
       "news". Set this to owner root:news and mode 640. For details, see CONFIGURATION below.

       /var/spool/news must also be readable and writable by the user "news".   It  contains  the
       news   articles;  e.g.   /var/spool/news/alt/fan/agulbra  contains  the  articles  in  the group.  Each  directory  contains  articles  in  numbered  files  (decimal
       numbers, monotonically increasing), and a special file called .overview which contains the
       "Subject", "From", "Date", "Message-ID", "References", "Bytes"  and  "Lines"  headers  for
       each article in the group.

       Several subdirectories are special:

       /var/spool/news/leaf.node  contains  the files that leafnode creates during operation, for
       example the groupinfo file which contains information about each  USENET  newsgroup.  This
       file  is built by fetchnews (8). You can force a complete rebuild of the groupinfo file by
       calling fetchnews with the parameter -f (see fetchnews (8)).

       /var/spool/news/out.going contains local postings that fetchnews(8)  is  to  pass  to  the
       upstream  NNTP  server.  After  a  posting  has been successfully written to disk, its u+r
       permission flag is set. This flag is interpreted by fetchnews(8) as  "you  may  post  this
       article". This prevents fetchnews from posting articles that are still being received from
       newsreaders. (Note: versions 1.9.23 to 1.9.32 inclusively used u+x instead,  which  caused
       some  "stuck  post"  problems with articles in the spool when a prior leafnode version was
       updated to one of these 10 versions. Updating  to  leafnode  1.9.33  or  later  fixes  the

       /var/spool/news/failed.postings contains local postings that the upstream server rejected.
       fetchnews(8) will create files in this directory, but none of the leafnode  programs  will
       delete anything in it.

       /var/spool/news/  contains  hard links to each message; this is used in place of
       the dbz database typically used by bigger servers.  (A directory such as this is  probably
       more efficient for the small servers leafnode is designed for but scales very badly.)

       /var/spool/news/interesting.groups  contains  one  file  for each group an NNTP client has
       asked to read.  leafnode will update the ctime (ls -l usually shows the mtime, try ls -lc)
       of the relevant file when a LISTGROUP, XOVER, XHDR, STAT, HEAD, BODY or ARTICLE command is
       issued, when a GROUP or LIST ACTIVE command (the latter only with a single group, not with
       patterns)  is  issued  for an interesting group (to avoid unsubscribing low-traffic groups
       that are still read) and fetchnews(8) will retrieve all new articles in all  groups  whose
       files have been either

              - touched during the past two days, or

              - touched more than once, and at least once within the past week.

       The   timeout  is  configurable  through  the  config  file  variables  timeout_short  and
       timeout_long. See also fetchnews(8) for the -n option.

       /etc/inetd.conf or /etc/xinetd.conf contains the configuration which starts leafnode.   It
       is strongly recommended to start leafnode as user news.


              If  this variable exists, all POST commands are rejected with a 400 code.  Use only
              for debugging clients.

              If this variable exists, the POST command is rejected with a  400  code  after  the
              article and CRLF.CRLF has been received. Use only for debugging clients.


       All  configuration  is  done using the file /etc/news/leafnode/config, which may include a
       filter description file, filterfile for short, as described below.

       For the purposes of this section, whitespace shall be defined  as  an  arbitrary  sequence
       consisting  of  one  or  more  SPACE  or  HTAB  characters,  ASCII  positions  32  and  9,

       The configuration file is strictly line-oriented with LF or CRLF as line terminator.

       Empty lines and lines consisting of  only  whitespace,  possibly  followed  by  a  comment
       (introduced by a hash mark (#) and extending through the end of the line), are skipped.

       All other lines have exactly three mandatory fields, a plain text parameter, an assignment
       character (=) optionally surrounded by whitespace and a value.  The value is either  plain
       text  or  -  new  since  leafnode v1.11 - a string in double quotes with trivial backslash
       escape (see below).

       Plain text starts at the first non-whitespace character and extends through the last  non-
       whitespace  character  on  the line that is not a comment. A trailing comment on a line is

       Quoted strings are enclosed in double quote characters (").  The backslash  character  (\)
       is  skipped,  but  it copies the immediately following character verbatim, so that you can
       specify the backslash itself by doubling it (\\) or a double quote character  as  part  of
       the  string by preceding it with a backslash (\"); the hash mark has no special meaning as
       command introducer inside quoted strings. Text after the end of  the  string  is  silently
       ignored (this may change in future versions).  Comments after quoted strings are ignored.


       These parameters must be specified for leafnode to work.

       server =
              "server"  is  used  by fetchnews (8) to select what NNTP server(s) to retrieve news
              from and to post your articles to. You can specify more than one  news  server;  in
              that  case,  the  servers  will  be  queried from the top down. If you want to post
              articles, at least one of your servers should allow you to post.   In  the  example
              above, is the news server.

              This  parameter can be given more than once. Each server starts with a fresh set of
              default configuration options, no inheritance takes place from the previous  server
              definition.  Only  options  explicitly marked "server-specific" can be set on a per
              server basis, "general" options are set for all servers at the same time.

       expire = 5
              "expire" is the number of days an article should be kept around.  In  the  example,
              five  days after the article has last been read, it is deleted by texpire (8). This
              value MUST be at least 1. This parameter is global, see the introductory  paragraph
              of the following GENERAL OPTION PARAMETERS section to find out what this means.


       These  options  can only be configured once in the configuration file, and take effect for
       leafnode as a whole. It does not matter where these  are  specified  relative  to  server=
       options, but for clarity, you are encouraged to place these before the first server= line.
       Specifying each of the global options more than once lets the last copy take  effect,  but
       may cause errors in the future.

       hostname =
              By  default, leafnode tries hard to figure the host name of your computer, skipping
              inadequate (non-unique) names if possible. It will look  up  your  computer's  host
              name  with gethostname(3) and then try to qualify the name with gethostbyname(3) if
              necessary. Common sources for the full name therefore are /etc/hosts, NIS and  DNS,
              but consult your system documentation for details.

              If  leafnode  fails  to  determine  the host name, this is usually a hint that your
              system is not configured properly, or it has a hostname that is unsuitable for  the
              domain  part  of a Message-ID, for example, "localhost.localdomain", and you should
              fix the name service configuration. Adding a unique fully-qualified  host  name  to
              /etc/hosts is usually sufficient. Please see README-FQDN for more details.

              You  can  configure  the unique fully-qualified host name here as well, but this is
              not recommended and discouraged.

       create_all_links = 1
              Normally, fetchnews will store articles only in the newsgroups which  it  considers
              interesting.  With  this  option  set,  fetchnews  will  create  hardlinks  for all
              newsgroups in the Newsgroups: header that it knows about. This may be  of  interest
              if you want to apply a score- or killfile to the local Xref: line.

       maxfetch = 1000
              "maxfetch" specifies the maximum number of articles fetchnews (8) should fetch from
              the upstream server in each group. Its use is not advised, because if  you  use  it
              you will not see all the traffic in a group. By default there is no limit.

       initialfetch = 1
              "initialfetch"  defines  how  many articles from a newly subscribed group should be
              fetched. The default is to fetch all  old  articles,  which  can  get  quite  time-
              consuming  when  subscribing  to  a  very busy group. This is equivalent to setting
              initialfetch to zero. If you want to get no old articles when subscribing to a  new
              group, you should set initialfetch to one, as in the example above.

       groupexpire = 1

       groupexpire very.crowded.hierarchy.* = 1
              "groupexpire"  makes  it  possible  to  adjust  expiry times for individual groups.
              Expiry times are given in days. 0 means "use the default", negative values  prevent
              the  expire  process  for  this  group altogether (you can consider this an archive
              mode). This value is used by texpire (8). You can specify as many groupexpire lines
              as you like. It is possible to specify glob (7)-like wildcard expressions.

       maxage = 10
              If  an  article  turns up on your upstream news server which is older than "maxage"
              days it will not been fetched even if you don't have it yet.   This  is  useful  if
              your  upstream  server  gets occasional "hiccups". The default is set to 10. If you
              want to switch this feature off, set maxage to some very large value, such as 20000
              (this is equivalent to roughly 54 years).

       maxold = 10
              Is synonymous to maxage, see above.

       maxlines = 2000
              If  you  want  to  avoid  receiving very large articles, you may set the "maxlines"
              parameter to the maximal number of lines an article should have. By  default,  this
              feature is switched off.

       minlines = 2
              Sometimes newsgroups are spammed with empty postings. To reject these postings, you
              can set the "minlines" parameter. Setting minlines to a value larger 4 is  probably
              not a good idea since you will also start to kill "real" postings then. By default,
              this feature is switched off.

       maxbytes = 100000
              If you want to avoid receiving very large articles, instead of using the "maxlines"
              parameter  you  can  also use the "maxbytes" parameter. By default, this feature is
              switched off.

       maxcrosspost = 5
              If you want to combat spam, you can filter out all postings that are posted to more
              than   a   certain   number  of  newsgroups.  The  number  is  defined  by  setting
              "maxcrosspost". Setting this parameter to very low values is probably a  bad  idea.
              This feature is switched off by default.

       maxgroups = 5
              Synonymous for maxcrosspost. See above.

       filterfile = /etc/news/leafnode/filters
              Leafnode can filter the input headers for arbitrary regular expressions.  These are
              stored in a file designated  "filterfile".  The  format  of  "filterfile"  is  very
              simple:  one  perl-compatible  regular  expression  per line. If one of the regular
              expressions fits to a header to be downloaded, the body of  that  article  will  be
              rejected.  This  feature  is  switched  off  by  default. The format of the regular
              expressions is described in pcre(3).

       timeout_short = 2
              By default, a group that has been accidentally touched is  being  fetched  for  two
              days. You can change this time by changing timeout_short.

       timeout_long = 7
              By  default,  a group that has not been read at all is being fetched for seven days
              before being unsubscribed. This interval can be changed by setting timeout_long  to
              a different value.

       timeout_active = 90
              By  default, active files from the upstream servers are re-read every 90 days. This
              interval can be changed by setting timeout_active to a different  value.  Be  aware
              that  reading  an  active  file transfers about one MB of information if the server
              that you are using carries a reasonable number of groups (i. e. around 20,000).

       timeout_client = 900 (since v1.9.23)
              By default, leafnode will drop the connection 900 seconds (15 minutes) after seeing
              the  last  command from the client. You can change the timeout here. Setting it too
              low (like below 5 minutes) will annoy your users and consume more system  resources
              for re-reading all the files.

       timeout_fetchnews = 300 (since v1.9.52)
              Fetchnews  will,  since v1.9.52, assume the upstream server has become wedged after
              waiting for a reply for 300 seconds. You can change the timeout here.

       timeout_lock = 5 (since v1.9.54)
              Configure  how  many  seconds  the  leafnode  programs  (applyfilter,  checkgroups,
              fetchnews,  texpire) will wait for the lock file before aborting. Setting this to 0
              means to wait indefinitely.  NOTE: you can override this by setting the environment
              variable  LN_LOCK_TIMEOUT  (note  it  is  not  LN_TIMEOUT_LOCK).   The default is 5

       delaybody = 1
              With this option set, fetchnews (8) fetches only the  headers  of  an  article  for
              visual inspection. Only when the headers have been read, the bodies of the articles
              will be retrieved the next time fetchnews (8) is  called.  This  can  save  a  huge
              amount of download time and disk space.

       delaybody_in_situ = 1 (since v1.9.41)
              This is only applicable with delaybody=1.

              By  default, leafnode will give the full downloaded article a new article number so
              they appear as new in your newsreader. This does not work for all newsreaders. With
              this  option  set, leafnode will retain the original article number. You'll have to
              figure out how to tell your newsreader to show old articles. This  option  defaults
              to 0. It is highly recommended to leave it unset.

       debugmode = 1
              With this option set, fetchnews (8), texpire (8) and leafnode (8) will start to log
              lots of debugging output via syslog (8) at facility news and priority debug. Use it
              for  tracking  down  problems  with  your  feed.  debugmode should be left at 0 for
              regular use because it can log enormous amounts of data. The higher the number, the
              more will be logged. Choosing a figure greater than 3 will not make a difference at
              the moment.

       allow_8bit_headers = 1 (since v1.9.25)
              By default, leafnode rejects local  posts  that  have  8-bit  characters  in  their
              headers,  because  they  violate  relevant  standards, particularly RFC-2822 (which
              RFC-1036 is based on) that demands that Usenet news headers (as mail headers)  must
              be pure 7-bit US-ASCII, with only whitespace allowed from the control characters.

              However,  as  UTF-8  is  to  come,  and some national hierarchies, particularly the
              Norwegian and Danish (no.*, dk.*) seem to have agreed on preferring just-send-eight
              over  RFC-2047,  you  can  set this option to allow 8-bit data in headers. Leafnode
              will however add a warning header if 8-bit data is present, stating that  the  site
              administrator allowed this.

              There  is  no  way  to  make  leafnode  accept non-whitespace control characters in

       allowSTRANGERS = MAGIC (since v1.9.23)
              By  default,  leafnode  refuses  connections  from   outside   your   LANs.   Check
              config.example  for  how  to  use  this  parameter to let strangers connect to your
              leafnode.  Instead  of  MAGIC,  you  have  to  write  a  number  as  mentioned   in
              config.example. Note that capitalization matters.

       linebuffer = 1
              By default, stdout and sometimes stderr of applications are set to "fully buffered"
              unless connected to terminals. Use this option to explicitly request line  buffered
              mode for stdout and stderr.

       clamp_maxage = 0
              By  default,  leafnode will derive a "maxage" argument from the expire time that is
              applicable to the group (groupexpire if set, expire otherwise), to prevent fetching
              articles   again  that  were  once  there  and  then  cleared  by  texpire(8).  Set
              clamp_maxage=0 to get rid of this behaviour.

       article_despite_filter = 1 (since v1.9.33)
              By default, fetchnews will request HEAD and BODY separately if  a  filter  file  is
              defined  and  delaybody  is  off.  For high latency, high throughput links (such as
              interleaved DSL or satellite links), it may be faster  to  request  head  and  body
              together  with  an ARTICLE command and ignore the body if the filters apply (though
              it may not be cheaper if you pay  per  MByte),  enabling  this  option  will  force
              leafnode  to  use the ARTICLE command in spite of filters being defined. (Note that
              in delaybody mode, HEAD and BODY will ALWAYS be requested separately.)

       newsadmin = (since v1.9.47)
              This option sets the From: address for the placeholder article, it  should  be  the
              news administrator's mail address.  It defaults to news@HOSTNAME, where HOSTNAME is
              leafnode's hostname.


       These options can only be placed after the server= line of the server to which  you  would
       like  these  to  apply,  and they always pertain to the preceding server= line. Specifying
       them before the first server= line is an error.

       username = myname
              If any of your news servers requires authentication, you can enter your username on
              that  server  here.  This  field  may  occur multiple times, once after each server
              definition. See the introduction of this CONFIGURATION section for  information  on
              how to quote myname.

       password = mypassword
              If any of your news servers requires authentication, you can enter your password on
              that server here. This field may occur  multiple  times,  once  after  each  server
              definition.   Since the password is available in clear text, it is recommended that
              you set the rights on the config file as restrictive as possible,  otherwise  other
              users of your computer will be able to get your password(s) from that file. See the
              introduction of  this  CONFIGURATION  section  for  information  on  how  to  quote

       port = 8000
              By  default,  fetchnews  tries  to connect to its upstream news servers on the NNTP
              port (119). If your servers run on a different port, you can  specify  those  here.
              This field may occur multiple times, once after each server definition.

              Note:  to  modify  the  port  your  own  leafnode  servers  listens  on, change the
              inetd.conf, xinetd.conf configuration file or the  tcpsvd/tcpserver  command  line.
              leafnode does not set up its listen port itself.

       timeout = 30
              By default, leafnode tries to connect for 10 seconds to a server and then gives up.
              If you have a slow server, you can try for a longer time  by  setting  the  timeout
              higher  (in  this  example,  30 seconds). The timeout can be tuned individually for
              each server.

       noactive = ANYTHING (v1.9.25 ... v1.11.4)

       noactive = 1 (since v1.11.5)
              If this parameter is set, the active file is never downloaded from this server. Use
              this for very slow servers unless they carry groups that other servers don't offer.
              Leafnode versions 1.9.25 to 1.11.4 would always assume that "ANYTHING" had been  1.
              "noactive = 0" is supported since v1.11.5.

       nodesc = ANYTHING (until v1.11.4)

       nodesc = 1 (since v1.11.5)
              Some  servers do not deliver news groups descriptions correctly because they cannot
              parse the XGTITLE and LIST NEWSGROUPS commands. In that case, put this  line  after
              the  "server"  line.  Leafnode  versions  up  to  v1.11.4  would always assume that
              "ANYTHING" had been 1. "nodesc = 0" is supported since v1.11.5.

       nopost = 1 (since v1.9.23)
              Prevent posting to this server. You can use this if the upstream won't let you post
              but  still greet leafnode with 200 or if the upstream doesn't forward your postings

       noread = 1 (since v1.9.33)
              Prevent fetching news articles or active files from this server. You can  use  this
              if the upstream is good to post, but too slow to fetch news from.

       noxover = 1 (since v1.9.47)
              Prevent the use of XOVER on the current server. Fetchnews will use XHDR instead.

       only_groups_match_all = 1 (since v1.9.52)
              Usually,  when  cross-posting  an  article,  fetchnews will post the article if ANY
              group listed in the Newsgroups: header is matched by the PCRE.   With  this  option
              on,  ALL  groups  listed  in the Newsgroups: header must match. This can be used to
              avoid "poison" groups when you have multiple upstream servers.

       only_groups_pcre = PCRE (since v1.9.28)
              This parameter lists the Perl-compatible regular  expression  of  groups  that  are
              fetched  or  posted  to this server. The PCRE is automatically anchored at the left
              hand side, so you can omit the leading ^. Remember to escape dots, as in:

              If this parameter is omitted, all groups  are  fetched  from  and  posted  to  this

              Note:  you must run fetchnews with the -f option after changing, adding or removing
              any only_groups_pcre option.

              Hint: you can use something like this to check your only_groups_pcre settings:
              cut -f1 -d" " @spooldir@/leaf.node/groupinfo \
              | pcregrep 'PATTERN'

       post_anygroup = 1 (since v1.9.37)
              This parameter makes leafnode post on this server without checking  if  it  carries
              the  group  an  article is posted to. The default is post_anygroup = 0, which means
              that leafnode will check with a "GROUP" command if the server carries the group the
              articles is posted into. Use this on post-only servers that don't allow the "GROUP"
              command. Note: inconsiderate use of this parameter may cause articles to end up  in
              the failed.postings directory.


              is synonymous to server. Don't use it on new installations.

       fqdn   is synonymous to hostname. Don't use it on new installations.


       Here are the NNTP commands supported by this server:

       POST,  OVER, SLAVE, STAT, XHDR, XOVER.  These commands follow RFC-977 and RFC-2980, except
       HDR and OVER which are recognized in anticipation of current NNTP drafts.

       Note that the syntax of HDR and OVER may change.


       Leafnode is totally unaware of UTF-8 and will reject a client that posts UTF-8  characters
       in  the  header.  Current  Usefor  drafts claim all article headers UTF-8 encoded Unicode.
       Leafnode still expects RFC-2047 instead which may eventually be phased out  in  favour  of

       Leafnode stops reading a line at the first NUL character.

       Leafnode  may not cope well with crosspostings that cross hierarchies if you have multiple
       upstream feeds and use the only_groups_pcre configuration option.

       Leafnode will only bother to determine the time zone offset for  generated  Date:  headers
       for posts that lack them on systems that offer the tm_gmtoff member in struct tm (commonly
       BSD and GNU systems).


       Written by Arnt Gulbrandsen <> and copyright 1995 Troll Tech AS,  Postboks
       6133 Etterstad, 0602 Oslo, Norway, fax +47 22646949.

       Modified   by   Cornelius  Krasel  <>,  Randolf  Skerka
       <>   and   Markus    Enzenberger    <>.
       Copyright of the modifications 1997-1999.

       Modified  by Matthias Andree <>, Copyright 1999 - 2002.  Modified by
       Ralf Wildenhues <>, Copyright 2002.

       Jonathan Larmour <> contributed the timeout_client feature.

       Andreas Meininger  <>  contributed  the  code  to  let  texpire  ignore
       groupexpire = -1 groups.

       Mark Brown <> added the noactive option.

       Numerous contributions by other people.

       The    initial   development   of   leafnode   has   been   paid   for   by   Uninett   AS


       applyfilter(8), checkgroups(8), fetchnews(8), newsq(1), texpire(8).

       tcpd(8), hosts_access(5), glob(7), pcre(3), RFC 977, RFC 2980.