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Author Message
 Linux News HOWTO
Archive-name: linux/howto/news
Last-modified:  06 September 1993

The Linux News HOWTO
by Vince Skahan, <vi...@victrola.wa.com>
v1.0, Last Modified 06 September 1993
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

This document describes the setup and care+feeding of USENET News under
Linux.

You need to read this if you plan to post or read USENET news either
locally on your site or between your site and other sites.

You probably do *not* need to read this document if don't plan to provide
USENET news as a feature of your system.

0.  Introduction

The intent of this document is to answer some of the questions and comments
that appear to meet the definition of 'frequently asked questions' about
USENET News software under Linux in general, and the version in the Linux
SLS distribution in particular.

This document and the corresponding Mail and UUCP 'HOWTO' documents
collectively supersede the UUCP-NEWS-MAIL-FAQ that has previously been
posted to comp.os.linux.announce.

0.1 New versions of this document

        New versions of this document will be periodically posted to
        comp.os.linux.announce, comp.answers, and news.answers.  They will
        also be added to the various anonymous ftp sites who archive such
        information including sunsite.unc.edu:/pub/Linux/docs/HOWTO.

0.2 Feedback

        I am interested in any feedback, positive or negative, regarding
        the content of this document via e-mail.  Definitely contact me if
        you find errors or obvious omissions.

        I read, but do not necessarily respond to, all e-mail I receive.
        Requests for enhancements will be considered and acted upon based on
        that day's combination of available time, merit of the request, and
        daily {*filter*} pressure :-)

        Flames will quietly go to /dev/null so don't bother.

        Feedback concerning the actual format of the document should go to
        the HOWTO coordinator - Matt Welsh (m...@sunsite.unc.edu).

0.3 Other sources of information

        USENET:
        =======
        news.admin              Comments directed to news administrators.
        news.admin.misc         General topics of network news administration.
        news.admin.policy       Policy issues of USENET.
        news.admin.technical    Maintaining network news. (Moderated)
        news.software.b         Discussion about B-news-compatible software.
        news.software.nn        Discussion about the "nn" news reader package.
        news.software.nntp      The Network News Transfer Protocol.
        news.software.readers   Software used to read network news.
        news.sysadmin           Comments directed to system administrators.
        news.announce.newusers  Explanatory postings for new users. (Moderated)
        news.newusers.questions Q & A for users new to the Usenet.

        Books:
        ======

        The following is a non-inclusive set of books that will help...

        'Managing UUCP and USENET' published by O'Reilly+Associates is in
        my opinion the best book out there for figuring out the programs
        and protocols involved in being a USENET site.

        'Unix Communications' published by The Waite Group contains a nice
        description of all the pieces (and more) and how they fit together.

        'Practical Unix Security' published by O'Reilly+Associates has a
        nice discussion of how to secure UUCP in general.

0.4 Where *NOT* to look for help

        There is nothing 'special' about configuring and running USENET
        news under Linux (any more).  Accordingly, you almost certainly do
        *NOT* want to be posting generic news-related questions to the
        comp.os.linux.* newsgroups.

        Unless your posting is truly Linux-specific (ie, "please tell me
        what patches are needed to run INN with the bash1.12 in SLS v1.03)
        you should be asking your questions in the newsgroups mentioned above.

        Let me repeat that.

        There is virtually no reason to post anything news-related in the
        comp.os.linux hierarchy any more.  There are existing newsgroups in
        the news.* hierarchy to handle *ALL* your questions.

1.0 Hardware Requirements

        There are no specific hardware requirements for USENET News under
        Linux.  The only requirement of any type is sufficient disk space
        to hold the software itself, the threads database(s), and the
        amount of news you wish to keep on the system.  Figure on a minimum
        of 10 MB of disk space for starters.

2.0 Getting USENET News software

        All the software referenced in this 'HOWTO' is available on the usual
        Internet anonymous ftp sites.  

        Looking in /news on ftp.uu.net is usually a good way to start.

        The newspak-1.7.tar.z distribution contains config files and readme
        files related to building uucp, news, and mail software under Linux
        from the various freely-available sources.  It can usually be found
        on sunsite.unc.edu in the directory /pub/Linux/system/Mail.

3.0 News Transport Software

        There are two main sets of news 'transport' software for *nix these
        days, Cnews and INN.  The old 'Bnews' has been declared officially
        dead and unsupported by its authors.

        News 'transport' is defined here to be the software that works behind
        the scenes to post and propagate the news articles as well as making
        the articles available for the newsreaders to access.

        You can set your paths to anything you like, as long as UUCP has the
        absolute path to rnews in the Permissions file and as long as you
        have your newsreaders configured so that they can find 'inews' and
        'mail'.

        Important - you're asking for trouble if you try to intermix Cnews
        and INN.  Pick one or the other.  It's ok to add the NNTP 'Reference
        Release' into Cnews since they're intended to play well together.

3.1 Cnews Performance Release

        The current de-facto standard news software is Cnews.  It has been
        around for a number of years, I first saw it sometime around 1988.

        Cnews's main benefit is its maturity.  It runs on about every *nix
        you can find and there are literally thousands of systems running
        it worldwide.

        Its main disadvantage is that it seems to have been intended for
        uucp-over-modem connections between sites and as such requires
        the addition of NNTP software to handle realtime Internet feeds
        and reading.  

        In addition, it requires external threading packages for the
        various newsreaders, although the NOV package can now be hooked in
        to help somewhat and it's rumored to have native NOV support in the
        upcoming 'cleanup' release.

        Regardless, the beginning USENET admin should probably run Cnews
        first since it's so stable, well documented, and has many thousands
        of experienced administrators who can answer questions.

        The newspak-1.7.tar.z distribution on sunsite contains working
        config files for Cnews under Linux as well as a couple line patch
        you'll need to make to 'doexplode' to get around some problems with
        bash1.12.

3.1.1 Installing Cnews

        Installing the Performance Release of Cnews is absolutely a 'rtfm'
        project.  Just grab the sources, extract them, and follow the
        instructions.

        The build.def in newspak was generated by running 'build' the
        first time and simply looking up the answers by checking out the
        /usr/include files to get the right answers.

        When you start the actual compilation, it'll blow up a couple of
        times.  In all cases, you'll need to simply comment out a couple of
        atoi() and atol() macros that gcc doesn't like when your doit.bin
        compilation blows up.  

        Also, you need the following tiny change to doexplode to get around
        some bash1.12 bugs or else you won't feed anything downstream...

        [...from Steve Robbins -  st...@nyongwa.cam.org ...]

        if [ ! -f $f ] ; then continue; fi              # add this line
        #       case "$f" in                            # comment me out
        #       "out.master/[0-9]*")  break ;;        # comment me out
        #       esac                                    # comment me out

        Henry Spencer of Cnews fame says that the code in doexplode that is
        currently causing problems with bash is on the list to be revised in
        a future release.

3.1.2 Configuring Cnews

        At the very least, you need to edit the following files that all
        should be in /usr/local/lib/news:

                active             - the active file
                batchparms         - batch parameters
                explist            - article expiration setup
                mailname           - name in headers for mailed replies
                mailpaths          - path to mail moderated postings to
                organization       - your 'org'
                sys                - control what you take and feed
                whoami             - your hostname for the Path: line

3.1.3 Maintaining a Cnews Site

        First, a significant rule of thumb is to not mess with files
        by hand that have utilities that configure them. In particular
        don't set up newsfeeds (run 'addfeed'instead) and don't mess with
        your active file (run 'addgroup').  When in doubt, read and re-read
        the docs in the source distribution.

        Everything else can be done via cron.  My crontab for 'news' looks
        like the following:

        # take the compressed batches that came in from other systems
        20 *       * * * /usenet/sw/news/bin/input/newsrun  

        # batch 'em up to go out
        0 *        * * * /usenet/sw/news/bin/batch/sendbatches myfeedsite

        # expire C-news
        59 0       * * * /usenet/sw/news/bin/expire/doexpire

        # monitor stuff and report if needed
        10 5 * * * /usenet/sw/news/bin/newsdaily
        00 5 * * * /usenet/sw/new/bin/newswatch

        # turn processing of incoming news batches off 6:30AM - 4:00 PM
        30 6       * * * /usenet/sw/news/bin/input/newsrunning off
        00 16      * * * /usenet/sw/news/bin/input/newsrunning on

3.2 InterNetNews (INN)

        INN is the newcomer on the scene, but it's gaining popularity as
        it matures.  Its main benefit is speed and the fact that it contains
        an integrated nntp package.  Its main drawback is that it's new and
        that it doesn't necessarily install and run flawlessly on the many
        'standard *nixes' yet.  In addition, it operates by having a daemon
        (the innd) always running plus potentially a overchan daemon to do
        threading.  The tradeoff seems to be memory vs. speed.

        New USENET admins should probably not try INN until they have
        experience with either B-news or
...

read more »



 Mon, 26 Feb 1996 10:23:58 GMT   
 Linux News HOWTO
Archive-name: linux/howto/news
Last-modified:  06 September 1993

The Linux News HOWTO
by Vince Skahan, <vi...@victrola.wa.com>
v1.0, Last Modified 06 September 1993
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

This document describes the setup and care+feeding of USENET News under
Linux.

You need to read this if you plan to post or read USENET news either
locally on your site or between your site and other sites.

You probably do *not* need to read this document if don't plan to provide
USENET news as a feature of your system.

0.  Introduction

The intent of this document is to answer some of the questions and comments
that appear to meet the definition of 'frequently asked questions' about
USENET News software under Linux in general, and the version in the Linux
SLS distribution in particular.

This document and the corresponding Mail and UUCP 'HOWTO' documents
collectively supersede the UUCP-NEWS-MAIL-FAQ that has previously been
posted to comp.os.linux.announce.

0.1 New versions of this document

        New versions of this document will be periodically posted to
        comp.os.linux.announce, comp.answers, and news.answers.  They will
        also be added to the various anonymous ftp sites who archive such
        information including sunsite.unc.edu:/pub/Linux/docs/HOWTO.

0.2 Feedback

        I am interested in any feedback, positive or negative, regarding
        the content of this document via e-mail.  Definitely contact me if
        you find errors or obvious omissions.

        I read, but do not necessarily respond to, all e-mail I receive.
        Requests for enhancements will be considered and acted upon based on
        that day's combination of available time, merit of the request, and
        daily {*filter*} pressure :-)

        Flames will quietly go to /dev/null so don't bother.

        Feedback concerning the actual format of the document should go to
        the HOWTO coordinator - Matt Welsh (m...@sunsite.unc.edu).

0.3 Other sources of information

        USENET:
        =======
        news.admin              Comments directed to news administrators.
        news.admin.misc         General topics of network news administration.
        news.admin.policy       Policy issues of USENET.
        news.admin.technical    Maintaining network news. (Moderated)
        news.software.b         Discussion about B-news-compatible software.
        news.software.nn        Discussion about the "nn" news reader package.
        news.software.nntp      The Network News Transfer Protocol.
        news.software.readers   Software used to read network news.
        news.sysadmin           Comments directed to system administrators.
        news.announce.newusers  Explanatory postings for new users. (Moderated)
        news.newusers.questions Q & A for users new to the Usenet.

        Books:
        ======

        The following is a non-inclusive set of books that will help...

        'Managing UUCP and USENET' published by O'Reilly+Associates is in
        my opinion the best book out there for figuring out the programs
        and protocols involved in being a USENET site.

        'Unix Communications' published by The Waite Group contains a nice
        description of all the pieces (and more) and how they fit together.

        'Practical Unix Security' published by O'Reilly+Associates has a
        nice discussion of how to secure UUCP in general.

0.4 Where *NOT* to look for help

        There is nothing 'special' about configuring and running USENET
        news under Linux (any more).  Accordingly, you almost certainly do
        *NOT* want to be posting generic news-related questions to the
        comp.os.linux.* newsgroups.

        Unless your posting is truly Linux-specific (ie, "please tell me
        what patches are needed to run INN with the bash1.12 in SLS v1.03)
        you should be asking your questions in the newsgroups mentioned above.

        Let me repeat that.

        There is virtually no reason to post anything news-related in the
        comp.os.linux hierarchy any more.  There are existing newsgroups in
        the news.* hierarchy to handle *ALL* your questions.

1.0 Hardware Requirements

        There are no specific hardware requirements for USENET News under
        Linux.  The only requirement of any type is sufficient disk space
        to hold the software itself, the threads database(s), and the
        amount of news you wish to keep on the system.  Figure on a minimum
        of 10 MB of disk space for starters.

2.0 Getting USENET News software

        All the software referenced in this 'HOWTO' is available on the usual
        Internet anonymous ftp sites.  

        Looking in /news on ftp.uu.net is usually a good way to start.

        The newspak-1.7.tar.z distribution contains config files and readme
        files related to building uucp, news, and mail software under Linux
        from the various freely-available sources.  It can usually be found
        on sunsite.unc.edu in the directory /pub/Linux/system/Mail.

3.0 News Transport Software

        There are two main sets of news 'transport' software for *nix these
        days, Cnews and INN.  The old 'Bnews' has been declared officially
        dead and unsupported by its authors.

        News 'transport' is defined here to be the software that works behind
        the scenes to post and propagate the news articles as well as making
        the articles available for the newsreaders to access.

        You can set your paths to anything you like, as long as UUCP has the
        absolute path to rnews in the Permissions file and as long as you
        have your newsreaders configured so that they can find 'inews' and
        'mail'.

        Important - you're asking for trouble if you try to intermix Cnews
        and INN.  Pick one or the other.  It's ok to add the NNTP 'Reference
        Release' into Cnews since they're intended to play well together.

3.1 Cnews Performance Release

        The current de-facto standard news software is Cnews.  It has been
        around for a number of years, I first saw it sometime around 1988.

        Cnews's main benefit is its maturity.  It runs on about every *nix
        you can find and there are literally thousands of systems running
        it worldwide.

        Its main disadvantage is that it seems to have been intended for
        uucp-over-modem connections between sites and as such requires
        the addition of NNTP software to handle realtime Internet feeds
        and reading.  

        In addition, it requires external threading packages for the
        various newsreaders, although the NOV package can now be hooked in
        to help somewhat and it's rumored to have native NOV support in the
        upcoming 'cleanup' release.

        Regardless, the beginning USENET admin should probably run Cnews
        first since it's so stable, well documented, and has many thousands
        of experienced administrators who can answer questions.

        The newspak-1.7.tar.z distribution on sunsite contains working
        config files for Cnews under Linux as well as a couple line patch
        you'll need to make to 'doexplode' to get around some problems with
        bash1.12.

3.1.1 Installing Cnews

        Installing the Performance Release of Cnews is absolutely a 'rtfm'
        project.  Just grab the sources, extract them, and follow the
        instructions.

        The build.def in newspak was generated by running 'build' the
        first time and simply looking up the answers by checking out the
        /usr/include files to get the right answers.

        When you start the actual compilation, it'll blow up a couple of
        times.  In all cases, you'll need to simply comment out a couple of
        atoi() and atol() macros that gcc doesn't like when your doit.bin
        compilation blows up.  

        Also, you need the following tiny change to doexplode to get around
        some bash1.12 bugs or else you won't feed anything downstream...

        [...from Steve Robbins -  st...@nyongwa.cam.org ...]

        if [ ! -f $f ] ; then continue; fi              # add this line
        #       case "$f" in                            # comment me out
        #       "out.master/[0-9]*")  break ;;        # comment me out
        #       esac                                    # comment me out

        Henry Spencer of Cnews fame says that the code in doexplode that is
        currently causing problems with bash is on the list to be revised in
        a future release.

3.1.2 Configuring Cnews

        At the very least, you need to edit the following files that all
        should be in /usr/local/lib/news:

                active             - the active file
                batchparms         - batch parameters
                explist            - article expiration setup
                mailname           - name in headers for mailed replies
                mailpaths          - path to mail moderated postings to
                organization       - your 'org'
                sys                - control what you take and feed
                whoami             - your hostname for the Path: line

3.1.3 Maintaining a Cnews Site

        First, a significant rule of thumb is to not mess with files
        by hand that have utilities that configure them. In particular
        don't set up newsfeeds (run 'addfeed'instead) and don't mess with
        your active file (run 'addgroup').  When in doubt, read and re-read
        the docs in the source distribution.

        Everything else can be done via cron.  My crontab for 'news' looks
        like the following:

        # take the compressed batches that came in from other systems
        20 *       * * * /usenet/sw/news/bin/input/newsrun  

        # batch 'em up to go out
        0 *        * * * /usenet/sw/news/bin/batch/sendbatches myfeedsite

        # expire C-news
        59 0       * * * /usenet/sw/news/bin/expire/doexpire

        # monitor stuff and report if needed
        10 5 * * * /usenet/sw/news/bin/newsdaily
        00 5 * * * /usenet/sw/new/bin/newswatch

        # turn processing of incoming news batches off 6:30AM - 4:00 PM
        30 6       * * * /usenet/sw/news/bin/input/newsrunning off
        00 16      * * * /usenet/sw/news/bin/input/newsrunning on

3.2 InterNetNews (INN)

        INN is the newcomer on the scene, but it's gaining popularity as
        it matures.  Its main benefit is speed and the fact that it contains
        an integrated nntp package.  Its main drawback is that it's new and
        that it doesn't necessarily install and run flawlessly on the many
        'standard *nixes' yet.  In addition, it operates by having a daemon
        (the innd) always running plus potentially a overchan daemon to do
        threading.  The tradeoff seems to be memory vs. speed.

        New USENET admins should probably not try INN until they have
        experience with either B-news or
...

read more »



 Fri, 01 Mar 1996 08:31:25 GMT   
 
   [ 2 post ] 

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