21.10. Maintenance Tools and Tasks

Despite the complexity of C News, a news administrator's life can be fairly easy; C News provides you with a wide variety of maintenance tools. Some of these are intended to be run regularly from cron, like newsdaily. Using these scripts greatly reduces daily care and feeding requirements of your C News installation.

Unless stated otherwise, these commands are located in /usr/lib/news/maint. (Note that you must become user news before invoking these commands. Running them as a superuser may render critical newsfiles inaccessible to C News.):


The name already says it: run this once a day. It is an important script that helps you keep log files small, retaining copies of each from the last three runs. It also tries to sense anomalies, like stale batches in the incoming and outgoing directories, postings to unknown or moderated newsgroups, etc. Resulting error messages are mailed to the newsmaster.


This script should be run regularly to look for anomalies in the news system, once an hour or so. It is intended to detect problems that will have an immediate effect on the operability of your news system, in which case it mails a trouble report to the newsmaster. Things checked include stale lock files that don't get removed, unattended input batches, and disk space shortage.


This script adds a group to your site locally. The proper invocation is:

addgroup groupname y|n|m|=realgroup

The second argument has the same meaning as the flag in the active file, meaning that anyone may post to the group (y), that no one may post (n), that it is moderated (m), or that it is an alias for another group (=realgroup). You might also want to use addgroup when the first articles in a newly created group arrive earlier than the newgroup control message that is intended to create it.


This script allows you to delete a group locally. Invoke it as:

delgroup groupname

You still have to delete the articles that remain in the newsgroup's spool directory. Alternatively, you might leave it to the natural course of events (i.e., expiration) to make them go away.


This script adds missing articles to the history file. Run it when there are articles that seem to hang around forever.


This script should be run at system boot time. It removes any lock files left over when news processes were killed at shutdown, and closes and executes any batches left over from NNTP connections that were terminated when shutting down the system.


This script resides in /usr/lib/news/input and may be used to disable unbatching of incoming news, for instance during work hours. You may turn off unbatching by invoking:

/usr/lib/news/input/newsrunning off

It is turned on by using on instead of off.