21.7. Miscellaneous Files

There are a number of files that control the behavior of C News, but are not essential. All of them reside in /etc/news. We describe them briefly here:


This is a companion file of active that contains a list of each newsgroup name along with a one-line description of its main topic. This file is automatically updated when C News receives a checknews control message.


If you have a lot of local groups, you can keep C News from complaining about them each time you receive a checkgroups message by putting their names and descriptions in this file, just as they would appear in newsgroups.


This file contains the moderator's address for each moderated group. Each line contains the group name followed by the moderator's email address (offset by a tab).

Two special entries are provided as defaults: backbone and internet. Both provide, in bang-path notation, the path to the nearest backbone site and the site that understands RFC-822 style addresses (user@host). The default entries are:

internet           backbone

You do not have to change the internet entry if you have exim or sendmail installed; they understand RFC-822 addressing.

The backbone entry is used whenever a user posts to a moderated group whose moderator is not listed explicitly. If the newsgroup's name is alt.sewer and the backbone entry contains path!%s, C News will mail the article to path!alt-sewer, hoping that the backbone machine is able to forward the article. To find out which path to use, ask the news-admin at the site that feeds you. As a last resort, you can also use uunet.uu.net!%s.


This file is not really a C News file, but is used by some newsreaders and nntpd. It contains the list of distributions recognized by your site and a description of their (intended) effects. For example, Virtual Brewery has the following file:

world         everywhere in the world
local         Only local to this site
nl            Netherlands only
mugnet        MUGNET only
fr            France only
de            Germany only
brewery       Virtual Brewery only


This file contains a log of all C News activities. It is culled regularly by running newsdaily ; copies of the old log files are kept in log.o, log.oo, etc.


This is a log of all error messages created by C News. These messages do not include logs of articles junked due to being sent to an invalid wrong group or other user errors. This file is mailed to the newsmaster (usenet by default) automatically by newsdaily if it is not found empty.

errlog is cleared by newsdaily. errlog.o keeps old copies and companions.


This file logs all runs of sendbatches. It is usually of scant interest. It is also attended by newsdaily.


This is an empty file created each time newswatch runs.