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        innwatch.ctl - control Usenet supervision by innwatch


        The  file  /etc/news/innwatch.ctl is used to determine what actions are
        taken during the periodic supervisions by innwatch.
        The file consists of a series of lines; blank lines and lines beginning
        with  a  number  sign  (‘‘#’’) are ignored.  All other lines consist of
        seven fields, each preceded by a delimiting character:
        The delimiter can be any one  of  several  non-alphanumeric  characters
        that does not appear elsewhere in the line; there is no way to quote it
        to include it in any of the fields.  Any of ‘‘!’’, ‘‘,’’, ‘‘:’’, ‘‘@’’,
        ‘‘;’’,  or  ‘‘?’’  is  a  good  choice.  Each line can have a different
        delimiter; the first character on each line is the delimiter  for  that
        line.   White space surrounding delimiters, except before the first, is
        ignored, and does not form part  of  the  fields,  white  space  within
        fields is permitted.  All delimiters must be present.
        The  first  field  is  a  label for the control line.  It is used as an
        internal state indicator and in ctlinnd messages to control the server.
        If omitted, the line number is used.
        The  second  field specifies when this control line should be used.  It
        consists of a list of labels,  and  special  indicators,  separated  by
        whitespace.   If the current state matches against any of the labels in
        this field, this line will be used as described below.  The values that
        may be used are:
        -      This  line matches if the current state is the same as the label
               on this line, or if the current state is  ‘‘run,’’  the  initial
               state.  This is also the default state if this field is empty.
        +      This line matches if the current state is ‘‘run.’’
        *      This line always matches.
        label  This  line  matches  if  the  current  state  is  the  specified
        -label This line matches if the current  state  is  not  the  specified
        The  third field specifies a shell command that is invoked if this line
        matches.  Do not use any shell filename expansion  characters  such  as
        ‘‘*’’,  ‘‘?’’,  or  ‘‘[’’  (even  quoted, they’re not likely to work as
        intended).  If the command succeeds, as indicated by its  exit  status,
        it  is  expected  to  have printed a single integer to standard output.
        This gives the value of this control line, to be used  below.   If  the
        command  fails,  the line is ignored.  The command is executed with its
        current directory set to the news spool directory, /var/spool/news.
        The fourth field specifies the  operator  to  use  to  test  the  value
        returned above.  It should be one of the two letter numeric test opera‐
test(1) such as ‘‘eq’’, ‘‘lt’’ and the like.  The lead‐
        ing dash (‘’-’’) should not be included.
        The  fifth  field  specifies a constant with which to compare the value
        using the operator just defined.  This is done by invoking the command
               test value -operator constant
        The line is said to ‘‘succeed’’ if it returns true.
        The sixth field specifies what should be done if the line succeeds, and
        in some cases if it fails.  Any of the following words may be used:
               Causes  innwatch  to  throttle the server if this line succeeds.
               It also sets the state to the value of the line’s label.  If the
               line  fails,  and the state was previously equal to the label on
               this line (that is, this line had previously succeeded), then  a
               go  command will be sent to the server, and innwatch will return
               to the ‘‘run’’ state.  The ‘‘throttle’’ is only performed if the
               current state is ‘‘run’’ or a state other than the label of this
               line, regardless of whether the command succeeds.
        pause  Is identical to ‘‘throttle’’ except that the server is paused.
               Sends a ‘‘shutdown’’ command to the server.  It is for emergency
               use only.
        flush  Sends a ‘‘flush’’ command to the server.
        go     Causes  innwatch  to  send a ‘‘go’’ command to the server and to
               set the state to ‘‘run.’’
        exit   Causes innwatch to exit.
        skip   The result of the control file is skipped for the current  pass.
        The  last field specifies the reason that is used in those ctlinnd com‐
        mands that require one.  More strictly, it is  part  of  the  reason  —
        innwatch  appends  some  information  to  it.  In order to enable other
        sites to recognize the state of  the  local  innd  server,  this  field
        should  usually  be  set  to  one  of  several  standard  values.   Use
        ‘‘No space’’ if the server is rejecting articles because of a  lack  of
        filesystem  resources.  Use ‘‘loadav’’ if the server is rejecting arti‐
        cles because of a lack of CPU resources.
        Once innwatch has taken some action as a  consequence  of  its  control
        line,  it  skips  the  rest  of the control file for this pass.  If the
        action was to restart the server (that is,  issue  a  ‘‘go’’  command),
        then  the  next pass will commence almost immediately, so that innwatch
        can discover any other condition that may mean that the  server  should
        be suspended again.


               @@@df .|awk ’NR==2 {print $4}’@lt@10000@throttle@No space
               @@@df -i .|awk ’NR==2 {print $4}’@lt@1000@throttle@No space (inodes)
        The  first  line  causes  the  server to be throttled if the free space
        drops below 10000 units (using whatever units df uses),  and  restarted
        again when free space increases above the threshold.
        The second line does the same for inodes.
        The  next three lines act as a group and should appear in the following
        order.  It is easier to explain them, however, if  they  are  described
        from the last up.
               !load!load hiload!loadavg!lt!5!go!
               :hiload:+ load:loadavg:gt:8:throttle:loadav
        The  final  line  causes  the server to be paused if innwatch is in the
        ‘‘run’’ state and the load average rises to, or above, six.  The  state
        is  set  to  ‘‘load’’  when this happens.  The previous line causes the
        server to be throttled when innwatch is  in  the  ‘‘run’’  or  ‘‘load’’
        state,  and  the  load  average rises above eight.  The state is set to
        ‘‘hiload’’ when this happens.  Note that innwatch can switch the server
        from  ‘‘paused’’  to ‘‘throttled’’ if the load average rises from below
        six to between six and seven, and then to above eight.  The first  line
        causes  the  server  to  be sent a ‘‘go’’ command if innwatch is in the
        ‘‘load’’ or ‘‘hiload’’ state, and the load average drops below five.
        Note that all three lines assume a mythical  command  loadavg  that  is
        assumed to print the current load average as an integer.  In more prac‐
        tical circumstances, a pipe of uptime into awk is  more  likely  to  be


        This  file  must  be tailored for each individual site, the sample sup‐
        plied is truly no more than a sample.  The file should  be  ordered  so
        that the more common problems are tested first.
        The  ‘‘run’’  state  is  not actually identified by the label with that
        three letter name, and using it will not work as expected.
        Using an ‘‘unusual’’ character for the delimiter such as ‘‘(’’,  ‘‘*’’,
        ‘‘&’’,  ‘‘`’’,  ‘‘´’’,  and  the like, is likely to lead to obscure and
        hard to locate bugs.


        Written by <kre@munnari.oz.au> for InterNetNews.  This is revision 1.5,
        dated 1996/09/06.


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