Ubuntu Feisty 7.04 manual page repository

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NAME

        actsync, actsyncd - synchronize newsgroups
 

SYNOPSIS

        actsync [-b hostid] [-d hostid] [-g max] [-i ignore_file]
                [-I hostid] [-k] [-l hostid] [-m] [-n name]
                [-o fmt] [-p min_%_unchg] [-q hostid] [-s size]
                [-s spool_dir] [-t hostid] [-T] [-v verbose_lvl]
                [-z sec] [host1] host2
 
        actsyncd [-x] actsync.cfg [debug_level [debug_outfmt] ]
active(5)
        files.  With this utility one may add, change or remove  newsgroups  on
        the  local  news  server  to make it similar to the list the newsgroups
        found on another system or  file.   The  synchronization  need  not  be
        exact.  Local differences in newsgroup lists may be maintained and pre‐
        served.  Certain newsgroup errors may be detected and  optionally  cor‐
        rected.
 
actsyncd(8)), on a
        periodic basis.  Among the reasons are:
 
             A control message to add, change or remove a newsgroup may fail to
             reach your site.
 
control.ctl(5) is out of date or incomplete.
 
             News  articles  for  a  new newsgroup arrive ahead (sometimes days
             ahead) of the control message.
 
             Control messages may be forged, thus  bypassing  the  restrictions
control.ctl(5).
 
active(5) file may have been trashed.
 
        If  either  host1  or  host2  begin  with  a           .            or           /          , then they
active(5)
getlist(1)  utility  may be used to obtain copy a remote
        system’s active file.  Newsgroup information from a file may be treated
        as  if  it  was obtained from a host.  In this man page host1 and host2
        are called hosts, even though they may be file names.
 
        If a host argument does not begin with           .            or           /          , is  assumed  to
actsync(8) will
        attempt to use the NNTP protocol to obtain a copy of the the  specified
        system’s active file.
 
        Regardless  how the active file information is obtained, the actions of
actsync(8) remain the same.
 
        If only one host is specified, it is assumed to be host2.  If host1, is
        not specified, it assumed to be the default local NNTP server as speci‐
        fied by the NNTPSERVER environment variable, or  by  the  server  value
inn.conf(5).
 
        The newsgroup synchronization by default, involves all newsgroups found
        on both hosts.  One may also synchronize on a subset of  newsgroups  by
actsync(8) to ignore certain newsgroups from both systems.
 
actsyncd(8) daemon provides a convenient interface to configure and
actsync(8).  If a host is not initially reachable, the daemon  will
        thrice  retry  3 times, waiting 5 minutes before each set of 3 retries.
        This daemon runs in the foreground, sending output to  standard  output
        and standard error.
 
actsyncd(8), then a ctlinndxexec will be
        used instead of a ctlinndreload to load the newly modified active file.
 
        The  configuration  filename for the daemon is given in the actsync.cfg
        argument.  The actsync.cfg file is required to have 4 lines:
 
             host=host2
             spool=/var/spool/news
             ignore_file=ignore_file
             flags=actsyncd (8) options
 
        The keyword must start at the beginning of the line, and there  may  be
        no  whitespace  before  the            =           character.  Blank lines are ignored.
        Comments start with           #           and are ignored.  All other lines may produce
        undefined results.
 
        The  host  config  file  line refers to the host2 value to sync off of.
        The spool config file lines determines where top the news spool tree is
        to be found.  The ignore_file config file line names the ignore file to
actsync(8).  The flags config file line refers to all  flags
actsync(8).
 
        Note  that  the  -i ignore_file option, the -o format option and the -S
        spool_dir option should not be given in the flags=  line  because  they
actsyncd(8).
actsync(8) are as follows:
 
        -b hostid
actsync(8)   to  ignore  newsgroups  with
               ‘‘bork.bork.bork’’ style names.  That is, newsgroups whose  last
               3  components  are  identical.  For example, the following news‐
               groups have bork style names:
 
                    alt.helms.dork.dork.dork
                    alt.auto.accident.sue.sue.sue
                    alt.election.vote.vote.vote
 
               The value hostid determines on which hosts this action  is  per‐
               formed:
 
                    0    neither host
                    1    local default server
                    2    remove server
                    12   both servers
                    21   both servers
 
               The default is -b 0, no bork newsgroups are ignored.
 
        -d hostid
actsync(8) to ignore newsgroups that have all
               numeric path components.  The hostid value  is  interpreted  the
               same  as  in  -b.   For  example,  the following newsgroups have
               numeric path components:
 
                    alt.prime.chongo.23209
                    391581.times.2.to_the.216193.power.-1
                    99.bottles.of.treacle.on.the.wall
                    linfield.class.envio_bio.101.d
 
               The newsgroups directory of a newsgroups with a all numeric com‐
               ponent  could  conflict with an article from another group.  For
               example, the directory for the first newsgroup listed  above  is
               the same path as article number 23209 from the newsgroup:
 
                    alt.prime.chongo
 
               The default is -d 0, all numeric newsgroups from both hosts will
               be processed.
 
        -g max Ignore any newsgroup with more than max levels.  For example, -g
               6 would ignore:
 
                    alt.feinstien.votes.to.trash.freedom.of.speech
                    alt.senator.exon.enemy.of.the.internet
                    alt.crypto.export.laws.dumb.dumb.dumb
 
               but would not ignore:
 
                    alt.feinstien.acts.like.a.republican
                    alt.exon.admendment
                    alt.crypto.export.laws
 
               If max is 0, then the max level feature is disabled.
 
               By default, the max level feature is disabled.
 
        -i ignore_file
               The ignore_file allows one to have a fine degree of control over
               which newsgroups are ignored.  It contains a set of  rules  that
               specifies  which  newsgroups  will  be checked and which will be
               ignored.
 
               By default, these rules apply to both hosts.  This can be  modi‐
               fied by using the -I hostid flag.
 
               By  default,  all  newsgroups are checked.  If no ignore_file if
               specified, or if the ignore file contains  no  rule  lines,  all
               newsgroups will be checked.
 
               Blank  lines, and text after a           #           are considered comments and
               are ignored.
 
               Rule lines consist of  tokens  separated  by  whitespace.   Rule
               lines may be one of two forms:
 
                    c    newsgroup [type ...]
                    i    newsgroup [type ...]
 
               If the rule begins with a c then the rule requests certain news‐
               groups to be checked.  If the rule begins with  an  i  then  the
               rule  requests  certain newsgroups to be ignored.  The newsgroup
wildmat(3) pattern.
 
               If one or more types are specified, then the rule applies to the
               newsgroup  only if is of the specified type.  Types refer to the
active(5) file.  A type may be one of:
 
                    y
                    n
                    m
                    j
                    x
                    =group.name
 
               Unlike active files, the group.name may be a newsgroup name or a
wildmat(3) pattern.  Also,           =           is equivalent to           =*          .
 
               For  given  rule  line  may,  one may not repeat a given pattern
               type.  For example, one may not have more  than  one  type  that
               begins  with            =          ,  per  line.   However,  one may achieve the
               effect of multiple           =           types by using multiple rule lines  for
               the same group.
 
               By  default, all newsgroups are candidates to be checked.  If an
               ignore file is used, each newsgroup in turn is  checked  against
               the ignore file.  If multiple lines match a given newsgroup, the
               last line in the ignore file is used.
 
               For example, consider the following ignore file lines:
 
                    i *.general
                    c *.general m
                    i nsa.general
 
               The newsgroup: ba.general would be ignored if it was not  moder‐
               ated.   The  newsgroup:  mod.general  would be checked if it was
               moderated.  The newsgroup: nsa.general would be ignored even  if
               it was moderated.
 
        -I hostid
               This  flag  restricts which hosts, the ignore file applies.  The
               hostid value is interpreted the same as in -b.
 
               This flag may be useful in conjustion with the  -m  merge  flag.
               For example:
 
                    actsync -i actsync.ign -I 2 -m host1 host2
 
               will  keep all newsgroups currently on host1.  It will also will
               only compare  host1  groups  with  non-ignored  newsgroups  from
               host2.
 
               The  default  is -I 12, newsgroups from both hosts to be ignored
               per the -I  hostid flag.
 
        -k     By default, any newsgroup on host1 that is in error will be con‐
actsync(8) simply ignore such
               newsgroups.  This flag, in combination with -m will prevent  any
               newsgroup from being scheduled for removal.
 
        -l hostid
               Flag  problem  newsgroups  of  type           =           from host1 or host2 as
               errors.  The hostid value is interpreted  the  same  as  in  -b.
               Newsgroups of type           =           are newsgroups active entries that have
               4th field that begins with           =          .  I.e.,  a  newsgroup  that  is
               equivalent to another newsgroup.
 
               A newsgroup that is equivalent to itself, or that is in a equiv‐
               alence chain that loops around to itself is a problem.  A  news‐
               group  that  is  in  a chain that is longer than 16 is a problem
               group.  A newsgroup that is equivalent to a  non-existent  news‐
               group  is  a problem.  A newsgroup that is equivalent to a news‐
               group that is has a error of some kind a  problem.   However,  a
               newsgroup  that  is  equivalent to an ignored newsgroup is not a
               problem.
 
               By default, problem newsgroups from both  hosts  are  marked  as
               errors.
 
        -m     Merge  newsgroups  instead  of sync.  By default, if a newsgroup
               exists on host1 but not  host2,  it  will  be  scheduled  to  be
               removed.  This flag disables this process, permitting newsgroups
               unique to host1 to be kept.
 
        -n  name
ctlinnd(8) com‐
               mand.   By default, the creator name used is actsync.  This flag
               changes the creator name to name.
 
        -o  fmt
               Determine the output / action format of this utility.   The  fmt
               may one of:
 
active(5) format,
active(5) format,
                             and output host1 non-error ignored groups
active(5) format, but use host2
                             hi & low (2nd & 3rd active fields) values
                             for any newsgroup being created
active(5) format, but use host2
                             hi & low (2nd & 3rd active fields) values
                             for all newsgroups found in host2
active(5) format, but use host2
                             hi & low (2nd & 3rd active fields) values
                             for any newsgroup being created,
                         and output host1 non-error ignored groups
active(5) format, but use host2
                             hi & low (2nd & 3rd active fields) values
                             for all newsgroups found in host2,
                         and output host1 non-error ignored groups
                    ak1  same as a1k
                    aK1  same as a1K
ctlinnd(8) format
ctlinnd(8) commands
ctlinnd(8) commands,
                             in an interactive mode
 
               The a, a1, ak, aK, a1k, a1K, ak1 and aK1 style formats allow one
ctlinnd(8)  com‐
               mands.   They  use  hi & low values of 0000000000 and 0000000001
               respectively for newsgroups that are created.   The  ak  and  aK
               variants  change the the hi & low (2nd & 3rd active fields).  In
               the case of ak, newsgroups created take their hi  &  low  values
               from  host2.   In  the case of aK, all newsgroups found on host2
               take their hi & low values from host2.
 
ctlinnd(8) commands.  No actions are taken
ctlinnd(8) commands on standard
               output.  The sync (or merge if -m)  with  host2  may  be  accom‐
sh(1).  A paranoid person
               might prefer to use x or xi in case a  newsgroup  name  or  type
sh(1).
               Even so, this output format is useful to let you see  how  host1
               may be synced (or merge) with host2.
 
               The sync (or merge if -m) may be accomplished directly by use of
execl(2)  system
ctlinnd(8) commands.  Because of the
               exec, there is no risk  of  bogus  newsgroups  containing  bogus
               characters  causing  a  shell to do bogus (or dangerous) things.
               The output of such execs may be seen of the verbosity  level  is
               at least 2.
 
actsync(8) utility will pause for 4 seconds before each com‐
               mand is executed if -o x is  selected.   See  the  -z  sec  flag
               below.
 
               The xi format interactively prompts on standard output and reads
               directives on standard input.  One may pick and  choose  changes
               using this format.
 
active(5) formatted output.
actsync(8) exited with  a  zero
               status prior to using such output.  Also one should realize that
               such output will not contain lines ignored by the -i ignore_file
               process even if -p 100 is used.
 
               By default, -o c is assumed.
 
        -p min_%_unchg
actsync(8) utility has safeguards against per‐
               forming massive changes.  If fewer than min_%_unchg  percent  of
               the  non-ignored  lines  from host1 remain unchanged, no actions
actsync(8)  exits
               with  a non-zero exit status.  The min_%_unchg may be a floating
               point value such as 66.666.
 
               A change is considered a host1 line that  was  found  to  be  in
               error,  was removed, was added or was changed.  Changing the 2nd
               or 3rd active fields via  -oak  or  -o  aK  are  not  considered
               changes by -p.
 
actsync(8) to accept any amount of change, use the -p 0
actsync(8) to reject any changes, use  the  -p
               100 option.
 
active(5) formatted output.
actsync(8) exited with  a  zero
               status prior to using such output.  Also one should realize that
               such output will not contain lines ignored by the -i ignore_file
               process even if -p 100 is used.
 
               By  default,  96%  of  the  lines  not  ignored in host1 must be
               unchanged.  That is, by default, -p 90 is assumed.
 
        -q hostid
               By default,  all  newsgroup  errors  are  reported  on  standard
               errors.   This  flag  quiets  errors  from  host1 or host2.  The
               hostid value is interpreted the same as in -b.
 
        -s size
               If size>0, then ignore newsgroups with names longer  than  size,
               and  ignore  newsgroups  equivalenced to names longer than size.
               Length checking is perform on both the local and remote hosts.
 
               By default, size is 0 and thus no length checking is  performed.
 
        -S spool_dir
               For  each  new  newsgroup  (i.e., selected groups found on host2
               that were not found on  host),  the  newsgroup  directory  under
               spool_dir will be examined.  If this newsgroup directory exists,
               then the hi & low (2nd & 3rd active fields) values of the active
               entry will be changed to reflect the range articles found.
 
               This flag is only useful with -o a, -o a1, -o ak, -o aK, -o alk,
               -o alK, -o ak1 or -o aK1.  The -S spool_dir will override any hi
               &  low (2nd & 3rd active fields) values that would normally have
               been used.  This is  an  important  and  very  much  recommended
               option  as  it  will  prevent article number collisions on news‐
               groups that have been removed previous but still have  unexpired
               articles in them.
 
        -t hostid
               Ignore  improper newsgroups with only a top component from host1
               or host2.  The hostid value is interpreted the same  as  in  -b.
               The  following  newsgroups  are considered proper newsgroups for
               top only names:
 
                    control
                    general
                    junk
                    test
                    to
 
               For example, the following newsgroup names are improper  because
               they only contain a top level component:
 
                    dole_for_pres
                    dos
                    microsoft
                    windoes95
 
               By  default,  all  improper  top  level only newsgroups from the
               remote ( -t 2 ) are ignored.
 
        -T     This flag causes host2 newsgroups from  new  hierarchies  to  be
               ignored.    Normally   if   only   host2   has   the   newsgroup
               chongo.was.here then it will be created for host1.   However  if
               host1  does  not have any ’chongo.*’ newsgroups and this flag is
               given, then chongo.was.here will be ignored and will not be cre‐
               ated on host1.
 
        -v verbose_lvl
actsync(8) is not verbose.  This flag controls the
               verbosity level as follows:
 
                    0    no debug or status reports (default)
                    1    print summary,
                             if work was needed or done
                    2    print actions, exec output & summary,
                             if work was needed or done
                    3    print actions, exec output & summary
                    4    full debug output
 
actsync(8)  will  pause  for  sec  seconds
innd(8)
ctlinnd(8)  commands
               are needed.  One can disable this sleeping by using -z 0.
 
actsync(8) will pause for 4 seconds before each com‐
               mand is executed if -o x is selected.
 

EXAMPLES

        Determine the difference (but don’t change anything) between your news‐
        group set and uunet’s set:
 
             actsync news.uu.net
 
        Same as above, with full debug and progress reports:
 
             actsync -v 4 news.uu.net
 
        Force a site to have the same newsgroups some other site:
 
             actsync -o x master
 
        This  may  be  useful  to  sync  a slave site to its master, or to sync
        internal site to a gateway.
 
        Compare your site with uunet, disregarding  local  groups  and  certain
        local differences with uunet.  Produce a report if any differences were
        encountered:
 
             actsync -v 2 -i actsync.ign news.uu.net
 
        where actsync.ign contains:
 
             # Don’t compare to.* groups as they will differ.
             #
             i    to.*
 
             # These are our local groups that nobody else
             # (should) carry.  So ignore them for the sake
             # of the compare.
             #
             i    nsa.*
 
             # These groups are local favorites, so keep them
             # even if uunet does not carry them.
             #
             i    ca.dump.bob.dorman
             i    ca.keep.bob.dorman
             i    alt.tv.dinosaurs.barney.die.die.die
             i    alt.tv.dinosaurs.barney.love.love.love
             i    alt.sounds.*   =alt.binaries.sounds.*
 
        To interactively sync against news.uu.net, using the same ignore file:
 
             actsync -o xi -v 2 -i actsync.ign news.uu.net
 
        Based on newsgroups that you decided to keep, one could make changes to
        the actsync.ign file:
 
             # Don’t compare to.* groups as they will differ.
             #
             i    to.*
 
             # These are our local groups that nobody else
             # (should) carry.  So ignore them for the sake
             # of the compare.
             #
             i    nsa.*
 
             # These groups are local favorites, so keep them
             # even if uunet does not carry them.
             #
             i    ca.dump.bob.dorman
             i    alt.tv.dinosaurs.barney.die.die.die
             i    alt.sounds.*   =alt.binaries.sounds.*
 
             # Don’t sync test groups, except for ones that are
             # moderated or that are under the gnu hierarchy.
             i    *.test
             c    *.test    m    # check moderated test groups
             c    gnu.*.test
             c    gnu.test  # just in case it ever exists
 
        Automatic  processing  may  be setup by using the following actsync.cfg
        file:
 
             # host to sync off of (host2)
             host=news.uu.net
 
             # location of the ignore file
             ignore_file=/usr/local/news/actsync.ign
 
             # where nwes articles are kept
             spool=/var/spool/news
 
actsync(8) flags
             #
             # Automatic execs, report if something was done,
             #    otherwise don’t say anything, don’t report
             #    uunet active file problems, just ignore
             #    the effect entries.
             flags=-o x -v 2 -q 2
 
        and then by running:
 
             actsyncd /usr/local/news/actsync.cfg
 
actsyncd(8) run without  changing  anything  on
        the server by supplying the debug_level arg:
 
             actsyncd /usr/local/news/actsync.cfg 2
 
actsync(8)  with  an -v
        debug_level (overriding any -v flag on the flags  line),  prevents  any
active(5) file, writes a new active file
        to standard output and writes debug messages to standard error.
 
actsyncd(8)  then  the  data
        written  to  standard output will be in -o fBdebug_outfmt instead of in
        -o a1 format.  The following /bin/sh command:
 
             actsyncd /usr/local/news/actsync.cfg 4 c >cmd 2>dbg
 
active(5)  file,  write
ctlinnd(8) style commands to cmd and write debug statements to dbg.
 
        To  check  only the major hierarchies against news.uu,net, use the fol‐
        lowing actsync.ign file:
 
             # by default, ignore everything
             i *
 
             # check the major groups
             c    comp.*
             c    gnu.*
             c    sci.*
             c    alt.*
             c    misc.*
             c    news.*
             c    rec.*
             c    soc.*
             c    talk.*
 
        and running:
 
             actsync -i actsync.ign news.uu.net
 
        To determine the differences between your old active and  your  current
        default server:
 
             actsync /usr/local/news/active.old -
 
        To  report  but  not fix any newsgroup problems with the current active
        file:
 
             actsync - -
 
        To detect any newsgroup errors on your local server, and to remove  any
        *.bork.bork.bork style silly newsgroup names:
 
             actsync -b 2 - -
 
        The active file produced by:
 
             actsync ... flags ... -o x erehwon.honey.edu
 
        or by:
 
             actsync ... flags ... -o c erehwon.honey.edu | sh
 
        is effectively the same as the active file produced by:
 
             ctlinnd pause ’running actsync’
             rm -f active.new
             actsync ... flags ... -o a1 erehwon.honey.edu > active.new
             rm -f active.old
             ln active active.old
             mv active.new active
             ctlinnd reload active ’running actsync’
             ctlinnd go ’running actsync’
 
        It should be noted that the above ’pause’, ’actsync’, ’reload’ and ’go’
        method is faster.  However, in order to avoid article number collisions
        on  newsgroups that have been removed previous but still have unexpired
        articles in them, it is very much recommended that the -S spool_dir  be
        used with any of the -oa* flags.  Thus, a much better and safer version
        of the above would be:
 
             ctlinnd pause ’running actsync’
             rm -f active.new
             actsync ... flags ... -o a1 -S /var/spool/news erehwon.honey.edu > active.new
             rm -f active.old
             ln active active.old
             mv active.new active
             ctlinnd reload active ’running actsync’
             ctlinnd go ’running actsync’
 
actsyncd(8) does by default.
 

CAUTION

        Careless use of this tool may result in the addition change or  removal
        of newsgroups that you don’t want.  You should avoid using the x output
        format until you are sure it will do what you want.
 
innd(8) servers will corrupt the active file when  lots  of
actsync(8) bug, it
        is a server bug.  Using the pause, actsync, reload and go method  noted
        above is much more likely to avoid this problem.
actsync(8) will treat all copies
        as errors.  However, if the group  is  marked  for  removal,  only  one
        rmgroup will be issued.
 
ctlinnd(8) commands is fixed at 30 seconds when running
        in ‘‘x’’ or ‘‘xi’’ output format.  Perhaps the timeout value should  be
        controlled via a command line option?
active(5),
ctlinnd(8),
getlist(8)
 

HISTORY

        Written by Landon Curt Noll <chongo@toad.com> for InterNetNews.
 
ACTSYNC(8)
 

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