[ANNOUNCE] INN 2.5.2 available

Russ Allbery rra at isc.org
Thu Mar 25 06:34:27 UTC 2010

Internet Systems Consortium is pleased to announce that a new bug-fix
release of INN is available at:


The MD5 checksum of this release is:


A PGP signature and a patch from 2.5.1 to 2.5.2 are available in the same

This is a bug-fix release over 2.5.1.  Upgrading an existing INN 2.5.1
installation is as simple as building INN 2.5.2, running make update, and
restarting innd and related programs.

Many thanks to Julien ÉLIE for preparing this release.

Special notes:

    The way checkpoints are handled by innreport for innd and innfeed has
    totally changed to provide more accurate daily statistics.  The first
    Usenet report after an upgrade to INN 2.5.2 will probably contain
    incorrect statistics for incoming and outgoing articles because the
    beginning of the log files that will be used was generated by a
    previous version of INN.

    A new version of innreport.conf is shipped with INN 2.5.2 but, in
    order to preserve any local changes, will not be automatically
    installed with make update.  The changes are minor and not mandatory
    for the upgrade.

Changes from 2.5.1 to 2.5.2

  * Julien Elie has implemented in innd the new version of the NNTP
    protocol described in RFC 3977, RFC 4643 and RFC 4644, and innd now
    recognizes the CAPABILITIES command.  Despite these standards, three
    commands (IHAVE, CHECK and TAKETHIS) will continue, for
    interoperability reasons, to return a reject code (respectively 435,
    438, and 439) when the command contains a syntax error instead of 501.
    The mandatory username argument for authenticated peers is not
    enforced in INN 2.5.2 but will be be enforced by INN 2.6.0 when it is

    Major improvements are:

    * innd now has a decent parser for NNTP commands.  The parser is more
      correct (commands like "IHAVEZ<><mid>", without a space between the
      command and its argument, are no longer valid) and allows leading
      and trailing whitespaces in commands.  innd also now checks the
      length of the NNTP command sent by the client.  If the command
      contains more than 512 bytes (or 497 bytes for an argument), an
      error is returned and the command is discarded.  After ten
      unrecognized commands, innd closes the connection with the
      appropriate code (400 instead of 500).

    * The output of the HELP command specifies the arguments expected by
      NNTP commands, similar to nnrpd's HELP command.

      optional wildmat argument to restrict the results of those commands
      to specific newsgroups.

    * When using HEAD or STAT with an article number or a range, 412 (no
      group selected) is now returned instead of 501 (syntax error).

  * Jeffrey M. Vinocur has implemented support in both innd and nnrpd for
    whitespace in usernames/passwords provided with AUTHINFO USER/PASS. 
    They were previously treated as invalid arguments or incorrectly
    parsed.  innd and nnrpd now treat everything after the first
    whitespace character following AUTHINFO USER/PASS, up to, but not
    including, the final CRLF, as the username/password, in conformity
    with RFC 4643.

  * The syntax of message-IDs is now based on RFC 5536 (USEFOR) instead of
    RFC 1036.  The major change is that quoted-pairs have been removed
    from the syntax.

  * The Perl and Python filters for innd now check the message-ID of
    articles arriving through TAKETHIS.  Only CHECK and IHAVE commands
    previously used them.

  * Case-insensitive matches are now used for distributions, path
    identities, IMAP commands, header names, and control commands. 
    (Newsgroups are still matched case-sensitively.)  Message-IDs are
    case-sensitively matched, except for history hashes.

  * The new Archive:, Archive-At:, Comments:, and Summary: header fields
    defined in RFC 5064 and RFC 5536 can be used in innd filters.  nnrpd
    now checks at injection time that an article does not contain an
    Injection-Info: header, that an Injection-Date: header (if provided)
    is valid, and that the Path: header does not contain ".POSTED".  Note
    that INN does not yet generate these two injection fields or include
    the new Path: header field ".POSTED" keyword.  These new features will
    be in the next major release of INN.

  * LIST SUBSCRIPTIONS now accepts an optional wildmat argument to
    restrict the results of this command to specific newsgroups.

  * nnrpd now supports a new LIST variant named COUNTS.  LIST COUNTS is a
    combination of LIST ACTIVE and GROUP.  It returns the same result as
    LIST ACTIVE except that the number of articles in a newsgroup is
    inserted before its status.

  * A new flag has been added to newsfeeds entries: "Aj", when present,
    says to feed articles accepted and filed in "junk" (due to
    *wanttrash*) to peers based on their newsfeeds feed patterns applied
    to the Newsgroups: header as though the article were accepted and all
    those groups were locally carried.  This is useful if you want to run
    INN with a minimal active file and propagate all posts.  Thanks to
    Andrew Gierth for the patch.

  * A new parameter has been added to inn.conf: *logtrash* defines whether
    a line for articles posted to groups not locally carried by the news
    server should be added in the news log file to report unwanted
    newsgroups.  The default is true but it can be useful to set it to
    false (especially when *wanttrash* is also used).

  * The procbatchdir keyword has been added to news.daily to specify the
    backlog directory of innfeed.  This is useful when several instances
    of innfeed are running or when its configuration file is not the
    default one.

  * sm now supports a new flag, -c, which shows a decoded form of the
    storage API token.  This was previously done by the contrib showtoken
    script developed by Olaf Titz and Marco d'Itri.

  * The O flag in newsfeeds now relies on the contents of the
    Injection-Info: header field if it is present to determine the origin
    of an article.  It falls back on X-Trace: if there is no
    Injection-Info: header field.

  * A new "unsigned long" type bas been added to the configuration parser.
    It will properly warn the news administrator when a variable supposed
    to be positive contains a negative integer.  It will prevent INN from
    crashing due to misconfiguration at several places where it did not
    expect negative values.

  * innxbatch and innxmit now recognize the new 403 code introduced by
    RFC 3977 for a problem preventing the requested action from being

  * HDR and OVER commands now return the correct 423 code (instead of 420)
    when the current article number is used but the article no longer

  * actsync, inews, innxbatch, innxmit, nntpget and rnews can now
    authenticate to news servers which only expect a username, without
    password, conforming to RFC 4643.

  * The keyword generation code now generates a Keywords: header only if
    the original article does not already have one.  The generated
    Keywords: header no longer begins with a comma.  If keyword generation
    is set to true in inn.conf but the Keywords: header is not stored in
    the overview, the news administrator is warned and keyword generation
    deactivated, since it exists only to populate the overview data.

  * Two segfaults in keyword generation were fixed.  The first occurred
    when an article already had a Keywords: header longer than the
    *keylimit* parameter.  The second was caused by a possible invalid
    pointer beyond the newly allocated Keywords: header.

  * Fixed innd handling of empty lines.  innd was not properly discarding
    an empty command and was closing the connection when it received only
    whitespace in a command.

  * Fixed a bug in how innd responded to reader commands when readers were
    not allowed.  A superfluous blank line was sent in its response.

  * Fixed a bug in innd's response to TAKETHIS when authentication is
    required.  Previously, 480 code was returned immediately without
    accepting the multi-line data block first, which broke synchronization
    in the NNTP protocol.

  * Fixed a bug in recognizing the article terminator when empty articles
    were fed to innd via IHAVE or TAKETHIS, leading to treating subsequent
    NNTP commands as part of the article.

  * When innd could not provide information for LIST ACTIVE.TIMES and LIST
    NEWSGROUPS, it was returning an invalid error message without a
    response code.  The proper 503 answer code is now returned.

  * When an unauthenticated user tried to post an article, nnrpd replied
    440 (posting not allowed) instead of the correct 480 (authentication
    required) response if the user might be able to post after
    authentication.  Thanks to Daniel Weber for the bug report.

  * Fixed a bug in both innd and nnrpd answers to LIST commands where the
    output was not checked for valid dot stuffing.

  * Fixed a bug leading to junked non-control articles being sent to
    control-only feeds, and also fixed handling of poisoned control
    groups.  Thanks to Andrew Gierth for the patch.

  * Fixed a bug in innreport leading to incorrect summing of innd stats
    when *hostname* was set to an IPv6 address instead of a
    fully-qualified domain name.  Thanks to Petr Novopashenniy for the bug

  * Changed how innreport uses innd and innfeed checkpoint messages. 
    Previously, connections held open for multiple days led to skewed and
    incorrect statistics on how many articles had been received or sent. 
    The count is now more accurate and, for each connection of a feed,
    only depends on *incominglogfrequency* in inn.conf and *stats-period*
    in innfeed.conf.

  * Fixed a bug in nnrpd Perl filter: a header field whose name begins
    with the name of a standardized header field was not properly handled.

  * Fixed a bug in how innd was parsing Message-ID: and Supersedes:
    headers which contained trailing whitespace.  The article was
    corrupted by an unexpected "\r" in the middle of the header.  nnrpd
    now checks the syntax of the Message-ID: header field, if present.

  * Fixed various bugs in how leading whitespace was treated in headers. 
    The HDR, XHDR and XPAT commands were not properly showing leading
    whitespace in header values.  Lone "\n" and "\r" characters are now
    changed into spaces and "\r\n" is just removed.  archive, makehistory,
    and tdx-util now keep leading whitespace in headers when generating
    overview data, and archive now changes "\n" (when not preceded by
    "\r") into a space when generating overview data.

  * Fixed a bug in the generation of overview data which may corrupt
    previously generated overview data when a pseudo Xref: header field is
    injected in an extra overview field.

  * Fixed a bug in the parsing of the *ovgrouppat* wildmat in inn.conf
    that prevented overview data from being generated when poisoned groups
    were specified but a latter sub-pattern matched the group.  A uwildmat
    expression is now correctly handled, and a potential segfault has been
    fixed.  Thanks to Dieter Stussy for the bug report.

  * Fixed a bug when HDR, XHDR and XPAT were used when *virtualhost* was
    set to true in readers.conf.  The Xref: header of articles posted to
    only one newsgroup appeared empty.

  * Fixed a bug in tdx-util in parsing empty overview fields when called
    with -A or -F.

  * Fixed a bug in cvtbatch, which was returning only the size of the
    headers of an article when the "b" parameter was used with the -w
    flag.  It now correctly returns the size of the whole article, which
    is what "b" was documented to do.  cvtbatch also has a new "t"
    parameter, which can be used with the -w flag to retrieve the arrival
    time of an article.

  * Fixed a bug in how mailpost handles cross-posting feature.  It was not
    properly detaching from sendmail.  Thanks to Harald Dunkel for the

  * Fixed a bug in the newsfeeds C flag: the count of followup groups was
    one less than the real number.  When the value of the Followup-To:
    header field is "poster", it is no longer considered to be a followup.
    Thanks to Dieter Stussy for the patch.

  * When using tradindexed, the overview data for a cancelled article is
    now immediately removed from the overview.  Thanks to Lars Magne
    Ingebrigtsen for the patch.

  * batcher has not supported the retrieval of an article with its file
    name for a long time.  The -S flag has therefore been removed.

  * inews no longer rejects articles that contain more than 50 header
    fields.  Thanks to Torsten Jerzembeck for the bug report.

  * news.daily no longer sends superfluous mails when the nomail keyword
    is given.  Mail is only sent when there is real output.  Previously,
    there would always be headings and empty lines left over from the
    structuring of the full report, which are now ommitted.  Also, the
    output of programs executed with postexec is now included in the
    regular mail.  Thanks to Florian Schlichting for the patch.

  * innconfval no longer maps NULL string or list values to an empty
    string or list and instead maps them to undefined values.  This fixes
    an issue reported by Kamil Jonca: nnrpd was inserting an empty
    Organization: header when the *organization* parameter in inn.conf was

  * Other minor bug fixes and documentation improvements.

INN is discussed on <inn-workers at lists.isc.org>.  Please send any bug
reports or patches to that list.

                                        Russ Allbery
                                        rra at isc.org
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