inn-2.2.2 - problem with active file

John Summerfield summer at
Thu May 11 09:38:34 UTC 2000

I feel I'm poking around in the dark somewhat; I've finally figured it's
not just me.

I'm setting inn up for use at home; one thing I'm ddoing us feeding the
linux kernel mailing list into it. I've previously had problems (and
still have problems) with news I get from

The problem is that articles mysteriously vanish.

I also had messages about duped message ids; I don't know how, but my
history was stuffed.

I rebuilt it (several times) yesterday, and the new one was smaller than
the old one. I still didn't have all those missing articles.

About the same time, I discovered the need to have long numbers in my
active files; that's now fixed.

Overnight I got lots of kernel mail, and it got fed into inn and I found
them today ans was happily reading them and posting replies and checking
out that my replies would go out properly.

At some point I reconfigured something and did a 'ctlinnd reload all'

Sheesh. All those loverly articles went missing.

Something else; I have a perl script I can use to send arbitrary commands
to a remote server; like using telnet, but it's a simple commandline
affair: possum help
H(possum) C(help)
N(nntp) A(readnews untp) P(119) R(tcp) r(6)
200 InterNetNews NNRP server INN 2.2.2 13-Dec-1999 ready (posting ok).
100 Legal commands
  authinfo user Name|pass Password|generic <prog> <args>
  article [MessageID|Number]

At some point this changed its behaviour.

I discovered I'd configured myself into incoming.conf:
peer ME {
  hostname:         "localhost,,,"

I had possum in there; it's the primary name for my workstation. Well, I
configured an alias for eth0 & added new entries in named's configuration
files (at least I have THAT figured out) and now I get the expected
results from running

Now I get this:

[summer at possum news]$ possum list active | grep local.linux.kernel-sources
local.linux.kernel-sources 0000000004 0000000000 m
[summer at possum news]$ possum group local.linux.kernel-sources
H(possum) C(group local.linux.kernel-sources)
N(nntp) A(readnews untp) P(119) R(tcp) r(6)
200 InterNetNews NNRP server INN 2.2.2 13-Dec-1999 ready (posting ok).
group local.linux.kernel-sources
211 4 1 4 local.linux.kernel-sources
[summer at possum news]$
However, when I look at what is present on the filesystem (ad described
somewhere in your FAQs), I see:
[summer at possum articles]$ awk '(NF > 2){print $3}' < ${HISTORY} | tr . /           | grep local | head
and so on to

Lots of files as you can see.

It seems to me that INN should not lose track of articles in this manner.

Note: the active file is correctly owned by news, and is read/write by
[summer at possum articles]$ dir -l /var/lib/news/
total 380
-rw-r--r--   1 news     news         7501 May 10 19:58 active
-rw-rw-r--   1 news     news         5652 May  3 09:49 active.old
-rw-r--r--   1 news     news         8045 May  3 09:49 active.times
-rw-rw-r--   1 news     news          156 Apr 10 16:04 active.very.old
-rw-r--r--   1 news     news            0 Apr 27 17:09 backoff
-rw-r--r--   1 news     news           72 Mar  3 02:08 distributions
-rw-rw-r--   1 news     news        69635 May 11 06:30 history
-rw-rw-r--   1 news     news           86 May 11 12:16 history.dir
-rw-rw-r--   1 news     news       262148 May 11 04:02 history.pag
-rw-r--r--   1 news     news          249 Mar  3 02:08 newsgroups
-rw-r--r--   1 news     news            0 Mar  3 02:08 subscriptions
[summer at possum articles]$

How should I repair the active file? (I will actually shut inn down and
do it manually, but that's beside the point).

How should I prevent inn from destroying the active file?

John Summerfield for OS/2 support.
Configuration, networking, combined IBM ftpsites index.

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