Problem using trn & INN 2.3.1

Patrick Vervoorn vervoorn at
Tue Dec 5 10:40:37 UTC 2000


I'm having a problem with using an INN 2.3.1 based newsserver, in
combination with trn. Having already discussed this problem on the trn
mailing-list, the general consensus is this is a problem with the INN
newsserver, and not trn specifically. That's why I'm posting this here,
but keep in mind I am _NOT_ myself running an INN installation.

Unfortunately, because of the load my trn process was generating on the
INN newsserver, the news admin of this server has locked me out, so I
cannot provide the NNTP loggings of this session, but I do have a logging
of a similar session on another newsserver. But see below.

What happens is the following:

I start reading a newsgroup which has a lot of unread articles (> 60,000)
on the INN newsserver. This newsgroup is a binary group, so each article
is also pretty large.

Trn tries to get the overview file, but this fails. I logged this a while
ago using a debug version of trn, and script. I don't have these logs
anymore, and since I'm shutout from the newsserver I cannot generate them
again, but this is what I remember:

  1. Trn asks for the range of valid articles in the newsgroup
  2. The news-server reacts to this with the range.
  3. Trn does an XOVER from the first several hundred articles numbers
     which are inside the range as returned by step 2.
  4. This fails, the newsserver issues an error which goes something like:
     "... article numbers out of range. Non-existant article no."
  5. Then trn is idle for a while (nothing much happens, no load, no
     more memory allocated, so this is probably a time-out).
  6. After a while, trn starts fetching the headers, using the range as
     returned by the newsserver in step 2.
     For example, if the range as returned by step 2. was 100-60100, then
     trn does:
     XHDR 100
     XHDR 101
     XHDR 102

     These also fail (each XHDR command results in an error message from
     the newsserver mentioning the asked article no longer exists), but at
     long last trn in this way reaches articles that _DO_ exist, and
     finally it displays the article overview in the regular fashion.

This entire process takes several HOURS to complete, and all the while the
load of the news-server (according to the admin) is about 40-50%, which is
the reason he shut-out the machine I'm using trn on.

I have done something similar (same newsgroup, but even more unread
articles: >340,000) on another newsserver:

telnet to port 119 gives:

201 NNRP Service Ready -
news at (no posting).

(This could be a Diablo server?)

Anyhow, using a trn with debugging enabled gives me the following NNTP

>LIST active alt.chello.binaries
<215 Newsgroups in form "group high low flags".
<alt.chello.binaries 0001147847 0000806723 y
s 341070 alt.chello.binaries

Entering alt.chello.binaries:>GROUP alt.chello.binaries
<211 341125 806723 1147847 alt.chello.binaries
>LIST active alt.chello.binaries
<215 Newsgroups in form "group high low flags".
<alt.chello.binaries 0001147847 0000806723 y
>XOVER 806723-807042
<224 data follows
>XOVER 807043-807362
<224 data follows
>XOVER 807363-807962
<224 data follows
>XOVER 807963-808642
<224 data follows

And all completes in an orderly fashion. The other (INN 2.3.1-based)
server differs from this in that when the XOVERs are issued using the
information returned (211 341125 806723 1147847 alt.chello.binaries), an
error is generated for the first XOVER.

What is going wrong, and what information could I pass on to the admin of
this INN news-server?

The INN version numbers I know of (but I can no longer check the current

200 <servername> InterNetNews NNRP server INN 2.3.1 (20001030 prerelease)
ready (posting ok).

Methods used: buffindexed on a raw-device.

If you need, or want any more info, I could always pass your questions on.

Thanks for any insights and best regards,


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