Fresh install

Russ Allbery rra at
Wed Sep 25 16:52:15 UTC 2002

Rick Reed <rreed at> writes:

> "Do not forget to update your cron entries, and also run makedbz if you
> need to.  If this is a first-time installation a minimal active file has
> been installed.  You will need to touch history and run "makedbz -i" to
> initialize the history database.  See INSTALL for more information."

> Barely knowing how to spell Linux I typed in "touch history" at
> /usr/local/news/inn-2.3.3 still sued as root then typed "makedbz -i"
> both of which simply returned me to my next line.  Was this correct or
> am I missing something completely?

You don't want to do this as root.  Go ahead and delete the history.*
files that were created, and then here's the relevant section of INSTALL.
Below this section is another section on setting up cron jobs.

Creating the Database Files

    At this point, you need to set up the news database directory
    (~news/db).  This directory will hold the active file (the list of
    newsgroups you carry), the active.times file (the creator and creation
    time of newsgroups created since the server was initialized), the
    newsgroups file (descriptions for all the newsgroups you carry), and the
    history file (a record of every article the server currently has or has
    seen in the past few days, used to decide whether to accept or refuse
    new incoming messages).

    Before starting to work on this, make sure you're logged on as the news
    user, since all of these files need to be owned by that user.  This is a
    good policy to always follow; if you are doing any maintenance work on
    your news server, log on as the news user.  Don't do maintenance work as
    root.  Also make sure that ~news/bin is in the default path of the news
    user (and while you're at it, make sure ~news/man is in the default
    MANPATH) so that you can run INN maintenance commands without having to
    type the full path.

    If you already have a server set up (if you're upgrading, or setting up
    a new server based on an existing server), copy active and newsgroups
    from that server into ~news/db.  Otherwise, you'll need to figure out
    what newsgroups you want to carry and create new active and newsgroups
    files for them.  If you plan to carry a full feed, or something close to
    that, go to <> and download active
    and newsgroups from there; that will start you off with reasonably
    complete files.  If you plan to only carry a small set of groups, the
    default minimal active file installed by INN is a good place to start
    and you can create additional groups after the server is running by
    using "ctlinnd newgroup".

    "control" and "junk" must exist as newsgroups in your active file for
    INN to start, and creating pseudogroups for the major types of control
    messages is strongly encouraged for all servers that aren't standalone. 
    "to" must also exist as a newsgroup if you have mergetogroups set in

    Next, you need to create an empty history database.  To do this, type:

        cd ~news/db
        touch history
        makedbz -i

    When it finishes, rename the files it created to remove the ".n" in the
    file names and then make sure the file permissions are correct on all
    the files you've just created:

        chmod 644 *

    Your news database files are now ready to go.

Russ Allbery (rra at             <>

    Please send questions to the list rather than mailing me directly.
     <> explains why.

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