Proof-reading of the distributions file

Julien ÉLIE julien at
Mon Apr 28 12:50:51 UTC 2008


I have just added documentation for the distributions file and a sample
(which contains the six examples of the documentation, commented).
As I do not use one, maybe I missed some points so I paste below
what I wrote.

If you find mistakes or things to add, feel free to reply.

distributions - Recommended values for the Distribution: header

The file I<pathetc>/distributions contains a list of relevant
distributions and their descriptions.  It provides local information
for posters who wish to add a Distribution: header to their articles
so as to restrict their propagation, although it does not guarantee
that such articles will not leak elsewhere because of a misconfiguration
of a news server to which they are fed.  See newsfeeds(5) for more
information about how a news server handles the Distribution: header.

Each line of this file consists in a distribution area followed by
its description after at least a whitespace.  For instance:

    all     Everywhere:  it is a worldwide distribution.
    fr      Local to France.
    local   Local to this news server.
    nj      Local to New Jersey.
    usa     Local to the United States of America.
    world   Everywhere:  it is a worldwide distribution.

Blank lines and lines beginning with a number sign (C<#>) are ignored.

Any client that issues the LIST DISTRIBUTIONS command obtain these
recommended values, if available.  However, be aware that use of the
LIST DISTRIBUTIONS command is not widespread and most news clients will
never ask for this file.

If this file is missing, it is not an error.  The server will just send
the client an empty response.

The Distribution: header can also be automatically set by B<nnrpd>
if distrib.pats(5) is correctly configured.


Julien ÉLIE

« Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas. » (Virgile) 

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