Problems making local postings to inn2

Russ Allbery eagle at
Mon Jun 5 03:39:45 UTC 2017

Jeffery Small <jeff at> writes:

> To further debug the problem, Russ and others asked for a sample of a
> failing message header.  I modified my mailagent filter to save a raw
> copy of the email message in a file.  The message is then sent through
> my perl filter to fix potential header problems, a second copy of the
> modified message is then saved, and finally it is fed to inews.  This
> particular email is "spam" and is intended to be posted to a junk
> newsgroup where it can later be quickly revived and disposed of.

Thanks!  Here's your problem:

> X-Source: 
> X-Source-Args: 
> X-Source-Dir: 

Three empty headers.

We probably could, with some work, make INN more tolerant of these, since
they shouldn't interfere with the rest of INN's processing as long as
they're not included in overview, but they're definitely syntactically

A better fix would probably be to change the program doing the message
posting, or your Perl filter, to look for empty headers like this and
change them to something like:

    X-Broken-Header: X-Source:

(which is what the News::Article Perl module does).

> /usr/bin/rnews points to usr/lib/news/bin/rnews which is:

>     -rwsr-xr-- 1 news uucp 22640 Dec 29 16:21 /usr/lib/news/bin/rnews

> I cannot execute this as a normal user with the given permissions.  Any
> comments on that?  I could change the permissions so that my mailagent
> utility could then access it, but I'm asuming that this is set this way
> for a reason.

rnews is setuid for historic reasons related to its original purpose of
processing UUCP news batches.  It's totally unnecessary on systems that
don't process UUCP batches, and is no longer the default configuration.
You could probably just use dpkg-statoverride (I think this is a Debian
system or variant?) to change the mode to 755.

Russ Allbery (eagle at              <>

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

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