File: INSTALL.run

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You have to be root or the owner of SNROOT to do anything
listed here.  You should have already built and installed sn, see
file INSTALL.  "SNROOT" and "PREFIX" refer to values as you have
set in the Makefile.

In the following, remember that (almost) every file and directory
under and including SNROOT must be owned be the same user and group.
(In some cases the owner may be root instead.)  sn won't complain
about writeable files.

1) Add newsgroups:

   $ snnewgroup comp.os.linux.announce my.isps.server 119
   $ snnewgroup alt.lemmings my.other.isps.server
   $ snnewgroup local.private

   119 is the default port number, and you can omit it.

   If you leave out the news server address, the newsgroup will
   get created as a local one.  (You can tell a global group by
   the symlink news.group.name/.outgoing, which points somewhere
   into one of SNROOT/.outgoing/*).  A local group doesn't have
   an upstream feed; it gets articles when people post to it.
   Each newsgroup has at most one upstream feed.

   If my.isps.server on port PORT requires a username and password:
   $ cd SNROOT/.outgoing/my.isps.server:PORT
   $ echo my-username >username
   $ echo my-password >password
   $ chmod 600 username password

   where PORT is the servers port number, usually 119.

   You can add new newsgroups at any time.  The sn package won't
   automatically create newsgroups for you.

   man snnewgroup(8), sndelgroup(8).

   Optionally request a list of newsgroups from your server, when
   it connects.  "Optionally" because these lists are usually very
   long.  If you do this, check your email after step 2.

   $ echo 'mail me@myhost' >/SNROOT/.outgoing/my.isps.server:119/request-list

   Replace "me@myhost" with your email address.  You can also replace
   "mail me@myhost" with any other shell command that will read
   data from standard input.  This file will be deleted when the
   command runs successfully.
   
   (Later on you can get a list of new groups by putting the command in
   request-newgroups instead.)

2) If you've added any global newsgroups, fetch some news:

   $ snget

   snget will collect articles from the subscribed-to groups (as in
   step 1) and store them under their respective group directories.
   Status messages will be written to standard error.  On first run,
   expect "out of sync" messages; this is normal.  If you expect
   lots of articles you can use

   $ snget -m 100

   to limit it to 100 articles per newsgroup (the default is 200).
   The -m option is useful only when priming the newsgroups.

   man snget(8).

3) Enable news reading via NNTP.
   You can run snntpd under inetd/tcpd (most people will do this),
   or under tcpserver. (Or any other program which will let you
   connect a socket to stdin/stdout of snntpd.)

   "logger ..." is used to store snntpd log messages, which means
   the messages end up whereever /etc/syslog.conf says to put it.

   The example access control policy here is to permit reading and
   posting from local clients, and to deny all access to everyone
   else.  The local network is assumed to be 192.168.9.0.  For more
   complicated posting access control, see the PREFIX/sbin/SNPOST script,
   which can do fine-grain control.  The coarse grain posting access
   here is determined by the POSTING_OK environment variable.

Running under inetd/tcpd:
   In /etc/hosts.allow, insert a line:

     nntpd : localhost, 192.168.9. : setenv = POSTING_OK

   In /etc/hosts.deny, insert a line:

     nntpd : ALL

   See man 5 hosts_access for more complex configurations.  See man
   snntpd for more on POSTING_OK.  NOTE: the "setenv" capability
   is said to be unworkable in the tcpd that ships with certain
   versions of the Red Hat Linux distribution.

   Create a small shell wrapper for snntpd, call it "nntpd":

   #!/bin/sh
   # snntpd needs to find snstore if it is to accept news postings.
   # Replace PREFIX with the real value of PREFIX from the Makefile.
   PATH=PREFIX/sbin:$PATH
   export PATH
   # Enable posting?  Can also do this from /etc/hosts.allow
   POSTING_OK=1; export POSTING_OK # yes
   # No: unset POSTING_OK
   # Run snntpd, and log errors in the system log:
   PREFIX/sbin/snntpd /usr/bin/logger -p news.info
   # Run snntpd, and log errors in a log file:
   # PREFIX/sbin/snntpd 2>>/where/you/want/the/snntpd.log   
   # End of wrapper script.

   In /etc/inetd.conf, insert a line:

   nntp stream tcp nowait root.root /path/to/tcpd /path/to/nntpd

   You can change root.root to the owner and group of SNROOT;
   however, snntpd always drops root.

   Hup inetd and run your newsreader.  The news spool can be read
   only via NNTP because of its unorthodox structure.

   man snntpd(8), inetd(8), tcpd(8), hosts_access(5)

Running under tcpserver:
   If you're not running snntpd for the system, using tcpserver is
   the simplest option.

   Create the access control cdb file, for example:

     tcprules news.cdb tmp.cdb <<HERE
     192.168.9.:allow,POSTING_OK=''
     :deny
     HERE

   man 1 tcprules for more on this file.
   Run a command similar to one of the following, and place it
   somewhere in your rc files when you're happy with it.
   Do this as root or as the owner of SNROOT.

   $ env - PATH=PREFIX/sbin:$PATH \
     tcpserver -RHl0 -x news.cdb 0 nntp \
       snntpd logger -p news.info &

   If you're not running this for the system, use a different port
   number, such as "1119" instead of "nntp".
   
   man tcpserver(1).

4) Crontab entries.  The following refers to the crontab for root
   or the owner of SNROOT.

   A line similar to the following will expire old articles:

   0 3 * * * cd SNROOT && PREFIX/sbin/snexpire *

   man cron(8)/crond(8), crontab(1), crontab(5).

5) You can fetch news automatically whenever you dial up.  If you're
   using pppd, place a line in /etc/ppp/ip-up:

   PREFIX/sbin/snget 2>&1 >/dev/null &

   If you're worried about snget taking up all your bandwidth,
   use the -h option to snget (see the man page) to throttle
   its connection.

   man snget(8), pppd(8).

6) Tuning.  After some days or weeks of use, you can start tuning
   the expiration:

   $ echo '10d' >SNROOT/alt.lemmings/.expire

   expires alt.lemmings in 10 days instead of the default of 7.
   You can also say '2w' for 2 weeks, or '1m' for one month.

   man snexpire(8).

   If USE_ZLIB was set in the Makefile (this is the default),
   you can enable compression on selected newsgroups, which by now
   would be easy to identify:

   $ touch /SNROOT/comp.source-code.big/.compress

   says new articles entered in comp.source-code.big will be candidates
   for compression.  Old articles won't be touched.  Compression and
   decompression take place transparently.  (You can see if zlib was
   compiled in: "ident snntpd |grep ZLIB").

   man snstore(8).

   Deny posting on a per-newsgroup basis:

   $ touch /SNROOT/alt.usenet.noise.noise.noise/.nopost

   This disallows posting (via "POST" NNTP command) for this group,
   but permits new articles from it's upstream host.  Effectively
   alt.usenet.noise.noise.noise becomes readonly to users.  See the
   PREFIX/sbin/SNPOST script.

   man snntpd(8).

7) Boot script.

   In one of your system rc scripts, after the filesystems have been
   mounted and fsck has been run, execute the following:

    cd SNROOT
    rm .newsgroup .table .chain
    find . -type f -name "+*" -exec rm -f {} \;
    PREFIX/sbin/snprimedb -i
    PREFIX/sbin/snscan -n * | PREFIX/sbin/snprimedb;

    This ensures that sn's ID database is in sync with the news
    spool.

You can read INSTALL.notes for other ways to use sn.

If you are having problems with sn, please read FAQ to see if your question
has already been answered, before asking the mailing list for assistance.