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The dnews.conf file is where most settings are stored, unlike all other config files dnews.conf is stored in \winnt\system32\dnews.conf or on unix \etc\dnews.conf

All lines in dnews.conf have the following syntax:

Syntax: Setting Value

Setting (Symbol) Value (Example) Description Version added
access_twice true If this is 'true' DNews will try and lookup users by 'number' before attempting a DNS lookup which can slow DNews down.  
active_static true Stops new groups from being added by the sucking feed. Use this if your feed site has lots of groups you never want added into your active file.  
auth_case true Tells DNews to be case sensitive when testing usernames and passwords  
auth_lib c:\mylib.dll Use external authentication module, see updates.htm for details on using this.  An NIS example is on libauth.nis  
auth_pophost, Tells DNews to lookup users via your pop server, you must also add an entry in access.conf, e.g.  *:read,post:$lookup$:$lookup$:*

You can specify multiple pop hosts and if the user specifies user@domain then the matching 'domain' will be used.  Also you can specify domain=pop.domain if the pop server is different from the domain name.

auth_pop_domains other.domain,third.domain If you are using auth_pophost and the user is one of these domains then their username and domain name will be sent to the pop server as the username  
auth_virtual_login true If true then if the user logs in as '' then is added to the ip address used in access.conf to match the left column, this allowsa form of virtual domain control  
auth_spawn /usr/local/dnews/ldapauth -path /usr/local/dnews If defined this should point to a program (with parameters) that should be run to do user lookups, the program should respond to the two commands 'check' and 'quit' send on stdin, and respond on stdout, it should only exit when told to. Here is an example of testing such a program interactively. 5.0b2
autoexpire 95 Trigger an expire when disk usage hits 95%  
bind_in IP number of adapter to listen for connections on.  
bind_out IP number of adapter to use for output connections (typically sucking). These two bind settings only have meaning if you have multiple IP addresses for some reason.  DFeed ignores this setting but obeys the bind x.y.z.x setting that can be used for each individual outgoing feed.  
body_chunk 20000 Sets the size of chunks to read from disk when a user reads an article, the default is 20000  
bucket_size 10000000 Sets the size of each bucket, optimally you want more than 10 buckets and less than 3000. 10MB is the default for spool areas over 100MB in size.  
cachedall true Pretend all groups are cached, use this if you are taking a full IHAVE feed in. This command stops the 'Downloading' messages appearing.  
cachedonly true Only accepts items into groups which are cached, this is used for the hybrid feed where items are sent by a feed but only taken if users are reading that particular group.  
cache_onxover true This makes DNews 'more' sensitive to users reading a group. Without this the group is not 'cached' unless an item is actually read but with this setting the group is 'cached' if an xover request is made for this group.  
cancel_anyone true Allows cancel messages to work even if they are not from the original poster.  
cancel_reject_after true Actions cancel messages and then throws them away, good for leaf sites where storing them is pointless.  
cancel_users me@here Only allow cancel messages from this person  
concurrent_limit 3 When using Dmulti this setting controls the amount of concurrent connections a user can make to all slaves.  
chan_nobuff true Use to help the Mosaic news reader to work. (it has a bug)  
config dnews_top: Directory for configuration files (*.conf) all except dnews.conf  
confirm * Send email confirmation to postings from these addresses. (set this to match your local email addresses)  
convert_add true Alters the behavior of tellnews spool_import/spool_convert to simply add the items rather than trying to 'replicate' the item numbers.  
convert_feed true This option allows the tellnews spool_import/spool_convert commands to send items to outgoing feeds.  
debug chan_read:chan_write: Use to set which debug lines should be printed to the log file. The parameters cannot be separated by spaces. The default setting is control:db:cancel :file:lib:, warn: ,fatal:,post:,chan:,feed: ,hist:,nntp: ,str:,err:,debug:, expire:,info:, item:, group:,suck:, cmd:,ncmd:, init:,db:,mem:,");  
debug_rotate 10000 Automatically rotates log files (renames and deletes the oldest one) if more than 10000 lines are written. This is good if you have turned on debugging as you always have the last few thousands lines if a problem develops but you don't run out of disk space due to the huge log file.  
debug_rotate_in 1000 Number of lines before .in file should rotate. Ver 4.  
debug_rotate_out 1000 Number of lines before .out file should rotate. Ver 4.  
debug_store 100 Stores the last 100 items as files, the items are stored before they are processed, this was used for finding items that crashed DNews, the last stored item was the problem. It is not an official setting. (i.e. it may be removed)  
df /usr/bin/df -Pk Define the df command to use on Unix systems, where to find it if necessary and the switches to use if needed. DNews expects the output to be in K blocks. df -k or df -Pk is often the correct setting.  
diskspace, diskspace2,..., diskspace8 diskspace 100
diskspace2 50
diskspace3 60
Define the size of each disk area. diskspace2 ... diskspace8 are Version 4 commands.
Total disk space in megabytes a dynamic feed needs 20-200MBs, a full feed needs approx. 1000MB
See Spool, below.
dmgrsvc_access 10.0.0.*, List of ip addresses/wild cards who can access the web admin tool.  
expire_any true If a link of a cross post should be deleted during an expire, then all will be deleted, this fixes the problem of people cross posting binary messages to non binary groups and thus filling up your disk.  
expire_at 5 23,3 Run an expire job at 5 past eleven and 5 past 3 in the morning. Unless expire_minutes is set to true the minutes value will be ignored.  
expire_chunk 100000 Sets how many lines from the history file to expire in one go. Increasing this makes expire faster but uses more memory. Generally the default will be fine.  
expire_delay 3 The maximum delay before DNews will expire some more items even if it is flat out answering user requests. (not generally needed)  
expire_fast true Increases priority of expire job to get it done fast in the night.. (not generally needed)  
expire_min 10 This sets the maximum wasted space in the bucket files, the value is a percentage, the default is 10% or 5% if disk usage is above 90%.  
expire_minutes true Used to make DNews use the minutes setting in the expire_at rule.  
expire_small 1000 When DNews is using more than 89% of the disk space there is a danger of it deleting to many items in one go, this setting is used to limit how many it deletes before checking to see if the disk is still almost full.  
feed_reader true (default) Sends the 'mode reader' command when connecting to a feeding site, this is the default. You will probably never have to change this setting.  
fts_dir d:\dnews\fts Sets the directory where the fts index files are being stored. (see the section on FTS for more details)  
fts_expire true Automatically set if fts_dir is true, this tells DNews to write a list of all expired articles so that the fts system can remove them from the fts database.  
minutes hours

1 20

2 Sets when DNews should check for newly created news groups on the site that it is sucking news from. (not needed with an IHAVE feed where the control news items perform this function).  
head_cache 200 How many item headers to keep in memory, if you have memory to burn then a setting of 3000 will improve performance of some nntp commands.  
head_limit 2000 Limits the size of headers to keep in the cache, the default is about 2000  
header_body_mb 100 How much space DNews can use to cache bodies of header only items. 4.7
header_chan_n 3 Number of simultaneous channels to use when fetching bodies, if set too small then long delays will occur when a user reads a group. 4.7
header_groups *binaries*,*warez* Groups which DNews should suck only headers for. 4.7
header_host 2 Site to fetch bodies from, nntp_feeder is used by default, use 2 for nntp_suck2 etc... 4.7
header_path d:/dnews/header Directory to store cached bodies,
defaults to (workarea)
header_prefetch 20 This specifies how many headers/items to fetch 'on the fly' when an uncached news group is first read, this can be
used with a normal sucking feed
instead of the 'downloading' message, when a group command is recieved DNews will rush off and fetch this many
headers/items before responding to the user, so the user is never faced with an empty news group.
header_timeout 30 How long to try and talk to the
upstream site before admitting to the user that item 'xxx' cannot be fetched.
hide_queue true Stops the list of groups being sucked from being shown in the 'Downloading...' message.  
history \dnews\spool Directory for history file, this could grow to 40MB for a full feed (80,000 blocks)  
history_min 5 Pause if less than 'n' megabytes free.  
history_moved false Define as true if your history data is not on the first spool drive 5.2
item_max 100000 Sets the maximum size for any article that DNews can deal with, the default is 1,000,000. A smaller number will save memory.  
life 30 Number of days to keep fetching a news group from the upstream server after someone reads an item in it.  
list_min 300 How many groups need to be cached before the update method switches to the technique that works best for large numbers of groups.  
live_stream false stops live feeds from using the streaming extensions to send articles, (this configures automatically normally)  
log_ihave true Enables logging of ihave/takethis commands  
log_inline false Stops logging of all the 'item ok' messages inside the dnews.log file  
log_ignore annoying text,other text Any log line containing "annoying  text" will not be written. NOTE: the match applies only after the "info:,warn:" field, so you cannot include those in the string.  
log_no_in true Disables all logging to 4.6k
log_no_out true Disables all logging to to dnews.out 4.6k
log_nntp false Stops logging all the nntp commands sent to dnews.  
log_onefile true With Dmulti, this makes dmulti write all log files in dnews.log (only works on unix) 4.6k
log_rotate_nostart true Stops the log file rotating when DNews starts.  
logdir \dnews Directory to write log files.  
logdir_min 5 Pause server if less than 5MB is left free on logging disk.  
loglvl info One of: error,warn,info,debug,flush

There are four levels of error reporting, "error" includes serious errors, "warn" includes possible problems, "info" includes general information messages and "debug" which is used for tracing bugs. "flush" is the same as debug but the log file is flushed with every single line written, this is useful if the system is crashing but not providing a stack dump.

loguse true Write a log of every item body read by users in the file u_yymmdd.log use DOS utility program duse to summarize this information  
mail smtp This is only used on VMS systems. The name of the foreign email system on VMS, typically in% or smtp% (don't include the %)  
mail_from system@your.domain Sets the from address used when DNews sends a report or email confirmation to a user, this is sometimes needed by smtp servers which require a valid return address.  
manager Email address of the news manager  
max_out 10000 Limits the speed that any channel can read news articles in characters per second.  
max_groups 60000 Increase the max news groups DNews can handle.  Don't set this value huge as it wastes memory.  Requires version 4.6.  
max_speed 10000 Limits the speed, in characters per second, that any channel can send news into dnews.  NOTE: Ignored if set to exactly 20000, so don't use the value 20000Also ignored if thread_in true is set (which is the default on some platforms so add thread_in false to ensure this works)   
myname Your full Internet name, if left out this may be picked up from the system. It's best to put it in by hand to make sure it's right. See path_stamp below.  
newnews_users,* List of IP names or numbers from which to allow the newnews command.  
nntp_block true Sets all the sockets as blocking, we don't know why you would want to do this.  
nntp_feeder groups username password The news site where you are going to SUCK a feed from. You need NNTP READER access to this site. If you are not sucking a feed then comment this line out. If you need to specify a PORT other than the default one (119) then add it on the end of the name, e.g. The groups field is optional, the default is *. The username and password are also optional, alternatively nntp_user and nntp_pass can be used to specify these. nntp_logoff You are not one of our users Specifies the message to give to users who are not granted connect access via access.conf.  
nntp_pass mysecretword Use this if the site you are sucking from requires a username and password to access it.  
nntp_suck2, 3, 4 second.feeder alt.irc.* myuser mypassword Get irc groups from another news server, every 10 minutes, the user/passwords are optional. (also see update_groups)  
nntp_user jbloggs Use this if the site you are sucking from requires a username and password to access it.  
nntp_xposting true For a posting feed this lets you add a header which will identify any user that attempts to post spam through your server.  
no_newnews true Disables the newnews command.  
nocontrol true Prevents automatic creation of the 'control' news group.  
nodns true Stops DNews from doing reverse DNS lookups every time a user connects, you will have to put ip numbers into access.conf if you use this feature, but if your DNS is faulty or slow then this can improve connection times.  
nospacecheck true Stops DNews attempting to find out how much disk space is free. If this test is failing your server may pause itself so this setting gets it working again. This is quite safe as the test is only used as a backup check.  
nostream true Tells DNews to pretend it cannot take a streaming incoming feed.  
nwserver hostname Use on netware servers if NetWin suggests it should be used.  
open_block true Makes nntp open calls block the news server  
open_retry 5 How long to wait after failing to open an nntp connection before retrying .  
org NetWin Ltd Sets the name to be added to local posts which do not have the Organization: header set  
org_replace true Forces local posts to have your organization name even if the news posting software attempted to put some other name in.  
out_size 4000 Sets the size of packets to be sent in one write operation to a socket.  
path_stamp The name used to stamp the path of messages that go through your system, this should be a fully qualified text name in lower case, it need not have a genuine DNS entry.

Use this if your MYNAME parameter is a single word or a number. e,.g.myname path_stamp Ver 4

pgppath c:\pgp The path of your PGP utility. If you use PGP to authenticate control messages then you may need to define this.  
pident true Enables pidentd checking (a way of authenticating users on multi user unix systems)  
port 119 The TCP port which DNews should listen for incoming connections on.  
post_log true Logs every local message to a post.log file.  
post_log_size 1000000 Rotates post.log when it reaches the specified size in bytes. Requires DNews 5.5f1 or later.  
post_nongroups false (default) By default local cross posts to non existent groups are now bounced, to restore the old behaviour set in dnews.conf post_nongroups true . 5.0b2
post_route true Enables routing of incoming ihave messages to outgoing posting feeds.  
post_nosuck true This option disables the 'suck' that occurs when a group is posted to.  
post_prot_msg sorry, posting has been disabled Sets the error message to show when a user attempts to post to a group they do not have access.conf rights to post to.  
postonly true Stops items from being posted locally until the 'echo' back from the feeder site, this gives a very clear confirmation that the message has been passed up stream. You cannot do this if you want to have local groups which are not on the site you are sucking from.  
ras_entry AOnline This setting is used to get DNews to automatically dial up, fetch news and hang up by itself and is an alternative to using ras_number, ras_username and ras_password."AOnline" should be the text name of the RAS phone book entry you wish to dial, if this settings is used then all of the following ras settings are not needed. Start up 'Dial Up Networking" to see the list of entries in your phone book.  
ras_list, Specifies sites that DNews should establish a dial up connection to before sending or reading news.  
ras_number 56779568 If you are have a dial up line to the Intenet you can on Windows have DNews automatically dial up, update news and then hang up. To do this you set the ras_number, ras_username and ras_password commands to the dial up phone number, your username and password respectively and DNews will automatically dial up in accord with your update rules. Alternatively simply set the ras_entry as described above and DNews will look up the informantion it needs.  
ras_username Username Refer ras_number ras_password Password Refer ras_number  
readonly_n 3 Used with setting up readonly servers. This setting tells DNews how many readonly servers are running. 4.6b1
readonly_id 1 Users with readonly servers. This setting identifies the readonly server. 4.6b1
replicate true Makes DNews use the same item numbers for each item as are used on the server it's sucking from. The result is a second server that mirrors the first. It is essential that you also set POSTONLY TRUE.  
report no Stops the daily email report from being sent to the manager after every expire run.  
retry_441 true Some servers respond with 441 when a posting fails and retrying is 'in order' these servers are simply faulty. This setting tells DNews to retry in this case. 4.6b13
send_at *5 * Send messages upstream when the time matches, this would do it every 10 minutes. e.g. at 1:05, 1:15...  
send_later true Stops DNews from attempting to send a post immediately, useful if you are using a dial up connection. You can trigger this by hand using 'tellnews requeue'  
sendmail /usr/ucb/sendmail Path to sendmail or equivalent software with switches. (only used on unix)  
slave_feed, IP NUMBER of any host that will be sending an ihave feed to your news server. IP names cannot be used, sorry.  
slave_n 3 Number of DNews processes to run, 2-5 is recommended.  
slave_ports 7400 TCPIP ports to use for the slaves. (Just use the example it will work :-)  
slave_restart 5 Restarts the slave processes at that time each day. (5a.m.)  
sort_chunk 1000000 Sets how many items to read in one go when re-sorting the master index, setting this larger speeds up the sort but uses more memory. Ver 4  
spam_allowgroups local.* Allows DNews to ignore spam rules for specified groups. 4.6k
spam_dup_cross 400 (default) Number of duplicate bodies counting cross posts to allow 4.5a
spam_dup_hits 6 (default) Number of duplicate bodies (not cross posted) to allow 4.5a
spam_dup_total 5000 (default) Number of items to 'remember' in our history of 'duplicate' bodies. Uses about 30 bytes per entry. 4.5a
spam_from_cross 1000 (default) Number of messages counting cross posts from any single user per hour 4.5a
spam_from_hits 60 (default) Number of messages from any single user per hour 4.5a
spam_from_total 5000 (default) Number of users to keep tabs on in our history of duplicate users, uses about 100 bytes per user. 4.5a
spam_host false (default) Use 'nntp-posting-host' instead of 'from' for the above 3 rules. 4.5a
spam_stop false (default) Enables spam protection 4.5a
spam_test false (default) Enables spam protection but doesn't reject anything, just logs what it would do. 4.5a
spool_free true This tells DNews to chose which spool area based on the amount of actual free space rather than it's internal count of how much space it's allowed to use.  
spool, spool2, ..., spool8 spool f:\spool
spool2 g:\spool
spool4 i:\spool
Disk name (or logical) for news articles
For use with multiple drives (upto 30 with dnews5.2). Spool2 ... Spool8 are Version 4 commands.
Defines the disk areas that DNews can use to store it's buckets of news.
See diskspace, above.
spool_min 5 Pause if less than 'n' megabytes free  
suck_batchn 100 Maximum number of items to get from one group before going onto the next group.  
suck_batchsize 1000000 Maximum bytes to get from one group before going onto the next group. Use this to stop DNews spending all day on a binary group.  
suck_disable true Disables sucking groups, but not getgroups, matchgroups, this is handy for keeping the active files in sync between two servers, it can be used with the xreplic setting below.  
suck_requeue true Tells DNews to reque a group that is not finished.  
suck_maxold 1000 Limits the maximum number of old items that DNews should suck from a group.  
suck_maxgroups 500 If more than this many groups become 'cached' DNews will 'uncache' all the groups, this is a good 'backstop' in case some user does something strange and manages to 'cache' 10,000 news groups. Not recommended if another server is sucking a large number of groups from your server.  
suck_stream true Makes DNews suck much faster, don't set this unless you need to as it hurts the server you are sucking from.  
suck_timeout 300 How many seconds a sucking feed can be idle before DNews should close the connection to try and get it un-stuck.  
suck_uucp /uucp_in/*.bag Directory and file names of incoming uucp files. Every minute DNews will scan this directory and read in any files it finds, and then delete them. They should be in standard rnews format.  
tcp_nodelay true Sets the socket to send data immediately, this may solve problems with bugy news readers. (e.g. Mosaic news reader) The default is 'true' on NT, it should be changed to 'false' if you have hundreds of concurrent users.  
tellnews_pass_mask 10.*, Restricts use of tellnews commands to matching ip addresses only. Requires DNews 5.5d1 or later.  
timeout 30 Define how long to wait after a channel becomes idle before disconnecting it, the default is 60 minutes.  
timezone NZST Timezone hh:mm or timezone name, this setting is ignored on all systems except VMS. 4.6j
too_old 50 Refuse items that were created more than this many days in the past, this prevents old items from being re-distributed when a machine dumps old news items onto the network.  
update_at *0,*5   * Check for new items every time the minutes end in a 5 or a zero and at any hour, e.g. every 5 minutes.

To update at 3:30 and 8:30 use , update_at 30 3,8

update_at2, 3, 4 10  * Update setting for second, third and fourth feeds, check less frequently, every hour at 10 minutes past.  
update_groups1, 2, 3 *binary* 45 1 A way of getting specific groups more frequently, only works with the main feed. For example, get binary groups once a day at 1:45, this is in addition to the update_at setting, not instead of.  
user_single true Prevent users from logging in more than once  
uucp_crlf true Writes uucp files as MSDOS text files instead of proper unix format.  
welcome DNews Changes part of connection message  
workarea \dnews\spool Directory for work files (active.dat, *.feed, etc)  
workarea_min 5 If less than 'n' megabytes are free on this disk then pause the news system, (stop accepting new articles)  
xover_cache 4000 How many xover records to cache, this is the best way to improve performance if you have spare memory, set it as high as 15000.  
xover_dir /var/spool/xover Sets the directory to store the *.xov database files, if you define this copy *.xov from the workarea to the new directory and then restart dnews.  
xover_moved true If your xover directory is not on the spool disk then you should set this true so DNews doesn't add in the xover files into the diskuse total.  

Click here for the list of undocumented dnews.conf settings