Products Downloads Prices Support Company
Index FAQ Configs Feeds In Feeds Out Feeds Out  

General "How do I" Questions

How do I limit user access to the server?

You can limit user access to the server by username and password and by group, to do this you need to edit access.conf. This file is both tricky in its syntax and order sensitive, but is quite powerful.

Here is a simple access.conf where you only allow users in your domain with ip names and you only let them connect using usernames and passwords:

# By default don't let anyone even connect
# Let people in my domain connect long enough to send a username/password
# Here are the individual users and their passwords

Here is a second example, where we want to stop joe from posting to the group local.rules, but he can read it ok still.

# By default don't let anyone even connect
# Let people in my domain connect long enough to send a username/password
# Here are the individual users and their passwords
# And don't let anyone from the finance section even connect

See access.htm for more details and complex examples

How do I set my local groups so they won't expire?

At the end of your expire.conf file add a line like this, let's assume your local company groups are, ford.trucks and ford.bikes (e.g. your company name is 'ford'), It depends which sort of expire rules you are using, here is an example of the old format and the new 'piles' based format:

Using DNews 4.X expire rules:    upto 1000% groups ford.* keep 999 minitems 10000 maxitems 100000

Using DNews 5.X expire rules:  pile 5 groups ford.* days 1000

Creating local news groups

You can add groups with the TELLNEWS NEWGROUP command, e.g.

tellnews newgroup y myname Local group = name of group
y = Normal group (m = moderated)
myname = A record of who created the group (one word)
Local group = description for active.names file.

To stop your local group from being sent up stream, you would change the line in your newsfeeds.conf file:

    type builtin
    groups *,!,!here.secret.*

How do I move the spool area to a bigger disk?

First shutdown DNews:

tellnews exit

Then move the entire SPOOL tree structure from its current place to its new place, for example on NT you might use filemanager to move

c:\dnews\spool... to e:\dnews\spool...

Change the definition of SPOOL in DNEWS.CONF

NOTEPAD \winnt35\system32\dnews.conf
spool e:\dnews\spool

Restart DNews:

(NT) Control Panel, Services, Start
(UNIX) su root;

Note: You can also  move individual bucket files between spool disks when DNews is shut down, it will find them again when you start it up.

How do I make the updates run only at night?

Updates for a sucking feed normally run once every ten minutes, this is controlled in DNEWS.CONF with the command

update_at *5 *

This "*5" tells DNews to do an update whenever the minutes end in a digit '5' and the second "*" tells it to do updates during any hour.

To do one update a night at 5 past 2 in the morning you would use:

update_at 5 2

To do updates every 10 minutes from 6p.m. to 8a.m. you would use:

update_at *5 18-8

How do I test the server using TELNET?

NNTP is a text-based protocol. This means you can test it, and even read news without any software, just by using telnet and typing in commands by hand. This is not a seriously good way to read news, but it is a very good way to test your own server or your feeding server:

NT c:> telnet 119
Under Terminal Preferences turn ECHO on
VMS $ telnet /port=119
UNIX > telnet 119

Type in this sequence of commands to read an article by hand:

  1. mode reader (tell it we are reading news)
  2. group comp.os.vms(select a group)
  3. head (display the header)
  4. body (display the body)
  5. next (next item please)
  6. help (show valid commands)
  7. quit (exit the connection)

How do I suck from a two sites at once?

Use the alternate suck names, NNTP_SUCK2, NNTP_SUCK3, NNTP_SUCK4

Put these in dnews.conf, followed by the list of news groups that should be sucked from these alternate sites. You should use the NNTP_FEEDER variable (suck1) for the largest number of groups.

nntp_feeder *,!chat.local.*
nntp_suck2 chat.local.*

Note: If you want to suck from more than one site simultaneously, set pull true in dnews.conf

Alternatively you can take a feed and suck from another host at the same time.

Your list of groups will be based on the NNTP_FEEDER host, other groups must be added using the tellnews newgroup command.

To do this just setup the system to suck as usual, but then add a line to access.conf to allow your secondary feed to come in, e.g.:


How can I cut out spamming (cross posts)?

Spamming is where people cross post to hundreds of news groups with information which is not relevant to the content of the news group. e.g. advertising, pyramid schemes, etc...

Cross posting is a neat idea but an enormously abused mechanism. You can limit the abuse by rejecting items that are crossposted to more than 'n' groups, a value of 5-10 would seem reasonable to me. The default is 100 for DNews.

You can change the limit in newsfeeds.conf under the ME settings, e.g.

site me
       groups *,!*binaries*
       maxcross 4

For more elaborate spam control see spam.htm

How can I make XOVER faster?

DNews builds indexes for xover data now but it's possible you may want to adjust the internal cache sizes.


As a rule of thum set these slightly larger than the number of items in a typical news group, these settings do chew up memory so generally I would not recommend changing them.

How do I move DNews to another computer?

(Click here for alternate instructions on sucking news from an old system to a new system)

The following instructions are for copying the spool area across, you can use the DNews 'sucking' mechanism to 'suck' news from an old server onto a new one, this is slower but more reliable particularly if the old server is not DNews :-)

Moving DNews to a different operating system:

  1. Install DNews on the new system
  2. Stop DNews on both systems
  3. tellmail deactivate on old server
  4. tellmail activate Nxxx email@domain
  5. Transfer the following files:
  6. ascii (workarea) active.*
  7. binary spool* db*.itm
  8. Start DNews
  9. tellnews check_buckets
  10. tellnews rebuild_index
  11. Wait 1 hour per gig.

If you want to, you can transfer everything and avoid the rebuild_index, use binary mode for all other files in the workarea and spool.

Moving DNews to another computer but same OS:

  1. Install DNews on the new system
  2. Stop DNews on both systems
  3. Copy the DNews directory and all sub directories
  4. (If the spool or history or workarea is on a different disk then copy those files as well.)

The directories, workarea, spool, config, are all defined in dnews.conf (\winnt\system32\dnews.conf) so you can make sure you haven't missed anything by checking where they point.

Check your dnews.conf and make sure spool/workarea/config/log all point to the correct new directories.

Now start DNews on the new system, and you will now need to enter your key or run tellnews register and send us the register.txt file to request a replacement key.

Detailed example for moving DNews via FTP on unix:

1. Install DNews on the new system

2. Stop DNews on both systems

3. Transfer the following files.

You will probably use FTP, something like the example below. The example assumes that both DNews installations use /var/spool/dnews for the spool files. It also assumes that you can log in as user "news" (or whatever the DNews user is on the new system).

4. Start DNews and rebuild

5. Wait 1 hour per gig.

Alternate instructions for sucking news from an old to a new system

        nntp_feeder *
        too_old 1000
        replicate true
        suck_maxold 10000


How do I uninstall DNEWS?

On Windows NT:

  1. In Dadmin, Config/Uninstall
  2. (or manually)
  3. cd /dnews
  4. net stop dnewssvc
  5. net stop dmgrsvc (4.6 and later)
  6. addsvc -del dnewssvc
  7. addsvc -del dmgrsvc (only 4.6 and later)
  8. del /dnews...
  9. del /winnt/system32/dnews.conf
  10. del /winnt/system32/dnews.exe
  11. del /winnt/system32/xmit.exe
  12. del /winnt/system32/drobot.exe
  13. del /winnt/system32/dposter.exe
  14. del /winnt/system32/tellnews.exe
  15. del /winnt/system32/dmgrsvc.exe


  1. rm -r /var/spool/dnews
  2. rm -r /usr/local/dnews
  3. rm /etc/dnews.conf
  4. Remove from rc.local