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Documented, undocumented settings

Everything on this page comes under the heading of 'use at your own risk' basically people would ask how can we do obscure thing 'x' and we would say 'use obscure setting y' and they would say "why isn't setting 'y' documented' and we would say, "Ummmmmm", and then make up some excuse or mutter about adding it to the manual shortly, so here it is, all those settings that you probably don't need to know about and shouldn't mess with :-).

This list is boringly complete, it includes obsolete settings and test settings, basically anything still floating around in the header files.  It mostly doesn't include the documented settings from the main dnews.htm web page. The fact that the setting is listed here DOES NOT mean that it works, although we've tried to point out the definitly broken ones!!!

If a name in access.conf is for an IHAVE feed and is a 'simple' name, e.g. a name that does not contain wild cards then DNews does a forward lookup on the name and replaces it with the list of defined ip numbers, this is more secure and should always be set.

Does access_forward conversions on all 'simple' ip names in access.conf not just IHAVE entries. See the setting BRIAN below which is better for improving the security of dns lookups

If this is set true then DNews will not start if the active.dat does not exist. Used to ensure an old one is not over-written if the disk is temporarily unreadable when DNews starts.

When true this disables the warning given when anyone is able to read and post via your news server, it has no other affect (it doesn't actually allow access it just removes the warning)

If this is true DNews changes the NNTP-Posting-Host: header to the dnews.conf myname setting.

If this is set true DNews will add an Approved: header to posts to a  moderated group from a local authorized moderator (e.g. someone who has logged in using the nntp authinfo command).

If this is set true then DNews will automatically add an Approved: header to posts to a moderated group if the From: header address matches that groups moderator, this should only be used on private servers as it is not very secure.

Doesn't do jack. In conf.h only.

If this is set true then DNews exit handlers will be disabled. Used for debugging on occasion.

"AUTH_DBFILE" filename
If set DNews tries to authenticate via the specified Berkley authentication database, only valid on some versions of linux.

If set true DNews tries to authenticate users via an external  authentication dynamic linked library, superceded by auth_extern.

If set true DNews tries to authenticate users via an external authentication module on unix or NT, see updates.htm for details.

Specifies unix usergroups file which DNews can read.
Format is group:passwd:id:user1,user2,user3

Specifies the maximum number of concurrent connection to allow from a single nntp authorized user.

Allows customisation of the message '480 User and password still required, authinfo command'

Doesn't do anything

Doesn't do anything

If this is set true operating system authentication is disabled. This includes user authentication via the unix system password file and the NT authentication database.

Doesn't do anything

Sets the number of pop authenticated users to cache. The default value is 1000.

Attribute that 'usergroup' information is stored in. Default value is 26.

Sets the host system to use for radius authentication.

Shared secret used to encrypt data talking to a radius server, this must match the secret defined on the radius host.

If this is set true then DNews will display all groups in response to an nntp list command even if the user doesn't have read access to them.

We don't know, and can't figure it out, probably not widely used ;-)

Remove the domain from the authenticated user header added to local posts.

If true, then adds "@virtual ip number" to the address of connecting users, this can then be used to match rules in access.conf, e.g. remote.ip.address@local.ip.address. Virtual ip number is the ip number of the interface they connected TO on your computer. See updates.htm for details.

As above, but the same applies to user, so fred becomes fred@local.ip.address See updates.htm for details.

If true on NT/95 DNews RAS dials before attempting to suck or send news.

Sets the number of 'big' buffers DNews can allow to grow past the default  size limit of 'BIG_SIZE' without using disk. This should be set to the number of concurrent incoming ihave feeds for best performance, the default is 1.
Each one will use about 2mb of RAM.

The default size for buffers which can be kept in memory and don't need to be stored on disk, defaults to about 20K.

For non piles tells DNews to try and keep all buckets 'full'

Sets the max number of items that can be in a single bucket, this setting is not needed with piles and generally defaults correctly. (don't mess with it!)

If true, DNews always deletes a bucket before writing to it, I wouldn't ever turn this on!!!

Tells DNews to trigger caching if it recieves an nntp 'GROUP' command, useful for some smart news clients but can result in too much being cached if you use netscapes news client.

Useful for allowing MS EXCHANGE news server to suck from DNews, and DNews will figure out which groups exchange wants and suck them from upstream. This is useful because exchange can't suck from servers that don't allow newnews commands but DNews can.

Hides the downloading message completely, this is only valid if you are sucking and taking ihave feeds at the same time as normally the message is needed to trigger sucking.

Ignores cancel messages but tells the upstream site they were accepted.

Rejects cancel messages, and tells the upstream site they were rejected.

Number of cancels to store before processing them all, typically 10000.

Logs all data to/from all channels to files called chan_n.log This uses up disk space real quick!

Every second 'check' command will be told '438... message already here' Used for debugging.

If true email the log of checkgroups messages to the manager.

If true, then send the 'body' of news messages in the confirmation to a user when a posting is sent upstream by the builtin feeding mechanism.

If true only send confirmation emails when a message is successfully sent upstream, useful when sending to multiple upstream sites.

If true, then control messages are checked against the 'me' rules just like other news messages are.

If this is set true then control messages are checked against only the 'accept/reject' part of the me feed rules.

Sets some constant to do with trimming directory cache entries which is the index of news items within a group, this saves reading the index in every time a group is accessed.
Default is 20000
Or if total db space > 9Gb then the default is 150000
Or if total db space > 19Gb then the default is 300000
Or if total db space > 59Gb then the default is 600000

Does nothing, obsolete.

Does nothing, obsolete.

If set, reproduces a bug that used to exist when fetching items with large headers.

Does nothing, obsolete.

Specifies the number of database index entries to cache. The default is 2000, this caches the same info as db_dir_cache but it does it on a 'per item' level instead of per group.

In version 2.0 specifies maximum number of db files to have open at any one time
In Version 4.0 Does nothing, obsolete.

Doesn't do anything?

Doesn't do anything?

If set to true convinces DNews that it is running using a piles database without piles rules, so it tries to make up piles like rules based on historical life expectency of items in groups. This is not something you would really want to do and we really don't gaurantee it works at all, but it was terribly clever :-).

Specifies the number of piles when sorting. As a general rule do not mess with this. It is ignored on piles anyway. Defaults to 5 with a maximum setting of 30.

Obsolete doesn't matter how you set this it is ignored.

Doesn't do anything.

Doesn't do anything.

Specifies the column of df output that gives information about the amount of available disk space. Defaults to 3. Not used on most systems.

If this is set true DFeed will run in debug mode. A debug log will be generated (config)\dfeed.log with lots of details in it.

An alternative directory layout used on VMS to improve performance, Obsolete!

If this is set true dmgrcgi will generated a debug log normally \dnews\dmgr\dmgrcgi.log.

If this is set true dmgrsvc will generated a debug log normally \dnews\dmgr\dmgrsvc.log.

Specifies an alternative port for dmgrsvc. The default is 7119.

If this is set true DNews will do forward dns lookups on names returned from reverse dns lookups, to ensure the original number is returned. If the number doesn't match then the connection is refused. This prevents dns spoofing (which is very very rare but possible so turn this on if you want a higher level of security).

If this is set true DNews won't go to sleep while in the main nntp loop.  Normally this has little or no effect but sometimes it can improve performance but  also can result in DNews hogging the system.

If set true DNews will check if the group sepecified in an nntp group command is empty and set it as non empty if it is currently empty. An empty group is one that has been set to an 'invisible' state by a tellnews command to hide groups that don't contain items, this lets a user who tries to read such a group see the group again or essentially 'unhide it'

Doesn't do anything.

Specifies the amount of time to spend processing expire data in one go.

Doesn't do anything.

Simulates a bug in the ihave feeding mechanism by closing the channel periodically. Used for testing purposes only.

If this is set true DNews won't create feed masks from the newsfeeds.conf groups settings. When set true DNews has to match the the entire groups list every time an article is received which slows down performance, prior to 5.2 this was how DNews operated so this setting lets you make DNews use the old behaviour.

Specifies the number of times to retry sending an item to an outgoing feed before   dropping the connection. The default is 5.

When set true outgoing host names matching '_bike_something' are stripped to just 'something'. I have know idea why anyone would want to do that. Not even us. (Used when testing RAS dialling to trick the auto dialler)

Specifies the full path and filename of an external filter to be spawned.

Specifies a From: header to be used for all articles generated by DNews like the downloading message.

If set true this command fixes existing articles that were corrupted by a bug that was introduced in 5.0beta2. This slows performance so isn't generally needed.

If set true DNews will not reject posts with futuristic date headers. By default DNews will reject anything with a date header more than 4 days into the future.

If this is set true when a getgroups command is issued a deleted group on local system will be undeleted.

If this is set true DNews will try to obtain an authenticated users group list from an dynamic link library, (obsolete).

If this is set true then DNews will always set the end number of a group during a   check_index. It normally doesn't do this because the last item may have been deleted and so it could re-use the same item number if it always did this.

If this is set true then DNews will generate volume and busy statistics for the Dadmin graphs. Defaults to true.

Specifies a wild card list of groups to include in the list of groups that GUP should tell the upstream site to send to us.

Specifies when DNews should send GUP messages to the upstream site.

If set DNews will only include newsgroups from the comma seperated list of newsgroups specified when sending GUP messages.

Specifies the site and password to put into GUP message so the upstream system knows what your  site name is from their point of view.

Specifies the email address to send gup messages to.

Specifies a comma seperated list of headers to be stripped from outgoing posts.

Specifies how much space DNews can use to cache bodies of header only items.

Specifies the maximum number of bodies the DNews header cache should accomodate.

Does nothing.

Don't use

Hide's the section in the downloading message that is reminding you that you haven't registered yet.
If true the history index in memory is checked every once in a while, this was used to track down a bug, I wouldn't recommend it ever be set as performance would drop alot.

It makes DNews pretend all history lookups fail, used for debugging so you can resend the same items in again.

Size of buffer used to read history file, defaults to 400.

If set true then DNews calculates the disk use for the primary spool without including the size of the history file.

If true, DNews uses system open instead of fopen functions in 5.2 and later.  Prior to 5.2 this was the default behaviour.

Time before timing out a request to the indentd server.

Apply access.conf group masks to posts coming from an ihave feed. Normally if ihave access is permitted then the group mask is not checked for posts as it would be for a normal user.

Induces a bug in the ihave command where the end of the item is ignored.

If the last message offerred was accepted, then it sais yes to the next one without looking it up in the history file (this is a bad idea, don't use this setting :-)

If true, DNews won't close an incoming ihave channel when the disk is full. DNews does this normally to stop brain dead feeding software from thrashing around offering items flat out when the disk is full.

Specifies the time in seconds to wait before closing an idle IHAVE channel.

The size of the input buffer used on nntp channels.

Not used.

If set to -1, then DNews uses less buffering to talk to the
dbi.idx file.

If true, DNews writes index operations to a log file called index.log, this was only used for debugging once to fix a bug.

If true DNews tries to map dbi.idx into virtual memory, this was an experiment, it's not functional as far as I know.

The number of 8K buffers used when accessing dbi.idx, default  ranges from 10 to 1000 depending on diskspace,

Emulates a particular weird version of INN that used to occasionally say 'no such article' and reset it's item counter which would confuse dnews's sucking mechanism, used for testing.

If true DNews logs incomming path headers to a file called and renames it to inpaths.dat at midnight, this file can then be processed by the scripts that are provided by the people who want this information (it's used to figure out news statistics of some kind)

If true then DNews adds a file called 'item.add' to all incoming posts, this is probably immoral and possibly illegal if done in some states but does have some legitimate uses.

Does nothing.

Specifies the delay in seconds before DNews will try to reconnect an outgoing live feed after being told not to try again. Defaults to 3600 (1 hour).

Does nothing.

If set true disables sending spooled items to a live feed.

Specifies the number of seconds to hold a live feed open once it becomes idle. Defaults to 500 seconds.

If set true logs the 'reason' articles are accepted by the rules based filter system.   See

If set true DNews will create a second log file in the log directory call again.log and log messages to it as well as logging them to dnews.log. There is no point to this, it was used during debuging once.

Specifies the maximum number of rotating log files. The default is 4.

If this is set false DNews won't log to dnews.log. Defaults to true.

Stops the specified log line from being logged. Useful as a temporary fix if a particular log line is flooding the logs.

If this is set true then DNews will log usage statistics to special log files.  The log files are created in the log directory with filenames formatted as follows io_yyyymmdd.log  The format is:


Stops log files from being rotated on a daily basis.

If this is set true then DNews doesn't put dnews.out entries into dnews.log.

If true, DNews logs to the system log (e.g. syslog on unix), does nothing on NT.

This specifies the address DNews will put in the MAIL FROM smtp command when sending an email.

Specifies the maximum outgoing data rate for all channels in bytes/sec. Defaults to 1000000.

If this is set true then DNews won't cache message index entries.

If this is set true and if the article is 'spam' it is still sent to any outgonig uucp feeds, this can be used to send on messages that are being rejected by the me feed, it's only workable in certain obscure situations.

Does nothing.

Does nothing.

If set true DNews will allow unapproved posts to moderated groups.

Is used by 'dudp' to estabilish which multicast channels to listen to. See dudp.htm

If this is set true DNews will simulate a bug where the nntp next command periodically reports that there is no next article.

No longer used, was used for buffering entries while the main index was being sorted a file is now used for this instead.

Does nothing.

Enables you to change the 437 to another number for the following reject message '437 article rejected - do not try again, too BIG'

Enables you to change the 439 to another number for the following reject message '439 transfer failed - do not try again later'

Lets you specify a message to replace the "You have no permission to talk" message.

If this is set true data over 2kb in size won't be written straight away on a non-blocking socket. Since 5.3 this setting has no real effect as data is always sent if it can be directly.

Experimental setting related to socket writing, which should not be used.

Does nothing.

If this is set true then DNews will not display the fetching queue in the 'Group download in progress' messages.

Enables you to change the subject of the 'Group download in progress' message to something else.

If this is set true then DNews Nocem support is enabled. See nocem.htm in the manual

Specifies a comma seperated list of newsgroups that should have Nocem applied.

If this is set true DNews doesn't bother verifying PGP signatures for Nocem messages. This is only intended for testing when you don't have pgp installed, use it at your own risk.

If this is set true DNews won't retry to flush database files if the  first read attempt of an item failed. (Normally it does do this)

Is this is set true then DNews will accept group names that contain weird characters. Generally used to support group names using a different character set.

Specifies the NT domain to use when authenticating via the NT SAM. This can be a list of domains, then the user can prefix the username with the domain name if it appears in this list.

If this is set true DNews will attempt to authenticate NT users in batch mode instead of interactive mode which requires an active connection of some sort by the user.

If set true then DNews won't remove NULL's in incoming socket data. Some news feeding systems which shall remain nameless send crap periodically and DNews by default checks for the crap in every packet.

If STRIP_PATH is set true then this setting can be used to add a custom Path: header to posts.

Removes the Path header of articles for posting feeds

Specifies the file name and command options of the PGP binary.

If set true DNews Attempts to store seperate piles on seperates spools. Not recommended, we haven't heavily tested this and mostly can't see any really good reason for doing it.

These settings specify a custom headers that DNews should add to incoming posts.

Doesn't do anything anymore. Was relating to allowing supersedes messages to be posted.

If set false DNews will block incoming cancel messages.

Specifies an email address DNews should use to replace the From: header with. DNews will also strip any existing Reply-to: or Sender: headers for incoming posts.

If set true then DNews will return 240 instead of 441 for when it receives a duplicate post.

If this is set false (default) DNews will block incoming newgroup control messages.

If this is set true and ANON_POSTING_HOST is true then DNews won't add an {X-Original-NNTP-Posting-Host header to posts to posting feeds.

If this is set true DNews won't add an X-Trace header to posts.

Specifies the maximum ratio of quoted to total lines to allow before rejecting and article for excessive quoting. e.g. post_quoted_limit 0.5, we don't particularly like this concept so it's not turned on by default, it tends to annoy people.

This setting allows you to customise the message displayed when a post is reject due to excessive quoting

If this is set false then DNews won't create a post.rec file to log all local posts.

The following settings all apply to LOCAL POSTS, not incoming feeds.

If this is set false DNews will block incoming control rmgroup messages.

If this is set false DNews will block incoming control sendsys messages.

If this is set false DNews will block incoming control supersedes messages.

If this is set false DNews will block incoming control version messages.

IF set true the DNews will use the IP number instead of name for the posting host.

If this is set true DNews will use purge_scan instead of purge_one.

Specifies the RAS domain DNews should use when dialling out.

Specifies the mximum number of RAS calls to attempt.

Specifies the password DNews should use when connecting to the RAS server.

Doesn't do anything.

If this is set false then DNews won't add message-id's of rejected articles to it's history.

If set true DNews will reject messages without bodies.

If set true DNews will delete all articles that it can't read from it's database, normally it only does this with older messages as sometimes the inability to read the items is because it hasn't yet been flushed to disk.

If set true DNews will produce a daily expire report using the old format.

Specifies DNews's ring size for live feeds, live feeds have been superseded by 'dfeed' feeds.

Specifies when DNews should send or attempt to resend to a site.

Shows users sorted by username.

If this is set true then when using dmulti on NT the sockets will be routed via dmulti instead of by giving the actual socket to the slave process.

Specifies the database sort frequency in minutes. The default is 60 minutes. This is not implemented (or if it is it doesn't work, so don't use it).

If this is set false then DNews won't sort the last Mb. (not implemented, don't use)

Sets the database sort size. Defaults to the minimum of 10000 bytes. (not implemented)

Specifies list of hosts for which DNews's internal spam rule's are not applied.

Specifies list of hosts from which DNews will accept messages without doing spam checking

If true then the user is told if a message is rejected by the spam rules and  given the reason, never leave this on unless you trust all your users.

Number of rejected items to store in spam_n.tmp files (for reviewing)

If true then 'from' matching is mangled with the number of lines in the message so the 'from limit' will not be applied so strongly unless all the posts are of the same length (and therefore more likely to be spam).

If true spam filters are only applied to local posts not the incoming feed.

If true then messages without a nntp-posting-host header are rejected.

Limits number of posts per user per 30 minutes, defaults to 200, could be safely set   lower on most systems, e.g. 20. This works in a sneaky way, rather than simply stopping the user it slows down the posting process geometrically, so if you get very slow posting performance reports this could be the problem.

This is a good setting, it means local spammers get their messages  stored, but not sent to other servers, which makes it hard for them to adjust their spamming to avoid your filters.

Number of bytes of each article to hash and compare to recent posts to find 'duplicates', the default is 32000.

If this is set true DNews will spawn an external process to perform an expire.   WARNING: This setting is definitly faulty in all versions prior to 5.3d, see updates.htm to check what versions it is reliable in.

Not implemented DO NOT USE, this will cause fatal problems if you turn it on.

If true DNews emulates a bug that some other server had where the STAT command sets the   item number incorrectly

Sets how much memory to use in the first dynamic string block.

Tells DNews never to free dynamic string memory. Not a good idea.

Strips the path from the incoming news items from other feeds and local posts.

If true local posts will not have 'x-authenticated-user' added.

If true local posts will have 'x-authenticated-user' removed.

IF true local posts will have the existing path header removed.

If true local posts will not have the posting host header added.

If true, DNews will reject sucked articles older than TOO_OLD days.

If true DNews closes the sucking channel between fetching each group.

All these allow you to specify a file that lists the groups and wild cards to suck from that site, use this when the list is longer than 500 characters and cannot be entered into dnews.conf

If true DNews will not try and suck a news group the second somone tries to read it for the first time, instead it will wait to 'suck_at' time.

Sets how much of a group to suck, e.g. 80% would suck 160 of 200 available items,   use this when trying to 'suck' as a 'backup' mechanism to fill in groups.

Afects how uucp bag files are 'read', not recommended.

If specified, this can be a list of groups, and if an incoming uucp bag files contains groups not in this list, the item is rejected.

If true DNews does not process supersedes control messages. These messages are sometimes sent as spam.

If true DNews emulates a buggy/faulty server when you send takethis messages.

Obsolete, do not use.

The time zone to add to local posts.

On NT enables the stats figures. See tellnews stats

This can suck an extra set of groups, at a time other than update_atN e.g. to suck rec.humor.* once an hour in addition to the normal sucking times.
    update_groups1 rec.humor.* 20 *

Not used

If true DNews tries to use the smtp feed entry in preference to the sendmail config setting in dnews.conf (this is the default now I think)

The size of the user password cache, defaults to 1000

Can specify a time, e.g. once a day, 20 2, at which to clear the user cache.

If true DNews opens the uucp files in binary mode. Only relevant on

If true, If DNews finds a post to a moderated group in a uucp bag file, DNews attempts to post it to the moderator.

IF true, DNews ignores the byte count and just expects
    #! rnews
to appear between each news message.

If true, if cachedonly is true, then the item is still stored if it came from a uucp bag file.

The welcome message displayed when you connect to dnews.

If true, DNews won't respond to the xhdr command.

Sets how many days to keep xover indexing a group after the last time it is read using an xover command.

If true the xover command is disabled

If set true DNews will use the new fast xover expiration method. Not recommended before dnews5.3

Defines an additional header to add to the xover indexes.

Not implemented, do not use.

If true no xover indexes are built, this makes the server very slow.

The size of the cache used to buffer xover data before writing to disk.

Defaults to true, this means an xref header is added even when the message is not cross posted, this makes life easier for some news clients and  makes replication possible.