Administration Issues

Manager's Page

A manager's page is provided as part of the cgi in order to let the system administrator change settings in the user.dat files. On this page it is possible to change any setting for a wildcard selection of users, and to perform other managerial tasks. See below for an example of how to change the disk_quota of all your users.

To access the manager's page you enter an url of the following form:

In order to access the manager's page, you will require the use of a 'managers_password' which must match the corresponding setting in the webnews.ini configuration file. Before any manager function can be used you must enter the manager's password.

An example of the manager's page (after entering the password) is shown below:

Number of users: 7
Temp Accounts: 4
Local Accounts: 2
Other Accounts: 1

Matching users: 0
Number Changed: 0
Number Deleted: 0
Apply to users matching:
Setting to Change:
New Value:

Add a line for users with no current matching setting

Delete All Files for WebNews users matching:
Use with care!
that have not been used for days.
eg. 'john*'
will match: john@, john@, john1@
Note: '*@temp' = Temp Cookie Accounts,
'*@local.account' = Local WebNews Accounts
Create Local Account

Cleaning Functions

News Cache Size: 7k (1000k-3000k)
Group Cache Size: 666k (2000k-10000k)


Last Login:  
Real Name:
Logout Last Session: YES
Default Reply:
Message Settings:
Raw Headers Variable width font
Inline Images HTML Execute HTML
Add addresses automatically

Search Results

john@1_2_3_4, lynden@1_2_3_4 ,


On the manager's page it is possible to examine/edit the details of any user. It is also possible to make changes which affect all  users, or a select group of users. To do this, enter the wild card user list, the variable to change, and the new value.

Server Farming

WebNews can support server farming, were you setup copy of the CGI on each machine.

On one machine you setup a workarea where all the user profiles are stored.

ie.    /var/spool/webnews

Then on each of the other machines you have to setup (map/link) to this location. This way each machine can be setup to point to the one workarea location. Depending on what map/link you setup on each machine you setup the workarea ini setting to match.

With the templates you have a choice, you can do the same as above where their is only 1 copy of the templates and each CGI points to it. Or you can have a seperate copy of the template set on each machine, thus saving networking band width.

NOTE: Since that you are running the CGI on multiple machines you will need to purchase a licence for each machine. You should talk to about discounts for multiple purchases.

Virtual Hosts

WebNews can support multiple groups of users in several different ways. The method you choose will depend on which NEWS servers you use, and how they support virtual domains. The second method is the most popular because it allows the greatest flexibility and control.


If you only have a few virtual domains, duplicate the WebNews cgi and ini files, and run multiple copies specifying different pophost, smpthost and domain settings. An advantage to using this method is that you can allow each domain to administer it's own ini file.


The most powerful method is to use the vhost, vend and ini settings. This gives the greatest amount of flexibility. After WebNews is running on one domain, vhost blocks can be added to your ini file, thus creating settings specific to each domain. If users from domain1 use the url 'http://domain1/cgi-bin/webnews.cgi' and users from domain2 use the url 'http://domain2/cgi-bin/webnews.cgi', both access the same copy of webnews.cgi but will be kept separate by the vhost sections of webnews.ini.

A typical example might be

vhost domain1
        domain domain1
        newshost news.domain1
vhost domain2
        domain domain2
        newshost news.domain2

In the line

vhost xxx

the xxx is matched against the host name in the url. (This is usually taken from the cgi environment variable SERVER_NAME but you can match against anything else - say HTTP_HOST by adding an ini setting 'vhost_match HTTP_HOST')

The vhost - vend can bracket any ini settings and can be applied to any users from that domain. For example, to use different templates for domain1 we might have:

vhost domain2
        templates \webnews\domain2

Multi-Language Support

The template files can be edited to provide an interface in a language other than English. WebNews also has a language file where all WebNews generated messages can be translated. In order to setup the cgi to use this lang file or any other lang file, you need to add the following to your ini file:

lang_file lang.dat

The lang.dat file will contain two lines for each error or message contained in the package. Lines beginning with a # denote comments. The lines look like this:

I23 %d of %d users from %s user directories deleted successfully
Translation of: I23 %d of %d users from %s user directories deleted successfully

The I23 identifies the particular message. Normally 'I' is used for information, 'E' for errors and 'W' for warnings. The second of each pair of lines should be replaced with a translation into whichever language you want to use. When editing the line, be careful not to remove the %d %s parts as these are replaced at run time with relevant information. In the example above, the actual message shown might be:

I23: 1 of 1234 users from c:\webnews\u_* user directories deleted successfully


WebNews versions 1.1c and higher have the ability to auto-login to any other NetWin products which include the auto-login feature. This saves time for the user because he/she can go from one product to another without having to login each time. The password   is encrypted and saved in a temporary file on the machine (not accessible from the net), making the process relatively safe.

In order to create links in WebNews which auto-login to another NetWin product, the following ini setting needs to be setup:

netwin_autologin <url> <product direcotry> <extra>

The <url> is the relative or full url to the other product. The product directory is the workarea directory of the product. WebNews also allows multiple auto-logins, so you can setup multiple ini settings like the following:

netwin_autologin /cgi-bin/webmail.cgi /var/spool/webmail
netwin_autologin /cgi-bin/cwmail.cgi /var/spool/cwmail &vhost=this_host_name&tpl_set=config

The cgi must have write access to the 'product directory' because an encrypted password file is created which the other product uses for the login.

Once the ini setting is setup, the next step is to add a link somewhere in WebNews (on any template that logs the user into the other product). The links are as follows if the above 'netwin_autologin' ini settings are used (note: the order of the ini settings above must correspond to the numbers used in these urls):

<a href="||action||?cmd=netwin_login-0&utoken=||utoken||">Login to WebMail</a>
<a href="||action||?cmd=netwin_login-1&utoken=||utoken||">Login to CWMail</a>

NOTE:  This will only work if the username and password are the same for both products.