CTLINND(8)CTLINND(8)NAMEctlinnd - control the InterNetNews daemon
SYNOPSISctlinnd [ -h ] [ -s ] [ -t timeout ] command [ argument... ]
Ctlinnd sends a message to the control channel of innd(8), the Inter‐
In the normal mode of behavior, the message is sent to the server,
which then performs the requested action and sends back a reply with a
text message and the exit code for ctlinnd. If the server successfully
performed the command, ctlinnd will exit with a status of zero and
print the reply on standard output. If the server could not perform
the command (for example, it was told to remove a newsgroup that does
not exist), it will direct ctlinnd to exit with a status of one. The
``shutdown,'' ``xabort,'' and ``xexec'' commands do not generate a
reply; ctlinnd will always exit silently with a status of zero. If the
``-s'' flag is used, then no message will be printed if the command was
The ``-t'' flag can be used to specify how long to wait for the reply
from the server. The timeout value specifies the number of seconds to
wait. A value of zero waits forever, and a value less than zero indi‐
cates that no reply is needed. When waiting for a reply, ctlinnd will
try every two minutes to see if the server is still running, so it is
unlikely that ``-t0'' will hang. The default is ``-t0.''
To see a command summary, use the ``-h'' flag. If a command is
included when ctlinnd is invoked with the ``-h'' flag, then only the
usage for that command will be given.
If a large number of groups are going to be created or deleted at once,
it may be more efficient to ``pause'' or ``throttle'' the server and
edit the active file directly.
The complete list of commands follows. Note that all commands have a
fixed number of arguments. If a parameter can be an empty string, then
it is necessary to specify it as two adjacent quotes, like "".
addhist <Message-ID> arr exp post paths
Add an entry to the history database. This directs the server
to create a history line for Message-ID. The angle brackets are
optional. Arr, exp, and post specify when the article arrived,
what its expiration date is, and when it was posted. All three
values are a number indicating the number of seconds since the
epoch. If the article does not have an Expires header, then exp
should be zero. Paths is the pathname within the news spool
directory where the article is filed. If the article is cross-
posted, then the names should be separated by whitespace and the
paths argument should be inside double quotes. If the server is
paused or throttled, this command causes it to briefly open the
Remote connections are allowed. The reason must be the same
text given with an earlier ``reject'' command, or an empty
Begin feeding site. This will cause the server to rescan the
newsfeeds(5) file to find the specified site and set up a news‐
feed for it. If the site already exists, a ``drop'' is done
first. This command is forwarded; see below.
Remove the article with the specified Message-ID from the local
system. This does not generate a cancel message. The angle
brackets are optional. If the server is paused or throttled,
this command causes it to briefly open the history database.
changegroup group rest
The newsgroup group is changed so that its fourth field in the
active file becomes the value specified by the rest parameter.
This may be used to make an existing group moderated or unmoder‐
ated, for example.
Check the syntax of the newsfeeds file, and display a message if
any errors are found. The details of the errors are reported to
Flush and drop site from the server's list of active feeds.
This command is forwarded; see below.
Flush the buffer for the specified site. The actions taken
depend on the type of feed the site receives; see newsfeeds(5).
This is useful when the site is fed by a file and batching is
going to start. If site is an empty string, then all sites are
flushed and the active file and history databases are also writ‐
ten out. This command is forwarded; see below.
Close the log and error log files and rename them to have a .old
extension. The history database and active file are also writ‐
Re-open the history database and start accepting articles after
a ``pause'' or ``throttle'' command. The reason must either be
an empty string or match the text that was given in the earlier
``pause'' or ``throttle'' command. If a ``reject'' command was
done, this will also do an ``allow'' command if the reason
matches the text that was given in the ``reject.'' If a
``reserve'' command was done, this will also clear the reserva‐
tion if the reason matches the text that was given in the
``reserve.'' Note that if only the history database has changed
while the server is paused or throttled, it is not necessary to
send it a ``reload'' command before sending it a ``go'' command.
If the server throttled itself because it accumulated too many
I/O errors, this command will reset the error count. If the
server was not started with the ``-ny'' flag, then this command
also does a ``readers'' command with ``yes'' as the flag and
reason as the text.
Close the socket on the specified incoming channel. This is
useful when an incoming connection appears to be hung.
Print a command summary for all commands, or just command if
mode Print the server's operating mode as a multi-line summary of the
parameters and operating state.
Print the name of channel number nnn or of all channels if it is
an empty string.
newgroup group rest creator
Create the specified newsgroup. The rest parameter should be
the fourth field as described in active(5); if it is not an
equal sign, only the first letter is used. The creator should
be the name of the person creating the group. If the newsgroup
already exists, this is equivalent to the ``changegroup'' com‐
mand. This is the only command that has defaults. The creator
can be omitted and will default to the empty string, and the
rest parameter can be omitted and will default to ``y''. This
command can be done while the server is paused or throttled; it
will update its internal state when a ``go'' command is sent.
This command updates the active.times (see active(5)) file.
param letter value
Change the command-line parameters of the server. The combina‐
tion of defaults make it possible to use the text of the Control
header directly. Letter is the innd command-line option to set,
and value is the new value. For example, ``i 5'' directs the
server to allow only five incoming connections. To enable or
disable the action of the ``-n'' flag, use the letter ``y'' or
``n'', respectively, for the value.
Pause the server so that no incoming articles are accepted. No
existing connections are closed, but the history database is
closed. This command should be used for short-term locks, such
as when replacing the history files. If the server was not
started with the ``-ny'' flag, then this command also does a
``readers'' command with ``no'' as the flag and reason as the
readers flag text
Allow or disallow newsreaders. If flag starts with the letter
``n'' then newsreading is disallowed, by causing the server to
pass the text as the value of the nnrpd(8) ``-r'' flag. If flag
starts with the letter ``y'' and text is either an empty string,
or the same string that was used when newsreading was disal‐
lowed, then newsreading will be allowed.
Remote connections (those that would not be handed off to nnrpd)
are rejected, with reason given as the explanation.
reload what reason
The server updates its in-memory copies of various configuration
files. What identifies what should be reloaded. If it is an
empty string or the word ``all'' then everything is reloaded; if
it is the word ``history'' then the history database is closed
and opened, if it is the word ``hosts.nntp'' then the
hosts.nntp(5) file is reloaded; if it is the word ``active'' or
``newsfeeds'' then both the active and newsfeeds files are
reloaded; if it is the word ``overview.fmt'' then the over‐
view.fmt(5) file is reloaded. The reason is reported to syslog.
There is no way to reload the data inn.conf(5) file; the server
currently only uses the ``pathhost'' parameter, so this restric‐
tion should not be a problem.
Scan the spool directory for the specified newsgroup and update
the low-water mark in the active file. If group is an empty
string then all newsgroups are scanned.
The next ``pause'' or ``throttle'' command must use reason as
its text. This ``reservation'' is cleared by giving an empty
string for the reason. This command is used by programs like
expire(8) that want to avoid running into other instances of
Remove the specified newsgroup. This is done by editing the
active file. The spool directory is not touched, and any arti‐
cles in the group will be expired using the default expiration
parameters. Unlike the ``newgroup'' command, this command does
not update the active.times file.
send feed text...
The specified text is sent as a control line to the exploder
The server is shut down, with the specified reason recorded in
the log and sent to all open connections. It is a good idea to
send a ``throttle'' command first.
signal sig site
Signal sig is sent to the specified site, which must be a chan‐
nel or exploder feed. Sig can be a numeric signal number or the
word ``hup,'' ``int,'' or ``term''; case is not significant.
Input is throttled so that all existing connections are closed
and new connections are rejected. The history database is
closed. This should be used for long-term locks, such as when
expire is being run. If the server was not started with the
``-ny'' flag, then this command also does a ``readers'' command
with ``no'' as the flag and reason as the text.
trace item flag
Tracing is turned on or off for the specified item. Flag should
start with the letter ``y'' or ``n'' to turn tracing on or off.
If item starts is a number, then tracing is set for the speci‐
fied innd channel, which must be for an incoming NNTP feed. If
it starts with the letter ``i'' then general innd tracing is
turned on or off. If it starts with the letter ``n'' then
future nnrpd's will or will not have the ``-t'' flag enabled, as
The server logs the specified reason and then invokes the
The server gets ready to shut itself down, but instead of exit‐
ing it execs the specified path with all of its original argu‐
ments. If path is ``innd'' then /usr/contrib/news/innd is
invoked; if it is ``inndstart'' then /usr/contrib/news/inndstart
is invoked; if it is an empty string, it will invoke the appro‐
priate program depending on whether or not it was started with
the ``-p'' flag; any other value is an error.
In addition to being acted upon within the server, certain commands can
be forwarded to the appropriate child process. If the site receiving
the command is an exploder (such as buffchan(8)) or it is a funnel that
feeds into an exploder, then the command can be forwarded. In this
case, the server will send a command line to the exploder that consists
of the ctlinnd command name. If the site funnels into an exploder that
has an asterisk (``*'') in its ``W'' flag (see newsfweed(5)), then the
site name will be appended to the command; otherwise no argument is
Ctlinnd uses the inndcomm(3) library, and is therefore limited to
server replies no larger than 4k.
Written by Rich $alz <email@example.com> for InterNetNews. This is
revision 1.30, dated 1993/03/18.
SEE ALSOactive(5), expire(8), innd(8), inndcomm(3), inn.conf(5), newsfeeds(5),