EXPIRE(8)EXPIRE(8)NAMEexpire - Usenet article and history expiration program
SYNOPSISexpire [ -d dir ] [ -f file ] [ -g file ] [ -h file ] [ -i ] [ -l ] [
-n ] [ -p ] [ -q ] [ -r reason ] [ -s ] [ -t ] [ -v level ] [ -w number
] [ -x ] [ -z file ] [ expire.ctl ]
Expire scans the history(5) text file /var/spool/news/data/history and
uses the information recorded in it to purge old news articles. To
specify an alternate history file, use the ``-f'' flag. To specify an
alternate input text history file, use the ``-h'' flag. Expire uses
the old dbz(3z) database to determine the size of the new one. To
ignore the old database, use the ``-i'' flag.
Expire normally just unlinks each file if it should be expired. If the
``-l'' flag is used, then all articles after the first one are treated
as if they could be symbolic links to the first one. In this case, the
first article will not be removed as long as any other cross-posts of
the article remain.
Expire normally sends a ``pause'' command to the local innd(8) daemon
when it needs exclusive access to the history file, using the string
``Expiring'' as the reason. To give a different reason, use the ``-r''
flag. The process ID will be appended to the reason. When expire is
finished and the new history file is ready, it sends a ``go'' command.
If innd is not running, use the ``-n'' flag and expire will not send
the ``pause'' or ``go'' commands. (For more details on the commands,
see ctlinnd(8)). Note that expire only needs exclusive access for a
very short time — long enough to see if any new articles arrived since
it first hit the end of the file, and to rename the new files to the
If the ``-s'' flag is used, then expire will print a summary when it
exits showing the approximate number of kilobytes used by all deleted
If the ``-t'' flag is used, then expire will generate a list of the
files that should be removed on its standard output, and the new his‐
tory file will be left in history.n and history.n.dir and his‐
tory.n.pag. This flag be useful for debugging when used with the
``-n'' and ``-s'' flags. Note that if the ``-f'' flag is used, then
the name specified with that flag will be used instead of history.
If the ``-x'' flag is used, then expire will not create any new history
files. This is most useful when combined with the ``-n'', ``-s'', and
``-t'' flags to see how different expiration policies would change the
amount of disk space used.
If the ``-z'' flag is used, then articles are not removed, but their
names are written to the specified file. See the description of expir‐
erm in news.daily(8).
Expire makes its decisions on the time the article arrived, as found in
the history file. This means articles are often kept a little longer
than with other expiration programs that base their decisions on the
article's posting date. To use the article's posting date, use the
``-p'' flag. Use the ``-w'' flag to ``warp'' time so that expire
thinks it is running at some time other then the current time. The
value should be a signed floating point number of the number of days to
use as the offset.
If the ``-d'' flag is used, then the new history file and database is
created in the specified directory, dir. This is useful when the
filesystem does not have sufficient space to hold both the old and new
history files. When this flag is used, expire leaves the server paused
and creates a zero-length file named after the new history file, with
an extension of ``.done'' to indicate that it has successfully com‐
pleted the expiration. The calling script should install the new his‐
tory file and un-pause the server. The ``-r'' flag should be used with
If a filename is specified, it is taken as the control file and parsed
according to the rules in expire.ctl(5). A single dash (``-'') may be
used to read the file from standard input. If no file is specified,
the file /var/spool/news/data/expire.ctl is read.
Expire normally complains about articles that are posted to newsgroups
not mentioned in the active file. To suppress this action, use the
The ``-v'' flag is used to increase the verbosity of the program, gen‐
erating messages to standard output. The level should be a number,
where higher numbers result in more output. Level one will print
totals of the various actions done (not valid if a new history file is
not written), level two will print report on each individual file,
while level five results in more than one line of output for every line
processed. If the ``-g'' flag is given, then a one-line summary equiv‐
alent to the output of ``-v1'' and preceeded by the current time, will
be appended to the specified file.
Written by Rich $alz <email@example.com> for InterNetNews. This is
revision 1.15, dated 1993/03/18.
SEE ALSOctlinnd(8), dbz(3z), expire.ctl(5), history(5), innd(8), inndcomm(3).