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Setting up a News Server

This covers setting up INN on Debian GNU/Linux. This guide is in draft state.

1. Install INN using apt.

$sudo apt install inn2

2. Set basic options in /etc/news/inn.conf

Set the following options in inn.conf. See inn.conf(5) for all the details.

# Set a value for your Organization: header (optional)
organization: "Darkstar, Outer Space"
# Site name for Path: header. (Can we have separate values depending on the transport? e.g. can I specify darkstar for uucp and news.darkstar.net for NNTP?)
pathhost: darkstar
# domain name of local host (unset by default, maybe don't set it)
domain: news.darkstar.net

3. Add newsgroups

INN comes with a few groups at install time, but you may want to add your own. For each group, first use ctlinnd to create the groups.

$sudo ctlinnd newgroup darkstar.general

Then add a new line with the group name and a description to /var/lib/newsgroups, e.g.

darkstar.general        General Discussion

You must have at least one tab between the group name and the description. Make sure your editor isn't putting in spaces instead.

4. Verify that INN is running

$sudo innstat

5. Restart INN

Because we've made changes to configuration files, we need to restart INN.

$sudo ctlinnd xexec innd

If you run into problems, you can run /usr/lib/news/bin/inncheck as root. Read inncheck(8) for more.

Installing slrn

There are many news clients that you can use to connect to a news server. slrn is just one of them.

$sudo apt install slrn

The first time you run slrn, you need to tell it to connect to localhost (if that is, in fact, what you intend).

$slrn --create --nntp -h localhost

If you can't connect, try using telnet to see if the NNTP port is answering.

$telnet localhost 119

Next Steps

For inter-tilde groups, tilde.test and tilde.general are a good place to start.

Questions at this point:

  • How do we define which groups are shared and which ones are only on our server?
    • Looks like this is defined in /etc/news/newsgroups (see man 5 newsfeeds)
    • For uucp, sitename is a identifier that has to match an entry in send-uucp.cf (see man 8 send-uucp)
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Page last modified on April 18, 2019, at 02:08 AM