inn  2.6.4
About: INN (InterNetNews) is a complete Usenet system. It includes innd, an NNTP server, and nnrpd, a newsreading server.
  Fossies Dox: inn-2.6.4.tar.gz  ("unofficial" and yet experimental doxygen-generated source code documentation)  

inn Documentation

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Welcome to INN 2.6!

    This work is sponsored by Internet Systems Consortium.

    Please see INSTALL for installation instructions, NEWS for what's
    changed from the previous release, and LICENSE for the copyright,
    license, and distribution terms.

What is INN?

    INN (InterNetNews), originally written by Rich Salz, is an extremely
    flexible and configurable Usenet / Netnews news server.  For a complete
    description of the protocols behind Usenet and Netnews, see RFC 3977
    (NNTP), RFC 4642 updated by RFC 8143 (TLS/NNTP), RFC 4643 (NNTP
    authentication), RFC 4644 (streaming NNTP feeds), RFC 5536 (USEFOR),
    RFC 5537 (USEPRO), RFC 6048 (NNTP LIST additions) and RFC 8054 (NNTP
    compression) or their replacements.

    In brief, Netnews is a set of protocols for exchanging messages between
    a decentralized network of news servers.  News articles are organized
    into newsgroups, which are themselves organized into hierarchies.  Each
    individual news server stores locally all articles it has received for a
    given newsgroup, making access to stored articles extremely fast. 
    Netnews does not require any central server; instead, each news server
    passes along articles it receives to all of the news servers it peers
    with, those servers pass the articles along to their peers, and so on,
    resulting in "flood fill" propagation of news articles.

    A news server performs three basic functions:  it accepts articles from
    other servers and stores them on disk, sends articles it has received
    out to other servers, and offers stored news articles to readers on
    demand.  It additionally has to perform some periodic maintenance tasks,
    such as deleting older articles to make room for new ones.

    Originally, a news server would just store all of the news articles it
    had received in a file system.  Users could then read news by reading
    the article files on disk (or more commonly using news reading software
    that did this efficiently).  These days, news servers are almost always
    stand-alone systems and news reading is supported via network
    connections.  A user who wants to read a newsgroup opens that newsgroup
    in their newsreader software, which opens a network connection to the
    news server and sends requests for articles and related information. 
    The protocol that a newsreader uses to talk to a news server and that a
    news server uses to talk to another news server over TCP/IP is called
    NNTP (Network News Transport Protocol).

    INN supports accepting articles via either NNTP connections or via UUCP.
    innd, the heart of INN, handles NNTP feeding connections directly; UUCP
    newsfeeds use rnews (included in INN) to hand articles off to innd. 
    Other parts of INN handle feeding articles out to other news servers,
    most commonly innfeed (for real-time outgoing feeds) or nntpsend and
    innxmit (used to send batches of news created by innd to a remote site
    via TCP/IP).  INN can also handle outgoing UUCP feeds.

    The part of INN that handles connections from newsreaders is nnrpd.

    Also included in INN are a wide variety of supporting programs to handle
    periodic maintenance and recovery from crashes, process special control
    messages, maintain the list of active newsgroups, and generate and
    record a staggering variety of statistics and summary information on the
    usage and performance of the server.

    INN also supports an extremely powerful filtering system that allows the
    server administrator to reject unwanted articles (such as spam and other
    abuses of Usenet).

    INN is free software, supported by Internet Systems Consortium and
    volunteers around the world.  See "Supporting the INN Effort" below.


    Compiling INN requires an ANSI C compiler (gcc is recommended).  INN was
    originally written in K&R C, but supporting pre-ANSI compilers has
    become enough of a headache that a lot of the newer parts of INN will no
    longer compile with a non-ANSI compiler.  gcc itself will compile with
    most vendor non-ANSI compilers, however, so if you're stuck with one,
    installing gcc is highly recommended.  Not only will it let you build
    INN, it will make installing lots of other software much easier.  You
    may also need GNU make (particularly if your system make is
    BSD-derived), although most SysV make programs should work fine. 
    Compiling INN also currently requires a yacc implementation (bison will
    do fine).

    INN uses GNU autoconf to probe the capabilities of your system, and
    therefore should compile on nearly any Unix system.  It does, however,
    make extensive use of mmap(), which can cause problems on some older
    operating systems.  See INSTALL for a list of systems it is known to
    work on.  If you encounter problems compiling or running INN, or if you
    successfully run INN on a platform that isn't listed in INSTALL, please
    let us know (see "Reporting Bugs" below).

    Perl 5.004_03 or later is required to build INN and use the embedded
    Perl filter support (which is highly recommended; some excellent spam
    filters have been written for INN).  Since all versions of Perl previous
    to 5.004 are buggy (including security problems) and have fewer
    features, installing Perl 5.004_03 or later (like at least Perl 5.8.0)
    is recommended.

    If you want to enable PGP verification of control messages (highly
    recommended), you will need to have a PGP implementation installed.  See
    INSTALL for more details.

Getting Started

    A news server can be a fairly complicated piece of software to set up
    just because of the wide variety of pieces that have to be configured
    (who is authorized to read from the server, what newsgroups it carries,
    and how the articles are stored on disk at a bare minimum, and if the
    server isn't completely stand-alone -- and very few servers are -- both
    incoming and outgoing feeds have to be set up and tested).  Be prepared
    to take some time to understand what's going on and how all the pieces
    fit together.  If you have any specific suggestions for documentation,
    or comments about things that are unclear, please send them to the INN
    maintainers (see "Reporting Bugs" below).

    See INSTALL for step-by-step instructions for setting up and configuring
    a news server.

    INN also comes with a very complete set of man pages; there is a man
    page for every configuration file and program that comes with INN.  (If
    you find one that doesn't have a man page, that's a bug.  Please do
    report it.)  When trying to figure out some specific problem, reading
    the man pages for all of the configuration files involved is a very good

Reporting Bugs

    We're interested in all bug reports.  Not just on the programs, but on
    the documentation too.  Please send *all* such reports to

    (patches are certainly welcome, see below).  Even if you post to Usenet,
    please CC the above address.

    If you have general "how do I do this" questions or problems configuring
    your server that you don't believe are due to a bug in INN, you should
    post them to  A lot of experienced INN users,
    including several of the INN maintainers, read that newsgroup regularly.
    Please don't send general questions to the above addresses; those
    addresses are specifically for INN, and the INN maintainers usually
    won't have time to answer general questions.

Contributing Code

    If you have a patch or a utility that you'd like to be considered for
    inclusion into INN, please mail it to

    in the body of the message (not as an attachment because the
    mailing-list might strip it), or put it on a webpage and send a link. 
    Patches included with a bug report as described above should follow the
    same procedure.

    Have fun!

Mailing Lists

    There are various INN-related mailing lists you can join or send
    messages to if you like.  Some of them you must be a member of before
    you can send mail to them (thank the spammers for that policy), and one
    of them is read-only (no postings allowed).
                            Where announcements about INN are set (only
                            maintainers may post).
                            Discussion of INN development.  It is also where
                            to send bug reports and patches for
                            consideration for inclusion into INN (postings
                            by members only).  If you're an INN expert and
                            have the time to help out other users, we
                            encourage you to join this mailing list to
                            answer questions.  (You may also want to read
                            the newsgroup, which gets a
                            lot of INN-related questions.)
                            Subversion commit messages for INN are sent to
                            this list (only the automated messages are sent
                            here, no regular posting).  Trac tickets for INN are sent to this list (only
                            the automated messages are sent here, no regular
                            posting).  Bug reports should be sent to the
                            inn-workers mailing list.

    To join these lists, send a subscription request to the "-request"
    address.  The addresses for the above lists are:

Who's Responsible / Who to Thank

    See CONTRIBUTORS for a long list of past contributors as well as people
    from the inn-workers mailing list who have dedicated a lot of time and
    effort to getting this new version together.  They deserve a big round
    of applause.  They've certainly got our thanks.

    This product includes software developed by UUNET Technologies, Inc. and
    by the University of California, Berkeley and its contributors.

    Last, but certainly not least, Rich Salz, the original author of INN
    deserves a lion's share of the credit for writing INN in the first place
    and making it the most popular news server software on the planet (no
    NNTP yet to the moon, but we plan to be there first).

Related Packages

    INN users may also be interested in the following software packages that
    work with INN or are based on it.  Please note that none of this
    software is developed or maintained by ISC; we don't support it and
    generally can't answer questions about it.

        URL:  <> (maintained by Steve

        Cleanfeed is an extremely powerful spam filter, probably the most
        widely used spam filter on Usenet currently.  It catches excessive
        multiposting and a host of other things, and is highly configurable.
        Note that it requires that INN be built with Perl support (the
        --with-perl option to configure).

        Cleanfeed was originally developed by Jeremy Nixon who maintained it
        until 1998.  Then Marco d'Itri until 2002.  Steve Crook has been
        maintaining it since 2007.

        A Python-based variant of Cleanfeed, named PyClean, also exists and
        can be found at <>.

    GUP (Group Update Program)
        URL:  <>

        GUP provides a way for your peers to update their newsfeeds entries
        as they want without having to ask you to edit the configuration
        file all the time.  It's useful when feeding peers take limited and
        very specific feeds that change periodically.

        t/innduct.8> (maintained by Ian Jackson)

        A possible replacement for innfeed, innxmit and nntpsend that
        quickly and reliably streams Usenet article to a remote site. 
        innduct is designed to be robust and not to lose any articles (when
        offered to peers) in case it unexpectedly dies, contrary to innfeed.
        It also permits a realtime feed, contrary to innxmit or nntpsend.

        URL:  <>

        A PHP-based web news reader that works as a front-end to a regular
        news server such as INN and lets people read and post without
        learning a news reader.

        URL:  <>

        PersonalINN is a version of INN modified for personal use and with a
        friendly GUI built on top of it.  It is available for NEXTSTEP or
        OPENSTEP only, unfortunately.

        URL:  <>

        suck is a separate package for downloading a news feed via a reading
        connection (rather than via a direct NNTP or UUCP feed) and sending
        outgoing local posts via POST.  It's intended primarily for personal
        or small-organization news servers who get their news via an ISP and
        are too small to warrant setting up a regular news feed.

Supporting the INN Effort

    Note that INN is supported by Internet Systems Consortium, and although
    it is free for use and redistribution and incorporation into vendor
    products and export and anything else you can think of, it costs money
    to produce.  That money comes from ISPs, hardware and software vendors,
    companies who make extensive use of the software, and generally
    kind-hearted folk such as yourself.

    Internet Systems Consortium has also commissioned a DHCP server
    implementation and handles the official support/release of BIND.  You
    can learn more about the ISC's goals and accomplishments from the web
    page at <>.

                                            Russ Allbery
                                            Katsuhiro Kondou

    $Id: readme.pod 10359 2020-03-08 21:47:11Z eagle $