The active file is located in /usr/lib/news and lists all groups
known at your site, and the articles currently online. You will rarely
have to touch it, but we explain it nevertheless for sake of
completeness. Entries take the following form:
newsgroup high low perm
newsgroup is, of course, the group's name. low and
high are the lowest and highest numbers of articles currently
available. If none are available at the moment, low is equal to
At least, that's what the low field is meant to do. However, for
efficiency reasons, C-News doesn't update this field. This wouldn't be
such a big loss if there weren't some newsreaders that depend on it.
For instance, trn checks this field to see if it can purge any
articles from its thread database. To update the low field, you
therefore have to run the updatemin command regularly (or, in
earlier version of C-News, the upact script).
perm is a parameter detailing the access users are
granted to the group. It takes one of the following values:
Users are allowed to post to this group.
Users are not allowed to post to this group. However, the group may still be read.
This group has been disabled locally. This happens sometimes when news admininistrators (or their superiors) take offense
to articles posted to certain groups.
Articles received for this group are not stored locally,
although they are forwarded to the sites that request them.
This denotes a moderated group. When a user tries to post to this group, an intelligent newsreader will notify her of this,
and send the article to the moderator instead. The moderator's
address is taken from the moderators file in /usr/lib/news.
This marks newsgroup as being a local alias for another
group, namely real-group. All articles posted to newsgroup
will be redirected to it.
In C-News, you will generally not have to access this file directly.
Groups may be added or deleted locally using addgroup and
delgroup (see below in section-).
When groups are added or deleted for the whole of Usenet, this
is usually done by sending a newgroup or rmgroup
control message, respectively. Never send such a message yourself!
For instructions on how to create a newsgroup, read the monthly
postings in news.announce.newusers.
A file closely related to active is active.times. Whenever
a group is created, C-News logs a message to this file, containing
the name of the group created, the date of creation, whether it
was done by a newgroup control message or locally, and who did it.
This is for the convenience of newsreaders who may notify the user
of any recently created groups. It is also used by the
NEWGROUPS command of NNTP.