pullnews - Pull news from multiple news servers and feed it to another
pullnews [-hnqRx] [-b fraction] [-c config] [-C width] [-d level] [-f
fraction] [-F fakehop] [-g groups] [-G newsgroups] [-H headers] [-k
checkpt] [-l logfile] [-m header_pats] [-M num] [-N timeout] [-O] [-p
port] [-P hop_limit] [-Q level] [-r file] [-s to-server[:port]] [-S
max-run] [-t retries] [-T connect-pause] [-w num] [-z article-pause]
[-Z group-pause] [from-server ...]
The "Net::NNTP" module must be installed. This module is available as
part of the libnet distribution and comes with recent versions of Perl.
For older versions of Perl, you can download it from
pullnews reads a config file in the running user's home directory
(normally called ~/.pullnews) and connects to the upstream servers
given there as a reader client. By default, it connects to all servers
listed in the configuration file, but you can limit pullnews to
specific servers by listing them on the command line: a whitespace-
separated list of server names can be specified, like from-server for
one of them. For each server it connects to, it pulls over articles
and feeds them to the destination server via the IHAVE or POST
commands. This means that the system pullnews is run on must have
feeding access to the destination news server.
pullnews is designed for very small sites that do not want to bother
setting up traditional peering and is not meant for handling large
Backtrack on server numbering reset. Specify the proportion (0.0
to 1.0) of a group's articles to pull when the server's article
number is less than our high for that group. When fraction is 1.0,
pull all the articles on a renumbered server. The default is to do
Normally, the config file is stored in ~/.pullnews for the user
running pullnews. If -c is given, config will be used as the
config file instead. This is useful if you're running pullnews as
a system user on an automated basis out of cron rather than as an
See "CONFIG FILE" below for the format of this file.
Use width characters per line for the progress table. The default
value is 50.
Set the debugging level to the integer level; more debugging output
will be logged as this increases. The default value is 0.
This changes the proportion of articles to get from each group to
fraction and should be in the range 0.0 to 1.0 (1.0 being the
Prepend fakehop as a host to the Path: header of articles fed.
Specify a collection of groups to get. groups is a list of
newsgroups separated by commas (only commas, no spaces). Each
group must be defined in the config file, and only the remote hosts
that carry those groups will be contacted. Note that this is a
simple list of groups, not a wildmat expression, and wildcards are
Add the comma-separated list of groups newsgroups to each server in
the configuration file (see also -g and -w).
-h Print a usage message and exit.
Remove these named headers (colon-separated list) from fed
Checkpoint (save) the config file every checkpt articles (default
is 0, that is to say at the end of the session).
Log progress/stats to logfile (default is "stdout").
Feed an article based on header matching. The argument is a number
of whitespace-separated tuples (each tuple being a colon-separated
header and regular expression). For instance:
specifies that the article will be passed only if the "Hdr1:"
header matches "regexp1" and the "Hdr2:" header does not match
Specify the maximum number of articles (per group) to process. The
default is to process all new articles. See also -f.
-n Do nothing but read articles -- does not feed articles downstream,
writes no rnews file, does not update the config file.
Specify the timeout length, as timeout seconds, when establishing
an NNTP connection.
-O Use an optimized mode: pullnews checks whether the article already
exists on the downstream server, before downloading it. It may
help for huge articles or a slow link to upstream hosts.
Connect to the destination news server on a port other than the
default of 119. This option does not change the port used to
connect to the source news servers.
Restrict feeding an article based on the number of hops it has
already made. Count the hops in the Path: header (hop_count),
feeding the article only when hop_limit is "+num" and hop_count is
more than num; or hop_limit is "-num" and hop_count is less than
-q Print out less status information while running.
Set the quietness level ("-Q 2" is equivalent to "-q"). The higher
this value, the less gets logged. The default is 0.
Rather than feeding the downloaded articles to a destination
server, instead create a batch file that can later be fed to a
server using rnews. See rnews(1) for more information about the
batch file format.
-R Be a reader (use MODE READER and POST commands) to the downstream
server. The default is to use the IHAVE command.
Normally, pullnews will feed the articles it retrieves to the news
server running on localhost. To connect to a different host,
specify a server with the -s flag. You can also specify the port
with this same flag or use -p.
Specify the maximum time max-run in seconds for pullnews to run.
The maximum number (retries) of attempts to connect to a server
(see also -T). The default is 0.
Pause connect-pause seconds between connection retries (see also
-t). The default is 1.
Set each group's high water mark (last received article number) to
num. If num is negative, calculate Current+num instead (i.e. get
the last num articles). Therefore, a num of 0 will re-get all
articles on the server; whereas a num of "-0" will get no old
articles, setting the water mark to Current (the most recent
article on the server).
-x If the -x flag is used, an Xref: header is added to any article
that lacks one. It can be useful for instance if articles are fed
to a news server which has xrefslave set in inn.conf.
Sleep article-pause seconds between articles. The default is 0.
Sleep group-pause seconds between groups. The default is 0.
The config file for pullnews is divided into blocks, one block for each
remote server to connect to. A block begins with the host line, which
must have no leading whitespace and contains just the hostname of the
remote server, optionally followed by authentication details (username
and password for that server).
Following the host line should be one or more newsgroup lines which
start with whitespace followed by the name of a newsgroup to retrieve.
Only one newsgroup should be listed on each line.
pullnews will update the config file to include the time the group was
last checked and the highest numbered article successfully retrieved
and transferred to the destination server. It uses this data to avoid
doing duplicate work the next time it runs.
The full syntax is:
<host> [<username> <password>]
<group> [<time> <high>]
<group> [<time> <high>]
where the <host> line must not have leading whitespace and the <group>
A typical configuration file would be:
# Format group date high
rec.bicycles.racing 908086612 783
rec.humor.funny 908086613 18
nnrp.vix.com pull sekret
Note that an earlier run of pullnews has filled in details about the
last article downloads from the two rec.* groups. The two comp.*
groups were just added by the user and have not yet been checked.
The nnrp.vix.com server requires authentication, and pullnews will use
the username "pull" and the password "sekret".
The Perl script itself used to pull news from upstream servers and
feed it to another news server.
The default config file. It is in the running user's home
directory (normally called ~/.pullnews).
pullnews was written by James Brister for INN. The documentation was
rewritten in POD by Russ Allbery <email@example.com>.
Geraint A. Edwards greatly improved pullnews, adding no more than
16 new recognized flags, fixing some bugs and integrating the
backupfeed contrib script by Kai Henningsen, adding again 6 other
$Id: pullnews.pod 8468 2009-05-16 12:28:24Z iulius $