expire - Usenet article and history expiration program


   expire  [  -d dir ] [ -e ] [ -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/lib/news/history and uses
   the information recorded in it to purge old news articles.


   -d     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  completed  the
          expiration.   The  calling script should install the new history
          file and un-pause the server.  The ``-r'' flag  should  be  used
          with this flag.

   -e     If  the  ``-e''  flag  is  used, then as soon as the first cross
          posting of the article expires, all copies of it are removed.

   -f     To specify an alternate history file, use the ``-f'' flag.

   -g     If the ``-g'' flag is given, then a one-line summary  equivalent
          to the output of ``-v1'' and preceeded by the current time, will
          be appended to the specified file.

   -h     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.

   -i     To ignore the old database, use the ``-i'' flag.

   -l     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.

   -n     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 working files.

   -p     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.

   -q     Expire  normally  complains  about  articles  that are posted to
          newsgroups not mentioned in the active file.  To  suppress  this
          action, use the ``-q'' flag.

   -r     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.

   -s     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 articles.

   -t     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 history file will be left in history.n and history.n.dir and
          history.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.

   -v     The ``-v'' flag  is  used  to  increase  the  verbosity  of  the
          program,  generating  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.

   -w     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.

   -x     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.

   -z     If the ``-z'' flag is used, then articles are not  removed,  but
          their  names  are  appended  to  the  specified  file.   See the
          description of expirerm in news.daily(8).

   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 /etc/news/expire.ctl is read.


   Written  by  Rich  $alz <rsalz@uunet.uu.net> for InterNetNews.  This is
   revision 1.19, dated 1996/10/29.


   ctlinnd(8), dbz(3z), expire.ctl(5), history(5), innd(8), inndcomm(3).


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