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alt.sys.amiga.uucp Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ 1/2) - AmigaUUCP general information

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Archive-name: amiga/AmigaUUCP-FAQ/part1

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
                  AMIGA-UUCP-FAQ version 2.A.2 [Posting 135]
                  MONTHLY POSTING, last update May 15  1999
                  This FAQ is posted monthly (28th of month)

                author: Marc SCHAEFER, <>
                Bugs, typos, ideas to <>
			(ch stands for Switzerland)

   This work is placed under the protection of the Berne Convention,
   except that it is hereby authorized to copy it as part of the normal
   Usenet article transmission process and to archive it with other
   FAQs for anonymous FTP or WWW retrieval. All other copies are authorized
   as long as no money whatsoever is made from this work and if it is copied
   in full. Inclusion in CD-ROMs and selling it as part of another work
   is explicitely not allowed, except if a gift is given to a recognized
   charity organization or the FSF GNU Project, and I am asked first.

   This copyright notice will not be repeated for the two other parts
   of this FAQ.

    NOTE: The primary goal for this FAQ is to prevent questions from
    looping over and over. If you have new and interesting material, post
    it to alt.sys.amiga.uucp with "Addition to FAQ" somewhere in the
    subject. I will add it for the next "release". You may also send any
    ideas, changes, flames, typos to the address
    They will be incorporated in the next release with your name in the
    CHANGES section as a reward :-)

    NOTE TO UUCP-BEGINNERS: Please take some of your time and READ the UUCP
    documentation. Most of the questions posted on a.s.a.u are related to
    manual pages. This FAQ contains also some information on common problems
    and utilities. Don't forget to get the FAQS from news.announce.newusers.
    You may also read UUMAN:Standards (for UUCP internals) and UUMAN:how2usenet.

       This article is provided as is without any express or implied
       warranties.  While every effort has been taken to ensure the
       accuracy of the information contained in this article, the
       author/maintainer/contributors assume no responsibility for
       errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the
       information contained herein.


    To skip to a topic, search for the roman numeral surrounded by
    parenthesis.  For example, (I).

    FAQ.1 (this file)
(*) 0.      Changes from last posting
(*) I.	    Introduction to alt.sys.amiga.uucp[.patches]
    II.     Introduction to AmigaUUCP
(*) III.    Principal utilities
    IV.     Constructing mail addresses
    V.	    Using DCRON
    VI.     US domain clarification

    FAQ.2 (a different post)
(*) VII.    Common problems (new, please submit things to go in here).
    VIII.   Using SENDMAIL directly.
(*) IX.     Other UUCP utilities.
(*) X.      How to get UUCP stuff ?
(*) XI.     BBS software supporting UUCP.
(*) XII.    Other UUCP implementations for AmigaOS.
(*) XIII.   Unresolved topics.

(0)                 RECENT CHANGES TO THIS FILE

    None, really.


    (1) Configuration

    dedicated to the UUCP system for the Amiga microcomputer, AmigaUUCP.
    Both news groups are gatewayed to two mailing lists containing
    additional recipients who would otherwise not have access to the ALT
    groups.  That is, posting to an alt group will automatically relay to
    the appropriate mailing list, and mailing to the mailing will
    automatically relay to the alt group.

    If you do not have ALT group access and are not on the mailing list,
    and would like to be on the mailing list, send your request to:	and/or

    To get off the mailing list, you can send your request to either
    address.  Matt Dillon manually reads this alias.  Note that you must provide a
    proper return address as part of your signature if you are a UUCP node
    so he can properly format your return address.  If you are on the
    internet (i.e. have a fully domained address), it isn't a problem.

    TO POST ARTICLES VIA THE MAILING LIST, send email containing your
    posting to either of the following two addresses:

    Sending email to either address causes it to be automatically posted to
    the alt.sys.amiga.uucp[.patches] newsgroup.   You do not have to be on
    the mailing list to be able to post via the list.

    Report any problems to:

    (2) Usage Of

	[Note: Original author is Matt Dillon. See next comment]

    The purpose of alt.sys.amiga.uucp is to convey the bulk of any
    discussion relating to AmigaUUCP.  Discussion, bug reports, questions,

    The purpose of alt.sys.amiga.uucp.patches is for the posting of any
    source code, scripts, or binaries relating to AmigaUUCP.  Full
    distributions will NEVER be sent over alt.sys.amiga.uucp.patches.
    Anybody may post to alt.sys.amiga.uucp.patches and, in fact, it is best
    that any code you wish to submit to be merged into the master
    distribution that Matt Dillon keep be submitted to this newsgroup instead of to
    me personally.

    This will allow anybody to pick off the code and immediately implement
    it on their own system without waiting for the next master distribution.

    Matt Dillon will also use alt.sys.amiga.uucp.patches to post updates to the
    current master distribution, generally small to medium sized SHAR
    or uuencoded LHARC files.  Matt Dillon personally would like to get a system
    together so multiple-source postings can be archived in a text form
    instead of a uuencoded form because all netnews is compressed anyway,
    and compressing uuencoded lharc files generally makes the result larger
    than the original instead of smaller.


	[Note that the following text author is considered to be the
	current UUCP source maintainer which seems to be Michael B. Smith,]

    The alt.sys.amiga.uucp and alt.sys.amiga.uucp.patches groups are fed
    through a filter when they reach my machine, and any bug or enhancement
    reports of a specific format will be automatically extracted and
    appended to my TODO file.

    To issue a bug report or enhancement request, use the following format:

    ##B unique-id

    <bug report goes here>


    Note that there are TWO '#'s. ##B stands for a bug report, ##E stands
    for an enhancement request.  WARNING!  The ##'s must begin a line, you
    CANNOT PRECEDE ## WITH WHITESPACE.	Doing so will result in the filter
    passing the report by.  For example, the ##B/## lines in the example
    above, not being flush with the left margin, will be ignored by my
    filter program.

    The unique-id should be a unique identifier for your bug report, for
    example, I might use '##B dillon.23'.  Do NOT encode the date in
    the unique ID because my filter program will automatically extract
    the Date: and From: fields from the news message header.  Matt Dillon will
    use the ID when refering to previous bug reports rather than posting
    the whole bug report.

    (4) This FAQ sheet

    If you have information you think would be useful on this FAQ sheet,
    please submit it to

(II)                INTRODUCTION TO AmigaUUCP

    This section consists of a brief introduction to AmigaUUCP.  It is not
    meant to describe installation of the distribution.  Installation of
    the distribution is more involved and best served by the instructions
    that come with the distribution.

    AmigaUUCP was originally derived from GNU-UUCP and UUPC (was UUPC
    derived from GNU?  I dunno).  This was several years ago.  It
    eventually fell into William Loftus's hands who molded it into a
    workable system for the Amiga.  From there, about a year later, it fell
    into my hands and has since remained.

    What little GNU/UUPC code remains is in uucico, and even that is
    rapidly disappearing.  AmigaUUCP is now almost entirely made up of code
    written after the original port to the Amiga.  At this point, there is
    no comparison at all between the older GNU/UUPC stuff and the state of
    the art AmigaUUCP distribution.

    AmigaUUCP is a public domain project, though not properly in the public
    domain because all authors involved have maintained copyrights on the
    code.  legally, this may not mean much, but it does give us a sense of
    security and more control over what is done with the code.	Be that as
    it may, the entire distribution, source and all, is available to
    anybody who wants it.   There are about a dozen principal authors and a
    few dozen contributors, not to mention the hundreds of people who have
    sent in helpful suggestions and bug reportrs.

    What is AmigaUUCP?	Well, if you are reading this article then you have
    some idea how EMAIL and NETNEWS works ... AmigaUUCP is a set of
    utilities and documentation to implement an EMAIL/NETNEWS link directly
    on your amiga.  All you need to do is find what is known as a 'feed'
    site who is willing to give you a UUCP connection, and, of course, a
    modem with which to communicate with that feed.


    AmigaUUCP is made up of a plethora of utilities.  Many of the utilities
    mimic their UNIX counterparts but it should be noted that none are
    really based on actual UNIX C code except for those sections still
    existing from the original GNU/UUPC port.

    Only the major utilities are listed below:


	UUCico is the workhorse of the system.	It calls your feed site
	via the modem and transfers both outgoing and incoming mail and
	news.	This mail and news will have been previously stored by
	you or your feed site.

	It has been updated a lot, mainly for reliability reasons. Last
	version is uucico_sd3.lha.


	Getty handles incoming calls. It allows remote login (interactive
	and uucico logins).


	Sendmail/RMail is the workhorse of the MAIL subsystem.	The two
	utilities are actually the same executable just renamed and I
	will refer to them collectively as 'sendmail' from now on.

	Sendmail handles incoming mail, breaking it apart and sending it
	to the appropriate mailbox, or re-queueing it if it is simply
	passing through your system to another system down the line.
	Sendmail deals with any aliases you might have defined and also
	with any domains you have defined for routing email.

	Sendmail also handles, under the aegis of 'rmail', all incoming


	RNews handles all incoming news, including local news you send
	out.  It breaks apart compressed batches and creates an individual
	file for each article in the UUNEWS: directory.  It also creates
	a directory for each newsgroup. A lot of patches have been made
        to increase reliability, and speed.


	Batchnews compresses and batches any news you have sent posted into
	a single batch file, making its transfer to your feed that much
	more efficient.  Read the Newssetup.doc in the distribution for
	more information on how to set up news.

	DMail is the amiga's mail shell.  It scans your mail box and
	presents mail in an orderly fashion, allowing you to reply to
	the mail and do other operations.

	DNews is the amiga's news reader.  It is not quite as sophisticated
	as RN but is getting there.  It sports an intuition windowing
	system to make it easy to scan through news.

	UUcp (the command) can be used to copy files from your local system
	to some of your neighbours. Note that the way it is implemented on
	the AmigaUUCP system is a little different than in Unix. In Unix, as
	soon as the uucp command has been executed, a copy of the implied file
	is done in a data file in the spool directory. Then uucico copies it
	to the other unix system that extracts the file from the data file.
	In AmigaUUCP, if sending the file is only read while UUCico is online,
	and that explains why if you UUCP a file which path is NOT authorized in
	the UULIB:Security file, there will be an error while online. This prevents
	the ability to forward the file to another host. However most of the time
	in UNIX, uucp is very restricted. AmigaUUCP does not allow directory-deep
	file send.
	For sending to a far site, BMS is more convenient.

(IV)                        CONSTRUCTING MAIL ADDRESSES

    (1) GENERAL

    Unfortunately, the internet mail system is made up of a huge number
    of nearly incompatible networks.  Mail addresses are constructed
    with various types of punctuation that mean various things .. indeed,
    some punctuation means one thing in one domain and another in another
    domain.  I have found that the absolute best way to construct a mail
    address is either with the '@' format or with a '!' path.

    If your feed is a 'smart' host, any fully domained mail address can
    be replied to with simply:


    Any address with dots in it is called a fully domained address.
    Unfortunately, there are a few exceptions... any address ending
    with .UUCP is *NOT* I repeat, *NOT* a domained address... it's
    a hack that some sendmails will add to properly route the mail
    internally.  This hack generally extends to the From: field of
    an email message, and AmigaUUCP will do this, but not being a
    domain,  you cannot SPECIFY a .UUCP trailer in the To: address.
    For example, my UUCP address was:!overload

    Note that there is NO .UUCP specification tacked on to overload.
    Note also that when you specify your UUCP address in your
    signature you should start with a fully domained machine name,
    *not* one ending with .UUCP.

    On other fronts, some unexperienced administrators will give their
    machines a full domain name without properly registering it.  If
    you have not registered your domain with the proper authorities,

    For example, when I first connected to my feed, which is uunet, I did
    not have a .US domain and so my machine name was simply 'overload'.
    After I registered in the .US domain I changed my machine name to its
    registered equivalent, 'overload.Berkeley.CA.US'.

    (2) BANG PATHS

    Nearly all the systems on the internet accept what are known as
    bang paths.  There are only a few exceptions.  One of the design
    decisions for AmigaUUCP was to convert all addresses into bang
    paths before sending them out.  There have been one or two sites
    (so far) that have been unable to run AmigaUUCP because the feed
    they picked was running news software so old it did not recognize
    bang paths.  To those sites I say: find a different feed, AmigaUUCP
    would become extremely messy were I to implement UNIX sendmail style
    address parsing.

    A bang path work by specifying the exact path your mail is to go along,
    in the following format:


    Any machine name in the path may be a fully domained name.	If you have
    a smart feed it will be able to optimize the path accordingly.  For
    example, the bang path to me would normally be:!overload!dillon

    If your feed has a STUPID mailer, it may be necessary to use a bang
    path to get *past* your feed to a nearby site that has a SMART
    mailer.  For example, lets say your feed is named 'fubar' and has
    a dumb mailer.  Let us also say that the feed has a UUCP connection
    to 'harvard' which just happens to have a smart mailer.  To get your
    message to me you might use:


    your feed may or may not accept harvard's fully domained name, which is, it depends on how stupid your feed's mail system
    is.   If it does, it makes more sense to use:



    The internet domain system is based on domain servers, real time
    servers residing on known machines that know all the machines in a
    particular domain and how to get to them.  When you send mail through
    an internet machine, like this (assuming you have a UUCP connection
    to UUNET):


    uunet (actually will talk to the domain server for the
    .COM domain to find (a name I made up).

    UUCP works differently.  While the internet is a real time network,
    UUCP is a batch network.  UUCP has what is known as a MAP entry for
    every UUCP site that submits one.  If you are a new UUCP site just
    connected to your feed, you should send a MAP entry to the appropriate
    administrator.  A MAP entry is *NOT* a domain entry.

    The UUCP MAPS are used by machines on the USENET to find other machines
    on the USENET without the aid of domains.	Not all machines on the
    USENET use MAPS to find some destination. does, so here
    is an example.  I can send email from overload to (again, a made up

    Even if uunet does not talk directly to fubar.. assuming fubar has
    a MAP entry.  uunet will search its maps to find the best path to
    reach fubar, and then route the mail accordingly.  The actual route
    that uunet constructs might be:	mcsun!gab!fubar!user

    If your feed is a machine that does NOT use maps, then you must
    specify an explicit bang path to get past your feed to a site
    that does.	For example, lets say your feed is named 'char00'
    and has a dumb mailer, but connects to via
    UUCP.  You want to email me.  you can do it in two ways:




    But, since your mailer is dumb, you would not be able to use:


    If, on the otherhand, char00 is a SMART USENET mailer that uses the
    USENET MAPS (but still isn't on the internet itself), you can use:


    Finally, if char00 is on the INTERNET, you can use:



    email will bounce for a variety of reasons.  The fact that the
    global email system is made up of so many different types of mail
    systems causes lots of havoc... in many cases a system will munge
    the path you attempt to send email through by misinterpreting it
    or by attempting to 'optimize' it.

    When all else fails, and your attempt to reply to a piece of email
    bounces, you may have to construct the return address by hand. Several
    possibilities come to mind.  You want to use the 'h' command from dmail
    to look at the actual mail headers (use dmail's help command to get
    full info on the header command).

    You want to look at both the original message that was sent to you,
    and the headers of your BOUNCED reply.

  -------- SAMPLE OF ORIGINAL MESSAGE  -------

    From uunet!SASK.USask.CA!telepro!oliphant Fri, 28 Dec 90 13:04:57 PST
    Received: by overload.Berkeley.CA.US (V1.07/Amiga)
	    id AA00000; Fri, 28 Dec 90 13:04:57 PST
    Received: from by uunet.UU.NET (5.61/1.14) with SMTP
	    id AA22874; Fri, 28 Dec 90 01:30:48 -0500
    Received: from herald.USask.Ca by SASK.USask.CA with PMDF#10255; Fri, 28 Dec
    1990 00:30 CST
    Received: by herald.USask.Ca (5.57/GLH-1.0); Fri, 28 Dec 90 00:30:06 -0600 id
    AA01058 for
    Received: by telepro.UUCP (1.05D/Amiga) id AA04612; Thu, 27 Dec 90 21:25:00 CST
    Date: Thu, 27 Dec 90 21:25:00 CST
    Message-Id: <9012280325.AA04612@telepro.UUCP>
    From: uunet!SASK.USask.CA!telepro!oliphant (Mike Oliphant)
    Subject: Mailing list

    Please add me to amiga-uucp-patches.


    Mike Oliphant		UUCP: alberta!herald!telepro!oliphant
			    Internet: oliphant@telepro.uucp




    From uunet!!postmaster Mon, 31 Dec 90 01:02:30 PST
    Received: by overload.Berkeley.CA.US (V1.07/Amiga)
	    id AA00000; Mon, 31 Dec 90 01:02:30 PST
    Received: from by uunet.UU.NET (5.61/1.14) with SMTP
	    id AA13985; Sat, 29 Dec 90 17:18:48 -0500
    Date: Sat, 29 Dec 1990 16:18 CST
    Message-Id: <B13C1C282040350C@SASK.USask.CA>
    X-Envelope-To: overload!dillon@uunet.UU.NET
    From: PMDF Mail Server <uunet!!Postmaster>
    To: overload!dillon
    Subject: Undeliverable mail: local delivery failure

    The message could not be delivered to:

    Addressee: telepro!oliphant
    %MAIL-E-LOGLINK, error creating network link to node TELEPRO
    -SYSTEM-F-NOSUCHNODE, remote node is unknown

  -------- END OF SAMPLE HEADERS --------------------

    So, why did my response fail?  First, I have to tell you something
    about mail headers:     Except for Received: headers, intervening
    systems can and will turn the standard headers into mush.  That is,
    the 'From ' encapsulation, the From: header, the To: header, even
    the Reply-To: header might be modified by an intervening system.

    There are only two things that are not mushed.  They are the Received:
    headers and the mail message itself - which might contain the sender's
    signature at the end.  This is a good reason to always put your email
    address in your signature, and always base it at a known internet node
    so anybody can figure out how to get back to you.

    A Received: header is PREPENDED by *EVERY* site a piece of email goes
    through, and is NEVER modified by any other site.  These headers tell
    you *exactly* how the mail was routed.

    If you look at the original message, you will note that one of
    the machines, probably SASK.USask.CA, modified the From: line in
    an attempt to optimize it:

	From: uunet!SASK.USask.CA!telepro!oliphant (Mike Oliphant)

    Note that, by the From: line, SASK.USask.CA talks directly to
    telepro.  The 'From ' encapsulation was also modified, and there is
    no Reply-To: header.

    When I sent my reply to SASK using From:, the mail bounced because
    SASK was unable to find telepro ... if you look at the Received:
    lines you can see why ... because telepro talked to Herald before
    getting to Sask.  It is amusing because SASK is probably the node
    that ripped out Herald's name in the From: and 'From ' lines in
    the first place.

    Also, take a look at Mike's signature line:

	Mike Oliphant	    UUCP: alberta!herald!telepro!oliphant
			    Internet: oliphant@telepro.uucp

    Interesting, eh?  The Internet: address is actually wrong (sorry Mike!)
    using .UUCP is not legal because it is not a proper domain.  However,
    if you forward through an internet host that also uses the UUCP MAPS,
    and assuming mike is in the maps, the address *will* work.

    It's the first address that confirms our fears... mike shows telepro
    talking to herald.	This combined with the knowledge we gained from
    the Received: lines tells us that the path:


    Will work as a return address.  When in doubt, trace the Received:
    headers to determine the return path.

    Sometimes a UUCP MAP entry will be incorrect, in which case using
    the Received: headers will be the ONLY way to reply to a message.

    There are some situations which are impossible to reply to ... if
    a message goes through a broken node that allows it to be propogated
    one way but not the other, even using the headers will not work.

    Also, some sites will attempt to optimize the path you specified.  If
    SASK.USask.CA were to optimize the path:




    Before processing, the mail could fail due to SASK.USask.CA breaking
    itself.  There are many nodes, especially gateways between networks,
    that are broken in this manner and there will be times when you will
    not be able to reply at all.

(V)                        USING DCRON

    Many AmigaUUCP users leave their machines on 24 hours a day. With the
    advent of 2.0, and assuming the serial.device gets fixed, you can
    conceivably run your Amiga 24 hours a day under a heavy load for weeks
    without a crash.

    DCron is a program that runs in the background and executes other
    programs at intervals defined in S:CRONTAB.  It is quite flexible..
    you can run a program or script at specific times of day, every X
    minutes, only on certain days of the week, or even only in certain
    months!  I will not discuss the actual format, that can be looked
    up in UUMAN:DCron.

    There are two reasons to run DCron:

    (1) Maintenance.

    (2) Automatic polling.  If you call a system on a regular basis and
	want to automate the process, you can run UUCico from DCron at
	specific times of the day.

    First maintenance.	Programs like UUCico, Getty, DCron itself, and
    sendmail generate log files which, if left alone, would eventually fill
    up your disk.  Also, if you are receiving NEWS, you need to delete
    expired articles.  Due to the volume of news, not deleting old articles
    can fill up your HD very quickly.

    The TRIMFILES utility trims log files to a specified number of lines,
    default 100.  I normally run TRIMFILES on the various log files
    once a day early in the morning.  The S:CRONTAB entry I use is:

    # trim log files at 3:01 A.M.
    1 3 * * *	  uucp:c/trimfile tmp:dcron.log uu:spool/logfile getty:logfile

    Note that the file paths will be somewhat different for your system.

    Second, keeping your UUNEWS: directory reasonable.	The TRIMNEWS
    utility will handle this.  TRIMNEWS scans your UULIB:Newsgroups file
    for the list of newsgroups, then scans each news group deleting
    articles over N days old, where N is specified in the Newsgroups file.
    A sample NewsGroups file might be:

    comp.sys.amiga		7 	7
    comp.sys.amiga.programmer	7
    comp.sys.amiga.announce	7
    alt.sys.amiga.uucp		14
    alt.sys.amiga.uucp.patches	30

    Which essentially tells TRIMNEWS to delete all articles in
    comp.sys.amiga.* over 7 days old (7 days from reception), to delete all
    articles in alt.sys.amiga.uucp over 14 days old, and to delete all
    articles in alt.sys.amiga.uucp.patches over 30 days old.

    I normally run TRIMNEWS in the morning too, my S:CRONTAB file has:

    # run TRIMNEWS at 3:06 A.M.
    6  3 * * *	   uucp:c/trimnews


    DCRON is also useful to control the modem configuration.  You can run
    the Getty utility from DCron to turn off the modem speaker while you
    are asleep.   I use DCRON for other things as well, such as to
    automatically revise UUNET's amiga-uucp[-patchces] mailing list
    whenever I make a local change, and to backup my hard disk.  I also use
    it to post this sheet once a month.

(VI)                       .US DOMAIN CLARIFICATION

    This is a clarification to the information on registering in a
    .US domain.  It turns out that you can register in the .US
    domain even if your 'feed' node is NOT on the internet.  What
    you need to do is find some node that IS on the internet that
    is willing to be an MX FORWARDER to your machine (via a path).
    This might prove difficult, but it is possible.


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