expire.ctl man page on 4.4BSD

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       expire.ctl - control file for Usenet article expiration

       The  file  /var/spool/news/data/expire.ctl  is the default control file
       for the expire(8) program, which reads it at start-up.  Blank lines and
       lines  beginning	 with  a  number  sign (``#'') are ignored.  All other
       lines should be in one of two formats.

       The first format specifies how long to keep a record  of	 fully-expired
       articles.   This	 is useful when a newsfeed intermittently offers older
       news that is not kept around very long.	(The case of very old news  is
       handled	by the ``-c'' flag of innd(8).)	 There should only be one line
       in this format, which looks like this:
       Where days is a floating-point number that specifies the upper limit to
       remember	 a  Message-ID,	 even if the article has already expired.  (It
       does not affect article expirations.)

       Most of the lines in the file  will  consist  of	 five  colon-separated
       fields, as follows:
       The  pattern  field  is	comma-separated set of single wildmat(3)-style
       patterns that specify the newsgroups to which  the  rest	 of  the  line
       applies.	 Since the file is interpreted in order, the most general pat‐
       terns should be specified first, and the most specific patterns	should
       be specified last.

       The  modflag field can be used to further limit newsgroups to which the
       line applies, and should be chosen from the following set:
	      M	   Only moderated groups
	      U	   Only unmoderated groups
	      A	   All groups

       The next three fields are used to determine how long an article	should
       be  kept.  Each field should be either a number of days (fractions like
       ``8.5'' are allowed) or the word ``never.''  The most common use is  to
       specify	the default value for how long an article should be kept.  The
       first and third fields — keep and purge — specify the boundaries within
       which  an Expires header will be honored.  They are ignored if an arti‐
       cle has no Expires header.  The fields are specified  in	 the  file  as
       ``lower-bound  default  upper-bound,''  and  they are explained in this
       order.  Since most articles do not have explicit expiration dates, how‐
       ever, the second field tends to be the most important one.

       The keep field specifies how many days an article should be kept before
       it will be removed.  No article in the newsgroup will be removed if  it
       has  been  filed	 for less then keep days, regardless of any expiration
       date.  If this field is the word ``never'' then an article cannot  have
       been kept for enough days so it will never be expired.

       The  default  field specifies how long to keep an article if no Expires
       header is present.  If this field is the word ``never''	then  articles
       without explicit expiration dates will never be expired.

       The purge field specifies the upper bound on how long an article can be
       kept.  No article will be kept longer then the number of days specified
       by  this field.	All articles will be removed after then have been kept
       for purge days.	If purge is the word ``never'' then the	 article  will
       never be deleted.

       It  is  often useful to honor the expiration headers in articles, espe‐
       cially those in moderated groups.   To  do  this,  set  keep  to	 zero,
       default	to whatever value you wish, and purge to never.	 To ignore any
       Expires header, set all three fields to the same value.

       There must be exactly one line with a pattern of ``*'' and  a  modflags
       of  ``A''  —  this matches all groups and is used to set the expiration
       default.	 It should be the first expiration line.

       For example,
	      ##  How long to keep expired history
	      ##  Most things stay for two weeks
	      ##  Believe expiration dates in moderated groups, up to six weeks
	      ##  Keep local stuff for a long time

       Written by Rich $alz <rsalz@uunet.uu.net> for  InterNetNews.   This  is
       revision 1.11, dated 1993/01/29.

       expire(8), wildmat(3).


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