expire - Usenet article and history expiration program
] [-d dir
] [-f file
] [ -h file
] [-r reason
] [-v level
] [ -w number
scans the history
(5)-format text file pathdb
and uses the information recorded in it to purge itself of old news articles.
Articles stored using a storage method that has self-expire functionality are
by default not affected by expire
's primary behavior (but see the
flag to disable this). In this case, expire.ctl
except the "/remember/" line for that article; expire
still probe to see if the article still exists and purges the relevant history
and overview entries if appropriate. However, if groupbaseexpiry
is true, expire
acts on all articles as specified by
regardless of whether their storage methods have self-expire
Note that expire
never purges articles which do not match any entry in
- -d dir
- 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 unpause the server. The -r flag
should be used with this flag.
- -f file
- To specify an alternate history file, use the -f
flag. This flag is valid when used with the -d flag, and the output
will be written to the specified file. The default without -f is
- -g file
- If the -g flag is given, then a one-line summary
equivalent to the output of -v 1, except preceded by the current
time, will be appended to the specified file.
- -h file
- To specify an alternate input text history file, use the
-h flag. expire uses the old dbz(3) database to
determine the size of the new one. (If the -d flag is not used, the
output filename will be the same as the input filename with an extension
The default without the -h flag is pathdb/history.
- To ignore the old database, use the -i flag.
- The control file is normally ignored for articles in
storage methods which have self-expire functionality. If the -N
flag is used, expire still uses the control file for these
- 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
- 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.
- -r reason
- expire normally sends a "pause" command to
the local innd 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. See also
the -n flag.
- -s size
- Optimize the new history database for approximately
size pairs (lines in history). Accurately specifying the
size will create a more efficient database. (The size should be the
estimated eventual size of the file, typically the size of the old
- If the -t flag is used, then expire will
generate a list of the tokens that should be removed on its standard
output, and the new history file will be left in history.n,
history.n.dir, history.n.index and history.n.hash.
This flag is useful for debugging when used with the -n flag. Note
that if the -f flag is used, then the name specified with that flag
will be used instead of history.
- -v level
- 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 a report on each
individual file, while level five results in multiple lines of output for
every history line processed.
- -w number
- 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 indicating the
number of days to use as the offset.
- If the -x flag is used, then expire will not
create any new history files. This is most useful when combined with the
-n and -t flags to see how different expiration policies
would change the amount of disk space used.
- -z file
- If the -z flag is used, then articles are not
removed, but their names are appended to the specified file. See
the description of delayrm 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. A single dash ("-") may be used to
read the file from standard input. If no file is specified, the file
pathetc/expire.ctl is read.
Written by Rich $alz <firstname.lastname@example.org> for InterNetNews. Converted to
POD by Julien Elie.
$Id: expire.pod 8573 2009-08-18 13:49:54Z iulius $