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Practical Internet Groupware by Jon Udell

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Deploying INN on Linux

The latest version of INN is available at http://www.isc.org/, so you can always grab the source and build your own INN if you really want to. But Linux distributions come with a prebuilt INN that you can just install and use. For example, if you ask the Red Hat installer to include INN, Linux will boot up with a news server running and ready for use.

There are a lot more moving parts in INN than you’ll need to run local discussions. It’s a complex beast and has grown more so over time. In addition to the server itself, innd , there are: inndstart , which launches the server; nnrpd , which is started once per connection to handle conversations between newsreaders and the main server; innwatch, which monitors the server; and a handful of other helpers. There are also news-related crontab entries for scheduled replication and expiration tasks.

If you’re setting up a Usenet node, you’ll need to understand and work with many of INN ’s components. To find out how, see O’Reilly & Associates’ Managing Usenet by Henry Spencer and David Lawrence. For light-duty local conferencing, though, you don’t need to worry about most of that machinery. I’ll focus here on just the minimum setup.

Start by editing the configuration file called inn.conf—on my Red Hat system, it’s /etc/news/inn.conf—and name your company or department in the organization: field. If you don’t, all messages posted to your server will carry the header:

Organization: A poorly installed InterNetNews site ...

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