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INN FAQ Part 3/9: Reasons why INN isn't starting

This article is part 3 of a multi-part FAQ: Part 3: This includes help with getting innd to start.
Posted-By: post_faq 2.10
Archive-name: usenet/software/inn-faq/part3
Last Changed: $Date: 1997/11/04 02:25:53 $ $Revision: 2.18 $

                  Part 3 of 9

INN FAQ Part 1: General and questions from people that don't (yet) run INN
INN FAQ Part 2: Specific notes for specific operating systems
INN FAQ Part 3: Reasons why INN isn't starting
INN FAQ Part 4: The debugging tutorial (setup of feeds etc.)
INN FAQ Part 5: Other error messages and what they mean
INN FAQ Part 6: Day-to-day operation and changes to the system
INN FAQ Part 7: Problems with INN already running
INN FAQ Part 8: Appendix A: Norman's install guide
INN FAQ Part 9: Appendix B: Configurations for certain systems
 
------------------------------
 
Subject:  Table Of Contents for Part 3/9
 
=====================================================================
     TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR PART 3/9
=====================================================================

REASONS WHY INN ISN'T STARTING:
	3.1 What runs as what?
	3.2 Why does innd just exit right away with no message?
	3.3 syslog message: inndstart: inndstart cant bind Address already in use
	3.4 syslog message: ME internal no to group
	3.5 syslog message: ME internal no control and/or junk group
	3.6 syslog message: Can't setup communication (bind failure)
	3.7 syslog message: ME bad_newsfeeds no feeding sites
	3.8 syslog message: ME cant GetConfigValue
	3.9 syslog message: ME cant accept RCreader
	3.10 syslog message: ME cant ioctl(TIOCNOTTY) Invalid argument
	3.11 syslog message: ME cant fork /some/tool Resource temporarily unavailable
	3.12 /usr/local/etc/rc.news: (M-i)^P^L^A.Gd: not found
	3.13 syslog message: ME cant dbminit /usr/local/news/history

=====================================================================
                   REASONS WHY INN ISN'T STARTING
=====================================================================
 
------------------------------

Subject: (3.1) What runs as what?

1.  The first "make install" MUST RUN AS ROOT.
2.  Other "make install" runs as "root", but sometimes "news" will work.
3.  "rc.news" runs as "root" for versions prior to 1.5 and as "news"
	for INN1.5 and later.
4.  "news.daily" runs as "news".
5.  ALL CRON JOBS (sendbatch, sendnntp, send-ihave, etc.) run as "news".

HOW TO REMEMBER THIS:
    EVERYTHING RUNS AS "NEWS" EXCEPT:
        "rc.news" runs as root, since it runs from rc.local (which
            runs as root) and since it runs things that start out
            as root but become "news" after doing special things.
        "make install" runs as "root" because it has to do "chown" to
          set up files securely.

If your innd nevertheless runs as root, then also look at #7.52

------------------------------

Subject: (3.2) Why does innd just exit right away with no message?

First, fix your syslog: innd (nearly) always logs a message before it exits.  
(The INN distribution includes a version of the current UCB syslog, along 
with instructions on how to install it. Ultrix systems might want to look at
the syslog that is available on gatekeeper.dec.com). If innd doesn't
syslog, then it did dump a core file, that you can inspect.

Second, the most common cause of this is that you do not have a history
file (or no history database).  You will see a message like this:

	ME cant dbminit /usr/local/news/history No such file or directory

( Note that in versions > INN1.5, the word ``ME'' is replaced by
``SERVER'' ).
This means that you do not have a history database (or no history.dir
and history.pag files).  If you are just installing INN for your first
time, you might want to run the BUILD script in your INN source tree.
Or, you can read about makehistory in doc/news-recovery.8; if you do
the latter, make sure to rename the database files (pay attention to
the two "mv" commands).

Another possibility is a bad active file; e.g. one line only has three
fields instead of four. You can find such lines by running expire:

expire -n -x -t

which will then show you which lines are bad.

------------------------------

Subject: (3.3) syslog message: inndstart: inndstart cant bind Address already in use

>I try to start INN but got this error in my syslog file:
>       inndstart: inndstart cant bind Address already in use
>Can anyone give me a hint on how to fix it ?

Something else is already using port 119.  Comment out the line in
/etc/inetd.conf for port 119 and "kill -HUP" the inetd program (which
makes it re-read the configuration file).

Remember, there are two ways for programs to take control over an
incoming port.  (1) the program runs and grabs the port (which has to
be done as root) and then handles all incoming connections, or (2) the
program is listed in /etc/inetd.conf and inetd grabs the port and hands
off any incoming connections to the program specified in
/etc/inetd.conf (i.e. one process gets started for every incoming
connection.)

If you do (1) and (2) at the same time, the inetd will grab the port
and then anyone else that grabs the port will get an "Address already
in use" error.

INN's "innd" program is type (1).  C News+NNTP uses something that is
type (2).

Most people that get this error ran C News+NNTP a long time ago and
forgot to remove the line from their /etc/inetd.conf file.

------------------------------

Subject: (3.4) syslog message: ME internal no to group

If you set MERGE_TO_GROUPS to "DO", you have to have a "to" group
listed in your "active" file or you will get the above syslog message
and innd will not start.  You can edit the active file directly if innd
isn't running (see also #6.3).

------------------------------

Subject: (3.5) syslog message: ME internal no control and/or junk group

You must have a newsgroup named "control" and a newsgroup named
"junk" for innd to start.  Since innd isn't running, you can edit
the active file directly

Add these lines:

control 0000000000 0000000000 y
junk 0000000000 0000000000 y

--tal

Also make sure that the directories in the spool either don't exist or
are writable by the news user.

------------------------------

Subject: (3.6) syslog message: Can't setup communication (bind failure)

The message "Can't setup communication (bind failure) Permission denied"
means that the permissions on your _PATH_NEWSCONTROL directory
are wrong.  You might want to delete the directory and "make install"
to create it again.

------------------------------

Subject: (3.7) syslog message: ME bad_newsfeeds no feeding sites

(Rich Salz replies:) The syslog message is telling you that you are not
feeding news to any sites.  You have to have at least one feed.  (You
may consider this to be a bug, it's just that I'm too lazy to make
everything work right if you don't have any newsfeeds.)

Until you go into production and start feeding sites, add a line like this:
		dummy-feed:!*::

------------------------------

Subject: (3.8) syslog message: ME cant GetConfigValue

Jan 12 17:38:06 galaxy innd: ME cant GetConfigValue pathhost Error 0
                                                    ^^^^^^^^

This means you don't have "pathhost:" in your inn.conf.

GetConfigValue is the routine that gets data out of the inn.conf file.
If you get the above error, it means you don't have a particular value
in your inn.conf.  Run "inncheck -v" usually will tell you what you
need to do.

Note that there might be a slightly different message:

Nov  1 15:39:30 serv nnrpd[5973]: cant getconfigvalue Error 0

In that case the host where nnrpd was running had DNS resolving 
problems. Getting DNS to work correctly again solved the problem.

------------------------------

Subject: (3.9) syslog message: ME cant accept RCreader

Situation:  INN 1.4sec on ICS2.0 or Interactive Unix System V Release
3.2 or one of the many SVR4 Unix's.  You get syslog messages like:

Jul 14 12:07:44 isdn.IFNS.DE innd: ME cant accept RCreader No more
Jul 14 12:07:44 isdn.IFNS.DE innd: ME cant accept RCreader Protocol error
May  7 12:05:07 salyko.cube.net innd: ME cant accept RCreader Protocol error

when you connect to innd from a remote machine, but not from the
local host.

Problem:  Well, that's just another bug in the SVR4 networking code.

Chris Munonye <munonye@ifns.de> reports that this patch fixed the
problem:

*** RCS/rc.c     Sun Jul 18 15:02:50 1993
--- rc.c Sun Jul 18 15:04:35 1993
***************
*** 173,178 ****
--- 173,181 ----

      /* Get the connection. */
      size = sizeof remote;
+     if (SetNonBlocking(cp->fd, FALSE) < 0)
+        syslog(L_ERROR, "%s cant un-nonblock %d in RCreader(errno %d) %m :",
+               LogName, cp->fd, errno);
      if ((fd = accept(cp->fd, (struct sockaddr *)&remote, &size)) < 0) {
         syslog(L_ERROR, "%s cant accept RCreader %m", LogName);
         return;

Under Solaris, when accept() fails and sets errno to EPROTO, it means
the client has sent a TCP reset before the connection has been
accepted
by the server.
  
Therefore, the syslog messages Inn produces:
         innd: ME cant accept RCreader Protocol error
can be merely ignored under Solaris.
  
Note that in 2.5.1 with the Internet Server Supplement and also in 2.6
the errno for this case has changed from EPROTO to ECONNABORTED.

------------------------------

Subject: (3.10) syslog message: ME cant ioctl(TIOCNOTTY) Invalid argument

Most likely a botched config.data - TIOCNOTTY is a BSDism and
probably doesn't work on SVR4-based system.  (If you aren't sure
if your Unix is SVR4-based, get out of the netnews business).

------------------------------

Subject: (3.11) syslog message: ME cant fork /some/tool Resource temporarily unavailable

User news ran out of processes and wasn't able to fork off the specific tool.
You need either just raise the limit on the number of processes in the
shell which starts innd (e.g in rc.news :

unlimit maxproc

or if that doesn't help raise the number of processes in the kernelconfig
(modt often by raising maxusers and also raising the # of processes per user).

------------------------------

Subject: (3.12) /usr/local/etc/rc.news: (M-i)^P^L^A.Gd: not found

Q:  rc.news reports "/usr/local/etc/rc.news: (M-i)^P^L^A.Gd: not found"

A:  Bob Izenberg <bei@io.com> reports:

Here's an unlikely possibility that bit us once.  In an almost all-Sun
environment, I requested and got /bin/ksh as my shell.  When I logged
in, I got a burst of control characters and a closed connection after a
few seconds.  It turned out that ksh followed about fifteen symbolic
links to a file that had been moved/removed.

Therefore, make sure that the first line in rc.news refers to a shell
that really exists.  If you run "sh /usr/local/etc/rc.news" make sure
you don't have anything else named "sh" in your path.  (And if you
have something named "sh" in your path that isn't a Bourne Shell or
a clone, worry!)

------------------------------

Subject: (3.13) syslog message: ME cant dbminit /usr/local/news/history

That means that some of the history files are missing -- See #3.2 

There is also a message: cant dbminit ME (Math) argument out of domain of func
This means that your history.dir file is not formatted correctly. It should 
look something like this: (from James Brister)

dbz 3 2579 9 C 128 127 24 4 3 2 1 0
4677 1706 1706 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

(i.e. two lines of ascii, most of it being numbers).

In the latter case you can do:

cd /where/the/history/is
rm history.dir
rm history.pag
makehistory -r -f history

-- 
          See <a href="http://www.netbsd.org">NetBSD</a> for a multiplatform OS
What would you call a BBS run by a mom?
   A "mother board".



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