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       makehistory - Initialize or rebuild INN history database


       makehistory [-abFIOSx] [-f filename] [-l count] [-L load-average] [-s
       size] [-T tmpdir]


       makehistory rebuilds the history(5) text file, which contains a list of
       message-IDs of articles already seen by the server.  It can also be
       used to rebuild the overview database.  Note that even though the
       dbz(3) indices for the history file are also rebuilt by makehistory, it
       is useful to run makedbz(8) after makehistory(8) in order to improve
       the efficiency of the indices (makehistory does not know how large to
       make the hash table at first run, unless the size is given by the -s

       The default location of the history text file is pathdb/history; to
       specify an alternate location, use the -f flag.

       By default, makehistory will scan the entire spool, using the storage
       manager, and write a history line for every article.  To also generate
       overview information, use the -O flag.

       WARNING:  If you’re trying to rebuild the overview database, be sure to
       stop innd(8) and delete or zero out the existing database before you
       start for the best results.  An overview rebuild should not be done
       while the server is running.  Unless the existing overview is deleted,
       you may end up with problems like out-of-order overview entries,
       excessively large overview buffers, and the like.

       If ovmethod in inn.conf is "ovdb", you must have the ovdb processes
       running while rebuilding overview.  ovdb needs them available while
       writing overview entries.  You can start them by hand separate from the
       rest of the server by running ovdb_init; see ovdb_init(8) for more


       -a  Append to the history file rather than generating a new one.  If
           you append to the main history file, make sure innd(8) is throttled
           or not running, or you can corrupt the history.

       -b  Delete any messages found in the spool that do not have valid
           Message-ID: headers in them.

       -F  Fork a separate process to flush overview data to disk rather than
           doing it directly.  The advantage of this is that it allows
           makehistory to continue to collect more data from the spool while
           the first batch of data is being written to the overview database.
           The disadvantage is that up to twice as much temporary disk space
           will be used for the generated overview data.  This option only
           makes sense in combination with -O.  With buffindexed, the overchan
           program is invoked to write overview.

       -f filename
           Rather than writing directly to pathdb/history, instead write to
           filename, also in pathdb.

       -I  Don’t store overview data for articles numbered lower than the
           lowest article number in active.  This is useful if there are for
           whatever reason old articles on disk that shouldn’t be available to
           readers or put into the overview database.

       -l count
           This option specifies how many articles to process before writing
           the accumulated overview information out to the overview database.
           The default is 10000.  Since overview write performance is faster
           with sorted data, each "batch" gets sorted.  Increasing the batch
           size with this option may further improve write performance, at the
           cost of longer sort times.  Also, temporary space will be needed to
           store the overview batches.  At a rough estimate, about 300 * count
           bytes of temporary space will be required (not counting temp files
           created by sort(1)).  See the description of the -T option for how
           to specify the temporary storage location.  This option has no
           effect with buffindexed, because buffindexed does not need sorted
           overview and no batching is done.

       -L load-average
           Temporarily pause activities if the system load average exceeds the
           specified level load-average.  This allows makehistory to run on a
           system being used for other purposes without monopolizing system
           resources and thus making the response time for other applications
           unacceptably slow.  Using nice(1) does not help much for that
           because the problem comes from disk I/O usage, and ionice(1) is not
           always available or efficient.

       -O  Create the overview database as well as the history file.  Overview
           information is only required if the server supports readers; it is
           not needed for a transit-only server (see enableoverview in
           inn.conf(5)).  If you are using the buffindexed overview storage
           method, erase all of your overview buffers before running
           makehistory with -O.

       -S  Rather than storing the overview data into the overview database,
           just write it to standard output in a form suitable for feeding to
           overchan later if wished.  When this option is used, -F, -I, -l,
           and -T are ignored.  This option only makes sense in combination
           with -O.

       -s size
           Size the history database for approximately size pairs.  Accurately
           specifying the size is an optimization that will create a more
           efficient database.  (The size should be the estimated eventual
           size of the history file, typically the size of the old file, in

       -T tmpdir
           If -O is given, makehistory needs a location to write temporary
           overview data.  By default, it uses pathtmp, set in inn.conf, but
           if this option is given, the provided tmpdir is used instead.  This
           is also used for temporary files created by sort(1) (which is
           invoked in the process of writing overview information since sorted
           overview information writes faster).  By default, sort usually uses
           your system temporary directory; see the sort(1) man page on your
           system to be sure.

       -x  If this option is given, makehistory won’t write out history file
           entries.  This is useful mostly for building overview without
           generating a new history file.


       Here’s a typical example of rebuilding the entire history and overview
       database, removing broken articles in the news spool.  This uses the
       default temporary file locations and should be done while innd isn’t
       running (or is throttled).

           makehistory -b -f history.n -O -l 30000 -I

       This will rebuild the overview (if using buffindexed, erase the
       existing overview buffers before running this command) and leave a new
       history file as "history.n" in pathdb.  To preserve all of the history
       entries from the old history file that correspond to rejected articles
       or expired articles, follow the above command with:

           cd <pathdb>
           awk 'NF == 2 { print }' < history >> history.n

       (replacing the path with your pathdb, if it isn’t the default).  Then
       look over the new history file for problems and run:

           makedbz -s `wc -l < history.n` -f history.n

       Then rename all of the files matching "history.n.*" to "history.*",
       replacing the current history database and indices.  After that, it’s
       safe to unthrottle innd.

       For a simpler example:

           makehistory -b -f history.n -I -O

       will scan the spool, removing broken articles and generating history
       and overview entries for articles missing from history.

       To just rebuild overview:

           makehistory -O -x -F


           This is the default output file for makehistory.

           Where temporary files are written unless -T is given.


       Originally written by Rich $alz <> for InterNetNews
       and updated by various other people since.

       $Id: makehistory.pod 8535 2009-06-23 18:09:56Z iulius $


       active(5), ctlinnd(8), dbz(3), history(5), inn.conf(5), innd(8),
       makedbz(8), ovdb_init(8), overchan(8).