Re: Fidonet Mail Processing

Pablo Saratxaga (
Mon, 24 Mar 1997 22:02:51 +0100 (MET)

Kaixo !

> What I was looking for was a way to move my fidonet mail processing from the
> NT and OS/2 world to the LINUX world.

That can obviously be done, several people does.

> From your explanation, it would seem that there is no way, with
> a true LINUX package to provide the same functionality (of inbound FTN packets being tossed to
> multiple downlinks as FTN packets) in the LINUX environment as I get in the OS/2 or NT environments.

It is possible. But is not ifmail alone that does that, but ifmail+INN+sendmail
(or Cnews and smail).
I think fidogate too can does the job.
And there is also a SQUISH compatible tosser in developpement: Tobruk.

> I serve as a major hub for Fidonet mail, and need the ability to send FTN packets downline, and to
> provide my downlinks the ability to automatically turn certain areas on and off for distribution. I think
> your explanation indicates that this is not possible with the ifmail package.

That is possible. What is the difference between FTN echomail and usenet
groups ? The only difference is the format. So the only thing needed is
a format converter as the last step: ifmail.
There is even an areafix, written in perl, in the ifmail package.
It works very well (I used it when I was hub) but then you have to avoid
advanced features of the newsfeeds file, like "@", "!" and generally expension
characters, as the areafix rewrites the file and messes up those entries.

> What I guess I am asking, is there anyway to process FTN fidonet mail in the "Unix way"?

I use it every day. My previous message wasn't intendeed to you but as general
warning: ifmail isn't an all in one FTN package, but a converter, you need
to know email and news servers before using it.
Then it is simple:

your uplink --> ifcico --> ifunpack converts --> INN decides if the message
has to be sent to other sites --> among those other sites maybe an FTN
site --> ifnews converts --> ifcico --> your downlink

For netmail/email just replace INN by sendmail (or smail) in the chain.

the ifmail packege comes whith a script for INN, send-ifmail, that makes it
very easy to add FTN nodes to your feeds.

You should see ifmail as a "transport agent", in the same way as uucp.
The configuration is mainly the same as for sending messages to a uucp

# a uucp site
# a fidonet site\
# an othernet site
# an otherent point

Then in the news crontab you run regularly:

send-uccp aragorn (for the uucp site)
send-ifmail (for the fidonet site)
send-ifmail f321.n65.z555.othernet.ftn (for the othernet site)
send-ifmail p8.f12.n65.z555.othernet.ftn (for the othernet point)

do you see the similarities ? If you know how work uucp then ifmail is very
easy, if not then is better to learn uucp before (as you have more
documentation for it almost anywhere and in any language)

For email/netmail is also the same, just defining a new transport (I called
it "fnet") then (lines broken for lisibility):

R$* < @ $* . > $* \
$#uucp $@ aragorn $: $1 < $2 > $3
R$* < @ $* . > $* \
$#fnet $@ f123.n45.z6 $: $1 < $2 > $3
# default fido routing (assuming uplink=2:34/56)
R$* < @ $* . > $* \
$#fnet $@ f56.n34.z2 $: $1 < $2 > $3
R$* < @ $* f321.n65.z555.othernet.ftn . > $* \
$#fnet $@ f321.n65.z555 $: $1 < $2 f321.n65.z555.othernet.ftn > $3
R$* < @ p8.f12.n65.z555.othernet.ftn . > $* \
$#fnet $@ p8.f12.n65.z555 $: $1 < p8.f12.n65.z555.othernet.ftn > $3
# default othernet routing (assuming othernet uplink=555:13/45)
R$* < @ $* z555.othernet.ftn . > $* \
$#fnet $@ f45.n13.z555 $: $1 < $2 z555.othernet.ftn > $3

Well, mine is a little more complicated than than in order to catch addresses
like <> which of course can't be sent trough
FTN but via internet routing, however it isn't much more complicated than
that. Also the advanced features of sendmail make it easier to define
complex routings trough route tables etc, but I don't know how that works,


A bientôt, Pablo Saratxaga

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