The active file is located in /usr/lib/news and lists all groups known at your site, and the articles currently online. You will rarely have to touch it, but we explain it nevertheless for sake of completeness. Entries take the following form:
newsgroup high low permnewsgroup is, of course, the group's name. low and high are the lowest and highest numbers of articles currently available. If none are available at the moment, low is equal to high+1.
At least, that's what the low field is meant to do. However, for efficiency reasons, C-News doesn't update this field. This wouldn't be such a big loss if there weren't some newsreaders that depend on it. For instance, trn checks this field to see if it can purge any articles from its thread database. To update the low field, you therefore have to run the updatemin command regularly (or, in earlier version of C-News, the upact script).
perm is a parameter detailing the access users are granted to the group. It takes one of the following values:
Articles received for this group are not stored locally, although they are forwarded to the sites that request them.
A file closely related to active is active.times. Whenever a group is created, C-News logs a message to this file, containing the name of the group created, the date of creation, whether it was done by a newgroup control message or locally, and who did it. This is for the convenience of newsreaders who may notify the user of any recently created groups. It is also used by the NEWGROUPS command of NNTP.
Thu Mar 7 23:22:06 EST 1996