(Prepare ovdb database for use)


ovdb_init [-r|-u]


This command must be run before any other process can access the overview database. ovdb_init is normally invoked automatically by rc.news when starting the news system.

ovdb_init performs the following steps:

  1. Creates the database environment, if necessary.

  2. If the database is idle (and if the -u option is not specified), it performs a normal recovery. The recovery will remove stale locks, recreate the memory pool cache, and repair any damage caused by a system crash or improper shutdown.

  3. If the -u option is specified, it performs any necessary upgrades to the database. See the UPGRADING section below.

  4. Starts the database housekeeping processes (ovdb_monitor) if they are not already running. (Unless the -r option is specified).

  5. Starts the ovdb readserver processes (ovdb_server) if readserver in ovdb.conf is true, and if they are not already running. (Unless the -r option is specified).

Returns exit status of 0 if all steps were completed successfully. In the event of an error, messages are written to syslog and/or stderr.

If a recovery was attempted but failed, the database may be damaged beyond repair, requiring a rebuild with makehistory.

This command can be run multiple times.



Perform recovery only. ovdb_monitor is not started.


Perform any needed upgrades. Recovery is not attempted. ovdb_monitor is started if the upgrade succeeded.


There are two situations in which the database will need to be upgraded:

In both of these cases, the database is upgraded in-place; and the upgrade cannot be undone. Do not interrupt the upgrade process once it has started, because there is a risk of irrepairable corruption. The upgrade may take several minutes to complete. If an upgrade does get interrupted, try running the upgrade again.

Here's an example procedure to upgrade a database created with Berkeley DB 2.7.7 to use Berkeley DB 3.1.17:

  1. Build and install the Berkeley DB 3.1.17 version;

  2. Run configure in the INN source tree and make sure it picks up the right Berkeley DB directory (e.g., /usr/local/BerkeleyDB.3.1);

  3. Do a make;

  4. Shut down INN (e.g., with rc.news stop) and be sure to kill all instances of nnrpd as well;

  5. Do a make update to install the new binaries;

  6. Run ovdb_init -u as the news user;

  7. Start INN with the rc.news command.

Note that the -u option can be used even if no upgrades are needed.


Written by Heath Kehoe <hakehoe@avalon.net> for InterNetNews.


ovdb(5), makehistory(8), rc.news(8).

Last modified and spun 2022-12-12