(Recommended values for the Distribution header field)


The file pathetc/distributions contains a list of relevant distributions and their descriptions. It provides local information for posters who wish to add a Distribution header field to their articles so as to restrict their propagation, although it does not guarantee that such articles will not leak elsewhere because of a misconfiguration of a news server to which they are fed. See newsfeeds(5) for more information about how a news server handles the Distribution header field.

Each line of this file consists of a distribution area followed by its description (encoded in UTF-8) after at least a whitespace. For instance:

    fr      Local to France.
    local   Local to this news server.
    nj      Local to New Jersey.
    usa     Local to the United States of America.

Blank lines and lines beginning with a number sign (#) are ignored.

Any client that issues the LIST DISTRIBUTIONS command obtain these recommended values, if available. However, be aware that use of the LIST DISTRIBUTIONS command is not widespread (though documented in RFC 6048) and most news clients will never ask for this file.

If this file is empty, it is not an error. The server will just send the client an empty response. And if the file is missing, the server will also send the client an appropriate response to indicate that the distributions list is not maintained on the server.

The Distribution header field can also be automatically set by nnrpd if distrib.pats(5) is correctly configured.


Written by Julien Elie for InterNetNews.


distrib.pats(5), newsfeeds(5), nnrpd(8).

Last modified and spun 2022-12-12