The Linux UUCP HOWTO
Guylhem Aznar v2.0.1, 2001-12-01
<guylhem at metalab.unc.edu>
This document describes the setup, care & feeding of UUCP under Linux. You need to read this if you plan to connect to remote sites via UUCP via a modem, via a direct-connection, or via Internet. You probably do *not* need to read this document if don't talk UUCP or if you don't know what it means.
- 4.1 Installing config. files
- 4.2 "Poll" file
- 4.3 "call" file
- 4.4 "config" file
- 4.5 "crontab" file
- 4.6 "dial" file
- 4.7 "passwd" file
- 4.8 "port" file
- 4.9 "sys" file
- 4.10 Now let's test all this
- 4.11 Additional informations
- 6.1 Why is all the info here for UUCPs configured in "Taylor" rather than
- 6.2 Why do I get "timeout" on connections when I upgraded to uucp-1.04?
- 6.3 Why doesn't HDB anonymous uucp seem to work?
- 6.4 What does "no matching ports found" mean?
- 6.5 What are known good config files for HDB mode?
- 6.6 Getting uucico to call alternate numbers
First, convert all "at" in Emails addresses given in this document into "@".
It's simple for humans, but not for bots searching the web to spam ; therefore it's enough to protect generous contributors from being spammed.
The intent of this document is to answer some of the questions & comments that appear to meet the definition of "frequently asked questions" about UUCP software under Linux genrally & the version in the Linux Debian and RedHat distributions in particular.
New versions of this document will be periodically posted to comp.os.linux.announce, comp.answers & news.answers. They will also be added to the various anonymous ftp sites who archive such information including sunsite FTP.
In addition, you should be generally able to find this document on the Linux WorldWideWeb home page at the LDP page.
I am interested in any feedback (please e-mail), positive or negative, regarding the content of this document. Definitely contact me if you find errors or obvious omissions.
I read, but do not necessarily respond to, all e-mail I receive. Requests for enhancements will be considered & acted upon based on that day's combination of available time, merit of the request & daily blood pressure :-)
Flames will quietly go to /dev/null so don't bother.
Feedback concerning the actual format of the document should go to
the HOWTO coordinator: Greg Hankins (
The UUCP-HOWTO is copyrighted (c)1997 Guylhem Aznar. It is distributed under the GNU Free Documentation License. You should have received a copy along with this document, but if not you can find it at http//www/fsf.org/licenses/fdl.html.
Of course, I disavow any potential liability for the contents of this document. Use of the concepts, examples, &/ or other content of this document is entirely at your own risk.
There is nothing "special" about configuring & running UUCP under Linux (any more). Accordingly, you almost certainly do *NOT* want to be posting generic UUCP-related questions to the comp.os.linux.* newsgroups.
Don't post in comp.os.linux hierarchy unless it's really linux specific, for example: "What's wrong with Debian 1.2 uucp?" or "RedHat 5.0 uucp crashes when I run it" ...
Let me repeat that.
There is virtually no reason to post anything uucp-related in the comp.os.linux hierarchy any more. There are existing newsgroups in the comp.mail.* hierarchy to handle *ALL* your questions.
IF YOU POST TO COMP.OS.LINUX.* FOR NON-LINUX-SPECIFIC QUESTIONS, YOU ARE LOOKING IN THE WRONG PLACE FOR HELP. THE UUCP EXPERTS HANG OUT IN THE PLACES INDICATED ABOVE AND GENERALLY DO NOT RUN LINUX.
POSTING TO THE LINUX HIERARCHY FOR NON-LINUX-SPECIFIC QUESTIONS WASTES YOUR TIME AND EVERYONE ELSE'S AND IT FREQUENTLY DELAYS YOU FROM GETTING THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION.
The GOOD PLACE is
comp.mail.uucp since you can get
answers for most of your UUCP questions.
There is a Taylor UUCP mailing list.
To join (or get off) the list, send mail to
This request goes to a person, not to a program, so please make sure that you include the address at which you want to receive mail in the text of the message.
To send a message to the list, send it to
There is plenty of exceptional material provided in the other Linux HOWTO documents & from the Linux DOC project.
In particular, you might want to take a look at the following:
- on your own computer in /usr/doc/uucp & /usr/info/uucp* :-)
- the Linux Networking Administrators' Guide
- the Serial Communications HOWTO
- the Ethernet HOWTO
- the News HOWTO
- the Mail HOWTO
HDB & V2 versions of UUCP are documented in about every vendor's documentation as well as in almost all *nix communications books.
Taylor config. files are currently only documented in the info files provided with the sources (& in your distribution hopefully). The following is a non-inclusive set of books that will help.
"Managing UUCP & USENET"from O'Reilly & Associates is in my opinion the best book out there for figuring out the programs & protocols involved in being a USENET site.
"Unix Communications"from The Waite Group contains a nice description of all the pieces (& more) & how they fit together.
"Practical Unix Security"from O'Reilly & Associates has a nice discussion of how to secure UUCP.
"The Internet Complete Reference"from Osborne is a fine reference book that explains the various services available on Internet & is a great source for information on news, mail & various other Internet resources.
The Linux Networking Administrators' Guide" from Olaf Kirch of the Linux DOC Project is available on the net & is also published by (at least) O'Reilly & SSC. It makes a fine one-stop shopping to learn about everything you ever imagined you'd need to know about Unix networking.
There are no specific hardware requirements for UUCP under Linux. Basically any Hayes-compatible modem works painlessly with UUCP.
In most cases, you'll want the fastest modem you can afford, i.e. 56000 bps actually. In general, you want to have a 16550 UART on your serial board or built into your modem to handle speeds of above 9600 baud.
If you don't know what that last sentence means, please consult the comp.dcom.modems group or the various fine modem & serial communications FAQs & periodic postings on USENET.
UUCP for linux is available everywhere, for example on sunsite.unc.edu. But before trying to get any version, try to install & make your current uucp work ; there're many little differences between each linux distribution, therefore it's easier for you to configure/install your distribution's UUCP package rather than editing sources for some options, setting the right paths & permissions, installing, etc.
But if you prefer sources ...
To extract a gzip'd tar archive, I do the following:
gunzip -c filename.tar.z | tar xvf -A "modern" tar can just do a:
tar -zxvf filename.tgz
2) Run "configure"
The configure script will compile a number of test programs to see what is available on your system & will calculate many things.
The configure script will create
conf.h from conf.h.in
Makefile from Makefile.in. It will also create
config.status, which is a shell script which actually creates the
3) Decide where to install
Rather than editing the Makefile.in file in the sources you can get the same effect by:
4) Edit "policy.h" for your local system
- - set the type of lockfiles you want (HAVE_HDB_LOCKFILES)
- - set the type of config files you want built in (HAVE_TAYLOR_CONFIG, HAVE_V2_CONFIG, HAVE_HDB_CONFIG)
- - set the type of spool directory structure you want (SPOOLDIR_HDB)
- - set the type of logging you want (HAVE_HDB_LOGGING)
- - set the default search path for commands (I added /usr/local/bin to mine)
5) Then compile & install the software
"make install"to install.
I recommend you start by installing the attached known-good config. files included in the document.
Put these file in their "standard" location:
on recent linux distributions or
Then make sure that the
permissions of the files are
(guylhem@barberouge:uucp)$ ls -l total 11 -rw-r--r-- 1 uucp uucp 501 Jan 23 11:33 Poll -rw-r----- 1 uucp uucp 589 Jan 23 11:34 call -rw-r----- 1 uucp uucp 1184 Jan 23 12:06 config -rw-r----- 1 uucp uucp 476 Jan 23 12:31 crontab -rw-r----- 1 uucp uucp 1256 Jan 23 11:47 dial -rw-r----- 1 uucp uucp 486 Jan 23 11:48 passwd -rw-r----- 1 uucp uucp 810 Jan 23 11:55 port -rw-r--r-- 1 uucp uucp 1690 Jan 23 12:04 sys (guylhem@barberouge:uucp)$
To change file owner, as root, type:
(root@barberouge:uucp)$ chown uucp.uucp *
Then you must change file permissions; as root once again, type:
(root@barberouge:uucp)# chmod 640 * (root@barberouge:uucp)# chmod +r Poll sys
This file is used to set polling timetables for any system.
schedule polux 01 poll polux 01
My machine calls polux at 01:00, that's all!
You can add more line if you must call many other machines, but don't forget to put the 2 lines (schedule & poll) for each.
It contains your login/password for each system you poll:
polux uudan password
My machine uses "uudan" login & "password" password :-) when it polls "polux".
As for Poll, adapt this to your situation.
nodename barberouge # The UUCP name of this system spool /var/spool/uucp # The UUCP spool directory pubdir /var/spool/uucppublic # The UUCP public directory logfile /var/log/uucp/log # The UUCP log file statfile /var/log/uucp/stats # The UUCP statistics file debugfile /var/log/uucp/debug # The UUCP debugging file #sysfile /etc/uucp/sys # Default "sys" #portfile /etc/uucp/port # Default "port" #dialfile /etc/uucp/dial # Default "dial" #dialcodefile /etc/uucp/dialcode # Default "dialcode" #callfile /etc/uucp/call # Default "call" #passwdfile /etc/uucp/passwd # Default "passwd" # No commands may be executed by unknowns (empty list of permitted commands) # Upload is authorized in /var/spool/uucp unknown commands unknown pubdir /var/spool/uucp unknown remote-send ~ !~/upload unknown remote-receive ~/upload
Here just replace "barberouge" by your system name ; run "hostname" if you can't remind it.
# Every day just before morning generate reports. # 0 7 * * * /usr/lib/uucp/uudemon.day root # # Every hour start the uudemon.hr. To actually poll a remote system, # enter its name in /etc/uucp/Poll. You are encouraged to change the "8". # 8 * * * * /usr/lib/uucp/uudemon.hr
Just run "crontab -u uucp /etc/uucp/crontab" to add it to the others crontabs.
# 1) expect nothing (i.e., continue with step 2) # 2) send "ATZ", then a carriage return, then sleep for 1 to 2 seconds. # The \c means to not send a final carriage return. # 3) wait until the modem echoes "OK", then do the the same for "ATX4" & "OK" # 4) send "ATDT", then the telephone number (after translating any dialcodes). # 5) wait until the modem echoes "CONNECT" # 6) if we get "BUSY", "NO CARRIER" ... during the chat script we abort dialing # 7) when the call is over, we make sure we hangup the modem dialer hayes chat "" ATZ\r\d\c OK\r \dATX4\r\d\c OK\r ATDT\D CONNECT chat-fail RING chat-fail NO\sCARRIER chat-fail ERROR chat-fail NO\sDIALTONE chat-fail BUSY chat-fail NO\sANSWER chat-fail VOICE complete \d\d+++\d\dATH\r\c abort \d\d+++\d\dATH\r\c # You can also add other dialers: inetd, nullmodem ... #dialer nullmodem #complete \d\dexit\r\c #abort \d\dexit\r\c
Syntax is complicated ... you'd rather not touch anything here but "ATZ" & "ATX4" which are my modem init string.
If you allow uucp dialin, just add system/passwords in this file.
It's *that* simple.
But it's recommended for security reasons to make sure each have a separate account & home directory so you can track things.
# Description for the modem entry # Debianers, make SURE this device is root:dialout, mode 0660 (crw-rw---) port ACU type modem device /dev/ttyS0 dialer hayes speed 57600 # hardflow n # Description for the TCP port - pretty trivial. DON'T DELETE. # Change service number if non standard, cf /etc/services port TCP type tcp #service 540 # Description for the nullmodem entry # (ttyS1 means COM2) port nullmodem type direct device /dev/ttyS1 dialer nullmodem speed 115200
You shouldn't change anything here ... except your modem port.
On recent distributions with mgetty, it's
while on older distributions it's
/dev/cuaN, where N
is you serial port:
N starts at 0 & ttyS(N) means COM(N+1), for example, my null-modem is on ttyS1 (COM2) while my modem is on ttyS0 (COM1).
Most of recent modems support hardware flow control, if your doesn't, just uncomment the line "# hardflow n".
# First some defaults. These are for ALL other entries (unless overridden). # protocol gvG protocol-parameter G packet-size 1024 # protocol-parameter G window 7 protocol-parameter G short-packets # # Our remote uucp connection. # system polux call-login * call-password * local-send / local-receive /var/spool/uucppublic remote-send / remote-receive /var/spool/uucppublic time any phone 0111111110 port ACU chat "" \r\c ogin:-BREAK-ogin:-BREAK- \L word: \P #chat "" \d\d\r\c ogin: \d\L word: \P # This is an alternate - it means that if a connection using the above # "system polux" fails it falls through to this entry. # Only useful if your service provider has more then one phone number for UUCP. # #alternate polux-2 #alias polux-2 #phone 0222222220 # Here's another alternate - we poll the system over TCP/IP. # This is useful if we have a PPP connection to our provider. # The first two entries will fail because the modem is busy & we will poll # over TCP/IP. # #alternate polux-tcp #alias polux-tcp #time any #address uucp.polux #port TCP #protocol t # # Last example - a system that we poll over TCP/IP. # #system horizon #call-login * #call-password * #time any #chat "" \d\d\r\c ogin: \d\L word: \P #address uucp.horizon.nl #port TCP #protocol t
Here, you must change "polux" by the name of the system you poll & "0111111110" by its phone number.
"polux-2", "polux-tcp" & "horizon" are just examples of user specific needs ; if the system you poll has more than one line, define it as "itsname-2" ; if you call it by PPP sometimes, just define "itsname-tcp" also.
It's useful when chat script fail (busy ...)
(root@barberouge:uucp)# su uucp (uucp@barberouge:uucp)# /usr/lib/uucp/uuchk Local node name barberouge Spool directory /var/spool/uucp Public directory /var/spool/uucppublic Lock directory /var/lock Log file /var/log/uucp/log Statistics file /var/log/uucp/stats Debug file /var/log/uucp/debug Global debugging level uucico -l will strip login names and passwords uucico will strip UUCP protocol commands Start uuxqt once per uucico invocation System: polux When called using any login name Call out using port ACU The possible ports are: Port name ACU Port type modem Device /dev/ttyS0 Speed 57600 Carrier available Hardware flow control available Dialer hayes Chat script "" ATZ\r\d\c OK\r \dATX4\r\d\c OK\r ATDT\D CONNECT Chat script timeout 60 Chat failure strings RING NO\sCARRIER ERROR NO\sDIALTONE BUSY NO\sANSWER VOICE Chat script incoming bytes stripped to seven bits Wait for dialtone , Pause while dialing , Carrier available Wait 60 seconds for carrier When complete chat script "" \d\d+++\d\dATH\r\c When complete chat script timeout 60 When complete chat script incoming bytes stripped to seven bits When aborting chat script "" \d\d+++\d\dATH\r\c When aborting chat script timeout 60 When aborting chat script incoming bytes stripped to seven bits Phone number 0111111110 Chat script "" \r\c ogin:-BREAK-ogin:-BREAK- \L word: \P Chat script timeout 10 Chat script incoming bytes stripped to seven bits Login name uudan Password your_password_here At any time may call if any work May retry the call up to 26 times May make local requests when calling May make local requests when called May send by local request: / May send by remote request: / May accept by local request: /var/spool/uucppublic May receive by remote request: /var/spool/uucppublic May execute /usr/bin/uucp /usr/bin/rmail /usr/bin/rnews Execution path /bin /usr/bin /usr/local/bin /usr/sbin Will leave 50000 bytes available Public directory is /var/spool/uucppublic Will use protocols gvG For protocol G will use the following parameters packet-size 1024 short-packets
to check if all the informations you've set are correct.
Warning: your mileage may vary ; different distributions use different paths, regardless Linux FSSTD!
If everything is correct, run:
/usr/sbin/uucico -r 1 -x 9 -s remote_system_name
-x 9 will have maximum debugging information
written to the
/var/log/uucp/debug file for help in
I normally run
-x 4 here since that level logs details
that help me with login problems. Obviously, this text contains
clear informations from your systems file (account/password) so
protect it against world-read.
>From Pierre.Beyssac at emeraude.syseca.fr
Taylor has more logging levels. Use -x all to get the highest level possible.
Also, do a
"tail -f /var/log/uucp/debug" while
debugging to watch things happen on the fly.
In general, you can refer to the documentation mentioned above if things don't work.
You can also refer to your more experienced UUCP neighbors for help. Usually, it's something like a typo anyway.
(religious mode on - I know some people are just as religious about "ease of use" as I am about "being standard". That's why they make source code you can build your own from :-) )
Because IMHO it's the de-facto standard UUCP implementation at this time. There are thousands of sites with experienced admins & there are many places you can get incredibly good information concerning the HDB setup.
Moreover, if you know what HDB is, you shouldn't be reading this HOWTO :-)
uuconv utility in /usr/sbin to convert config
files from one mode to another.
- from Ed Carp - erc at apple.com
If you use a "Direct" device in the Devices file, there's now a 10 second timeout compiled in. Make the name of the Device anything other than "Direct". If you tweak the example /etc/uucp files provided, you won't have problems with this one.
- from Greg Naber - greg at squally.halcyon.com
If you get chat script timeouts, you can tweak the sources by editing at line 323 in uuconf/syssub.c & changing the default timeouts from 10 seconds to something larger.
- from Ed Rodda - ed at orca.wimsey.bc.ca
If you get chat script timeouts, typically connecting to other Taylor sites, a pause after login can fix this.
feed Any ACU,ag 38400 5551212 ogin: \c\d "" yourname word: passwd
- from Dr. Eberhard W. Lisse - el at lisse.NA
Some kernels experience modems hanging up after a couple of seconds. The following patch sent by Ian Taylor might help.
*** conn.c.orig Mon Feb 22 20:25:24 1993 --- conn.c Mon Feb 22 20:33:10 1993 *************** *** 204,209 **** --- 204,212 ---- /* Make sure any signal reporting has been done before we set fLog_sighup back to TRUE. */ + /* SMR: it seems to me if we don't care about SIGHUPS, we should clear + the flag before we return */ + afSignal[INDEXSIG_SIGHUP] = FALSE; ulog (LOG_ERROR, (const char *) NULL); fLog_sighup = TRUE;
Taylor in HDB mode seems to be sensitive to white space & blank lines. To be safe, make sure that there are no blank lines or trailing spaces in the Permissions file.
Lastly, make sure that you have a file called
remote.unknown in /usr/lib/uucp or /etc/uucp &
that it's *NOT* executable.
See the O'Reilly & Associates book
"Managing UUCP &
USENET" for details regarding this file.
In all probability, you are attempting to use a dialer that doesn't exist, or the dialer you've specified in the port files doesn't match up with any valid devices in the dial file.
The following are "known-good" config files for Taylor 1.05 under Linux in HoneyDanBer mode. They work on kernels of 0.99-8 or later. All files should be in /usr/lib/uucp or /etc/uucp unless you've tweaked the sources to put the uucp library elsewhere.
If you *HAVE* put things in non-standard places, be aware that things like sendmail might get very confused. You need to ensure that all communications-related programs agree on your idea of "standard" paths.
#------------- Devices ------------- # make sure the device (cua1 here) matches your system # cua N = COM N+1 # # here "scout" is the Digicom Scout Plus 19.2 modem I use # tbfast etc. is for a Telebit Trailblazer Plus modem's various speeds # ACU cua1 - 19200 scout ACU cua1 - 9600 tbfast ACU cua1 - 1200 tbslow ACU cua1 - 2400 tbmed #------------- dialers -------------- # note the setting of the Trailblazer registers "on the fly" # "scout" is a Digicom Scout Plus (Hayes-like) modem I use here # scout =W-, "" ATM0DT\T CONNECT tbfast =W-, "" A\pA\pA\pT OK ATS50=255DT\T CONNECT\sFAST tbslow =W-, "" A\pA\pA\pT OK ATS50=2DT\T CONNECT\s1200 tbmed =W-, "" A\pA\pA\pT OK ATS50=3DT\T CONNECT\s2400 #-------------- Systems ------------- # this is a very generic entry that will work for most systems # # the Any;1 means that you can call once per minute with using -f (force) # the ACU,g means force "g" protocol rather than Taylor's default "i" # fredsys Any;1 ACU,g 19200 scout5555555 "" \r ogin:--ogin: uanon word: uanon #-------------------------------- Permissions ------------------------- # Taylor UUCP in HDB mode appears to be sensitive to blank lines. # Make sure all Permissions lines are real or commented out. # # this is a anonymous uucp entry # LOGNAME=nuucp MACHINE=OTHER \ READ=/var/spool/uucp/nuucp \ WRITE=/var/spool/uucp/nuucp \ SENDFILES=yes REQUEST=yes \ COMMANDS=/bin/rmail # # this is a normal setup for a remote system that talks to us # note the absolute path to rnews since this site puts things # in locations that aren't "standard" # LOGNAME=fredsys MACHINE=fredsys \ READ=/var/spool/uucp/fredsys:/var/spool/uucp/uucppublic:/files \ WRITE=/var/spool/uucp/fredsys:/var/spool/uucppublic \ SENDFILES=yes REQUEST=yes \ COMMANDS=/bin/rmail:/usr/bin/rnews #----------------------------------------------------------------------
The new v1.05 has an added '-z' switch to uucico that will try alternate numbers for a remote system.
You can else use Taylor mode & "systemyouarecalling-2" (see "sys" in config. files section for more details)
The following people have helped in the assembly of the information & experience that helped make this document possible:
Ed Carp, Steve Robbins, Ian Taylor, Greg Naber, Matt Welsh, Pierre Beyssac & especially many thanks to Vince Skahan for his huge contribution.
If I forgot anybody, my apologies: just email me.