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General introductions to UUCP are available, and perhaps one day I will write one. In the meantime, here is a very brief one that concentrates on the programs provided by Taylor UUCP.
Taylor UUCP is a complete UUCP package. It is covered by the GNU Public License, which means that the source code is always available. It is composed of several programs; most of the names of these programs are based on earlier UUCP packages.
uucp program is used to copy file between systems. It is
similar to the standard Unix
cp program, except that you can
refer to a file on a remote system by using `system!' before the
file name. For example, to copy the file `notes.txt' to the system
`airs', you would say `uucp notes.txt airs!~/notes.txt'. In
this example `~' is used to name the UUCP public directory on
`airs'. For more details, see uucp.
uux program is used to request the execution of a program
on a remote system. This is how mail and news are transferred over
UUCP. As with
uucp, programs and files on remote systems may
be named by using `system!'. For example, to run the
rnews program on `airs', passing it standard input, you
would say `uux - airs!rnews'. The `-' means to read standard
input and set things up such that when
rnews runs on
`airs' it will receive the same standard input. For more details,
uux actually do any work
immediately. Instead, they queue up requests for later processing.
They then start a daemon process which processes the requests and calls
up the appropriate systems. Normally the system will also start the
daemon periodically to check if there is any work to be done. The
advantage of this approach is that it all happens automatically. You
don't have to sit around waiting for the files to be transferred. The
disadvantage is that if anything goes wrong it might be a while before
uustat program does many things. By default it will
simply list all the jobs you have queued with
uux that have not yet been processed. You can use
uustat to remove any of your jobs from the queue. You can
also it use it to show the status of the UUCP system in various ways,
such as showing the connection status of all the remote systems your
system knows about. The system administrator can use
to automatically discard old jobs while sending mail to the user who
requested them. For more details, see uustat.
uuname program by default lists all the remote systems
your system knows about. You can also use it to get the name of your
local system. It is mostly useful for shell scripts. For more details,
uulog program can be used to display entries in the UUCP
log file. It can select the entries for a particular system or a
particular user. You can use it to see what has happened to your queued
jobs in the past. For more details, see uulog.
uuto is a simple shell script interface to
will transfer a file, or the contents of a directory, to a remote
system, and notify a particular user on the remote system when it
arrives. The remote user can then retrieve the file(s) with
uupick. For more details, see uuto, and
cu program can be used to call up another system and
communicate with it as though you were directly connected. It can also
do simple file transfers, though it does not provide any error checking.
For more details, cu.
These eight programs just described,
cu are the user programs provided by
requests to the work queue,
uupick extracts files from the
UUCP public directory,
uustat examines the work queue,
uuname examines the configuration files,
examines the log files, and
cu just uses the UUCP
The real work is actually done by two daemon processes, which are normally run automatically rather than by a user.
uucico daemon is the program which actually calls the
remote system and transfers files and requests.
normally started automatically by
Most systems will also start it periodically to make sure that all work
requests are handled.
uucico checks the queue to see what
work needs to be done, and then calls the appropriate systems. If the
call fails, perhaps because the phone line is busy,
leaves the requests in the queue and goes on to the next system to call.
It is also possible to force
uucico to call a remote system
even if there is no work to be done for it, so that it can pick up any
work that may be queued up remotely. For more details, see
uuxqt daemon processes execution requests made by the
uux program on remote systems. It also processes requests
made on the local system which require files from a remote system. It
is normally started by
uucico. For more details, see
Suppose you, on the system `bantam', want to copy a file to the
system `airs'. You would run the
uucp command locally,
with a command like `uucp notes.txt airs!~/notes.txt'. This would
queue up a request on `bantam' for `airs', and would then
uucico would see that
there was a request for `airs' and attempt to call it. When the
call succeeded, another copy of
uucico would be started on
`airs'. The two copies of
uucico would tell each other
what they had to do and transfer the file from `bantam' to
`airs'. When the file transfer was complete the
on `airs' would move it into the UUCP public directory.
UUCP is often used to transfer mail. This is normally done
automatically by mailer programs. When `bantam' has a mail message
to send to `ian' at `airs', it executes `uux - airs!rmail
ian' and writes the mail message to the
uux process as
standard input. The
uux program, running on `bantam',
will read the standard input and store it, as well as the
rmail request itself, on the work queue for `airs'.
uux will then start the
uucico daemon. The
uucico daemon will call up `airs', just as in the
uucp example, and transfer the work request and the mail
uucico daemon on `airs' will put the files
on a local work queue. When the communication session is over, the
uucico daemon on `airs' will start the
uuxqt will see the request on the work queue, and
will run `rmail ian' with the mail message as standard input. The
rmail program, which is not part of the UUCP package, is then
responsible for either putting the message in the right mailbox on
`airs' or forwarding the message on to another system.
Taylor UUCP comes with a few other programs that are useful when installing and configuring UUCP.
uuchk program reads the UUCP configuration files and
displays a rather lengthy description of what it finds. This is useful
when configuring UUCP to make certain that the UUCP package will do what
you expect it to do. For more details, see uuchk.
uuconv program can be used to convert UUCP configuration
files from one format to another. This can be useful for administrators
converting from an older UUCP package. Taylor UUCP is able to read and
use old configuration file formats, but some new features can not be
selected using the old formats. For more details, see uuconv.
uusched script is provided for compatibility with older
UUCP releases. It starts
uucico to call, one at a time, all
the systems for which work has been queued. For more details, see
tstuu program is a test harness for the UUCP package; it
can help check that the package has been configured and compiled
correctly. However, it uses pseudo-terminals, which means that it is
less portable than the rest of the package. If it works, it can be
useful when initially installing Taylor UUCP. For more details, see
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