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OVDB_INIT(8) InterNetNews Documentation OVDB_INIT(8)


ovdb_init - 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 when starting the news system.

ovdb_init performs the following steps:

Creates the database environment, if necessary.
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.
If the -u option is specified, it performs any necessary upgrades to the database. See the UPGRADING section below.
Starts the database housekeeping processes (ovdb_monitor) if they are not already running. (Unless the -r option is specified).
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:

  • You upgrade the Berkeley DB library to a newer version, for example from 2.7.7 to 3.1.17. In this case, the Berkeley DB db->upgrade() method is used.
  • You upgrade ovdb to a newer major version; i.e., ovdb-1.0 (shipped with INN 2.3.0 up to INN 2.3.5) to ovdb-2.0 (since INN 2.4.0).

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:

Build and install the Berkeley DB 3.1.17 version;
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);
Do a "make";
Shut down INN (e.g., with " stop") and be sure to kill all instances of nnrpd as well;
Do a "make update" to install the new binaries;
Run "ovdb_init -u" as the news user;
Start INN with the "" command.

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


Written by Heath Kehoe <> for InterNetNews.

$Id: ovdb_init.pod 10241 2018-02-04 15:38:19Z iulius $


ovdb(5), makehistory(8),

2018-03-18 INN 2.6.4