Table of Contents

  1. Introduction, copyright & standard disclaimer

     1.1 Email & spamming
     1.2 Goals
     1.3 New versions
     1.4 Feedback
     1.5 Copyright
     1.6 Limited warranty

  2. Other sources of information

     2.1 USENET
     2.2 Mailing Lists
     2.3 Other documents from LDP
     2.4 Books

  3. Requirements

     3.1 Hardware
     3.2 Software

  4. Setting up the config files

     4.1 Installing config. files
     4.2 (IDX
     4.3 (IDX
     4.4 (IDX
     4.5 (IDX
     4.6 (IDX
     4.7 (IDX
     4.8 (IDX
     4.9 (IDX
     4.10 Now let's test all this
     4.11 Additional informations

  5. It doesn't work - now what?

  6. Frequently Asked Questions about Linux UUCP

     6.1 Why is all the info here for UUCPs configured in "Taylor" rather than "HDB" mode?
     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

  7. Acknowledgements


  1.  Introduction, copyright & standard disclaimer

  1.1.  Email & spamming

  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

  1.2.  Goals

  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.

  1.3.  New versions

  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

  1.4.  Feedback

  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 (gregh at

  1.5.  Copyright

  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/

  If you have questions, please contact the LDP via
  1.6.  Limited warranty

  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.

  2.  Other sources of information

  2.1.  USENET

  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.*

  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.



  The GOOD PLACE is comp.mail.uucp since you can get answers for most of
  your UUCP questions.

  2.2.  Mailing Lists

  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


  2.3.  Other documents from LDP

  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

  2.4.  Books

  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.

  3.  Requirements

  3.1.  Hardware

  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

  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.

  3.2.  Software

  UUCP for linux is available everywhere, for example on  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 ...

  1) Unpack

  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"

  Type "sh 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 & Makefile from  It will also create config.status, which is a shell
  script which actually creates the files.

  3) Decide where to install

  Rather than editing the file in the sources you can get
  the same effect by:

          "configure --prefix=/usr/lib"

  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

  ·  - 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

  ·  Type "make" to compile.

  ·  Type "make install" to install.

  4.  Setting up the config files

  I recommend you start by installing the attached known-good config.
  files included in the document.

  4.1.  Installing config. files

  Put these file in their "standard" location: /etc/uucp on recent linux
  distributions or /usr/lib/uucp on older ones.

  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

  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

  4.2.  "Poll" file

  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.

  4.3.  "call" file

  It contains your login/password for each system you poll:

       polux uudan password

  My machine uses "uudan" login & "password" password :-) when it polls

  As for Poll, adapt this to your situation.

  4.4.  "config" file

  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.

  4.5.  "crontab" file

       # Every day just before morning generate reports.
       0 7 * * *     /usr/lib/uucp/ root
       # Every hour start the To actually poll a remote system,
       # enter its name in /etc/uucp/Poll. You are encouraged to change the "8".
       8 * * * *      /usr/lib/uucp/

  Just run "crontab -u uucp /etc/uucp/crontab" to add it to the others

  4.6.  "dial" file

  # 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.

  4.7.  "passwd" file

       #uuguest                guestpassword

  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.

  4.8.  "port" file

  # 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 /dev/ttySN 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".

  4.9.  "sys" file

  # 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
  #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 ...)

  4.10.  Now let's test all this

  First run:

  (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 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

  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

  The -x 9 will have maximum debugging information written to the
  /var/log/uucp/debug file for help in initial setup.

  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-

  4.11.  Additional informations

  >From Pierre.Beyssac at

  Taylor has more logging levels.  Use -x all to get the highest level

  Also, do a "tail -f /var/log/uucp/debug" while debugging to watch
  things happen on the fly.

  5.  It doesn't work - now what?

  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.

  6.  Frequently Asked Questions about Linux UUCP

  6.1.  "HDB" mode?  Why is all the info here for UUCPs configured in
  "Taylor" rather than

  (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

  Use the uuconv utility in /usr/sbin to convert config files from one
  mode to another.

  6.2.  Why do I get "timeout" on connections when I upgraded to

  ·  from Ed Carp - erc at

     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

     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

     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;

  6.3.  Why doesn't HDB anonymous uucp seem to work?

  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.

  6.4.  What does "no matching ports found" mean?

  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.

  6.5.  What are known good config files for HDB mode?

  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"

  #------------- 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
  READ=/var/spool/uucp/nuucp \
  WRITE=/var/spool/uucp/nuucp \
  # # 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 \

  6.6.  Getting uucico to call alternate numbers

  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)

  7.  Acknowledgements

  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

  If I forgot anybody, my apologies: just email me.

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