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GNATS Administration

In daily usage, GNATS is self-maintaining. However, there are various administrative duties which need to be performed periodically. Also, requirements may change with time, so it may be necessary to make changes to the GNATS configuration at some point:

emptying the pending directory
If a Problem Report arrives with a Category value that is unrecognized by the categories file, or if that field is missing, GNATS places the PR in the pending directory (see Where GNATS lives). PRs submitted in free-form by email will always be filed in the pending directory. If so configured, GNATS sends a notice to the gnats-admin and to the party responsible for that submitter (as listed in the submitters file) when this occurs.

To have these "categoryless" PRs filed correctly, you can then use a GNATS tool such as edit-pr to set the correct category of each PR in the pending directory.

In order to protect yourself from problems caused by full disks, you should arrange to have all mail that is sent to the GNATS database copied to a log file (Setting up mail aliases). Then, should you run out of disk space, and an empty file ends up in the database's pending directory, you need only look in the log file, which should still contain the full message that was submitted.

adding another database
GNATS supports multiple databases. If you find at some point that you need to add another database to your server, the mkdb tool does most of the work for you. See Adding another database.
adding new categories
Most installations of GNATS will only require you to add a new line to the categories file. The category directory will then be created automatically as needed. However, if automatic directory creation has been switched off in the dbconfig file (see The dbconfig file), you need to use the mkcat program.
removing categories
To remove a category, you need to make sure the relevant subdirectory is empty (in other words, make sure no PRs exist for the category you wish to remove). You can then remove the category listing from the categories file, and invoke
rmcat category...

to remove category (any number of categories may be specified on the command line to rmcat, so long as they abide by the above constraints).

adding and removing maintainers
Edit the responsible file to add a new maintainer or to remove an existing maintainer. See The responsible file.
building a new index
If your index becomes corrupted, or if you wish to generate a new one for some reason, use the program gen-index (see Regenerating the index).
pruning log files
Log files often grow to unfathomable proportions. As with gardening, it is best to prune these as they grow, lest they take over your disk and leave you with no room to gather more Problem Reports. If you keep log files, be sure to keep an eye on them. (See Setting up mail aliases.)
Any database is only useful if its data remains uncorrupted and safe. Performing periodic backups ensures that problems like disk crashes and data corruption are reversible.

See Where GNATS lives.