Dec 102017
How to use the internet 'archie' clients.
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How to use the internet ‘archie’ clients.
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Contents of the ARCHIE.DOC file


archie - query the Archie anonymous FTP databases using

archie [ -cers ] [ -a ] [ -l ] [ -t ] [ -m hits ] [ -N level ] [ -h hostname ]
[ -o filename ] [ -L ] [ -fB-V ] string

archie queries an archie anonymous FTP database looking for
the specified string using the Prospero protocol. This
client is based on Prospero version Beta.4.2 and is provided
to encourage non-interactive use of the Archie servers (and
subsequently better performance on both sides). This man
page describes version 1.3 of the client.

The general method of use is of the form

% archie string

This will go to the archie server and ask it to look for all
known systems that have a file named `string' in their FTP
area. archie will wait, and print out any matches.

For example,

% archie emacs

will find all anonymous FTP sites in the archie database
that have files named emacs somewhere in their FTP area.
(This particular query would probably return a lot of direc-
tories.) If you want a list of every filename that contains
emacs anywhere in it, you'd use

% archie -c emacs

Regular expressions, such as

% archie -r '[xX][lL]isp'

may also be used for searches. (See the manual of a reason-
ably good editor, like GNU Emacs or vi, for more information
on using regular expressions.)

The options currently available to this archie client are:

-c Search substrings paying attention to upper &
lower case.
-e Exact string match. (This is the default.)
-r Search using a regular expression.

Archie (Prospero) Last change: 9 January 1992 1


-s Search substrings ignoring the case of the
-ofilename If specified, place the results of the search in
-a Output results as Alex filenames.
-l Output results in a form suitable for parsing by
-t Sort the results inverted by date.
-mhits Specifies the maximum number of hits (matches)
to return (default of 95).
-Nlevel Sets the niceness of a query; by default, it's
set to 0. Without an argument, ``-N'' defaults
to 35765. If you use -N with an argument
between 0 and 35765, it'll adjust itself accord-
ingly. (Note: VMS users will have to put quotes
around this argument, and -L, like "-N45"; VMS
will otherwise convert it to lowercase.)
-h hostname Tells the client to query the Archie server
-L Lists the Archie servers known to the program
when it was compiled, as well as the name of the
default Archie server. For an up-to-date list,
write to ``[email protected]'' (or any
Archie server) with the single command of
-V With the verbose option, archie will make some
comments along the way if a search is going to
take some time, to pacify the user.

The three search-modifying arguments (``-c'', ``-r'', and
``-s'') are all mutually exclusive; only the last one
counts. If you specify -e with any of ``-c'', ``-r'', or
``-s'', the server will first check for an exact match, then
fall back to the case-sensitive, case-insensitive, or regu-
lar expression search. This is so if there are matches that
are particularly obvious, it will take a minimal amount of
time to satisfy your request.

If you list a single `-' by itself, any further arguments
will be taken as part of the search string. This is
intended to enable searching for strings that begin with a
`-'; for example:

% archie -s - -old

will search for all filenames that contain the string `-old'
in them.

Archie servers are set up to respond to a number of requests
in a queued fashion. That is, smaller requests get served
much more quickly than do large requests. As a result, the

Archie (Prospero) Last change: 9 January 1992 2


more often you query the Archie server, or the larger your
requests, the longer the queue will become, resulting in a
longer waiting period for everyone's requests. Please be
frugal when possible, for your benefit as well as for the
other users.

Please use the ``-N'' option whenever you don't demand
immediacy, or when you're requesting things that could gen-
erate large responses. Even when using the nice option, you
should still try to avoid big jobs during busy periods.
Here is a list of what we consider to be nice values that
accurately reflect the priority of a job to the server.

Normal 0
Nice 500
Nicer 1000
Very Nice 5000
Extremely Nice 10000
Nicest 32765

The last priority, Nicest, would be used when a job should
wait until the queue is essentially empty before running.
You should pick one of these values to use, possibly modify-
ing it slightly depending on where you think your priority
should land. For example, 32760 would mean wait until the
queue is empty, but jump ahead of other jobs that have
selected Nicest.

There are certain types of things that we suggest using
Nicest for, irregardless. In particular, any searches for
which you would have a hard time justifying the use of any-
thing but extra resources. (We all know what those searches
would be for.)

This will change the host archie will consult when
making queries. (The default value is what's been
compiled in.) The ``-h'' option will override this.
If you're running VMS, create a symbol called

For more information on regular expressions, see the manual
pages on:

regex(3), ed(1)

Also read the file archie/doc/whatis.archie on for a detailed paper on Archie as a whole.

Archie (Prospero) Last change: 9 January 1992 3


Read the file README.ALEX distributed with this client for
more information on what Alex is and how you can take advan-
tage of it.
The archie service was conceived and implemented by Alan
Emtage ([email protected]), Peter Deutsch
([email protected]), and Bill Heelan
([email protected]). The entire Internet is in their

The Prospero system was created by Clifford Neuman
([email protected]); write to [email protected] for more
information on the protocol and its use.

This stripped client was put together by Brendan Kehoe
([email protected]), with modifications by Clifford Neuman
and George Ferguson ([email protected]).

There are none; only a few unexpected features.

Archie (Prospero) Last change: 9 January 1992 4

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