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We run a news server for our engineering teams, which is also linked to the code repositories (so that all engineers can subscribe to any changes in the repos or just the projects they are interested in). On quite a regular basis (several times a day) I (as the sysadmin for that server) receive bounces from innd with the above as the first line. The news server simply rejects these messages and the articles don't get posted. Here is an example:

inews failed: inews: cannot send article to server: 441 437 No colon-space in "X-MS-TNEF-Correlator:" header inews: article not posted

-------- Article Contents

From: (Cameron Taylor)
Content-Language: en-US
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
MIME-Version: 1.0
Subject: [QA REPORT] MDK 400 release 3.4.33 **PRE-RELEASE**
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 16:15:16 +0000
X-Received: from ( [])
 by (8.14.3/8.13.8) with ESMTP id o89GF8tx019494
 for ; Thu, 9 Sep 2010 17:15:08 +0100
X-Received: from ([]) by uk-swa-ex02
 ([]) with mapi; Thu, 9 Sep 2010 17:15:18 +0100
X-To: QA Reports 
X-Thread-Topic: [QA REPORT] MDK 400 release 3.4.33 **PRE-RELEASE**
X-Thread-Index: ActQOjBdms0CSJsORNSxRIMSZ4H3Ow==
X-Accept-Language: en-US, en-GB
X-Auto-Response-Suppress: DR, OOF, AutoReply

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

SQA Test Report

[QA REPORT] MDK 400 release 3.4.33 **PRE-RELEASE**


.... (rest of the message is not important)

And yes, quite clearly this header doesn't have anything after the colon. The man page for innd doesn't specify why it rejects these messages, it just says it rejects them.

So far I have found out these headers are linked to messages in RTF format (coming from Outlook clients), where normally the formatting information would be stored in a winmail.dat attachment. The clients all use MS Exchange 2010 servers to send their mail (identified above as which forwards the message to the news server.

Does anybody know what advice I need to give these users to avoid their articles getting bounced? Or can I change the behaviour of innd? Or do I need to filter these headers out before innd processes the articles?

share|improve this question
I have no answers or even useful commentary. However, an error about "colon-space" made me giggle. – mfinni Sep 9 '10 at 16:39
Hum, well, maybe I am being just a tad anal about this subject... – wolfgangsz Sep 9 '10 at 16:47
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Kind of old now, but in case you are still dealing with this I would just have a filter add a space after the colon in the header when none is there. The Usenet standard RFC 1036 in Section 2 says that "Each header line consist of a keyword, a colon, a blank, and some additional information." INN is rigidly enforcing the standard and considers the message malformed without the space.

Just make sure that you are only adding the space when the following criteria are met:

  • The line starts with a keyword (header name) consisting of alphanumerics and possibly hyphens, unbroken by whitespace.
  • The keyword is followed by a colon.
  • The colon is followed by something that is not a space -- end of line in your example, but possibly some other character.
  • This occurs before the first empty line of the message, which terminates the header.

  • share|improve this answer
    Thanks. Yes, I am still looking at this. My current plan is to write a filter that simply removes the offending lines from the message and then forwards as usual. – wolfgangsz Nov 23 '10 at 16:18

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