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Files Reference

Sysfiles File Format for BNU


Gives system administrators flexibility in configuring their Systems, Devices and Dialers files for use with BNU commands.


The /etc/uucp/Sysfiles file let system administrators specify alternate Systems, Devices and Dialers files to replace the default files in the /etc/uucp directory or to supplement those files to enable a separation of the data needed to access remote systems. It is organized so a user can invoke two distinct types of services, uucico and cu. The uucico service refers to the /usr/sbin/uucp/uucico command and the commands that invoke it, for example uucp, uux, uusend, uucico. It automatically logs into remote systems and sends and receives data. The cu service connects to remote systems without attempting to login and uses the cu, ct, and slattach commands to contact remote systems. The responses to the user name and password prompts as well as any data transfer is the responsibility of the user. Based upon these differences a system administrator can split the data used to contact remote systems according the service types

The Sysfiles file contains a description of each BNU service on the local system that can establish a remote connection. Each line in the Sysfiles file corresponds to the following syntax:

service=uucico|cu [systems=filename[:filename]] \
                  [devices=filename[:filename]] \
                  [dialers=filename[:filename]] \

If a service does not have a corresponding line in the Sysfiles file, the default files are used.


  1. A Sysfiles configuration that splits the configuration files for uucico and cu into different sets of files would be as follows:

    service=uucico  systems=Systems.cico devices=Devices.cico \
    service=cu      systems=Systems.cu   devices=Devices.cu    \

    These two lines in a Sysfiles file state that two separate sets of Systems, Devices and Dialers files are used for each service. Each service is specified by the service= at the beginning of a line with no leading white space. The files used for each service is named on the same line according to the substrings appended to the systems=, devices= and dialers=. Their default location is in the /etc/uucp directory.

  2. A configuration to split the uucico and cu service entries into separate files, but to combine common configuration data would be as follows:

    service=uucico  systems=Systems.cico:Systems \
                    devices=Devices.cico:Devices \
    service=cu      systems=Systems.cu:Systems  \
                    devices=Devices.cu:Devices \

    This example provides separate Systems, Devices, and Dialers files for each service, but combines any common data into the default files. As the example shows, multiple Systems, Devices and Dialers files can be specified for each service. A colon is used as the filename delimiter in such a case.

  3. This example specifies separate Systems files for each service. Each service uses the default Devices and Dialers files.

    service=uucico  systems=Systems.cico
    service=cu      systems=Systems.cu

    If no Sysfiles service entry is made for a Systems, Devices, or Dialers file, the default file is used. Any files specified in Sysfiles to serve as Systems, Devices, or Dialers files need to conform to the syntax used in the default files, /etc/uucp/Systems, /etc/uucp/Devices or /etc/uucp/Dialers.


/etc/uucp Contains all the default configuration files for BNU, including the Sysfiles file.
/etc/uucp/Sysfiles Contains information about alternate Systems, Devices and Dialers files.
/etc/uucp/Systems Lists and describes remote systems accessible to a local system, using the Basic Networking Utilities (BNU).
/etc/uucp/Devices Contains information about available devices.
/etc/uucp/Dialers Contains dialing sequences for various types of modems and other types of dialers.

Related Information

The uucico daemon, ct command, cu command, uucp command, uux command, uusend command

The /etc/uucp/Devices File, /etc/uucp/Dialers File, /etc/uucp/Systems File,

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