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aliases(4)                       File Formats                       aliases(4)



NAME
       aliases, addresses, forward - addresses and aliases for sendmail

SYNOPSIS
       /etc/mail/aliases

       /etc/mail/aliases.db

       /etc/mail/aliases.dir

       /etc/mail/aliases.pag

       ~/.forward

DESCRIPTION
       These  files  contain  mail  addresses  or aliases, recognized by send-
       mail(1M) for the local host:

       /etc/passwd                     Mail  addresses  (usernames)  of  local
                                       users.



       /etc/mail/aliases               Aliases  for  the  local host, in ASCII
                                       format. Root can edit this file to add,
                                       update, or delete local mail aliases.



       /etc/mail/aliases.{dir , pag}   The     aliasing    information    from
                                       /etc/mail/aliases, in  binary  ndbm(3C)
                                       format  for  use  by  sendmail(1M). The
                                       program newaliases(1M) maintains  these
                                       files.



       /etc/mail/aliases.db             The    aliasing    information    from
                                       /etc/mail/aliases, in binary,  Berkeley
                                       DataBase   format   for  use  by  send-
                                       mail(1M). The program  maintains  these
                                       files.

                                       Depending  on  the configuration of the
                                       AliasFile  option  in   /etc/mail/send-
                                       mail.cf,   either   the   single   file
                                       aliases.db  or  the   pair   of   files
                                       aliases.{dir,   pag}  is  generated  by
                                       newaliases(1M).   As    shipped    with
                                       Solaris,   sendmail(1M)  supports  both
                                       formats. If neither is  specified,  the
                                       Berkeley  DataBase  format which gener-
                                       ates the single .db file is used.



       ~/.forward                      Addresses to which  a  user's  mail  is
                                       forwarded (see Automatic Forwarding).



       In  addition,  the  NIS name services aliases map mail.aliases, and the
       NIS+ mail_aliases table, both contain addresses and  aliases  available
       for use across the network.

   Addresses
       As distributed, sendmail(1M) supports the following types of addresses:

   Local Usernames
       username


       Each local username is listed in the local host's /etc/passwd file.

   Local Filenames
       pathname


       Messages  addressed  to the absolute pathname of a file are appended to
       that file.

   Commands
       |command


       If the first character of the address is  a  vertical  bar  (|),  send-
       mail(1M) pipes the message to the standard input of the command the bar
       precedes.

   Internet-standard Addresses
       username@domain


       If domain does not contain any `.' (dots), then it  is  interpreted  as
       the  name  of  a  host in the current domain. Otherwise, the message is
       passed to a mailhost that  determines  how  to  get  to  the  specified
       domain. Domains are divided into subdomains separated by dots, with the
       top-level domain on the right.

       For example, the full address of John Smith could be:

       js@jsmachine.Podunk-U.EDU


       if he uses the machine named jsmachine at Podunk University.

   uucp Addresses
       ... [host!] host!username


       These are sometimes mistakenly referred  to  as  ``Usenet''  addresses.
       uucp(1C)  provides links to numerous sites throughout the world for the
       remote copying of files.

       Other site-specific forms of addressing can be added by customizing the
       sendmail.cf configuration file. See sendmail(1M) for details.  Standard
       addresses are recommended.

   Aliases
   Local Aliases
       /etc/mail/aliases is formatted as a series of lines of the form

       aliasname:address[, address]


       aliasname is the name of the alias or alias group, and address  is  the
       address of a recipient in the group. Aliases can be nested. That is, an
       address can be the name of another alias  group.  Because  of  the  way
       sendmail(1M) performs mapping from upper-case to lower-case, an address
       that is the name of another alias group must not contain any upper-case
       letters.

       Lines  beginning with white space are treated as continuation lines for
       the preceding alias. Lines beginning with # are comments.

   Special Aliases
       An alias of the form:

       owner-aliasname : address


       sendmail directs error-messages resulting from  mail  to  aliasname  to
       address,  instead  of back to the person who sent the message. sendmail
       rewrites the SMTP envelope sender to  match  this,  so  owner-aliasname
       should always point to alias-request, and alias-request should point to
       the owner's actual address:

       owner-aliasname:      aliasname-request
       aliasname-request     address


       An alias of the form:

       aliasname: :include:pathname


       with colons as shown, adds the recipients listed in the  file  pathname
       to  the  aliasname  alias.  This allows a private list to be maintained
       separately from the aliases file.

   NIS and NIS+ Domain Aliases
       The aliases file on the master NIS server is used for the  mail.aliases
       NIS  map,  which  can  be  made  available  to  every  NIS  client. The
       mail_aliases table serves the same purpose on a NIS+ server. Thus,  the
       /etc/mail/aliases* files on the various hosts in a network will one day
       be obsolete. Domain-wide aliases should  ultimately  be  resolved  into
       usernames  on specific hosts. For example, if the following were in the
       domain-wide alias file:

       jsmith:js@jsmachine


       then any NIS or NIS+ client could just mail to jsmith and not  have  to
       remember the machine and username for John Smith.

       If  a  NIS or NIS+ alias does not resolve to an address with a specific
       host, then the name of the NIS or NIS+ domain is used. There should  be
       an alias of the domain name for a host in this case.

       For example, the alias:

       jsmith:root


       sends  mail on a NIS or NIS+ client to root@podunk-u if the name of the
       NIS or NIS+ domain is podunk-u.

   Automatic Forwarding
       When an alias (or address) is resolved to the name of  a  user  on  the
       local  host,  sendmail(1M)  checks  for a ~/.forward file, owned by the
       intended recipient, in that user's home directory, and  with  universal
       read  access. This file can contain one or more addresses or aliases as
       described above, each of which is sent a copy of the user's mail.

       Care must be taken to avoid creating addressing loops in the ~/.forward
       file.  When forwarding mail between machines, be sure that the destina-
       tion machine does not return the mail to the sender through the  opera-
       tion of any NIS aliases. Otherwise, copies of the message may "bounce."
       Usually, the solution is to change the NIS alias to direct mail to  the
       proper destination.

       A  backslash before a username inhibits further aliasing. For instance,
       to invoke the vacation program, user js creates a ~/.forward file  that
       contains the line:

       \js, "|/usr/ucb/vacation js"


       so  that  one  copy  of the message is sent to the user, and another is
       piped into the vacation program.

FILES
       /etc/passwd                     Password file



       /etc/nsswitch.conf              Name service switch configuration file



       /etc/mail/aliases               Mail aliases file (ascii)



       /etc/mail/aliases.db            Database of mail aliases (binary)



       /etc/mail/aliases.dir           Database of mail aliases (binary)



       /etc/mail/aliases.pag           Database of mail aliases (binary)



       /etc/mail/sendmail.cf           sendmail configuration file



       ~/.forward                      Forwarding information file



ATTRIBUTES
       See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:


       tab()    allbox;    cw(2.750000i)|     cw(2.750000i)     lw(2.750000i)|
       lw(2.750000i).  ATTRIBUTE TYPEATTRIBUTE VALUE AvailabilitySUNWsndmr


SEE ALSO
       passwd(1),   uucp(1C),   vacation(1),   newaliases(1M),   sendmail(1M),
       ndbm(3C), getusershell(3C), passwd(4), shells(4), attributes(5)

NOTES
       Because of restrictions in ndbm(3C), a single alias cannot contain more
       than about 1000 characters (if this format is used). The Berkeley Data-
       Base format does not have any such restriction. Nested aliases  can  be
       used to circumvent this limit.

       For  aliases  which  result  in  piping to a program or concatenating a
       file, the shell of the controlling user must be allowed.  Which  shells
       are and are not allowed are determined by getusershell(3C).



SunOS 5.10                        13 Feb 2003                       aliases(4)