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OpenSolaris 2009.06 - man page for aliases (opensolaris section 4)

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 sendmail(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 sendmail(1M). The program maintains these files.

	   Depending  on  the  configuration  of  the  AliasFile option in /etc/mail/sendmail.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 generates 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 ta-
       ble, 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 (|), sendmail(1M) pipes	the  mes-
       sage 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 con-
       figuration 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 recipi-
       ent  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  spe-
       cific 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, send-
       mail(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  for-
       warding	mail  between  machines, be sure that the destination machine does not return the
       mail to the sender through the operation of any NIS aliases. Otherwise, copies of the mes-
       sage  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 vaca-
       tion 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 vaca-
       tion program.

       The ~/.forward file can be used to specify special "per user"  extensions  by  creating	a
       .forward+extension  file  in  the  home	directory.  For  example,  with  an  address like
       jsmith+jerry@jsmachine, the sendmail(1M) utility recognizes everything before the  "+"  as
       the  actual username (jsmith) and everything after it, up to the "@" symbol, as the exten-
       sion (jerry) which is passed to the mail delivery agent for local use.

       The default value of the ForwardPath processing option in sendmail(1M) is:

	 O ForwardPath=$z/.forward.$w+$h:$z/.forward+$h:$z/.forward.$w:$z \
	 /.forward

       where $z is the macro for the user's home directory, $w is the macro for the local machine
       name and $h is the extension.  For example, for mail using the address, jsmith+jerry@jsma-
       chine, the sendmail(1M) utility checks each of the four following file names, in the order
       given,  to  see	if  it exists and if it has "safe" permissions, that is, that neither the
       file nor any of its parent directories are group- or world-writable:

	 ~jsmith/.forward.jsmachine+jerry
	 ~jsmith/.forward+jerry
	 ~jsmith/.forward.jsmachine
	 ~jsmith/.forward

       The first file that meets the conditions is used to forward the mail,  that  is,  all  the
       entries in that file receive a copy of the mail. The search is then stopped.

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:

       +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+
       |      ATTRIBUTE TYPE	     |	    ATTRIBUTE VALUE	   |
       +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+
       |Availability		     |SUNWsndmr 		   |
       +-----------------------------+-----------------------------+

SEE ALSO
       passwd(1),   uucp(1C),	vacation(1),  newaliases(1M),  sendmail(1M),  ndbm(3C),  getuser-
       shell(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 DataBase 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 5.11				    8 May 2006				       aliases(4)


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