Previous Table of Contents Next

Syntax of Aliases

The following sections describe the syntax of NIS+, NIS, and .mailrc aliases.

NIS+ Aliases The NIS+ aliases table contains all of the names by which a system or person is known, except for private aliases listed in users' local .mailrc files. The sendmail program can use the NIS+ Aliases database instead of the local /etc/mail/aliases files to determine mailing addresses. See the aliasadm(8) and nsswitch.conf(4) manual pages for more information.

The NIS+ aliases table has four columns, as shown in Table 1-6.

Table 1-6 Columns in the NIS+ Aliases Database

Column Description
alias The name of the alias.
expansion The value of the alias as it would appear in a sendmail /etc/aliases file.
options Reserved for future use.
comments Can be used to add specific comments about an individual alias.

Aliases use the format of the NIS+ aliases table:

alias: expansion  [options#   "comments"]

The NIS+ Aliases database should contain entries for all mail clients. You list, create, modify, and delete entries in the NIS+ Aliases database using the aliasadm command. If you are creating a new NIS+ aliases table, you must initialize the table before you create the entries. If the table already exists, no initialization is needed.

When creating alias entries, enter one alias per line. You should only have one entry that contains the user's system name. For example, you could create the following entries for a user named winsor:

winsor: janice.winsor
jwinsor: janice.winsor
janicew: janice.winsor
janice.winsor: winsor@castle

You can create an alias for local names or domains. For example, an alias entry for the user fred, who has a mailbox on the system oak and is in the domain Trees, could have this entry in the NIS+ aliases table:

fred: fred@Trees

To use the aliasadm command, you must be root, a member of the NIS+ group that owns the Aliases database, or the person who created the database.

NIS Aliases Aliases in the NIS aliases map use this format:

name: name1, name2, . . .

.mailrc Aliases Aliases in a .mailrc file use this format:

alias aliasname name1 name2 name3 . . .

/etc/mail/aliases Aliases Distribution list formats in a local /etc/mail/aliases file use this format:

aliasname: name1,name2,name3 . . .

The aliases in the /etc/mail/aliases file are stored in text form. When you edit the /etc/mail/aliases file, run the newaliases program to rehash the database and make the aliases available to the sendmail program in binary form.

See Chapter 3 for information on how to create NIS+ alias tables.

Components of Mail Services

Mail services are composed of a number of programs and daemons that interact with one another. The following sections introduce the programs, along with a number of terms and concepts related to the administration of electronic mail.

The Mail Services Programs

Table 1-7 lists the mail services programs.

Table 1-7 The Components of Mail Services

Command Description
/usr/bin/mailx Interactive mail message processing system that is described in the mailx(1) manual page
/usr/bin/mail Mailer that delivers mail to mailboxes
$OPENWINHOME/bin /mailtool Window-based interface to the sendmail program
/usr/lib/sendmail Mail-routing program
/usr/lib/ Mail-routing program linked with the domain name service resolver
/etc/mail/ Sample configuration file for main systems
/etc/mail/sendmail Sample configuration file for subsidiary systems
/etc/mail/ Configuration file for mail routing
/etc/mail/aliases Mail-forwarding information
/etc/mail/sendmail vars Table that stores macro and class definitions for lookup from file
.sendmailvars. org_dir NIS+ version of sendmailvars table
/usr/bin/newaliases Symbolic link to /usr/lib/sendmail that is used to rebuild the database for the mail aliases file
/usr/bin/mailq Symbolic link to /usr/lib/sendmail that is used to print the headers of messages in the mail queue
/usr/bin/mailstats File that is used to store mail statistics generated by /etc/mail/ (if present)
/usr/bin/mconnect Command that enables you to connect to the mailer for address verification and debugging
/usr/sbin/in.comsat Mail notification daemon
/usr/sbin/syslogd Error message logger that is used by sendmail
/usr/dt/bin/ dtmail*CDE window-based interface to the sendmail program
/usr/dt/bin/ dtmaillpr*CDE electronic mail messaged print filter

*CDE mail programs

Previous Table of Contents Next