SUMMARY: Mail in 4.1.2 problems

From: Ad S. Talwar (
Date: Tue Apr 21 1992 - 20:13:14 CDT

On April 12th after installing 4.1.2, we began experiencing
Mail problems, I posted a help message:
>hi, We are have just upgraded to SunOS 4.1.2, I noticed that
>mail had become strange. It takes a while to access /var/spool/mail
>dir. And when it does, commands inside the Mail/mail interface like


>are not recognized.

>But if I do Mail -f /var/spool/mail/filename, it works okay.
>I have applied patch 100224-03 for replacing /bin/mail and /bin/rmail,
>there are some errors for unknown users. I have checked the permissions
>on the respective mailboxes. I am syslogging also

I immediately started getting suggestions, I thank them for responding
so promptly, even before Sun could wakeup.

The good news is the problems have DIMINSHED, the bad news is, I cannot
pinpoint exactly as to why the problem were caused. If I get a chance to
install another 4.1.2 system, I may track/post exactly what to do, or
else some who experiences it, may post. To solve the problem,
I read sun-mangers from Jan-92 to April-92. Came up with the list of
workarounds, confirmed later with everyones mail.

1. Throw the /etc/sendmail.fc file on the mailhost and restart sendmail.
   I did not have any, i knew about this one.
2. I typed mail, and checked which mail I was using, I made sure
   I was using /usr/ucb/Mail,mail and not /bin/mail or openwindows 3.0
   $OPENWINHOME/bin/mail ( people have advised not to have this in your
   path first).
3. I replaced the /usr/lib/sendmail, /usr/ucb/M[m]ail, and /bin/mail with
   the ones from 4.1.1 and restarted sendmail deamon with the old
4 On the mailhost I moved /usr/lib/sendmail daemon after ldconfig in rc.local.
5 One thing I did (and look at suspiciously), after upgrading, was to install
   the 100224-03 patch, which replaces the /bin/mail and /bin/rmail.
6 Check the permissions on /bin/mail and /bin/rmail, they should
   be 4111 and 111 respectively, otherwise there could be ownership
7 There are problems also with /var/spool/mail/username.lock files,
   if this file is present, you have trouble starting Mail again, i have
   experienced this one, and have to delete them. This may have been
   one of my problems

Here is README for 100224-03 for 4.1.2
Patch-ID# 100224-03
Keywords: mail, delivery, /bin/mail, sendmail
Synopsis: SunOS 4.1.1;4.1.2: program "mail" "rmail" problem in delivering mail
Date: 4/Feb/92
SunOS release: 4.1.1 4.1.2

Topic: /bin/mail delivering fix
BugId's fixed with this patch: 1045636 1047340 1051832

Architectures for which this patch is available: sun3, sun3x, sun4, sun4c

Obsoleted by:

Problem Description:

Bug ID: 1051832 (08-Jan-92, -03)
 castor{ast}73: ls
 README sun3 sun4
 castor{ast}74: ls -l sun4/4.1.2
 total 37
 -rwxr-xr-x 1 ast 32768 Feb 4 14:51 mail
 -rwxr-xr-x 1 ast 5101 Feb 4 14:51 rmail

 As you can see the mail/rmail have changed, and it gave me trouble
 on one machine. After replacing it with the 4.1.1 /bin/mail program,
 problems dissappeared.

-rwsr-xr-x 1 root staff 24576 Apr 13 06:59 mail
-rwsr-xr-x 1 root staff 24576 Oct 23 1991 mail.412
---s--x--x 1 root staff 32768 Apr 12 20:09 mail.after.412
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root staff 4568 Apr 13 07:00 rmail
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root staff 4784 Oct 23 1991 rmail.412
---s--x--x 1 root staff 5101 Apr 12 20:09 rmail.after.42
 So I am trying to conclude which executables are bad.
 Sun has finally given the following offical suggestions:
 1. start sendmail after ldconfig in /etc/rc.local
 2. throw /etc/ away.
 Here are the Users responses.
Try throwing away /etc/sendmail.fc, the frozen configuration file
for sendmail, kill and restart sendmail. There is some problem
associated with the time in rc.local at which sendmail is started
leading to problems with the .fc. This means that killing and
restarting sendmail is supposed to be a (one time) fix, and
removing the fc file, ( or PERHAPS, starting sendmail later in
rc.local) should provide a work around
Do a "which Mail" to see which one you're picking up on. There is a
Mail program in the OW 3.0 bin directory which might be the one you're
getting. (I believe there is a "mail" there as well.)
Just move these programs to a subdirectory & try again
f I do Mail -f /var/spool/mail/filename, it works okay.

This reminds me of a problem I had the other day where "mail"
didn't work, but "mail -f /var/spool/filename" did.

Do a "ps -aux | grep mail" and see if there are any phantom
mail processes running around loose. Also look for files
named "/var/spool/mail/*.log"
Is this within OpenWindows (2/3) or out side of that environment?

They added a mail and Mail to OPENWINHOME/bin.
I've seen many suggestions to either not use frozen sendmail config files,
or to refreeze ... apparently 4.1.2 sendmail binary is different from
4.1.1, hence a .fc file from 4.1.1 is NOT compatible.
hmmmm.... we are runing raw 4.1.2 as far as the mail system goes. We have had two
problems so far.

The first was with sendmail itself. The symptoms were that mail was being
shunted around the network correctly between sendmail's, but when it arrived
at the sendmail that should actually have done the local delivery (ie the
machine the alias pointed at) it was failed to deliver with a User Unknown
error. The problem was that sendmail was being started in /etc/rc.local at a
time when the /etc/ file did not exist - sendmail was trying to
locate a shared library and failing to do so. The solution was to move the
sendmail startup to a point after the rebuild of

# Build the link-editor fast directory cache.
if [ -f /usr/etc/ldconfig ]; then
ldconfig; echo "link-editor directory cache"

# Wed Mar 11 19:56:16 GMT 1992
# phil - sendmail has to be here for
if [ -f /usr/lib/sendmail -a -f /etc/ ]; then
        (cd /var/spool/mqueue; rm -f nf* lf*)
        /usr/lib/sendmail -bd -q1h; echo "mail delivery agent (sendmail)"

The second problem we had was DNS related. The /etc/sendmail.fc file had been
build on a non-DNS'd machine, the lookup into the frozen config file is a
function of the hostname and so mail was failing to find a machine in the fc
file due to the changes in fully and non qualified domain names. The solution
was to simply rebuild the fc file on a DNS'd machine.

Your problem sounds as though it is related to our first problem... the username
lookups appear to be misbehaving... one way to see if things will get better
is to kill the currently running sendmail and restart it while the machine is
multi-user. Sendmail will load the correct shared libraries.

 am intrigued as to what patch 100224-03 does for you! could you let me know

Other than that in 4.1.2, we have installed 3 patches till now.

1) 100332-05
Keywords: Fortran, Optimizer, Assembler, Code Generator, Math Library, SC1.0
Synopsis: Fortran 1.4: Fixes several fortran bugs, this was installed to
1070243 Undefined symbol _MAIN_ when using ld1.1.38 patch
linking c 1.1 and fortran 1.4.1 programs.

2) patch 100512-0-1
1074766 Linking libXt with 4.1.2 patched ld generates undefined symbols
Keywords: libXt3.0
Synopsis: OpenWindows 3.0: libXt CTE Jumbo Patch
Date: 11/Mar/92

3)Patch-ID# 100474-01
Keywords: format 1.3 Gigabyte disk
Synopsis: SunOS 4.1.2: Assertion Failure on 1.3GB Elite Drive
Date: 16/Jan/92
SunOS release: 4.1.2


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