SUMMARY: sendmail.8.6.4 & nis aliases

From: Darie Duclos - /LMC/U/OI (
Date: Wed Nov 24 1993 - 09:23:37 CST

I thought I should quickly post this summary so I stop
being bombarded with answers..

The original posting:
>Hi, I put in sendmail 8.6.4 yesterday, and now
>sendmail -bi won't accept my nis alias file. It
>tells me, for every line, that it can't alias
>non-local names. Some of the entries are valid
>userids, some are list names, some are standard
>(Postmaster), none contain an "@" sign on the left
>hand side. Anyone know what's wrong??
>BTW, in case it's relevant, my mailhub and nis
>master are 2 different machines, but both are
>running 8.6.4 sendmail.

In fact the latter fact *was* quite relevant. My nis
master, being a regular client for mail, mouting
/var/spool/mail from the mailhub, has, like everyone
else, a "nullclient" When newaliases runs
(sendmail -bi), it uses the config file's ruleset 0 to
evaluate the mailer for each LHS in the aliases file.
If it does not resolve the mailer as "local" (which a
"nullclient" never does), it rejects the alias.

What I did to fix the problem was to add a parameter to
"sendmail -bi" in the NIS Makefile telling it to use an
alternate config file. I use the from my
mailhub. The line in the Makefile now looks like this:

@/usr/lib/sendmail -bi -C/var/yp/ -oA$(YPDBDIR)/$(DOM)/mail.aliases;

Thanks to all who responded (so far):

thorn@amaretto.CC.McGill.CA (Ronald-Robert Hall)
Ian MacPhedran <>
Ricardo Marek <> (Bob Izenberg)
Claude Marinier <>
"David D. Ward" <dward@mercury.forestry.Umn.EDU>
Robert L Krawitz <rlk@Think.COM>

Ian saw what the problem was, but his solutions were a little
drastic. Ricardo thought I should switch to IDA (after doing
all this to go to 8.6.4!!??). Claude, sendmail 8.6.4 *does*
know about nis, it even allows you to list nis:mail.aliases
as one of the locations for aliases files. David, in my system,
newaliases is just a link to /usr/lib/sendmail.. not in yours?
Robert had a very good explanation, but I'd already figured it
out by then.. :-) I include his mail below.

Darie Duclos

Unix sys admin
Ericsson Research Canada, Montreal

> From: Robert L Krawitz <rlk@Think.COM>
> Well, Sun put the nis aliases support into its version of sendmail, and
> it doesn't much surprise me that a public domain version of sendmail
> doesn't have support for that.

> Most likely, the machine that you're running sendmail -bi on does not do
> local delivery. What happens (I'm guessing -- I haven't studied this
> code) is that each alias effectively gets run through ruleset 0, and
> unless it resolves to the "local" mailer, the alias gets rejected.

> I'm not familiar with nis aliases, since we use a centralized mailer
> with spoke machines that merely feed all mail to the hub, with a single
> spool directory that only the hub writes to (the spokes do no delivery).

> Robert Krawitz <> OS/IO Software Engineer (617)234-2116
> Thinking Machines Corp. 245 First St. Cambridge, MA 02142

> Member of the League for Programming Freedom -- mail
> Tall Clubs International -- or 1-800-521-2512

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