SUMMARY: Sendmail prob: Options MUST PRECEDE persons

From: Russell A. Fink (
Date: Fri Sep 15 1995 - 04:01:35 CDT

Dumb me -- I discovered the power of a 'WAIS search' -- looked right
for the words, 'options must precede' and hit this out of the archive.
I'll summarize anyway.

Snippet of the original question:

> On my Solaris 2.3 (I know, no time to upgrade) SPARC 5, I've
> installed a from a SunOS 4.1.3 machine. From the SPARC
> 5's outbound point of view, everything works well -- users can send
> mail locally, to foreign machines, and so on. But whenever an
> outside machine tries to send mail to someone on the SPARC 5, the
> mail bounces and they get this...
> mail: Options MUST PRECEDE persons
> 554 <>... unknown mailer error 5

Solution, thanks to Gregor Fellers, posted 10 Mar 1995, subject
'Summary: Returned mail: unknown mailer error 5', is this:

Look for the line in the /etc/mail/ file called
     Mlocal, P=/bin/mail, ...
and replace it with a working version; for me, this meant grepping
the same line out of /etc/mail/ and replacing the defective
line in the file with it.

The problem was that the options provided in the old 'Mlocal' line
sent an option '-r' to /bin/mail, which on a Solaris 2.3 machine,
it cannot understand. The solution effectively revamped the options
string so it all works now.

Please read Gregor's article; check the FAQ to see where you can
do WAIS searches, or go right to the article with

It is a fantastic summary to this really annoying problem.

Thanks, Net!

   < Russ Fink - <
> Loral Aerosys - Globalstar SOCC >
   < -- Globalstar -- <
> Advanced Communications for the 21st Century and Beyond >

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:10:33 CDT