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Aliases permit a number of things to happen:

  • They provide a shorthand or well-known name for mail to be addressed to in order to go to one or more persons.
  • They invoke a program with the mail message as the input to the program.
  • They send mail to a file.

All systems require aliases for Postmaster and MAILER-DAEMON to be RFC-compliant.

Always be extremely aware of security when defining aliases that invoke programs or write to programs since sendmail generally runs setuid-root.

Changes to the aliases file do not take effect until the command

is executed to build the required dbm tables. This can also be done by executing the newaliases command, usually from cron.

Details concerning mail aliases may be found in the aliases(5) manual page.

Andrew Anderson
Thu Mar 7 23:22:06 EST 1996