[Mailman-Users] Sendmail virtual hosting

Clark Evans clark.evans at manhattanproject.com
Thu Mar 18 08:23:17 CET 1999

Clark Evans writes:
> How do I get mailman to work with sendmail
> virtual hosting. Is /etc/aliases still used?
> Can I put an entry in /etc/virtual that referenses
> an alias in /etc/aliases ?

John Morton replied: 
> That's what I do, and it works fine. Though I guess you could cut out
> the aliases file and just have the line 'name at domain command' , but
> I've never tried it.

I had to explain to my ISP why so many entries in these
files.  Since the explanation may be useful to someone,
here is a copy of it.

:) Clark


Let's take a sample list and work through it so that it
is clearly understandable.

Take the announcement list "announce".

Let's say someone subscribes.  To do this, they go to the
web page, fill out a form, and press "OK".  It sends e-mail
to them asking them to 'confirm'.  The return address for this
confirmation is 'announce-request at jos.org'.  In their mailer,
they reply to the message and press send.  The message goes
to jos.org, destined for announce-request. 

The goal is for the reply message to somehow get piped 
to '/sites/jos/mailman/mail/wrapper mailcmd announce'.
This is a program with two arguments, one of them stating
that it's a request, and the other argument stating what
list the request is for.

To have mail re-directed to a program, an entry like

	test-list:  "|/dir/program-to-run"

must exist in the /etc/mail/aliases file.

Therefore, an entry, say

	announce-request:        "|/sites/jos/mailman/mail/wrapper mailcmd announce"

needs to be in /etc/mail/aliases. For the message to
be delivered.  Now.  There is a problem, first
announce-request may not be unique to the server,
second the virtual mapping

	@jos.org   warpii at spin.de

Will catch the message to announce-request at jos.org
and send it to Markus before it get's to the
alias file!  Bad.

THUS, we need an entry in the /etc/mail/virtual file 
to make sure that the message for this e-mail address
makes it to the alias file so that it can be re-directed 
to the computer program *wheu*

SO, to kill two birds with one stone, we re-name the
"announce-request" in the /etc/mail/aliases file and make
it jos specific, hence, list-jos-announce-request.  
THEN, we add "announce-request at jos.org" to the 
/etc/mail/virtual file to point to list-jos-announce-request.


	list-jos-announce-request:        "|/sites/jos/mailman/mail/wrapper mailcmd announce"

	announce-request at jos.org   list-jos-announce-request

THEREFORE, mail sent to announce-request at jos.org gets re-directed
to the program /sites/jos/mailman/mail/wrapper with the 
arguments "mailcmd announce".

Now, once this program get's the mail, it sends out a 'Hurray!'
thank you for joining message.  This message has a reply-to
address of 'announce-admin at jos.org' -- just in case the user
has complaints.   If the person replys to this message, it goes
to "|/sites/jos/mailman/mail/wrapper mailowner announce" to be
put in a basket for the administator for the list (who ever it
is at the time ) to answer questions about the list.  

Let's assume our user is happy and wants to send a message 
to the list.  He sends it to "announce at jos.org", which goes to
/sites/jos/mailman/mail/wrapper with the arguments "post announce"
So, we have the same pattern once again.

THUS, for each list, we have three entries in the /etc/mail/aliases :

The first for 'requests' (automated)
The second one for 'admin' (Stored for the administrator's review)
The third one is for 'posts' (Sent out to the list at large)

THEN, for each entry in /etc/mail/aliases we have one in /etc/mail/virtual

This is necessary to re-direct from xxx at jos.org to list-jos-xxxx

ALSO, other common ways for an end user to access the list administrator
is by a 'owner', so there are two more /etc/mail/virtual entries, 
'owner-announce' and 'announce-owner'.  This is for backward compatibility
with the many mailers out there that have an 'owner' for the list.

THEREFORE, for each list, there is (3) /etc/mail/aliases entries, 
and (5) /etc/mail/virtual entries.

Multiply this by the number of lists (11) and you have a large 
number of entries.  However, I don't think that it's really all
that big of a deal.   

Hope this help explains the request.  Please consider the entries.

Thank you!

Clark Evans

Additional entries for /etc/mail/virtual

announce at jos.org  list-jos-announce
announce-admin at jos.org  list-jos-announce-admin
announce-request at jos.org  list-jos-announce-request
owner-announce at jos.org  list-jos-announce-admin
announce-owner at jos.org  list-jos-announce-admin

Additional Entries for /etc/mail/aliases                                                 -------------------------------------------------------------
list-jos-announce:                "|/sites/jos/mailman/mail/wrapper post announce"
list-jos-announce-admin:          "|/sites/jos/mailman/mail/wrapper mailowner announce"
list-jos-announce-request:        "|/sites/jos/mailman/mail/wrapper mailcmd announce"

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