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 Post subject: Sendmail hosts weirdness
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:11 am
Posts: 125
Location: Cairo
So I'm trying to use my Indy running 6.2 for email. Netscape is unstable, Mediamail doesn't support IMAP, but pine does the job. Unfortunately it wants to use sendmail for sending mail to the relayhost. 6.2 freeware doesn't have postfix, so I'm on unfamiliar ground here.

Code:
john@thumper john$ /usr/etc/configmail list
forwarder = "germany.ripserve.com"
rootdomain = "ripserve.com"
directdomains = ""
localdomain = "thumper.ripserve.com"
pathalias = "/dev/null"
recsubdomains = ""
relayname = "relay"
deadhosts = "somewhere"
domainrelay = "canonhost: Error "relay" - Host not found"
mycanonname = "thumper.thumper.ripserve.com"


I got this to work once in between reboots, then it stops looking for the relay server and tries to deliver directly. Could be that it has the wrong canonical name, knowing sendmail. In /etc/hosts I have a line

Code:
192.168.0.10       thumper

In /etc/resolv.conf there is
Code:
hostresorder local bind
nameserver 192.168.0.99
nameserver 128.102.18.31

domain ripserve.com

The Indy is on an ADSL line, not sure what the correct reverse DNS should be, seems to be able to ping the internet OK. Am I missing something obvious.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:47 pm 
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Location: Renton, WA
Have you checked TGCWare?

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 1:03 pm 
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Location: Cairo
TGCWare looks really cool. Thanks for that.

I ended up downloading the source and using m4 to do a config file from scratch (masochism!). Seems to be halfway there, am connecting to the relay host, but relaying is denied. So the problem is upstream, this version of sendmail doesn't seem to want to do SMTP auth, doesn't have the right libs. Hmmmm....


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:50 am 
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
What does ldd on the sendmail executable say is missing?

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:44 pm 
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Location: Cairo
Hmmm, this took me a while to get my head around. Ended up piping the output of pine through ssh to sendmail on the remote server. Problem solved without having to recompile anything, all using mid 90s technology.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:52 am 
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Posts: 9695
johnsmith wrote:
Hmmm, this took me a while to get my head around. Ended up piping the output of pine through ssh to sendmail on the remote server.

You could have done it with sendmail directly from your Indy but I dunno ... I couldn't recommend getting too deep into sendmail. You might never find your way back to the normal world. You may have run into the fact that our current Commercial Society disapproves of independent mail servers. Or independent thought, for that matter.

With sendmail you can exchange mail manually from a command line and it will give you much more detailed error messages. I spent two or three hours a night for about six weeks with a sendmail book once. (There was nothing else to do.) Eventually I was able to bypass their mail system entirely that way, so I was no longer censored. It was a fun exercise, you can do almost anything with sendmail but beware, it may do permanent mental damage. Didn't Eric Raymond write that thing ? And we all know how into the bizarre he is ....


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:11 am 
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Location: Cairo
R$* $: $1 <@>
R$* < $* > $* <@> $: $1 < $2 > $3
R$* :: $* <@> $: $1 :: $2
R:include: $* <@> $: :include: $1
R$* : $* <@> $: $2

I think my brain is still working after the explosion in the punctuation factory. Now I remember why I migrated away from sendmail in 1999.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:37 pm 
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Location: Berkeley, CA, USA, NA, Earth, Sol
Eric Allman is the creator of sendmail, though I don't he's personally messed with the code for quite a while now.

While the syntax for rulesets is indeed painful for humans, try to keep in mind that it was done for ease of parsing/execution on machines that ran 1 MIPS or less (sometimes a lot less!) back in the early- to mid-80s. It may be ugly, but it's well-understood, it works, and it's constantly scrutinized for security and reliability. The black eye it got as a vector for the Morris Internet Worm of 1988 hung over it for decades, but it's no worse than any other critical FOSS infrastructure code, cf. BIND, Apache, etc.

All that said, I don't recommend it to anybody who isn't up for dealing with it, or doesn't need the features. Postfix or Exim will do just fine for the majority of installations.


Disclaimer: I used to work for Sendmail, Inc, the company Eric and others founded to provide support for and commercial versions of sendmail. If you disagree with any of the above, I won't object if you blame it on permanent mind-warpage due to ruleset hacking. ;)

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:27 pm 
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smj wrote:
Eric Allman is the creator of sendmail, though I don't he's personally messed with the code for quite a while now.

Oh right ! The Allman brothers ! they say memory is the second thing to go :(

Quote:
While the syntax for rulesets is indeed painful for humans ... It may be ugly, but it's well-understood, it works, and it's constantly scrutinized for security and reliability ... it's no worse than any other critical FOSS infrastructure code, cf. BIND, Apache, etc.

It's better. It actually works. It will drive an average person crazy getting there but when you're done, it does its job. And there aren't 500 different sets of conflicting instructions all over the internet to wade through like Solaris and you don't need to download every stupid little piece of crap library every thought up by some pimply teenager to keep it up to date, like fossy. It's okay (especially if you are a masochist !)

Quote:
All that said, I don't recommend it to anybody who isn't up for dealing with it

A perfect mate for Solaris then ....

Quote:
Disclaimer: I used to work for Sendmail, Inc,

Cool ! No wonder your mind is a little bit twisted :P


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