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sendmail: alias expansion not working after patch

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Chad Florian
Frequent Advisor

sendmail: alias expansion not working after patch

HP-UX 10.20
sendmail version.c (Berkeley) 05/05/2003 (PHNE_28760)
I have some systems (NetApp) that relay through a few 10.20 systems via aliases. For example, netapp1 sends a notice to aliasname@domainname. What used to happen is that the mail server responsible for domainname would get the email, realize that domainname was for local delivery and the aliasname was an alias, expand the alias and sendd the email to the recipients. Now, the server no longer expands the alias and just relays the mail as-is. Then upstream mail servers who can't resolve domainname becsue it's an internal only domain, reject the email... This started after we applied PHNE_28760.

Any thoughts?

Jeff Schussele
Honored Contributor

Re: sendmail: alias expansion not working after patch

Hi Chad,

I suspect that your /etc/mail/ file may have been overwritten. Do you have a backup copy to refer to? You can use the copy to template the customizations to it & apply them to the new
Do NOT just recopy the old one back to the system as they are sendmail version specific.

Most of the sendmail patches do have special instructions telling you to backup the file prior to patch application.

PERSEVERANCE -- Remember, whatever does not kill you only makes you stronger!
Jeff Schussele
Honored Contributor

Re: sendmail: alias expansion not working after patch

Hi (again) Chad,

Here's the special instructions from PHNE_28760:

Special Installation Instructions:
This patch installs sendmail-8.9.3 on HP-UX 10.20.
Information on sendmail-8.9.3 is documented in the file
/usr/share/doc/sendmail8-9_release.txt. Please refer to
this document for the new/changed features of

Note: Sendmail-8.9.3 uses a new DB version, db-3.0.55. The
underlying database file formats have changed from previous
version of DB to this. So you need to recreate all the
database files used. The new /etc/mail/aliases.db will be
created while installing the patch.

This patch contains the implementation for an enhancement
request for reading the switch configuration for sendmail
from the /etc/nsswitch.conf file instead of from
/etc/mail/service.switch. If /etc/nsswitch.conf is not
present then sendmail uses the following switch

hosts: dns nis files
aliases: files

If NIS is used for aliases, update /etc/nsswitch.conf as:

aliases: files nis


add nis:mail.aliases for the AliasFile option in the
/etc/mail/ as:

O AliasFile=/etc/mail/aliases,nis:mail.aliases

This patch contains a fully documented located
at /usr/newconfig/etc/mail/ This file contains
anti-spamming rulesets that can be used to prevent
unauthorized relaying access to the mail server. It is
strongly recommended that this file be used as the base
sendmail configuration with site-specific modifications as

The supplied with the previous versions of
sendmail (8.7 & 8.8) is compatible with sendmail-8.9.3
installed by this patch except for interoperability with
Openmail. See the WARNING below for details.


1. Installing this patch will have implications for Openmail
due to the change in default end-of-string for all SMTP
commands in sendmail-8.9.3. The default end-of-string for
SMTP commands is \r\n for all delivery agents that speak
SMTP in 8.9.3, whereas it was \n in previous version of

In order to make sendmail-8.9.3 interoperate with
Openmail, please ensure you have the E=\n, in the mailer
definition for Openmail in as given below:

Mopenmail, P=/opt/openmail/bin/, F=DFLMXmnu,
E=\n, S=15, R=25,

To comply with industry-standard sendmail(1M) practices,
after the installation of PHNE_28760, or any superseding
patch, the following behavior will be observed:

1. Non-root users will not be able to print system-wide
sendmail aliases using the praliases(1) command.
2. Non-root users will not be able to print mail traffic
statistics using the mailstats(1) command.
3. Non-root users will not be able to send signals to
sendmail processes, even their own.
4. Sendmail reacts more appropriately to signals,
which may introduce some delay in terminating and
restarting sendmail daemon.

The behaviors one and two mentioned above may
remain even after the removal of the patch.

So looks like you have to create/recreate any existing aliases db file & also note that now nsswitch.conf is used.

Does not appear that a new file is included in this patch, however.


PERSEVERANCE -- Remember, whatever does not kill you only makes you stronger!
Chad Florian
Frequent Advisor

Re: sendmail: alias expansion not working after patch

That was the first thing I checked and shoud have mentioned in my original post. Both the and files are intact.

My thought is that maybe there is some new behavior in sendmail that I need a new setting in the cf file to tell it to expand the alias. It's basically like the sendmail server is not accepting the mail for local delivery and is just relaying it. If it accepted for local delivery, it should expand the alias. I have confirmed that domainname is assigned in the Cw macro.
Chad Florian
Frequent Advisor

Re: sendmail: alias expansion not working after patch

OK... Just saw your second post... I think you hit the nail on the head. After closer review of the mail.log, it is complaining about the version of the I'll try copying in the new one and updating accordingly.