Managing mail with MMDF

MMDF configuration information

The information that you need to provide to the MMDF Configuration Manager is:

Specifying the host name

The MMDF Configuration Manager displays the full name of the local host, which you can modify if necessary. The complete name, including the machine name and any other domain names, is known as the ``fully qualified host name'' (also called the ``fully qualified domain name''). For example, if you have this mail address:
the fully qualified host name is:
In this case, volga is the machine name, your_company describes the local site, and com specifies that the machine belongs to a commercial organization.

This table shows examples of other fully qualified host names:

slug is a machine at the University of California at Santa Cruz in the EDU domain

seismo is a machine at the Center for Seismographic Studies in the GOV domain
nessie is a machine at Edinburgh University in Scotland in the academic (ac) subdomain in the UK domain
The MMDF Configuration Manager displays the host name followed by the local (if appropriate), subdomain, and top-level domain name as shown in the previous examples. The domain name refers to just the subdomain and top-level domain name (without the host name). For example,

See also:

Specifying networks to use with MMDF

The version of MMDF included with your SCO OpenServer system includes support for TCP/IP, UUCP, and Micnet. The MMDF Configuration Manager displays the names of the networks that are configured on the local host and prompts you to select one or more of them for exchanging mail. It then configures MMDF to use the selected networks. For information about how MMDF uses the networks, see ``About mail channels''.

Specifying format for mail user addresses

In the MMDF Configuration Manager, choose a the mail address format for all users. Choices include the formats ``From: user@host.domain_name'' and ``From: user@domain_name'', and possibly a format with one or more additional level of subdomain information, such as andrei@yangtze.engr.your_company.COM.

NOTE: Support is not provided for 8-bit user names with MMDF.

The second option ``hides'' the current host name behind the domain name. When you configure MMDF to hide your host name, MMDF identifies all outgoing mail as coming from a single source (your domain name).

For example, the fully qualified domain name for the host that you are configuring is:
You can ``hide'' the host name volga behind the domain name If you do, when andrei sends mail outside the organization, the message appears as if it came from instead of

NOTE: When you join local machines under a single domain name, you create an administrative domain. Within an administrative domain, all user names must be unique so that mail can be delivered to any person anywhere within the domain without a local machine name in the mail address.

To enable MMDF to route mail sent to the domain to its correct destination within your organization, you must create an alias for each user in the domain, mapping each name to the machine where the user receives mail. For example, if laurie receives mail on the machine poet, add an alias called laurie to the alias.user database. The single member of the alias would be:


See also:

Selecting name server lookup method

Select the desired level of name service in the MMDF Configuration Manager, by specifying which host names you want MMDF to look up on the name server: all mail hosts, local hosts only, or no name service for mail. If you do not have TCP/IP installed and configured and do not plan to route mail over TCP/IP (SMTP), do not use name service for mail.

A name server is a program running on a TCP/IP network that provides a central database of information, such as Internet addresses and the names of hosts on which people receive mail. To use the name server, you must set up the name server before doing the mail configuration. See ``Configuring the Domain Name Service''.

If your network is large, with hosts added or removed regularly, or if you use the Internet to exchange mail, using a name server for all mail hosts is recommended. If you exchange mail only with other machines in your domain, mail processing may be faster if you specify host name lookup for local hosts only.

Specifying where to forward mail for unknown hosts or users

If your local computer communicates directly with another computer that has more complete information about the entire mail network, you can configure MMDF to route any mail addressed to a host or user it does not recognize to that machine, known as a ``smart host''. MMDF recognizes two kinds of smart hosts: smart hosts that provide information about the host names of other machines and smart hosts that provide information about the users on the network.

To configure the local computer to use a smart host, click on Forwarding in the MMDF Configuration Manager:

Specifying the location of user mailboxes

To select the directory to which you want MMDF to deliver each user's mail, click on Mailboxes in the MMDF Configuration Manager. You can choose to maintain all user mailboxes in /usr/spool/mail (each mailbox is named using the user's login_name), or MMDF can deliver mail to the file .mailbox in each user's home directory.

You can specify another mailbox location by manually editing the /usr/mmdf/mmdftailor file. See the discussion of the MDLVRDIR and MMBXNAME parameters in the mmdftailor(F) manual page, and the instructions in ``Editing MMDF configuration files manually''.

NOTE: If you specify delivery to user home directories, and if you use UUCP, /usr/lib/uucp must have access permissions set to 755 to ensure that mail can be delivered correctly to user uucp. See the chmod(C) manual page.

Specifying the postmaster address

On the Internet, people send inquiries about user and host names to the ``postmaster'' address in that domain. RFC (Request for Comments) 821/822, documents that describe Internet protocols, require that every host provide this reserved postmaster mailbox. See ``Obtaining RFCs from the Internet''. For these reasons, you should designate a user on the local system or within the domain as the postmaster and redirect mail sent to postmaster to this person.

To redirect postmaster's mail, click on Redirection in the MMDF Configuration Manager and enter the user name of the designated postmaster in the Mail sent to "Postmaster" will be sent to field. If you want more than one user to receive copies, type the account names, separated by spaces, or click on Select User(s) and select from the list.

See also:

Redirecting mail for root or mmdf

The SCO OpenServer system sends mail about any system problems to the root user. When problems occur with mail, the system sends mail to the mmdf user. This account is reserved for administering your mail system; unless you log in as mmdf regularly, you might not find out about problems with the system. For this reason, it is a good idea to redirect mmdf's mail to another person.

Click on Redirection in the MMDF Configuration Manager to redirect mail from root, mmdf, or any other non-user special account, to one or more specified recipients. The original account will not receive copies.

In the You may select user(s)... field, type the name of the user to whom the mail will be redirected. If you want more than one user to receive copies, type the account names separated by spaces, or click on Select User(s) and select from the list.

Under ``Non-user accounts'', click on Add Account(s) and select one or more accounts whose mail you want to redirect. Click on Remove Account(s) to delete accounts from the list.
To redirect mail to a user on another machine, you must type in the user's full address in the select user(s) field. For example, if you are the system administrator for a group of machines, you can redirect all mail sent to root on those machines to your own system mailbox. With this configuration, you do not need to log into each machine to read root's mail. If you are configuring MMDF on and your user name is, redirect root's mail to yourself by entering

See also:

Specifying full domain names for UUCP and Micnet hosts

If you specify in the MMDF Configuration Manager that you want to use UUCP or Micnet to exchange mail, after you finish providing configuration information and click on OK, the MMDF Configuration Manager displays the names of the UUCP or Micnet hosts it finds. If any of them have full domain names, select that host name, click on Add, and enter the ``fully qualified domain name''. See ``Specifying the host name'' for information about fully qualified domain names.

You may exchange mail with UUCP hosts with fully qualified domain names if your host is not on the Internet, but your site has an agreement with another machine on the Internet to transfer your mail. When people on the Internet send messages to you, they use the user@machine.domain address format (instead of the machine!user UUCP format). You then use UUCP to connect to that machine and pick up your spooled mail. For example, if the machine connects to, which is on the Internet, could be a UUCP host with a full domain name. You must configure UUCP before configuring MMDF to use it (see ``Configuring UUCP'').

See also:

Allowing mail replies between an MMDF and non-MMDF system through Micnet

When a host is running MMDF and is connected to a non-MMDF computer through Micnet (see ``Specifying networks to use with MMDF''), mail users on the MMDF machine are unable to reply to mail originated on the non-MMDF machine.
To allow mail replies between an MMDF and a non-MMDF system through Micnet, a global alias file must be maintained on each machine. Use netutil(ADM) to create a global alias file on the non-MMDF machine and to distribute the file to MMDF machines. On the MMDF machines, use mmdfalias(ADM) to convert the global alias file to MMDF style:

  1. Copy the non-MMDF global alias file to /usr/lib/mail/aliases.

  2. Log in as mmdf and change to the /usr/mmdf/table directory.

  3. Run the commands:


NOTE: Any modifications to the global alias file must be made using netutil and distributed again.

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Previous topic: Running the MMDF Configuration Manager

© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003