[sf-lug] interesting artifact re system mail configuration
jim at well.com
Mon Feb 2 08:54:54 PST 2009
i've complained and asked various smart people
for help. one smart person, daniel mizyrycki,
figured out the problem,
i'm using ubuntu server 8.10 and postfix
(whichever release ubuntu includes) as MTA, and
for MUA i'm using good ol' mail (not recommended
as it doesn't allow multi-line editing: i've got
to be sure the current line is right before i
hit the Enter key).
the problem was that outbound mail had in the
From: field not only user at domain in angle
brackets but the hostname prepended as the
common name: sill <jim at systemateka.com>
how to get rid of that "sill"? i looked
through postfix config files and docs till i
was blind. i looked through mail config and
doc files similarly. i discovered that there's
such a thing as an MSA (mail sumission agent,
an interesting possibility in itself), and i
discovered that it's difficult to find docs
that describe the overall architecture of the
system with respect to mail--what are the MUA,
MSA, MTA relationships in the shipping release?
the mail client picked up the hostname from
the comment field in /etc/passwd for the
current user. why i'd put the hostname (sill)
there escapes me, but i did.
the exact contents of the comment field were
so i changed them to
and what do you know, sending mail now
populated the common name with james stockford.
i then put a comma character as the first
character in the comment field
and sending mail populated the From: field with
nothing, and jim at systemateka.com was no longer
in angle brackets.
i know this is pretty arcane, but it may be
useful for those setting up systems to know
that at least the mail client references the
comment field in /etc/passwd and it strikes
me as interesting that daniel would have
figured it out.
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