MailScanner/Sendmail for Dummies??

Mike Kercher mike at CAMAROSS.NET
Fri Apr 4 23:49:56 IST 2003

After you make the modifications to /etc/mail/ , don't forget to
run  "m4 /etc/mail/ > /etc/" to generate your new


-----Original Message-----
From: MailScanner mailing list [mailto:MAILSCANNER at JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On Behalf
Of Julian Field
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2003 4:06 PM
Subject: Re: MailScanner/Sendmail for Dummies??

To get you started with sendmail, make sure you have both the "sendmail" RPM
and the "sendmail-cf" RPM.
Save a copy of your /etc/mail/, and use this instead:


VERSIONID(`@(#)      (Jules) 22/7/99')

# JKF These are the only things you need to change

# JKF Leave the rest of this alone
define(`confDONT_INIT_GROUPS', `True')
FEATURE(nullclient, SMTPserver)

Put this in /etc/mail/ Then put a line in /etc/mail/access like
this:  RELAY
Then do this:
        cd /etc/mail
which will build new versions of the config files for you.

Then you should find that your sendmail will relay mail from the outside
world onto your Exchange server.

Once all that is working nicely, set about installing MailScanner.

At 22:45 04/04/2003, you wrote:

I realize that asking for a little help with Sendmail is slightly off-topic
for this mailing list.  However, I think MailScanner is an excellent product
(*big* props to you, Julian) and I see the fact that you have to wrap your
head around Sendmail prior to being able to deploy it as being a real
Achilles heel to it.  I was born in a Windows world and have been steadily
making inroads into the land of OpenSource (even deploying my first Samba
printserver last week).  However, sendmail is a beast - a beast that
requires a tremendous amount of knowledge to configure.  The guy who wrote
Sendmail wrote in the forward to the O'Reilly book that Sendmail is
complicated because 'life is complicated.'  With all due respect to him, I
see that mentality as being one of the biggest obstacles to the OpenSource
community.  There are plenty of people in my position who would love to be
able to work more with OpenSource Technologies, but are significantly
hampered by the level of complexity of some of this stuff.  The
MailScanner.conf file is great - well commented, easy to understand
variables and parameters (another tip of the hat to Julian).  But the
configuration of Sendmail is so convoluted that the configuration file has
configuration files (M4)!  It's like Vi or Emacs - so arcane!  I realize
that this type of technology is complicated, but configuring it shouldn't
have to be.  I wish I wrote code so I could contribute more.  However, I
think getting the configuration of this stuff to the point so that it's
manageable to someone who doesn't have the bandwidth to learn Sendmail will
be the key to more widespread adoption of it.
I am looking to build a RedHat-based
MailScanner/Sendmail/SpamAssassin/VirusScan box that would sit between my T1
and my Exchange server.  For those familiar with it, I would be replacing an
existing Windows 2000 Server running GFI MailEssentials.  All email comes in
through the T1, is processed by the MailEssentials box (virus
scanning/content filtering, etc.) and is then passed on to the Exchange
server.  All outgoing mail is passed to the MailEssentials box and delivered
from there.  I would imagine this to be a fairly common type of
configuration, with one of the only major deltas being multiple mail
I would like to propose the following (and will even donate webspace to that
end) - let's create a repository of common Sendmail configurations, MySQL
configurations, MTA configurations (e.g. Exchange Server tips) with the
specific goal of facilitating MailScanner deployments.  I know this is not a
Sendmail list, but I think there must be plenty of people like me who would
want to deploy MailScanner but are stopped in their tracks by the formidable
task of configuring Sendmail.  I would even be open to writing and hosting a
'MailScanner for Dummies' type website.  The docs on the MailScanner site
are a great place to start but, IMHO, have some holes that need to be
filled.  I'd like to help out for the common cause in any way I can.
Anyway, it's just an idea.  I'm not trying to make any enemies here - I
genuinely want to help out.  Your comments and thoughts are welcomed.  And,
if anyone has any good recommendations for books or sites that help simplify
the configuration of Sendmail, I'm all ears (or eyes).
Joshua Pickering

Julian Field
Professional Support Services at
MailScanner thanks transtec Computers for their support 

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