hostname variable in attachment replacement

Randal, Phil prandal at
Fri Aug 7 08:07:08 IST 2009

Julian Field wrote:
> On 06/08/2009 16:21, David Lee wrote:
>> Dare I say "me, too"?
>> I seem to recall reporting this (empty 'HOSTNAME') a few years ago.
>> We're now on CentOS 5.3 with MS 4.76.24, and a configuration that
>> tries not to change things unnecessarily.  Still seeing it (although
>> our MS configuration only rarely invokes pathways that need it.)
>> I get the feeling that the _intended_ behaviour is for MS's
>> "HOSTNAME" variable to try to inherit a default value from somewhere
>> (i.e. to try to avoid being empty). 
>> This intention might be the result of "uname -n" or similar, and
>> probably for a shell HOSTNAME variable, if any, to override it.  Fair
>> enough. Indeed, when I ssh to a box, there is such a variable
>> present on such a login. 
>> But I suspect that, on a reasonably "out of the box"
>> Fedora/CentOS/Redhat installation, by the time "/etc/init.d" is
>> starting MS, neither is HOSTNAME yet set, nor is MS getting it from
>> executing "uname -n" (or similar).
>> Shouldn't the startup algorithm be something like (pseudo-perl):
>>    $HOSTNAME = if $ENV{'HOSTNAME'} was set
>>                then $ENV{'HOSTNAME'}
>>                else `uname -n`;
>>                # i.e. inherit env.var. HOSTNAME
>>                # else fall back to using system hostname
>> Sorry that's so vague.  But I hope it helps.
>> Jules: could you (a) confirm the intention (for HOSTNAME to be
>> non-empty) (b) outline the intended algorithm to achieve that at
>> "/etc/init.d"-driven startup?
> It doesn't currently call uname or anything like that at all. If
> $ENV{'HOSTNAME'} is not set, and you had "Hostname = $HOSTNAME" or
> similar in your MailScanner.conf, then you will end up with an empty
> "Hostname" setting.   
> Jules

Well, it is set on my boxes, and not messed with in the init scripts, so
I'm still at a loss.

Phil Randal | Networks Engineer
Herefordshire Council | Deputy Chief Executive's Office | I.C.T.
Services Division Thorn Office Centre, Rotherwas, Hereford, HR2 6JT
Tel: 01432 260160
email: prandal at

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