SUMMARY**3 bug, the story continues

From: Jon Peatfield (
Date: Tue Jul 14 1992 - 20:56:10 CDT

I can't be bothered to include all my previous articles with
commentry, so I've just retold the story again (with new info where

We had a problem with the provided by Sun on our sun3/sun4
machines running 4.1.1 (now also on 4.1.2), in that if we attempt to
use host name canonicalisation (using the $[ name $] feature) nothing
happened, unless the machine being canonicalised had a CNAME rr in the
DNS. I posted a request to sun-managers.

Several people suggested workrounds all of which either relied on
using the standard Sun files or just didn't work. We
logged the call with Sun, (Call #202551), and eventually they admitted
that this was a known bug (Bug-ID 1032709) which would be fixed in
Solaris-2. This was not acceptable to us since we are not going to
use Solaris-2 'til at least a year of settling down has taken place
and we can't run it on our Sun3 machines.

With this info I made my first SUMMARY to sun-managers, and discovered
that a large number of people hadn't seen the original message. I got
a lot more info that time plus people asking for more information on
the original problem. Included in this info was the fact that the bug
was introduces in SunOS4.1 (it wasn't present in 4.0.3), as a fix to a
different bug relating to wildcard MX records in the local DNS. I
also got information as to precisely wanted fixing in the sendmail
source to fix it. I passed this info onto Sun.

Sun provided us with an unofficial patch for for the sun4,
this worked. We pestered then for another month and eventually
threatened our salesman that we wouldn't buy any more machines. The
problem was then escalated to Priority 1, Severity 1. They then
provided us with an unofficial patch for sun3 too. Then then closed
the call on us, and told us that they would NOT make an official patch

Since a number of people mentioned that they also have this problem, I
suggest that you call your Sun support people, and mention
BUG-ID 1032709, and make this call reference our call number #202551,
so that they know that they have already made an unoffical patch

I'm not pleased with Sun's response, we have been pestering them since
early April, and all we have is a pair of untested unoffical programs
which may solve the problem (they appear to do so), and no guarentees.
I can't think of another company which would behave so badly.

I should point out that it turned out not to be just our department
which was finding this problem, but that the University central mail
switch people hit the same bug. It look likely that almost anyone who
is in the UK and trying to make routing decisions about whether to use
SMTP or GreyBook for delivery using the standard on a Sun
will hit this problem. Of course anyone sensible will use smail (or
if you are an X400 person 'pp`) for all mail!

Next time, I'll buy DEC or HP or... ;-(

-- Jon

Jon Peatfield, Computer Officer, the DAMTP, University of Cambridge
Telephone: (+44 223) 33-7852 Mail:

"...and landed on the planet Harlech where an advanced culture is
governed by autonomous universities." -- The Rakehells of Heaven

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