SUMMARY: Altering mail header return address

From: Jeremy Barth (
Date: Fri Oct 23 1992 - 10:07:24 CDT

I asked originally:

  I want to get off an electronic mailing list to which
  I originally subscribed under a different email name.
  When I attempt to SIGNOFF under my new email name
  naturally I fail.
  Edit my SIGNOFF message header's return address to
  reflect my old email address.
  How do you do this? I've thought of disabling our
  outgoing mail connection but don't really want to
  interfere with other users. Is there a simple
  option to sendmail that overrides the rewriting
  rules in the /etc/ file?
I will summarize back to the list. Thanks for any help.

I received a couple of replies, which I haven't checked
yet but that confirm what I've heard informally.

From: Peter G. Ford <>
Organization: MIT Center for Space Research

An SMTP mail message transmits the sender's address in two ways: via
the "MAIL From:" command which is part of the SMTP protocol, and in the
"From:" line which is part of the message text. Each copy of sendmail
that sees the message (one at each end, plus gateways) may (and usually
does) re-write these addresses in different ways, so some experimenting
may be necessary.

To fake your system into accepting your own "From:" address, first make
up a message file starting with your desired "From:" and "To:" lines,
followed by (optional) "Date:" and "Subject:" and (required) null line,
and then the remaining text of your message.

Then, if the electronic mailing list keys off the embedded "From:"
address, just send the message file as follows:

  /usr/lib/sendmail 'to-address' < 'message-file'

If the mailing list continues to refuse your request, it is probably
keying off the SMTP handshake address. Become super-user and type

  /usr/lib/sendmail -f 'from-address' 'to-address' < 'message-file'

where 'from-address' is your old e-mail address. This should work except
with REALLY sneaky mailing list programs, e.g. those that try to "finger"
you to see whether you really exist.

Finally, you can bypass /usr/lib/sendmail completely and use "telnet"
to log directly into the SMTP port of the mailing list (or of a
suitable mail gateway), viz.
  telnet 'to-address' 25
and then type raw SMTP commands as described in the RFC822 document
(available from several ftp archives) that defines the SMTP protocol.
Best of luck.

From: Tatjana Heuser <>

The only way I can think of is to feed your mail directly to sendmail.
(telnet <mailhost> 25)
There you can "fake" your address.
Don't forget to set a Reply-To to your valid mailadress.
sendmail provides some instructions how to use it with the HELP command.
if you're unsure about the results or if you've done it right
first try to send mail to yourself this way.

Pierrot le fou      |
Tatjana Heuser      |
W-1000 Berlin 30    |
Ettaler Str.2       | BITNET: pierrot%tubopal@DB0TUI11.BITNET (saves $$$)

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