SUMMARY: Interoperability problems: Sendmail 8.8.4 & SMI-8.6

From: Christopher L. Barnard (
Date: Fri Jan 10 1997 - 14:14:51 CST

I asked:

> I'm having a problem with the interpretation of the $g variable in my
> file (I'm not sure on which host) when email is sent from
> a Sendmail 8.8.4 machine to a sun Sendmail SMI-8.6 machine. I'm working
> on migrating the entire organization to sendmail 8.8.x, but I have to
> do it one machine at a time and in every case the new and the old must
> be able to operate cleanly with each other.
> Just within my sendmail 8.8.4 machines, everything is fine. If I send
> email using an unqualified email address, the domain ( is
> automatically appended in the appropriate places in the header:
> >From Thu Dec 12 08:43:14 1996
> Return-Path:
> From: "Christopher L. Barnard" <>
> Likewise within my SMI-8.6 machines, everything is fine (albeit not
> particularly elegant). The domain name ( is *not* appended,
> but the mail is still deliverable:
> >From cbar44 Thu Dec 12 08:50 CST 1996
> Return-Path: <cbar44>
> From: cbar44 (Christopher L. Barnard)
> The problem is when I send email from an 8.8.4 machine to an SMI-8.6
> machine. When I receive the email on the SMI-8.6 machine, the envelope
> "From " and header "From:" lines are munged:
> >From Thu Dec 12 08:53 CST 1996
> Return-Path: <>
> From: "Christopher L. Barnard" <>
> is the mailhost for the domain, so
> thats where the "mozart.tsg" is coming from. The domain name of the
> SMI-8.6 machine is "". I have read through all of the doc
> I can lay hands upon for both sendmail 8.8 and SMI-8.6, and I'm not
> finding the information I need. I'm hoping that this is something that
> I can change on the 8.8 machine, since my goal here is to configure these
> machines to behave with the existing, I-don't-want-to-touch-them-until-its-
> time-to-upgrade-them-to-8.8 sendmail machines. If it helps, I'm doing the
> generic
> in the 8.8 m4 macro that builds mozart's file.
> sendmail queries tend to get quite lengthy, so I've tried to strip this
> down to be as short as possible. If I've removed important information I'll
> gladly give more. Thanks in advance for any assistance anyone can provide.

The answer:

I actually did not get any responses from the Sun Manager's mailing list,
but for the purposes of the summary archives I'll post the solution that
I ended up getting from Sun. I can't explain fully the *why* of this
solution, since I'm not as fluent in rulesets as I wish I was, but I
can explain the how.

In the file on my SMI-8.6 machine, I commented out
ruleset 6. This ruleset is related to how an SMI-8.6 sendmail machine
treats an incoming email message that must be delivered locally. Without
this ruleset it is imperative that the domain names (as well as the host
names is question) have MX records. I actually have an A record for each
domain, which points at the mailhost, so I met this requirement. With
that change, things seem to work.

Thanks to:

the backline engineer at Sun who spent over an hour on the phone with me
while we tweaked our sendmail config files to see what would happen.

| Christopher L. Barnard O When I was a boy I was told that |
| / \ anybody could become president. |
| (312) 347-4901 O---O Now I'm beginning to believe it. |
| --Clarence Darrow |
+----------PGP public key available via finger or PGP keyserver---------+

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