Provided by: courier-mta_1.0.16-3build3_amd64 bug


       makealiases - Create an alias database


       makealiases [-protocol=protocol] [-alias=filename] [-src=pathname] [-tmp=filename] [-chk]
                   [-dump] [module]


       The Courier mail server's /etc/courier/aliases.dat file is a unified implementation of
       sendmail-style address aliasing, qmail-style virtual domains, plus several Courier mail
       server-style enhancements.

       The term aliasing refers to substituting one or more addresses for another address. A
       one-to-one substitution results in the Courier mail server accepting mail for one address,
       and delivering the mail to another address. A one-to-many substitution results in the
       Courier mail server accepting mail for one address, and delivering a separate copy of the
       message to every address defined by the alias.

       /etc/courier/aliases.dat is a binary database file.  makealiases creates the binary
       database file by reading the aliases from plain text files, and makealiases creates
       /etc/courier/aliases.dat by default.

       makealiases creates /etc/courier/aliases.dat from one or more source files, which are
       plain text files that may be created by any text editor. The format of those source files
       is defined below. By default, makealiases obtains the source text from
       /etc/courier/aliases. If this is a text file, it is used verbatim. If this is a directory
       (the Courier mail server creates it as a directory by default), all the non-hidden files
       in this directory are concatenated together.


           Create filename, instead of /etc/courier/aliases.dat.

           Try to search for bad addresses used in the aliases.dat file. This option takes some
           time to complete. It does not create an aliases.dat file, but instead tries to check
           every address specified by the source text file. Why is this necessary? That's because
           non-delivery reports will not be sent to the sender for failures in delivering mail to
           an aliased address. This is by design. the Courier mail server considers aliases to be
           private mailing lists. Because non-delivery notices are not sent, bad addresses will
           not be immediately detected.

               The -chk option is really effective for addresses which are local, because there
               is no real way to determine if a remote mail address is valid.

           Do not create aliases.dat, instead display the contents of the alias database, in
           plain text form. The contents will be the combined contents of all the source files,
           with all addresses converted to canonical format, with duplicates removed and
           sub-aliases expanded.

           Use pathname instead of /etc/courier/aliases as the source file.  pathname can also
           refer to a directory. This concatenates every non-hidden file in the directory.

           Use filename as a temporary file, instead of /etc/courier/aliases.tmp.  makealiases
           requires a temporary file for its own purposes, which is automatically removed when
           done. This temporary file MUST reside on the same filesystem as aliases.dat. If the
           -alias option specifies a file on a different filesystem, use this option to specify
           where to temporary place a file in the same filesystem. Because makealiases always
           uses the same name for a temporary file you cannot run more than one makealiases
           process at the same time.

           Use an alias list that's private to messages coming from protocol. See below.

       The optional module specifies the module whose rewriting rules are used to convert E-mail
       addresses into a canonical form. If not specified, the local module's address rewriting
       rules will be used.


       Addresses in /etc/courier/aliases.dat will be checked in every message. Use the -protocol
       option to create aliases that will be checked only for message that are received via a
       specific protocol, such as ESMTP, UUCP, or locally-generated mail. This allows you, for
       example, to create an alias such as "everyone", which is only avaliable to locally
       generated mail, and does not work for mail received via ESMTP. The argument to the
       -protocol option is one of: esmtp, uucp, or local.

       Protocol-specific alias files are /etc/courier/aliases-protocol.dat, where "protocol" is
       the specific protocol, such as "local", "esmtp", or "uucp", and the source file read by
       makealiases would be /etc/courier/aliases-protocol. If the -protocol option is specified,
       makealiases will access these files instead of /etc/courier/aliases.dat and


       The sources file used to create the binary aliases.dat database are plain text files that
       may be created using any editor.

       Each alias specification takes the following form:

           alias: address1, address2, ...

       Mail received by the Courier mail server addressed to alias will be delivered to the list
       of addresses specified. The list of addresses may be split across multiple lines, if the
       second and subsequent line starts with a space character.

       Lines starting with the # character are ignored, they are comments.

       alias is not restricted to be a local address. It may be any valid RFC 2822[1] address.
       All addresses do not necessary have to be in a canonical form.

           alias: :include:/absolute/pathname

       This notation reads the list of addresses from another file, /absolute/pathname. This file
       should contain one address per line (comma separated addresses on the same line will also

           If alias refers to a local, existing, account, this account will never get any mail.
           Any mail with the account listed as recipient will be redirected to all the addresses
           specified for that alias. To have a copy of the mail delivered to the account, define
           it as one of the addresses in the alias itself. For example:

               larry: larry, moe, curly, shemp

           Larry will still receive his mail, but copies will will also be sent to Moe, Curly,
           and Shemp. If Larry wasn't specified in the alias, he would never get any mail, it
           will all be forwarded to Moe, Curly, and Shemp.


       Alias definitions may refer to other alias definitions, and makealiases automatically
       incorporates addresses from other aliases. If the same address is listed in multiple
       aliases, and two or more of them are specified as recipients of the same message, only one
       copy of the message will be delivered to the address.


       The following special syntax implements a virtual domain. A virtual domain redirects all
       mail for an entire domain to one user:

           @domain: user

       This special entry results in any recipient address of the form foo@domain to be rewritten
       as user-foo@me, where me is the hostname of the machine, which we expect to be a local

       The following examples use the alias entry " john", and "" is in
       the control/me file. The address "" becomes
       "", and "" becomes

       The intended behavior is to use an actual account named john. As a result of the virtual
       domain address rewriting, delivery instructions for can now be
       specified by john's $HOME/.courier-postmaster file, and delivery instructions for may be specified by $HOME/.courier-sales-info.  john's
       $HOME/.courier-default may be used to specify delivery instructions for any other address
       in the domain, which does not have an explicit .courier file.

       If the alias entry was " john-example", the corresponding files in john's
       $HOME directory are .courier-example-postmaster, .courier-example-sales-info, and
       .courier-example-default. See dot-courier(5)[2] for more information on .courier files.

           Virtual domain rewriting is NOT recursive, unlike regular aliases. For example:


           You should explicitly expand the alias out:

               tom: larry-john


       The following notation associates an address directly with a mailbox, or with a program:

           info: /var/shared/info

       Messages addressed to "info" will be delivered to the mailbox or maildir /var/shared/info.
       A full pathname must be specified.

           info: | /usr/local/shared/info

       Mail addressed to "info" will be delivered to the indicated program. The program receives
       each message on standard input.

       Program/mailbox delivery notation is primarily used to support legacy sendmail aliases
       entries. This is considered to be a legacy feature, and new installations should create a
       dot-courier(5)[2] file with the necessary delivery instructions. In fact, aliases for
       programs or mailboxes is not directly supported by the Courier mail server's aliasing
       mechanisms. It's implemented by having the makealiases script automatically create a
       .courier file, and point the alias address to it.

       See dot-courier(5)[2] for more information.

           Unlike sendmail, the Courier mail server delivers as user "courier" (group courier)
           when delivering to programs or mailboxes.


       The following notation allows mail addressed to a certain domain to be forwarded via uucp:

           @domain: uucp!bang!path!

       The trailing !  tells the Courier mail server not to append a dash, so user@domain gets
       rewritten as uucp!bang!path!user, and not uucp!bang!path-user, which is probably not what
       you want.


       An alias with only one address does not affect delivery status notification attributes of
       an E-mail message.

       An alias with multiple addresses is treated like a private mailing list, as defined by RFC
       1894[3]. If the message requests a successful delivery notification, the Courier mail
       server generates a delivery status notification for the successful delivery to the aliased
       address, and each alias recipient address will have DSNs set to NEVER.


       This has nothing to do with the Courier mail server's support for a Qmail-style alias

       owner-foo feature of sendmail's aliasing is not supported.

       the Courier mail server normally tries to eliminate duplicate addresses listed as
       recipients for the same message. Some mail servers are not capable of delivering messages
       with multiple recipients, and will transmit a separate copy of the same message addressed
       to each recipient. The Courier mail server can't do anything in this case. Each copy of
       the same original text is considered an individual, separate, message.

       Duplicate elimination can fail in certain rare circumstances, involving exotic features of
       RFC 2822[1] concerning case sensitivity.

       " jack, jill" is allowed, but strongly discouraged under the penalty of law.

       Because multiple-recipient aliases are treated like private mailing lists, failure DSNs
       are turned off, and a bad recipient address is hardly noticed by anyone.

       The makealiases command may execute while the Courier mail server is running, and any
       changes take effect immediately. However, only one instance of makealiases is permitted to
       run at the same time.




       Sam Varshavchik


        1. RFC 2822

        2. dot-courier(5)

        3. RFC 1894

        4. esmtpd(8)