Knowledge File AEGEE Mail - Aliases


This document describes the server settings and files for managing the incoming mails in the domain, most notably where are they redirected. Apart from the aliases files, the users can write a Sieve script to redirect emails to a different address. In this case the Sieve scripts take precedence. However, as of Septmeber 2009 there are no more accounts, so no user is able to log in and update her script.


aegeeserv proceeds the emails for the domains

Sendmail is instructed to proceed a domain with an entry in the /etc/mail/relay-domains file.

An alias is valid in all domains. Hence is makes no difference if one writes to or or .

Aliases Files

Sendmail reads the aliases from the file /etc/mail/alises.db, which is a Berkeley DB of the text file /etc/mail/aliases. The latter is generated by appending
  1. /etc/mail/aliases.head
  2. /etc/mail/aliases.temporary
  3. /etc/mail/aliases.europe
  4. /home/listserv/aliases.renamed_lists
  5. /home/listserv/aliases.listserv
  6. /home/listserv/aliases.karlsruhe
in this order. If an alias occurs in more than one file, or more than once in the same file, the last occurance has the highest priority.

The first file is never changed

/etc/mail/aliases.temporary contains temporary aliases, that are not related to mailing lists. Temporary aliases can be deleted, when they expire, but practically they are not.

/home/mail/aliases.europe was generated in Aachen, based on the accounts and Address Book Entries, and downloaded daily to Karlsruhe. Since September 2009 the server is Aachen does not produce anymore accounts and the file is now updated manually. This is true especially in the case, when an alias already exists, and just the redirect address needs to be changed. Also when new permanent and personal aliases are added, they come in this file. Please note that the file is alphabetically sorted and it must stay this way.

/home/listserv/aliases.listserv is generated automatically with /home/listserv/generate_listserv_aliases and never updated manually.

/home/listserv/aliases.renamed_lists contains temporary aliases about renamed mailing lists, with remark when the alias was created and until when it is valid. If no expiration data is contained the alias is ment to expire in three months. When a list is renamed, an entry in this file is made (automatically via /home/listserv/rename_list) to redirect the emails for the old address to the new one.

/etc/mail/aliases.karlsruhe was used to overwrite entries for aliases coming from Aachen, like office@, and to manage the local aliases of AEGEE-Karlsruhe. Here come new aliases for projects, working groups etc, but no personal aliases.

As member of the AEGEE Mail Team you can edit the /etc/mail/aliases.europe, /home/listserv/aliases.renamed_lists and /home/listserv/aliases.karlsruhe files and can read /etc/mail/aliases.head and /home/listserv/aliases.listserv.

Virtual Tables

In some cases it is desireble to enable an alias in one domain and disable it in another. E.g. the mailing lists ran in the past in the domain and since then a lot of spam comes to the addresses. The most clever workaround was to disable all owner- addresses in the domain. This differentiation of the domains is done via virtual tables.

Sendmail uses the Berkeley DB file /etc/mail/virtusertable.db, which is generated from /etc/mail/virtusertable (by /home/listserv/generate_listserv_aliases). The latter is created using /etc/mail/virtusertable.custom by appending (automatically via /home/listserv/generate_aliases_listserv) all owner-...-L@aegee.uni-karlsruhe addresses for all lists.

Manual amendments are made only in the /etc/mail/virtusertable.custom file.

Applying the Changes

The changes are activated by running /home/listserv/home/GENERATE or sending the listserv command _GENERATE_ALIASES. Internally, it calls /home/listserv/generate_listserv_aliases to update both /home/listserv/aliases.listserv and the virtual tables.
Written in September 2009, Updated April 2010 by Дилян Палаузов.