mailwrapper(8) - NetBSD Manual Pages

Command: Section: Arch: Collection:  
MAILWRAPPER(8)          NetBSD System Manager's Manual          MAILWRAPPER(8)

mailwrapper -- invoke appropriate MTA software based on configuration file
Special. See below.
Once upon time, the only Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) software easily avail- able was ``sendmail''. This famous MTA was written by Eric Allman and first appeared in 4.1BSD. The legacy of this MTA affected most Mail User Agents (MUAs) such as mail(1); the path and calling conventions expected by ``sendmail'' were compiled in. But times changed. On a modern NetBSD system, the administrator may wish to use one of several available MTAs. It would be difficult to modify all MUA software typically available on a system, so most of the authors of alternative MTAs have written their front end message submission programs that may appear in the place of /usr/sbin/sendmail, but still follow the same calling conventions as ``sendmail''. The ``sendmail'' MTA also typically has aliases named mailq(1) and newaliases(1) linked to it. The program knows to behave differently when its argv[0] is ``mailq'' or ``newaliases'' and behaves appropriately. Typically, replacement MTAs provide similar functionality, either through a program that also switches behavior based on calling name, or through a set of programs that provide similar functionality. Although having replacement programs that plug replace ``sendmail'' helps in installing alternative MTAs, it essentially makes the configuration of the system depend on hand installing new programs in /usr. This leads to configuration problems for many administrators, since they may wish to install a new MTA without altering the system provided /usr. (This may be, for example, to avoid having upgrade problems when a new version of the system is installed over the old.) They may also have a shared /usr among several machines, and may wish to avoid placing implicit configura- tion information in a read-only /usr. The mailwrapper program is designed to replace /usr/sbin/sendmail and to invoke an appropriate MTA based on configuration information placed in /etc/mailer.conf. This permits the administrator to configure which MTA is to be invoked on the system at run time.
Configuration for mailwrapper is kept in /etc/mailer.conf. /usr/sbin/sendmail is typically set up as a symlink to mailwrapper which is not usually invoked on its own.
The mailwrapper utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.
mailwrapper will print a diagnostic if its configuration file is missing or malformed, or does not contain a mapping for the name under which it was invoked.
mail(1), mailq(1), newaliases(1), postfix(1), mailer.conf(5)
The mailwrapper program appeared in NetBSD 1.4.
Perry E. Metzger <>
The entire reason this program exists is a crock. Instead, a command for how to submit mail should be standardized, and all the ``behave differently if invoked with a different name'' behavior of things like mailq(1) should go away. NetBSD 10.99 April 10, 2010 NetBSD 10.99
Powered by man-cgi (2021-06-01). Maintained for NetBSD by Kimmo Suominen. Based on man-cgi by Panagiotis Christias.