Ryan Simpkins plug at
Fri Mar 2 23:16:10 MST 2007

On Fri, March 2, 2007 22:37, Paul Bang wrote:
> I get a lot of spam sent to the default aliases in /etc/aliases. There
> is one section in there that a comment states must be present, but I
> am curious as so why? The only piece of mail that I have ever recieved
> at any of these addresses that wasn't spam was my nightly LogWatch
> reports to root. Which aliases are really needed and which can I
> comment out or send to /dev/null?

I may be wrong on all of this, but...

The basic system aliases are:

mailer-daemon:  postmaster
postmaster: root
root:       <hopefully you>

This ensures the proper functioning of your mail server by (hopefully) providing a
path for RFC required addresses. Because they are in the RFC many spammers know that
someone is going to get them and frequently send stuff to them. I don't know why
they want to annoy the administrator, maybe they want you to install a spam filter.

In the event that your mail server can't resolve an address it needs to have a safe
fall back. If you don't care what your mail server does when everything breaks you
can redirect them to /dev/null. The worst that will happen is that no e-mail will be
delivered at all, and any message informing the administrator of the chaos that
ensues will be silently ignored. If this server is going to receive SMTP mail from
any network I highly recommend you don't bit bucket them. There are some great SPAM
filtering options out there.

In extremely broken mail installations (you know who you are, yeah you) I have set
those aliases to /dev/null and quietly walked away. "Oh, the errors stopped? Well,
it must be working then. Have a nice day!"

I can also speed up your backups if anyone is interested. ;-)


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