[svlug] Re: [svlug]sendmail aliases

Seth David Schoen schoen at loyalty.org
Thu Apr 27 09:02:38 PDT 2000

Gordon Vrololjak writes:

> Hello,
> I can get sendmail to send email to a group of people by editing the
> /etc/aliases file and adding:
> emlstaff:       gvrdolja at nature.berkeley.edu, vrdoljak at uclink.berkeley.edu
> However, when I try to get it to read addresses from a list by the line:
> emlstaff:      ":include:/etc/mail/lists/emlstaff" 
> The file is a plain text file I created and is a plain list of email
> addresses.  I also run 'newaliases' after each change to the /etc/aliases
> file.
> The email alias fails and the message gets bounced back to me with the
> following error:
> ----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
> <emlstaff at wilfred.berkeley.edu> ":include:/etc/mail/lists/emlstaff"
>     (expanded from: <emlstaff at wilfred.berkeley.edu>)
>    ----- Transcript of session follows ----- 550
> ":include:/etc/mail/lists/emlstaff"... Cannot open
> /etc/mail/lists/emlstaff: Group writable directory
> 554 <emlstaff at wilfred.berkeley.edu>... aliasing/forwarding loop broken
> I did everything according to the manuals I've read - running linux,
> essential system administration, and unix system administration handbook -
> but I'm still scratching my head.  What step am I missing, or failing to
> see.

sendmail is telling you what's wrong -- the directory that the file is
in is group-writable.

This isn't necessarily a security hole, especially on a current system
where users' default groups are their own, but sendmail thinks it's a
security hole.  (This is actually a very bizarre assumption, but oh

Make the files group-writable instead of the directory containing

Seth David Schoen <schoen at loyalty.org>  | And do not say, I will study when I
Temp.  http://www.loyalty.org/~schoen/  | have leisure; for perhaps you will
down:  http://www.loyalty.org/   (CAF)  | not have leisure.  -- Pirke Avot 2:5

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