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Re: User Unknowns .. If user is a number with Sendmail + Procmail

On Thu, Aug 29, 2002 at 01:28:07PM -0500, Sonny Kupka wrote:
> I have a major problem I'm trying to debug..
> I have couple users that have username of just numbers..
> 8400 is one case.
> You can finger 8400 it's there You can grep for 8400 in password file
> and shadow file and user is there /home/8400 is there

you are asking for trouble if you have numeric usernames.  there's an
inherent ambiguity when you specify user "8400", say to a tool like
chmod, whether you are referring to the login name "8400", or the UID

> Before switching from Slackware to Debian user could get mail now his
> mail is bounced out user unknown.

debian's sendmail is probably a newer version and/or compiled with
different compile-time options.

> Anyone have any ideas what to look at?

i suggest that the all-numeric login names are changed (perhaps, e.g.,
from "8400" to "u8400") and then have aliases in /etc/aliases like so:

8400: u8400

that way they still get to use the same email address, the only thing
that changes is their login name.

also, if they have ~/public_html directories, you need to put in a
redirect rule in apache to redirect requests for their old ~ to their
new one.  e.g.

RedirectMatch 301 /~8400($|/.*) http://your.domain.here/~u8400$1

in other words, change their login to something reasonable and redirect
all requests (mail and web and whatever else) for the old login to the

sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and fix things that are
broken.  when i started at my current job a few years ago, i noticed
that some user accounts on one of our solaris boxes had been created
with completely invalid account names (e.g. starting with or containing
characters like # or $).  they kind of worked, but they caused problems.
we had to rename them.


craig sanders <cas@taz.net.au>

Fabricati Diem, PVNC.
 -- motto of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch

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