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uucp (was Re: sendmail up and running or not)

On Wed, 8 May 1996, Nick Busigin wrote:
> On Wed, 8 May 1996, Rob Leslie wrote:
> > To receive mail directly from the outside, you need to have
> > a host or domain name for which mail will be routed to your
> > machine. Sometimes this involves an MX record pointing to your
> > machine. It assumes your machine is always connected to the net. If
> > this isn't the case, or if you don't have a static host or domain
> > name, you probably can't use this kind of mail configuration; you
> > might want to look into a POP setup instead using `popclient'.
> Another approach worth considering is the use of uucp for email (and
> news) transfers.  That's what I use at my site and it works like a
> charm.  Note that as mentioned above, your upstream provider must set
> up an MX record for your machine or domain, and also set up a uucp
> account for your system.
> Using POP to obtain email from your upstream provider is o.k., but is
> too limiting and just darned inconvenient.  Using uucp as a transport
> mechanism automates sending and receiving of email (and news).  It
> also has the benefit allowing you can set up as many email accounts as
> you want.

Another alternative if your ISP wont set up a uucp acount for you -
and lots of newcomers to the internet business just don't understand
uucp and put it in the too-hard basket - is to find a friend (or a
net.company perhaps) who can do it for you.

uucp can connect over tcp, using the 't' protocol.  just give it an IP
address or a domain name and it'll login to the uucpd or uucico running on
that site.

e.g. if your friend has the host foo.bar.com and has control of the domain
bar.com then s/he can easily give you a domain name of yourhost.bar.com.

yourhost.bar.com would be an MX record pointing to foo.bar.com

foo.bar.com would need to set up a uucp login for you and configure their
sendmail or smail to transport mail to yourhost via uucp.

You'd need to set up your machine so that it's mailname was
yourhost.bar.com, and to route all mail via your smarthost: foo.bar.com

a uucp cron job to automatically send out mail while you're connected 
would be a good idea. 

There's other optional things you can do too...

e.g. if you don't trust your ISP Or if they set a limit on the size of
your mailbox file you can put in a .forward file for your mail at your
ISP to you@yourhost.bar.com...if you really don't trust them, hack up an
SSL version of uucp and use encryption for the uucp run to foo.bar.com.
(Remember to put your SSL version of uucp back out onto the net for
others to use.)

If you don't want to use yourhost.bar.com, or you want your own vanity
domain then you can register a domain with the internic, delegate the
nameserver to your friend at bar.com and use your own domain name.  As
long as there's an MX record which points to foo.bar.com and as long
as foo.bar.com knows what to do with mail for that domain name then
everything will work.

With a setup like this, you would effectively be just using your IP as
a raw data-pipe to your real mail server...and that's all i'd ever want
from an ISP: a no-frills bit-pipe as fast and cheap and reliable as

There's probably already ISP companies out there who have seen this sort
of setup as a potential market...virtual mail domains to get around
the limitations of local ISPs.  With an SSL version of uucp it would
certainly sell.


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