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Re: mail basics on a debian system

This one time, at band camp, Robert Land said:
> I'm not very experienced with unix/linux and would appreciate some
> information on the mail topic.
> I have this one box system, using my general account 'rland' and
> sometimes root for system configuration.
> What I would like to know is if/how rland recieves mail actually ment
> for root, because I rarely do a root shell login. I couldn't find
> anything in the mail man page and /etc/mail.rc has nothing looking
> like "root:rland", only /etc/aliases created by eximconfig has these
> entries which to my understanding forwards all mail to postmaster and
> root to me which is 'rland'.
> What I'm realy unsure about is if _all_ mail, even the one sent by the
> lowlevel 'mail' program goes through port 25.  If yes, then exim
> should do all the work and all program/system messages sent to root
> should reach me with the help of exims /etc/aliases file. Is this
> correct and how can I generate a system failure which would cause a
> root mail to test this.

Your understanding is correct.  All system mail is sent through port 25,
even stuff generated by the low level programs.  In fact, it's more
likely to be the high level stuff (like mozilla mail) that can operate
independently of the local mailserver.  If you want to generate mail to
root for a test, just try `mail -s "Testing root mail" root@localhost`.
Type a line or two, and exit with ^d (EOF).  You should get the mail
delivered to rland's account.  I wouldn't try to generate a system
failure just to test mail routing, but you can check out the logcheck
package - it'll scan your logs and send anything of interest to root,
and then on to rland.
|  Stephen Gran                  | BOFH excuse #335:  the AA battery in    |
|  steve@lobefin.net             | the wallclock sends magnetic            |
|  http://www.lobefin.net/~steve | interference                            |

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