aliases(5)aliases(5)NAMEaliases - aliases file for sendmail
The command (which is the same as see sendmail(1M)) builds the sendmail
alias database from a text file. The default text file is Local
addresses (local user names) are looked up in the alias database and
expanded as necessary, unless the user name is preceded by a backslash
When the aliases file contains multiple entries for a given alias, only
the last entry is used. Except when the processing option (the send to
me option) is set in the command or in the configuration file, the
sender is not included in any alias expansions. For example, if sends
a message to and the expansion of includes the message is not delivered
Each line of the alias text file must be of the form:
Mailing lists can be continued onto multiple lines. Each continuation
line must begin with white space. Lines beginning with # are comments.
A mailing-list is a comma-separated list of one or more of the follow‐
user-name Local user names occurring in alias
expansions will themselves be looked up
in the alias database unless they are
preceded by backslash
remote-address The remote address syntax understood by
is configured in the configuration
file, and typically includes the
RFC-822-style and the UUCP-style
filename This must be an absolute path name.
appends a message to the file only if
the directory in which it resides is
readable and searchable by all, and
only if the file already exists, is not
executable, and is writable by all.
pipes the message as standard input to the specified command.
If command-line contains blanks, it
must be enclosed in quotation marks ().
reads filename for a list of recipient
addresses and forwards the message to
each. For example, an alias such as:
would read for the list of addresses
making up the group.
If a file named exists in a user's home directory and is owned by the
user, redirects mail for that user to the list of addresses in the
An address in a or file can be anything that can appear as a mail‐
ing-list in the alias text file.
can run programs or write to files using file. This is controlled by
the file. If the owner of the file lacks a valid shell as listed in
file, the execution of such programs will be disallowed. The user can
still execute such programs by placing the special string in the file.
The alias database is examined before a recipient's file is examined.
After aliasing has been done, local and valid recipients who have a
file in their home directory will have messages forwarded to the list
of users defined in that file.
Aliasing occurs only on local names. Loops can not occur, since no
message will be sent to any person more than once.
Aliases defined in will NOT be expanded in headers from (see mailx(1)),
but WILL be visible over networks and in headers from (see mail(1)).
is only the raw data file. The actual aliasing information is placed
into a binary format in the file using (see newaliases(1M)).
A command should be executed each time the file is changed in order for
the change to take effect. Note that the NIS alias maps are generated
by using which leaves and in the directory.
was developed by the University of California, Berkeley, and originally
appeared in 4.0BSD.
User's mail forwarding file
raw data file for alias names
database of alias names
SEE ALSOmail(1), mailx(1), makemap(1M), newaliases(1M), sendmail(1M).