mh-alias(5mh)mh-alias(5mh)Namemh-alias - alias file for MH message system
Aliasing allows you to send mail to a person or group of persons with‐
out typing their complete mail address. Both your MH personal alias
file and the system alias file for mail delivery, process aliases in
the same way. You can specify the name of your personal alias file in
A line of the alias file can have the following formats:
alias : address-group
alias ; address-group
The first line of the example is the standard format. The alias
appears at the start of the line, followed by a colon, followed by the
address or addresses that it represents.
If the alias is terminated with a semicolon (;) instead of a colon (:),
the mail system outputs both the alias and the address-list in the cor‐
If the line starts with a <, the file named after the < is read for
more alias definitions. The reading is done recursively, so a < can
occur in the beginning of an alias file with the expected results.
Addresses can be expressed in the following formats:
alias: address1, address2, address3, ...
Addresses are normally given in a list, separated by a comma and one or
more spaces. If the list goes over one line, you can create a continu‐
ation line by placing a back-slash (\) immediately before the new-line
If the address-group begins with a <, the file named after the < is
read and its contents added to the address list for the alias.
If the address-group starts with an =, then the file is consulted for
the ULTRIX-group named after the =. Each login name occurring as a
member of the group is added to the address list for the alias.
If the address-group starts with a +, then the file is consulted to
determine the group-id of the ULTRIX-group named after the +. Each
login name occurring in the file whose group-id is indicated by this
group is added to the address list for the alias.
If the address-group is simply *, then the file is consulted and all
login names with a user-id greater than a given number (usually 200)
are added to the address list for the alias.
Aliases are resolved at posting time in the following way. A list of
all the addresses from the message is built and duplicate addresses are
eliminated. If the message originated on the local host, then alias
resolution is performed for those addresses in the message that have no
host specified. For each line in the alias file, aliases are compared
against all of the existing addresses. If there is a match, the
matched alias is removed from the address list, and each new address in
the address-group is added to the address list, if it is not already on
The alias itself is not usually output; the address-group that the
alias maps to is output instead. However, if the alias is terminated
with a semicolon (;) instead of a colon (:), both the alias and the
address are output in the correct format. This makes replies possible,
because in MH aliases and personal aliases are unknown to the mail
MH alias files are expanded into the headers of messages posted. This
aliasing occurs first, at posting time, without the knowledge of the
message transport system. In contrast, once the message transport sys‐
tem is given a message to deliver to a list of addresses, for each
address that appears to be local, a system-wide alias file is con‐
sulted. These aliases are not expanded into the headers of messages
An alias file must not reference itself directly, or indirectly through
another alias file, using the <file construct.
To use aliasing in MH, you need to set up a personal alias file. It
can have any name, but it is usually called and is usually located in
your Mail directory. To set up the file, you need to perform the fol‐
First, add the following line to your
If you have chosen a different name for your file, you should use this
instead of If your file is in a directory other than your Mail direc‐
tory, you must supply the full pathname.
Next, create the file in your Mail directory.
You can now start to add aliases to your file.
This section gives an example of an alias file, followed by an explana‐
tion of the entries:
sgroup: fred, fear, freida
On the first line of the example, sgroup is defined as an alias for the
three names frated@UCI, fear, and freida. On the second line of the
example, fred is defined as an alias for frated@UCI. Next, the defini‐
tion of ULTRIX-committee is given by reading the file ultrix.aliases in
your Mail directory. The alias staff is defined as all users who are
listed as members of the group staff in the file. The alias wheels is
defined as all users whose group-id in is equal to the group wheel.
Finally, the alias everyone is defined as all users with a user-id in
greater than 200.
System alias file.
Your user profile.
See Alsoali(1mh), send(1mh), whom(1mh), group(5), passwd(5), mh_profile(5mh),
mtstailor(5mh), conflict(8mh), post(8mh)mh-alias(5mh)