StaffMail.ed Management

The whole point of ceasing to provide mail.inf mailboxes and moving to staffmail.ed, is to reduce our need to manage a mail service for users. However, we still need to manage the forwarding of mail addressed to UUN@inf to UUN@staffmail (or possibly elsewhere in the case of some visitors). So despite the title of this topic, we're really just describing the forwarding process.

Generally we will be forwarding UUN@inf to UUN@staffmail.ed, but visitors are a little trickier, see You may end up forwarding UUN@inf to

Note: when we are talking about UUNs, we are not including student UUNs of the form sMATRIC, as there are already sendmail rules which automatically forward those mails to sMATRIC@sms.ed.

Forwarding to staffmail

The mail.inf mail server (nutty) has its sendmail configuration in /opt/sendmail/ this includes the aliases file. The aliases file is actually made up by stitching together smaller files, eg aliases-mailman, aliases-local, etc, and then make ran in that directory to rebuild the complete aliases file. All these files are managed under RCS, so please remember to "co -l " and "ci -u " before and after making changes. Also pay attention to warnings that RCS my report when doing the "co", ie don't blindly say "Yes" if warning about a writeable version already existing. This may mean you're about to overwrite a newer version of the file with an old version. If in doubt, ask the services-unit.

To cater for staffmail, a new aliases file piece aliases-staffmail has been created. This is the file you want to edit when setting up a new forward for a new user. The steps are:

  • log in to mail server: ssh nutty
  • become root: nsu -x
  • change dir: cd /opt/sendmail
  • lock the forwarding file: co -l aliases-staffmail
  • edit the file and add the appropriate forward: emacs aliases-staffmail
  • run make and make sure there are no errors, if so, go back and check your edit: make
  • check in your change and leave a comment and if possible, and RT number: ci -u aliases-staffmail

You may want to check the forward will work as expected by doing something like:

[nutty]root: /usr/sbin/sendmail -bv neilb
neilb@staffmail.ed-acuk... deliverable: mailer esmtp, host [], user neilb@staffmail.ed-acuk

To show that mail to neilb@inf will be forwarded to neilb@staffmail [manually obfuscated to avoid harvesters]

That should be it. If you are setting this up for an existing Informatics user who is moving to staffmail, then you should make sure there isn't a mail loop setup, eg UUN@staffmail doesn't automatically come back to UUN@inf, which was the case for a lot of our original staff.

StaffMail.ed problems

If there are problems with staffmail, or users have questions about how to use it. We should now pass all this on to the EUCS. We shouldn't be supporting staffmail.ed, or the benefits of moving to staffmail.ed are lost. The IS support teams are the only people that can check users settings, mailboxes, etc we can no longer do that for users using staffmail.

So problems should be directed towards the Science and Engineering support

-- NeilBrown - 14 Jan 2008

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Topic revision: r1 - 14 Jan 2008 - 12:36:29 - NeilBrown
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