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UNIX Email Software Survey FAQ [Part 3 of 3]

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Archive-name: mail/setup/unix/part3
Last-modified: Mon Feb 21 09:57:37 EST 2000

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
		UNIX EMail Software - a Survey
		       Chris Lewis
		clewis@ferret.ocunix.on.ca
		[and a host of others - thanks]

		Copyright 1991, 1992, 1993, Chris Lewis

		Redistribution for profit, or in altered content/format
		prohibited without permission of the author.
		Redistribution via printed book or CDROM expressly
		prohibited without consent of the author.  Any other
		redistribution must include this copyright notice and
		attribution.

Mailshield	Author: Lyris Technologies http://www.lyristechnologies.com

[Watch this space, see http://www.mailshield.com]

Exim*         Author: Philip Hazel (ph10@cus.cam.ac.uk)

    [Author note: Exim is very highly regarded in the industry, and it,
    along with qmail, are the most frequently recommended replacements
    for sendmail on UNIX.]

    Exim is a mail transport agent (MTA) developed at the University
    of Cambridge for use on Unix systems connected to the Internet.
    It is freely available under the terms of the GNU General Public
    Licence. In style it is similar to Smail 3, but its facilities
    are more extensive, and in particular it has options for
    verifying incoming sender and recipient addresses, for refusing
    mail from specified hosts, networks, or senders, and for
    controlling mail relaying.

    Exim is intended for use as an Internet mailer, and therefore
    handles addresses in RFC 822 domain format only. It cannot handle
    'bang paths', though simple two-component bang paths can be
    converted by a straightforward rewriting configuration. However, 
    there is no problem in interfacing Exim to UUCP systems, provided 
    they use domain-style addressing.

    Exim is in production use at quite a few sites, some of which
    move hundreds of thousands of messages per day.

    The following operating systems are currently supported: AIX, BSDI, DGUX,
    FreeBSD, HI-OSF (Hitachi), HP-UX, IRIX, Linux, MIPS RISCOS, NetBSD,
    OpenBSD, DEC OSF1 (aka Digital UNIX), SCO, SCO SVR4.2 (aka UNIX-SV),
    SunOS4, SunOS5 (Solaris 2), Ultrix, and Unixware.

    Further information can be obtained from the Exim web sites:

    http://www.exim.org      (main site, in the UK)
    http://www.us.exim.org   (a mirror in the USA)

|qmail:      Author Daniel Bernstein <djb@pobox.com>
|
|    [Ed note: Qmail, along with Exim, is the most often recommended
|    sendmail replacement.  Qmail is capable of handling very high mail
|    volumes. Qmail is one of the few mailers capable of integrating
|    spam filters directly, however, given how this is done, qmail probably
|    could not match the volumes of, say, Mailshield - which was designed
|    for the purpose of filtering spam from the beginning.]
|
|    Web page:   http://www.qmail.org
|	also:   ftp://koobera.math.uic.edu/www/
|
|    Download:
|	ftp://koobera.math.uic.edu/pub/software/
|	ftp://koobera.math.uic.edu/www/software/
|	ftp://koobera.math.uic.edu/www/software/
|	ftp://koobera.math.uic.edu/www/software/
|
|    RPMs:       ftp://moni.msci.memphis.edu/pub/qmail
|
|    Lists:      mailto:qmail-help@list.cr.yp.to
|		mailto:qmailannounce-help@list.cr.yp.to
|
|    qmail is an MTA for UNIX and UNIX-like systems (including FreeBSD,
|    Linux, SunOS, Solaris, HP/UX, AIX, amongst others).  It was written by
|    Dan Bernstein to overcome the limitations of and flaws in sendmail, and
|    to demonstrate by example that there are better ways of doing some
|    things (see Maildirs below).
|
|  * qmail is Modular
|
|    qmail follows the UNIX philosophy of combining small single-purpose
|    tools together.  Instead of being one enormous setuid-root binary,
|    qmail comprises a suite of small programs, each of which does one
|    particular job.  This makes qmail flexible, allowing substitutions
|    to be made for individual parts of the system according to one's
|    requirements.
|
|    Substituting qmail-qmqpc for qmail-queue, for example, turns qmail
|    into "mini-qmail" (see below).  For another example, all user
|    authentication in the POP3 server is done by calling a separate
|    external utility program, checkpassword, so changing the
|    authentication scheme merely involves replacing that program.
|
|    Even qmail's configuration is modular.  qmail doesn't have large
|    monolithic configuration files with complex structures, that have to
|    be read and parsed every time that a new mail process is created,
|    only to have 70% or more of that information remain unused because
|    it is irrelevant to the task at hand.  qmail's configuration
|    comprises individual files in /var/qmail/control, each file having a
|    single job.  The names of the local domains are listed, one per
|    line, in /var/qmail/control/locals, for example.  Many configuration
|    tasks (and FAQ answers!)  are, as a result of this philosophy,
|    one-liners involving `echo' and `cat'.
|
|  * qmail is Secure
|
|    qmail was designed to be secure.  Not only does the mail system not
|    trust the outside world, but different modules in the mail system
|    don't even trust one another.  Different parts of the mail system
|    run under different non-privileged UIDs ("qmaild", "qmailr",
|    "qmailq", &c.).  So, for example, even if the SMTP server
|    (qmail-smtpd, which runs as user "qmailr") were compromised, the
|    rest of the system will not be.
|
|    qmail has only one setuid binary, qmail-queue which is setuid to one
|    of the qmail user IDs, not root.  qmail has only two programs that
|    run as root, qmail-start which spawns the other daemon processes
|    under the correct UIDs and qmail-lspawn which spawns the local
|    delivery program qmail-local under the UID and GID of the user being
|    delivered to.  Neither program writes to any files or spawns any
|    program under the root user ID.
|
|    And, of course, qmail doesn't treat root as a "real" user, and so
|    never delivers mail as root.
|
|  * qmail provides a flexible aliasing/forwarding mechanism, qmail files
|    qmail supports /etc/aliases and .forward with its fastforward and
|    dot-forward packages.  However, it is a testament to the power and
|    versatility of qmail's own "native" aliasing and forwarding
|    mechanism that both are merely plug-ins that run off it.
|
|    With qmail, each user controls all local parts that begin with the
|    user's username, allowing each user to have an unlimited number of
|    different local parts.  Delivery to each local part is (optionally)
|    controlled by a separate .qmail-* file in the user's home directory


uumail:

    Uumail is a very old and obsolete precursor to smail 2.5.  Included
    here only because I know that uumail sites still exist.  You
    should not install uumail in new configurations, and existing
    uumail sites should convert to something more modern.

smail 2.5: author The UUCP Mapping Project

    [Not recommended for general use now.  UUCP is very little used.]

    Smail 2.5 is a small, simple and hard-coded rule MTA for use on
    UUCP networks.  It understands RFC compliant headers, will
    generate RFC compliant Internet-style headers, can
    use domains, aliases, a pathalias UUCP routing database, and
    is very simple to install.  For full functionality, you will
    also want pathalias and a map unpacker.  The one thing
    it cannot do by itself is mail-to-pipe and mail-to-file aliasing.
    For that, you need Zeeff's lmail, deliver or procmail.

    Smail 2.5 has the capability of coalescing addresses into single
    UUCP transfers, and knows how to query UUCP for the names
    of UUCP neighbors, and autoroute if necessary.

    Smail 2.5 has a few bugs that are (usually) pretty rarely seen
    in operation.  There have been a number of patches posted for it,
    but it is recommended that you do not apply them - some were
    ill-conceived, buggy in their own right, or conflicting with others.
    The only patches that I feel safe in recommending is Chip
    Salzenberg's patches for use with Xenix MICNET - which are
    unnecessary unless you are in the unfortunate position of having
    to actually *use* MICNET.  Chip Salzenberg's "deliver" package
    (see below) combined with "smail-deliver.pch" from comp.sources.unix,
    volume 25 issue 107, makes the MICNET modifications to smail
    itself unnecessary.

    In particular, do not apply the "mail-to-pipe/file" patches that
    float around for smail 2.5.  These are a major security hole.

    Smail 2.5 can also be used with sendmail as a UUCP router.

    Smail 2.5 was posted in comp.sources.unix in 1987, volume 11
    with archive name "smail3" (but it isn't the same thing as
    smail 3 below).

lmail: Author Jon Zeeff <zeeff@b-tech.ann-arbor.mi.us, zeeff@ais.org>

    When you install smail 2.5, you link the original /bin/mail (binmail
    above) to /bin/lmail to perform the task of actually delivering the
    mail to the user's mailbox (LDA).

    Since smail 2.5 was not capable of doing mail-to-pipe and mail-to-file
    aliasing, Jon Zeeff wrote a replacement lmail that implemented
    these (along with user mailbox delivery).

    Jon's program is okay for casual use, but has some pretty serious
    bugs.  Fixed versions are available, but you're probably better
    off installing deliver or procmail.

smail 3: Author Ronald S. Karr* <tron@veritas.com> and Landon Curt Noll.

    Smail3.x is a domain-capable mail router and delivery program that
    works in the UUCP zone and on the Internet and that is capable of
    gatewaying between the two.  It was written primarily by me (Ronald
    S.  Karr) and Landon Curt Noll, with the blessings of the original
    Smail1 and Smail2 authors.

    Smail3 supports SMTP, UUCP mail, alias files, .forward files, mailing
    list directories, pathalias files, /etc/hosts files, the domain name
    system, and can also query uucp for neighboring sites, automatically.
    It also supports use of encapsulated SMTP commands for delivery over
    UUCP connections, which allows batching of multiple messages into a
    single UUCP transaction, and allows many addresses to be passed with a
    single message transfer, which can greatly decrease the traffic
    generated for large mailing lists.  It is also very simple to configure
    with a reasonable certainty of correctness.

    Smail3 includes pathalias and a reliable map unpacker.

    Rather than using configuration files to resolve addresses based on
    their syntax, ala sendmail, Smail3 uses a database metaphore for
    resolving addresses based on their contents.  The set of methods that
    Smail3 uses for resolving local addresses and hosts is configurable and
    extensible.  Smail3's methods for parsing addresses are not
    configurable.  It is the opinion of the authors that addressing on the
    Internet and in the UUCP zone has become sufficiently standardized that
    attempts to allow configurability in this area are now a hindrance to
    the correct working of the network.

    Questions related to Smail3 are usually discussed in comp.mail.smail.
    There are also two discussion mailing lists.  To join the mailing
    lists, send mail to:

	smail3-users-request@cs.athabascau.ca

    The current release of Smail3 is 3.3.x, and can be found on uunet,
    in the directory /archive/networking/mail/smail/smail-3.1.29.1.tar.Z.

    Smail 3 is covered under the GPL (if it matters)

sendmail: Original author Eric Allman

    Sendmail is the granddaddy of all intelligent MTA's.  It can do just
    about anything.  It's main problem is that it can do just about
    anything.  Modification of sendmail's configuration tables (which is
    necessary with most vendor-supplied versions) is NOT for novices.
    The language of the sendmail.cf is cryptic, but that isn't really
    the problem.  The problem is that it's extremely difficult
    to know when the rules you are implementing are the right thing--
    many sendmail configurations do slightly buggy, or even extremely
    buggy, or illegal things.  Default configurations and minimal changing
    is the approach to take.  The Sendmail 8.9 configuration  environment
    is recommended.

    Worse, every vendor's version of sendmail is different, and many
    of their sendmail.cf's don't work at all.  HPUX is one example
    of where the sendmail.cf is actually pretty sane.  HP is to
    be congratulated.  On the other hand, some vendors, who shall
    remain nameless, can't even get their sendmail to deliver to local
    users, let alone get their sendmail to speak SMTP on a LAN.

    The major problem with sendmail is that it tries to do too many
    things.  Rather than confining itself to handling local mail, and
    simply routing external mail and leaving transport-specific
    format/standards conversions to transport software, it attempts
    (nay virually *insists*) that you have to do all of the
    format/standards conversions for different transports all at once.
    Which results in configuration files that are veritable nightmares
    to maintain.  And that many sendmail.cf files depend on out-of-date
    standards for different transports, rather than trying to unify
    them (as in RFC976).

    Indeed, while common wisdom and practice mandates that MTAs don't
    rewrite headers, sendmail makes it extremely difficult to *not*
    rewrite headers.  Which results in many major systems attempting to
    "be nice", yet, totally scramble return addresses and the like.

    There are several different sendmail lineages in the world but they
    seem to be coming together now with Eric Allman's work creating
    sendmail V8.x.  Sendmail V8.1 was shipped with BSD 4.4 UNIX.

    It is strongly recommended that anyone contemplating running sendmail
    upgrade to at least 8.9.x (see www.sendmail.org), which has a number
    of serious security problems fixed, or at least configurable w.r.t.
    email spam.  Ie: anti-relay, HELO overflow etc.

    Another point to remember is that sendmail, historically, has been
    where a large number of severe security holes have been found.  From
    the infamous RTM Internet Worm, to the latest ones "CERT"d in
    witthin the past few months.  Indeed, if your application is
    security-critical, I recommend that you should *not* use sendmail on
    your security-critical systems, such as your firewalls.

    Unless your vendor has provided sendmail 8.9 or better, do not expose
    it to the Internet.  In particular, SunOS and up to recent Solaris are
    extremely susceptable to abuse, _are_ being abused, and cannot be fixed
    without upgrading.  The latest Solaris sendmail patch resolves these
    problems.

    Administrators wishing something easier to configure than sendmail,
    particularly with the addition of filtering rules, are best advised
    to consider using qmail, exim instead, or, using mailshield SMTP
    relaying to stand in "front" of sendmail.

    Theoretically, all of these problems have been removed from sendmail
    8.6.5 (now 8.9) or later, but, there's bound to be more found.  While
    some of this can be due to the much larger installed base of sendmail,
    other mailers with improved function partitioning (such as the
    channel-oriented MMDF or PP) will usually be inherently more secure.

    I am being harsh on sendmail - sendmail programming is, after all, a
    good source of revenue for consultants ;-) But, if you obtain a good
    sendmail 8.9.x, or are willing to spend the time to learn it,
    sendmail will do what you want.  Well.  Don't, however, even think
    of playing with the configuration files without a copy of the
    Sendmail book by Costales, Allman and Rickert mentioned in the book
    list above.  It is *absolutely* essential.

    Sendmail is discussed in comp.mail.sendmail.


ZMailer: Original author  Rayan Zachariassen* <rayan@cs.toronto.edu>
         Current author   Matti Aarnio <mea@nic.funet.fi>

    ZMailer is intended for gateways or mail servers or other large site
    environments that have extreme demands on the abilities of the mailer.

    Code and Design features:

    + Strong limits on host impact.
    + Secure design (and hopefully implementation).
    + Natural fit for client/server environments.
    + Extremely customizable configuration mechanism.
    + Flexible database interface with support for: sorted files, unsorted
      files, dbm, ndbm, gdbm, nis (yellow pages), dns (BIND resolver),
      /etc/hosts file, and in-core data.
    + Efficient message queue management.
    + Fast binary-transparent SMTP server and client.
    + MIME-facilities for message transport.
    + Low-technology implementation, with high-tech options for performance.

    Default configuration file features:

    + Default configuration will work for most sites.
    + Network protocol support for: smtp, uucp, bitnet, mail to news.
    + An easy way of overriding any external routing information.
    + Automatic handling of mailing lists.

    It is available by anonymous FTP from:
        ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/unix/mail/zmailer/   (Mr. Aarnio's versions)
    Alternate (some of them old) versions:
        ftp://ftp.cs.toronto.edu/pub/edwin/zmailer2.2.e4.tar.Z
        ftp://ftp.cs.toronto.edu/pub/zmailer.tar.Z

MMDF: [reviewed by I.Sparry@gdt.bath.ac.uk, updated by Randall Atkinson
	2000/02/21]

    MMDF is a MTA. It works on the principle that you have communications
    channels, both incoming and outgoing, and it arranges for messages to
    pass between them.

    Strong points include:
	* Ability to turn up and down debugging level on the fly
	* Very strong on authentication, and permission checking.
	* Can block mail based on who it came from, how it got there,
	  who it is going to.

    It is older than sendmail, simpler than sendmail, and it is a great
    pity that it was not shipped as standard instead of sendmail.

    [MMDF is standard on some systems - primarily SCO UNIX.]

    It has one major advantage to people in the UK, in that it knows how to
    handle mail addresses in our 'correct' format (Most significant part first,
    e.g. net.uu.uunet), as well as the thing the rest of the world uses :-) :-)

|    A mailing list for MMDF discussion is at mmdf2@skymaster.c2-tech.com
|    requests for addition to the list to mmdf2-request@skymaster.c2-tech.com.
|
|    MMDF is being maintained at the University Kaisers-Lauten in
|    Germany:
|
|    http://www.mathematik.uni-kl.de/ftp/pub/Sources/mail+news/mmdf and
|    ftp://www.mathematik.uni-kl.de/pub/Sources/mail+news/mmdf
|
|    The MMDF Users Group has a web site at http://www.mmdf.org

PP: Author University College London

    PP is a Message Transfer Agent, intended for high volume message
    switching, protocol conversion, and format conversion. It is targeted for
    use in an operational environment, but may also be useful for investigating
    Message related applications. Good management features are a major
    aspect of this system. PP supports the 1984 and 1988 versions of the
    CCITT X.400 / ISO 10021 services and protocols. Many existing RFC 822
    based protocols are supported, along with RFC 1148 conversion to X.400.
    PP is an appropriate replacement for MMDF or Sendmail, and also supports
    SMTP and UUCP mail.

    For more information contact: support@xtel.co.uk or xtel@cs.nott.ac.uk
    The latest version is PP-6.0, which was posted in comp.sources.misc,
    volume 27.

    [Ed note:]
    PP is usually used in combination with the ISODE package, which
    also provides copious documentation for PP.  PP itself is
    "freeware", but ISODE and the PP documentation is not - site
    licenses are rather pricy.  PP is *very* large, and has quite a
    number of more esoteric functions, such as FAX transmission using
    the appropriate modems.  PP is ideal for large organizations with
    demanding email requirements (eg: 100s of machines and 1000s of
    users), where PP would be used as "backbone mail servers", and something
    simpler on the "client" computers.  It does have _substantial_
    learning and support requirements, and is *not* suitable for smaller
    installations.  It does, however, shine in large production environments,
    where policy-based routing, high levels of security, or extensive
    gatewaying to different transports is required.

SVR4 mail: Author AT&T (description written by Tony Hansen,
    hansen@pegasus.att.com)

    The System V Release 4 mail system is a domain-capable mail router and
    delivery program that works in the UUCP zone and on the Internet and
    that is capable of gatewaying between the two.

    SVR4 mail supports SMTP, UUCP mail, alias files, forwarding files,
    mailing list directories, /etc/hosts files, the domain name system, and
    can also query uucp for neighboring sites, automatically.  (System V
    Release 4.1 also allows batching of multiple messages into a single UUCP
    transaction, and allows many addresses to be passed with a single
    message transfer, which can greatly decrease the traffic generated for
    large mailing lists.)  It is also very simple to configure with a
    reasonable certainty of correctness.

    It also supports mail-to-pipe and mail-to-file.

    SVR4 mail uses configuration files to resolve addresses based on their
    syntax, somewhat similar to sendmail, but using regular expressions and
    a more easily understood syntax. The set of methods that SVR4 mail uses
    for resolving local and remote addresses and hosts is configurable and
    extensible.

    Questions related to SVR4 mail are usually discussed in comp.mail.misc.

    SVR4 mail is a standard part of System V Release 4; unfortunately, some
    vendors have not realized that SVR4 mail is not the same mailer as the
    SVR3 mail system, and have replaced it with other inferior mail systems.

deliver: Author Chip Salzenberg* <chip@fin!chip@dg_rtp.dg.com>

    Deliver allows any user to write a shell script that processes all
    incoming mail messages for that user.  The system administrator may
    also install scripts that process all messages by installing
    it as the Local Delivery Agent (lmail replacement).

    The output of a script is a list of mail addresses, files and programs
    that should receive the message.  It has access to each message as it
    is processed, so the action can be content dependent.  The script may
    also generate automatic replies, like the "vacation" program, or pass
    along a modified version of the original message.

    Deliver can be used to construct mail-based services (e.g. automatic
    mailing list maintenance).  It can also be used to filter mail
    automatically in prearranged ways (e.g. encryption and decryption,
    tossing junk mail, or vacation notices).

    Deliver was last posted in comp.sources.reviewed, volume 1.  The
    current version is 2.1.12.
    It can be retrieved from <ftp:ftp.cs.uni-sb.de/pub/mail/deliver>

procmail: Author Stephen R. van den Berg*
                <berg@pool.informatik.rwth-aachen.de>

    Can be used to create mail-servers, mailing lists, sort your incoming
    mail into separate folders/files (real convenient when subscribing to
    one or more mailing lists or for prioritising your mail), preprocess your
    mail, start any programs upon mail arrival (e.g. to generate different
    chimes on your workstation for different types of mail) or selectively
    forward certain incoming mail automatically to someone.

    Procmail can be used:
        - and installed by an unprivileged user (for himself only).
	- as a drop in replacement for the local delivery agent /bin/mail
	  (with biff/comsat support).
	- as a general mailfilter for whole groups of messages (e.g. when
	  called from within sendmail.cf rules).

    The accompanying formail program enables you to generate autoreplies,
    split up digests/mailboxes into the original messages, do some very
    simple header-munging/extraction, or force mail into mail-format (with
    leading From line).

    Also included is a comprehensive mailinglist/archive management system.

    Since procmail is written entirely in C, it poses a very low impact
    on your system's resources (under normal conditions, when you don't
    start other programs/scripts from within it).

    Procmail was designed to deliver the mail under the worst conditions
    (file system full, out of swap space, process table full, file table
    full, missing support files, unavailable executables; it all doesn't
    matter).  Should (in the unlikely event) procmail be unable to deliver
    your mail somewhere, the mail will bounce back to the sender or reenter
    the mailqueue (your choice).

    A recent version can be picked up at various comp.sources.misc archives.
    The latest version (3.03) can be obtained directly from the ftp-archive at:
        ftp.informatik.rwth-aachen.de (137.226.225.3)
        (g)zipped:          pub/packages/procmail/procmail.tar.gz       <160KB
        compressed:         pub/packages/procmail/procmail.tar.Z        <224KB

    [Ed note: I had noted reported difficulties in integrating procmail
    with System V and/or smail 2.5.  The 2.70 version of Procmail eliminated
    these difficulties.]

 mailagent: Author Raphael Manfredi* <ram@hptnos02.grenoble.hp.com>

    The mailagent is yet another mail filter, written in perl, which
    will let you do anything with your mail. It has all the features
    you may expect from a filter: mailing lists sorting, forwarding to
    MTA or to inews, pre-processing of message before saving into
    folder, vacation mode, etc... It was initially written as an
    ELM-filter replacement, but has now enough power to also supplant
    MMDF's .maildelivery. There is also a support for @SH mail hooks,
    which allows you to automatically distribute patches or software
    via command mails.

    The mailagent was designed to make mail filtering as easy as it can
    be. It is highly configurable and fairly complete. Rules are
    specified in a lex-like style, with the full power of perl's
    regular expressions. The automaton supports the notion of mode, and
    header selection has many magic features built-in, to ease the rule
    writing process.

    To give a simple example, the two following rules:

    	Subject: /cron output/	{ SAVE cron };
    	To Cc: dist-users		{ FORWARD friend@acri.fr; LEAVE };

    would save in a folder 'cron' all cron-related mail, and forward
    mail from the dist-users mailing list to a friend, leaving a copy
    in the system mailbox for immediate processing...

    It supports delivery to plain UNIX folder, to MMDF-style folders or
    to MH folders with built-in unseen sequence updates, as specified
    in your ~/.mh_profile. It may therefore replace MH's slocal program
    as well.

    Mailagent can be dynamically extended (that's the advantage of
    having it written in perl) with new filtering commands that will
    behave exactly like built-in ones; this operation being done
    without changing a single source line in the program itself, of
    course. It also provides a generic mail server layer, where
    user-defined commands can be easily plugged in, mailagent taking
    care of the lower-level stuff.

    The distribution comes with a set of examples, an exhaustive test
    suite, and naturally a detailed manual page. It should be noted
    that the mailagent will work even if your system administrator
    forbids "| programs" hooks in the ~/.forward, provided you have
    access to some sort of cron daemon.

    The mailagent program is available from any comp.source.misc
    archive and thanks to Christophe Wolfhugel
    <Christophe.Wolfhugel@grasp.insa-lyon.fr>, from ftp.univ-lyon1.fr
    (134.214.100.6) under /pub/unix/mail/tools, file
    mailagent-3.0.tar.gz

pathalias: Author Peter Honeyman

    [Not recommended anymore, due to the shift away from UUCP.  Included
    for historical interest, and the occasional use in very special
    situations.]

    Pathalias reads the UUCP Map Project maps (they need to be extracted
    from the postings first) and constructs a database containing the
    minimum cost route to any machine in the maps.  This database can
    then be used with any mailer that knows how to search the database
    (eg: smail 2.5, Zmailer?, and some versions of sendmail.  Smail 3
    comes bundled with pathalias).

    There were previous versions of this program.  You must use
    pathalias version 10 (latest version), because some map format
    changes have been made and only pathalias 10 can parse them.
    If your pathalias doesn't give a syntax error on:
	echo "file {foo}" | pathalias
    It's the new one.

    There were other route-generating programs, but all (as far as
    I know) are very obsolete, and none run as fast as pathalias
    (still, which can be rather hard on machines with smallish virtual
    memory or RAM capacities).

    pathalias 10 is available from comp.sources.unix archives,
    volume 22.  A patch was just released in comp.sources.unix
    (vol 25) that addresses an oddity when used with smail (not that
    I've ever noticed it).

uuhosts: Author John Quarterman

   [Not recommended anymore.  Included for historical interest.]

    The "defacto" standard UUCP Map Project map unpacker.  Includes
    a program to arbitrarily view individual map entries.  Uuhosts
    implements trojan horse/virus security by running under
    a "chroot()" system call.  Uuhosts does not appear to be
    actively maintained, and the last versions that I have inspected
    were unable to easily compress the maps (a full set of maps
    is >6000 blocks), had no provision for automatically
    running pathalias, and will not work with the newest version
    of cnews.  Further, uuhost's header checking is so picky
    that the slightest change in the map format will cause
    uuhosts to reject map updates.

    Use of uuhosts now will require some minor hacking - and this
    hacking will stretch your knowledge of Bourne shell programming.

    The last edition, "uuhost4" (version 1.69) appears to have
    been posted in comp.sources.unix in volume 3, 1986.

    Do not be confused by Jan-Piet Mons "uuhost 2.0" program posted
    in alt.sources.  This is not a map unpacker.  It is just
    a map viewer, and is a subset of the real uuhosts.

unpackmaps: Author Chris Lewis* <clewis@ferret.ocunix.on.ca>

    [Not recommended anymore, sniff ;-)]

    Unpackmaps is a superset of the functionality of uuhosts.
    It obtains its security by doing the map unpacking with
    a specialized parser that knows the map article format
    rather than invoking a shar/shell.  Compression and pathalias
    invocation is automatic, correctly takes into account
    the change date of local configuration files, and will
    work with the latest Cnews.

    The newest version of unpackmaps, version 4.1, has been
    released to comp.sources.misc, and appeared in volume 34.
    This version is entirely written in C, is considerably faster
    than unpackmaps 3 or uuhosts, has considerably more features,
    and will work with Brian Reids PostScript net maps too.

unshar: Author Lee Ward, modified by Mark Moraes* <moraes@deshaw.com>

    unshar is evolved from getmaps by Lee Ward.  It is has a specialized
    and limited parser that understands most simple shar formats.  It is
    capable of automatically unpacking new files from a newsgroup spool
    directory, and requires no interaction whatsoever with the news
    system.  Apart from UUCP maps, it can be used to automatically and
    safely unpack shar files from the sources newsgroups.  It does not
    handle some of the newer, esoteric shar formats that do automatic
    uudecodes, etc.  Ftp'able from
    ftp.cs.toronto.edu:/pub/moraes/unshar.tar.gz.

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