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    Command:

    mh-alias

    
    
    

    SYNOPSIS

           any nmh command
    
    
    

    DESCRIPTION

           This  describes both nmh personal alias files and the global alias file
           for nmh mail delivery, the file
    
                /etc/nmh/MailAliases
    
           It does not describe aliases files used by the message  transport  sys-
           tem.  Each line of the alias file has the format:
    
                alias : address-group
           or
                alias ; address-group
           or
                < alias-file
           or
                ; comment
    
           where:
    
                address-group  := address-list
                               |  < file
                               |  = UNIX-group
                               |  + UNIX-group
                               |  *
    
                address-list   := address
                               |  address-list, address
    
           Continuation  lines in alias files end with '\' followed by the newline
           character.
    
           "Alias-file" and "file" are UNIX file names.   UNIX-group  is  a  group
           name  (or  number)  from  /etc/group.   An address is a "simple" Inter-
           net-style address.  Througout this file, case is  ignored,  except  for
           file names.
    
           If  the  line  starts  with a '<', then the file named after the '<' is
           read for more alias definitions.  The reading is done recursively, so a
           '<'  may  occur  in  the  beginning  of an alias file with the expected
           results.
    
           If the address-group starts with a '<', then the file named  after  the
           '<'  is  read  and  its  contents are added to the address-list for the
           alias.
    
           If the address-group starts with an '=', then the  file  /etc/group  is
           consulted  for  the  UNIX-group  named  after the '='.  Each login name
           occurring as a member of the group is added to the address-list for the
           alias.
           An approximation of the way aliases are resolved  at  posting  time  is
           (it's not really done this way):
    
             1) Build  a  list  of all addresses from the message to be delivered,
                eliminating duplicate addresses.
    
             2) If this draft  originated  on  the  local  host,  then  for  those
                addresses  in  the  message  that  have no host specified, perform
                alias resolution.
    
             3) For each line in the alias file, compare "alias"  against  all  of
                the  existing  addresses.   If a match, remove the matched "alias"
                from  the  address  list,  and  add  each  new  address   in   the
                address-group  to  the  address  list  if it is not already on the
                list.   The  alias  itself  is  not  usually  output,  rather  the
                address-group  that  the  alias  maps  to  is  output instead.  If
                "alias" is terminated with a ';' instead of a ':', then  both  the
                "alias"  and  the address are output in the correct format.  (This
                makes replies possible since nmh aliases and personal aliases  are
                unknown to the mail transport system.)
    
           Since the alias file is read line by line, forward references work, but
           backward references are not recognized, thus, there is no recursion.
    
           Example Alias File:
    
                </etc/nmh/BBoardAliases
                sgroup: fred, fear, freida
                b-people: Blind List: bill, betty;
                fred: frated@UCI
                UNIX-committee: <unix.aliases
                staff: =staff
                wheels: +wheel
                everyone: *
                news.*: news
    
           The first line says that more aliases should immediately be  read  from
           the  file /etc/nmh/BBoardAliases.  Following this, "fred" is defined as
           an alias for "frated@UCI", and "sgroup" is defined as an alias for  the
           three names "frated@UCI", "fear", and "freida".
    
           The  alias  "b-people"  is  a  blind  list which includes the addresses
           "bill" and "betty"; the message will be delieved  to  those  addresses,
           but  the  message  header  will   show  only  "Blind  List: ;" (not the
           addresses).
    
           Next, the definition of "UNIX-committee" is given by reading  the  file
           unix.aliases  in  the  users  nmh  directory, "staff" is defined as all
           users who are listed as members of the group "staff" in the  /etc/group
           delivered.
    
    
    

    HELPFUL HINTS

           To use aliasing in nmh quickly, do the following:
    
             1) In  your  .mh_profile,  choose  a  name  for  your alias file, say
                "aliases", and add the line:
    
                  Aliasfile: aliases
    
             2) Create the file "aliases" in your nmh directory.
    
             3) Start adding aliases to your "aliases" file as appropriate.
    
    
    

    FILES

           /etc/nmh/MailAliases       global nmh alias file
    
    
    

    PROFILE COMPONENTS

           Aliasfile:           For a default alias file
    
    
    

    SEE ALSO

           ali(1), send(1), whom(1), group(5), passwd(5), conflict(8), post(8)
    
    
    

    CONTEXT

           None
    
    
    

    BUGS

           Although the forward-referencing semantics of  mh-alias  files  prevent
           recursion,  the "< alias-file" command may defeat this.  Since the num-
           ber of file descriptors is finite (and  very  limited),  such  infinite
           recursion will terminate with a meaningless diagnostic when all the fds
           are used up.
    
           Forward references do not work correctly inside blind lists.
    
    
    

    MH.6.8 1 June 2008 MH-ALIAS(5)

    
    
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