how to insert "Reply-to" header using UCB "mail"

how to insert "Reply-to" header using UCB "mail"

Post by Alan M. McKenn » Thu, 02 Jun 1994 02:35:57

    I use UCB mail (usually /usr/ucb/mail on Unix systems), and
am happy enough with it that I don't want to learn a new user
mail interface/program.

    However, when I send E-mail, I would like to have an appropriate
"reply-to" header line added, giving a more generic address than
whatever machine I happen to be on when I send the mail.

    I have figured out how to bludgeon the mailer into adding
header lines, by using the "sendmail" variable to use a script
that adds the desired header lines and pipes the modified message
into standard "sendmail".

However, this seems pretty kludgey to me,
    (not to mention that it requires explicit absolute paths,
    which have to be changed each time  my SAs decide that I
    should be on a different filesystem)
and so I wonder  if there is a better way.  Any ideas?

    Please send me E-mail; if enough people express an interest
(and I get a good answer), I will summarize for the net.


Courant Institute,NYU,USA     ...!cmcl2!!mckenney   (UUCP)
Ob.Disclaimer: Even *I* don't take responsibility for what I post.
   NYU *definitely* doesn't, and, if challenged, would probably deny I wrote it.

Courant Institute,NYU,USA     ...!cmcl2!!mckenney   (UUCP)
Ob.Disclaimer: Even *I* don't take responsibility for what I post.
   NYU *definitely* doesn't, and, if challenged, would probably deny I wrote it.


1. rewriting "From:" and/or inserting "Reply-To:"

Not being a sendmail wizard, I haven't got a clue whether what I'm hoping
to do is {trivial,straightforward,difficult,impossible}.  In any case ...

We have a system (call it foobar.some.domain) from which we'd like to let
users send outgoing mail messages, but not have anything listening for an
incoming SMTP connection.  If one uses the standard sort of configuration,
outgoing messages will contain a "From:" line that will be useless for a
recipient to send a reply to.

What I'd like to do is to have the headers of outgoing messages rewritten
either to replace the addresses in the "From:" lines with different ones
(see below), or alternatively, to insert a "Reply-To:" line containing an
appropriate address.  We'd like this to be done automatically, so that a
user needn't worry about sticking a "Reply-To:" line in outgoing messages.

(Of course, people who use some MUA which decides to also play the role of
MTA, and establish its own outgoing SMTP connections, are on their own as
far as this issue is concerned!)

As the people with accounts on this machine are hither and thither, there
is no algorithmic way to map a username into that user's correct address.
But for the purpose of this discussion, we can assume that either or both
of the following are true:

        There exists some shell script, which given a username
        as a command line argument, will generate as output the
        user's correct e-mail address.
        There exists some directory /some/dir, such that a file
        named /some/dir/user contains user's e-mail address.

MXing this host to something else isn't really an option, since there is
no other system that has anything even resembling the same collection of
users, and adding this user base to some alternate MX host really is not
an option.

Any helpful suggestions?

Mark Bartelt                                                 626 395 2522

California Institute of Technology

      "Nur eine Waffel taugt!"  --  Parsifal, in an Eggo commercial

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