"deliver not available for sendmail programs"

John Alton Tamplin jtampli at sph.emory.edu
Thu May 1 09:51:53 EDT 2003

Eric Ewanco wrote:

>I am trying to do some testing before plunging head-first into Cyrus.  I
>set up an alias so that only mail to that alias gets delivered by Cyrus,
>leaving the remainder of my mail undisturbed:
>imap:                   "|/usr/cyrus/bin/deliver -a root eje"
>Unfortunately when I try to execute it, I get this error:
>The original message was received at Wed, 30 Apr 2003 14:24:38 -0400
>from IDENT:smmsp at localhost []
>   ----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
>"|/usr/cyrus/bin/deliver -a root eje"
>    (expanded from: <imap at polycarp.ewanco.com>)
>   ----- Transcript of session follows -----
>sh: deliver not available for sendmail programs
>554 5.0.0 Service unavailable
>Now I understand that connecting to lmtpd via TCP is the preferred
>method for delivering via sendmail, but what I'm trying to accomplish is
>much more straightforward using deliver. 
>Oddly I am unable to figure out who is issuing this error; it's not an
>error string found in any of the C or H files in Cyrus, nor in any of
>the executables in /usr/cyrus/bin, nor in sendmail, nor in any standard
>This is kind of frustrating because deliver does exactly what I need,
>except for this seemingly arbitrary and mysterious error that has no
>clear purpose.  Does anyone know why I am getting it and is there a way
>of working around this error?
Depending of your configuration of sendmail, you will need to put any 
delivery programs in a trusted location, such as /var/adm/sm.bin.  This 
is to prevent a user setting an alias to a program which is not designed 
to process mail deliveries and opening a security hole or causing loss 
of email.  The message is coming from smrsh, which is set as the program 
for the prog mailer.

John A. Tamplin                               Unix System Administrator
Emory University, School of Public Health     +1 404/727-9931

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