murder and autocreate (I know it is not supported)

Greg A. Woods woods-cyrus at
Fri Jun 19 14:24:29 EDT 2009

At Thu, 18 Jun 2009 12:22:20 -0700 (PDT), Andrew Morgan <morgan at> wrote:
Subject: Re: murder and autocreate (I know it is not supported)
> Unix systems don't automatically create accounts when someone tries to 
> login...

But unix mailers do automatically create mailboxes for existing users
whenever those mailboxes need to be created...

Also, as you allude to, there's a reason why modern systems include a
properly integrated, built-in to the fundamental base system, method of
doing all the things needed to create a usable user account.

Unfortunately Cyrus is not a fully integrated subsystem in any existing
modern base system, so the base system useradd or equivalent cannot
automatically initialize Cyrus mailboxes too.

(I'm sure I'm also not alone in thinking that many folks wouldn't mind
if there were a standard way to do all the other mundane parts of
account setup upon first login -- it would obviously be easy enough to
do by simply setting the initial default shell to some script that did
all the right things.  Perhaps it's already been done.  Maybe I'll do it
myself in my own custom NetBSD releases now that you've prompted me to
think about it again.  Dim memories even suggest it has already been
done -- I seem to remember being asked which shell I wanted to use when
I first logged onto some systems long ago.)

> In our case, the list of valid email addresses on our MTA is generated 
> from the list of mailboxes in Cyrus.

I knew someone would end up doing it "backwards" -- it was inevitable! :-)

(Your way is of course one good way to completely uncouple the mail
system AAA from the underlying OS AAA when using something like Cyrus
for mailbox management and storage.  I prefer not to do that, but with
Cyrus it's already half done anyway and there's no option to undo it.)

> Obviously there are multiple ways to do account/mailbox creation.  I have 
> no problem if you want to let Cyrus create mailboxes automatically.  I 
> prefer to have more direct control, but to each their own.

Exactly -- we agree entirely.  There's nothing wrong with having
administrative control over when and how mailboxes are created, but at
the same time I think it is also a fundamental requirement in many
environments that the mail system automatically honour all valid
existing accounts even if that means automatically creating mailboxes
(and perhaps also setting default quota) when necessary.

						Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098                VE3TCP          RoboHack <woods at>
Planix, Inc. <woods at>      Secrets of the Weird <woods at>

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