no more main vs subsidiary

A common gotcha when setting up a Solaris box on the Internet and trying to send mail has been:

Host unknown (Name server: mailhost.example.com: host not found)
This is because Solaris has for many years shipped two sendmail config files: one for the "real" Internet (main.cf) and one for inside a firewall or elsewhere where DNS may not be configured properly, and average "dumb" hosts need to punt to some "smart" host (subsidiary.cf). As you might guess from the above message, that "smart" host is assumed to have the name mailhost.$m (where $m is the macro for the local domain, "example.com" in the above example) . For backwards compatibility reasons, sendmail.cf has always been a copy of subsidiary.cf rather than main.cf .

Well, starting in Solaris 10 build 63, this problem is fixed. More accurately, the fix is in sendmail version 8.13, which was introduced in s10_63; hopefully, 8.13 will be back-ported to Solaris 9 before too long. I should have thought of this years ago, but better late than never: by inventing a new FallbackSmartHost option, sendmail can handle either scenario in a single configuration:

If specified, the FallBackSmartHost will be used in a last-ditch effort for each host. This is intended to be used by sites with "fake internal DNS", e.g., a company whose DNS accurately reflects the world inside that company's domain but not outside.
This option is specified, with the value mailhost.$m as subsidiary.cf used to use, in the default sendmail.cf, and there is no longer a main.cf or a subsidiary.cf . (Well, technically, they both can still be found, but only as sym-links to sendmail.cf for backwards compatibility.)

Finally, after all these years, a grand unified sendmail configuration! :-)

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