Known Bugs for the check_* HACKs in sendmail 8.8

Last Update 2003-02-22


Please consider upgrading your sendmail version to sendmail 8.9 or even better sendmail 8.10.

The HACKs for the check_* rulesets in sendmail 8.8 have several options, some of which may cause problems. Here is the list of known bugs. If someone has a solution for them, please let me know.

List of Known Bugs/Problems

  1. 2000-03-02: check_mail3.m4 3.9.17 has a bug: it uses the string "don't" but it should use "do not" because "'" is a special character for m4. Either edit it by hand or get version 3.9.19.
  2. An illegal address can be used to relay mail through sendmail version 8.8 since it tries to repair those addresses. I strongly recommend to upgrade to the latest sendmail version because only that version is actively maintained. Otherwise download a new version of check_rcpt4.m4 which fixes the problem.
  3. If FEATURE(`nouucp') is used and your system depends on another system for mail delivery, e.g. via LOCAL_RELAY or LUSER_RELAY, then an address like <!> will get relayed. Thanks to Jered J Floyd for pointing this out. The alpha version of check_rcpt4.m4 incorporates the fix proposed by him.
  4. The beta version fixes a bug in check_rcpt4.m4 when _SPAM_HATERS_ and _CHECK_MAIL_IN_RCPT_ are used. Thanks to Nathan Edwards for the noticing the bug and providing extended debugging information. There is still a problem: if mail is send from a sender (address, domain) that is allowed to use the the server as relay, then the sender address is not checked even if the recipient is listed as spam hater. Proposal from Nathan Edwards for this case: ... go and LART the spammer personally with a big heavy object...
  5. check_mail3.m4 contains a bug for _MAPS_RBL_2_
    (1998-10-31) It's fixed in the beta version.
  6. check_mail3.m4 returns a misleading error message if
    is used:
    501 <>... no access from [] see ...

    (1998-11-14) It's fixed in the alpha version.
  7. The order of the lines in the .mc file is important. Suggested use is: first, all definitions, then the HACKs in the order as given here:
    All of these should appear after the usual stuff (the order is explained in cf/README.)
    (1998-02-22) This problem should be fixed in the latest beta release.
  8. _CHECK_MAIL_IN_RCPT_ does not work with addresses that contain quotes, because dequote doesn't split those addresses in tokens. This problem will probably be fixed in sendmail 8.9, since macros like $&x are tokenized in that version without the help of the dequote map.

List of some Fixed Bugs

  1. check_mail3.m4 contains a bug with error messages for _CHECK_FULL_FROM_ and _CHECK_LOCALPART_.
    (1998-02-25) fixed.
  2. some versions (1997-12-17 and -18) contained a bug in check_mail3.m4
  3. check_relay3 had a small bug, which has been fixed today (1998-02-10).
  4. _RBLOVERRIDE_NAME_ had a bug, which has been fixed today (1998-02-11).

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Copyright © Claus Aßmann Please send comments to: <ca at>
Disclaimer: the information provided may be inaccurate or outdated or incomplete. Please contact me if you find an error.