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sendmail Desktop Reference

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How to Run
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1.2 Command-Line Switches

-B 7bit

Causes sendmail to clear the high-bit of every incoming byte, or 8bitmime , which causes sendmail to preserve the high-bit (see §36.7.1).


Uses ARPAnet/Grey-Book protocols to transfer mail (see §36.7.3).


Runs as a daemon (just as with -bd below), but doesn't fork and doesn't detach from the controlling terminal (see §36.7.4).


Forks, detaches from the controlling terminal, and runs as a daemon, listening for incoming SMTP connections and handling them as they arrive (see §36.7.5).


Purges (zeroes) persistent host status information (see §36.7.6).


Prints persistent host status information (see §36.7.7).


Initializes the aliases (5) databases (see §24.5.1).


(The default) causes sendmail to read a message from its standard input and to send the read message (see §36.7.9).


Prints the contents of the queue (see §23.4).


Runs SMTP on standard I/O (see §36.7.11).


Runs in rule-testing mode (see 38.1).

-bv root bob

Verifies the addresses root and bob (see §36.7.13).

-C /tmp/test.cf

Uses /tmp/test.cf as its configuration file (see §36.7.15).


Sets the HoldExpensive option to true (see §34.8.29).

-d 0.4

Debugging mode to facility 0 , level 4 (see §37.1).

-F 'Jolly Roger'

Sets the sender's full name to Jolly Roger (see §36.7.20).

-f news@our.domain

Sets sender's address to news@our.domain (see §36.7.21).

-h 20

Sets the minimum hop count to 20 (see §36.7.22).


Sets the IgnoreDots option to true (see §36.7.24).


Gives the macro $r the value UUCP (see §31.2).


Sets the MeToo option to true (see §34.8.39).

-N never

Says to never return DSN NOTIFY information when a message bounces (see §36.7.28). Can also be -N success,failure,delay to give notification on successful delivery, failed delivery, or delayed delivery.


Suppresses aliasing (see §24.6).

-O MaxQueueRunSize=100

Sets the MaxQueueRunSize option to 100 (see §34.1.2).

-o Q/tmp

Sets the QueueDirectory option to /tmp (see §34.1.1).

-p UUCP:sonya

Sets the protocol stored in the $r macro to UUCP and the host stored in the $s macro to sonya (see §36.7.32).

-q 30m

Runs sendmail in the background, waking up once every 30 minutes to process the queue (see §23.6.1).

-qR @aol.com

Processes the queue once, delivering to all recipients in any queued message that contains at least one recipient at aol.com (see §

-R hdrs

Bounces only the headers of a message. -R full bounces headers and body (see §36.7.34).


Is a (deprecated) synonym for -f .


Sets the SaveFromLine option to true (deprecated, see §34.8.59).

-T 5d

Sets the Timeout.queuereturn option to 5 days (see §34.8.52).


Gathers the list of recipients from the message's headers (see §36.7.38).


Makes this the initial MUA to MTA submission (see §36.7.39).

-V cookie9167B5AS34

Sets the DSN ENVID string to cookie9167B5AS34 (see §36.7.40).


Runs in verbose mode (see §36.7.41).

-X /var/tmp/smtp.trace

Logs both sides of all SMTP transactions to the /var/tmp/smtp.trace file (see §26.4).

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1.1 Alternative Names for sendmail   1.3 Some Handy Debugging Switches