Permissions Question

Jay Chandler chandler at
Tue Jan 9 18:18:18 UTC 2007

Malcolm Kay wrote:
> I am confused (or someone is).
> On all the FreeBSD systems I have immediate access to the file
> /etc/mail/aliases has the default permissions -rw-r--r--, in 
> other words is readable by anyone. On the other 
> hand /etc/mail/aliases.db is sometimes -rw-r----- and sometimes 
> -rw-r--r-- but since it is only an encoded version of aliases 
> and additional restrictions would seem useless.
> I can imagine some might object to reason setting either of these 
> o+r, but this does seem to be the norm.
> Perhaps someone else has other views. Or perhaps this is some 
> variation when using profix, qmail etc. in place of sendmail.
> Malcolm
Postfix is the MTA, but the file itself is NFS shared between all the 
mailservers, and furthermore is used as part of a script that expects 
things to be "just so."

I inherited this setup, and don't dare start changing the permissions on 
key files until I understand what every part of the equation expects to 
see-- an example would be the user mailboxes, wherein the permissions 
were set incorrectly causing Sendmail to choke (dontblamesendmail has 
more on this for the curious).

Jay Chandler
Network Administrator, Chapman University
714.628.7249 / chandler at
Today's Excuse: user to computer ratio too high. 

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