My unqualified host name

perryh at perryh at
Thu Sep 25 06:37:29 UTC 2008

> >  > > "nyana sm-mta[803]: My unqualified host name (nyana) unknown;  
> >  > > sleeping for retry"
> >  >
> >  > ... sendmail expects your machine to have working DNS and for
> >  > the machine to have a valid FQDN.  Either set that up, or add  
> >  > sendmail_enable="NONE" to /etc/rc.conf to disable sendmail ...
> >  
> >  There is another approach, which is to ignore the message.  After
> >  something like 3 repetitions, at something like a minute apart,
> >  it will give up on qualifying its name.  Everything seems to work
> >  just fine thereafter until the next boot, when the entire
> >  sequence repeats.
>    Respectfully, my gut reaction is this is, if not /bad/ practice,
> at least not /good/ practice.  The requirements for geting sendmail
> to behave (at least in this regard) are not particularly onerous;

If sendmail *will not work properly* without a valid FQDN, that alone
is onerous.  See below.

> why not just diagnose and fix the root problem?

because I have no clue how to do it, without adopting settings that
I don't want!

Dunno about the OP, but my FreeBSD machines do not have nor need
valid FQDNs because they sit behind a NAT firewall (and therefore
do not have externally-identifiable IP addresses).  I want hostname
to simply return the unqualified host name (say, foo), not
nor foo.uucp nor even foo.bogus.  I don't need sendmail to handle
anything but purely local traffic, such as the periodic reports to
root, and it's just fine for it to identify itself simply as foo.
We were able to do things like this back in the days of SunOS 4, so
why should it be difficult to accomplish today?  Indeed, why should
it not be the default mode of operation when hostname returns an
unqualified name?

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