FC7 adding unneccesary mailboxes in /var/mail

Jeroen van Meeuwen kanarip at kanarip.com
Mon Jun 25 12:40:43 UTC 2007

Timothy Murphy wrote:
> Tim wrote:
>> Tim:
>>>>> Has anyone else noticed that FC7's /var/mail is full of zero-byte
>>>>> mailboxes for all users?  It includes ones for services (squid,
>>>>> webalizer, sshd, etc.), not just human users.
>> Chris:
>>>> Not until you mentioned it.  How odd.
>> Jeroen van Meeuwen:
>>> It isn't really that odd at all, since all users can receive mail.
>>> Sometimes though, they never do (some system accounts are in
>>> /etc/aliases and forward to root, some systems never receive mail from
>>> the outside world and are not being used to send mail locally).
>> Well, odd in that this is the first distro that I've seen do that.  I'd
>> have thought that the aliases file might have been looked at before
>> making mailbox files.  Or that they'd be created the first time a
>> message was sent to them.  Though I can see problems with configuring a
>> mail client for the first time, if it directly accesses the mail spool
>> file.
>> I can't see it being a problem, it just seemed strange.
> I agree it is very strange.
> As a matter of interest, how would I read mail addressed to tcpdump?
> Does it actually allow lunatics to send email to these virtual users?

One of those "lunatics" could be the cron daemon. In addition, the cron
jobs allow a user name to be specified so that it runs the job as that user.

The system however doesn't know what the user tcpdump is supposed to be
used for. Let alone it knows that the tcpdump user is supposed to be
used for the tcpdump program only, and that it isn't supposed to send or
receive any mail.

BTW, You can configure CREATE_MAIL_SPOOL in /etc/default/useradd to
modify the default behaviour.

Kind regards,

Jeroen van Meeuwen

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