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Transition of Mail System to the Linux Environment

This document describes changes occurring in the way electronic mail is delivered at a2i communications. Previously mail was delivered in a FreeBSD or SunOS environment. After the transition is complete, all mail delivery will occur in a Linux environment. If you are doing any type of customized mail filtering, then this document will help you understand what changes you might need to make in order to keep your mail flowing without problems.

Although some changes are already occurring, the bulk of the transition is scheduled for: 1:00 pm, Wednesday, December 11, 2002, San Jose local time. Almost all of the changes described in this document will take effect all at once at that time. Please watch our official announcements in the a2i.announce newsgroup or the corresponding mailing list for last-minute updates.

Status of this Document

This is now a historical document. The transition described in this document was completed as scheduled.

Who Should Read This Document

If you use mail only from a pop or imap client, and if you do not ever log into the UNIX shell, then you will most likely not need to read this document. If you do any type of customized mail filtering (e.g., using procmail), you should read this document. If you have customized Nojunk(tm) mail filtering by directly editing a .nojunk.patterns file, then you should read this document.

The Old System

In our old mail system, mail delivery was done in a FreeBSD environment (if Nojunk filtering was not enabled and if you had no .forward file) or in a SunOS environment (if Nojunk filtering was enabled or if you had a .forward file). Also mail arriving for the Nojunk-specific domains was delivered in a SunOS environment. These Nojunk-specific domains are:

The New System

In the new mail system, all mail delivery occurs in a Linux environment. The machines on which mail delivery will occur in a Linux environment are: Your mail might be delivered on either of these machines.


Here is a summary of differences between the old and new environments.

Pre-Transition Testing

Before the transition, you can test mail delivery in the new Linux environment by simply sending mail to USER@linux.rahul.net, where USER is your login name. Such test mail will be delivered in a Linux environment. For these tests, any .forward and .forward.bsd files will be ignored, but any .forward.linux file will be active. No Nojunk processing will occur.

This feature is for pre-transition testing only.

Playing it Safe

The safest way to survive the transition with the greatest chance of not losing mail is to disable any mail forwarding, any mail filters, and any Nojunk features, well in advance of the change. Then all your incoming mail will go into your mailbox. Then, after the change is completed and the new mail system is known to be stable, you may carefully re-enable the above features.


If during or after the mail system transition you report a mail problem to us, this is the sequence of steps that we will follow.
  1. We will disable any Nojunk filtering that might have been active for you.
  2. We will move any .forward file in your home directory to a temporary name such as .forward.SAVE.
  3. We will then check to see if your mail is being properly delivered into your mailbox. If it is, the problem will be considered resolved in the short run. Then you may at your convenience re-enable any Nojunk filtering or any mail forwarding carefully. (Note: If your account type does not include a local mailbox, then we will leave your mail forwarding enabled and we will verify that mail is being correctly forwarded.)
  4. If any problems related to Nojunk filtering or mail forwarding are observed, and they appear to be due to a problem in our mail system and not in your own account-specific files, those issues will be addressed system-wide.

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