Description of Problem:
Symptom: Reboot or "service sendmail restart" (i.e., execution
of "/etc/rc.d/init.d/sendmail start") do not update
the indexes for the databases in /etc/mail although it appears
that the intention was to do so.
File /etc/rc.d/init.d/sendmail's function "start" attempts to
update the indexes of databases under /etc/mail with command:
make -C /etc/mail -q
The "make" command has no effect because the "-q" instructs
make to do nothing except issue a special exit status if any
targets are out of date.
I suspect that the "-q" was added in the mistaken belief that
it would simply suppress make's message output (as in "quiet").
To "make", "-q" stands for "question" -- not "quiet".
Suggested solution: Use "-s" for "silent".
Change the relevant line to be:
make -C /etc/mail -s
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Redhat 7.1 with updated sendmail-8.11.6-2.7.1
or Redhat 7.2 with sendmail-8.11.6-3
Steps to Reproduce:
1. touch /etc/mail/virtusertable
2. service sendmail restart
3. Observe that virtusertable.db has not been updated:
ls -lt /etc/mail/virtusertable*
but should have been.
*blush* big problem and thanks to your detailed report. This will be
fixed in 8.11.6-5 or newer and I will provide new errata rpms for
Florian La Roche
I think the proposed fix is incorrect. The fix rebuilds the db files whether
they need it or not. That was based on the assumption was that the '-q' option
was mistakenly assumed to be the same as '--quiet'. I don't believe that.
I think it was supposed to mean just what says: "return an exit status that is
zero if the specified targets are already up to date, nonzero otherwise." I
believe that the error is in not checking the status.
The following code checks the status and rebuilds only if needed:
if test -x /usr/bin/make -a -f /etc/mail/Makefile ; then
make -C /etc/mail -q
if [ $updatedb -gt 0 ]; then
for i in virtusertable access domaintable mailertable ; do
if [ -f /etc/mail/$i ] ; then
makemap hash /etc/mail/$i < /etc/mail/$i
[Note: I'm the original reporter. I've retired email@example.com due to spam.]
> I think the proposed fix is incorrect. The fix rebuilds the db files whether
> they need it or not
Under RH 7.3 (with all errata), the original fix does not rebuild db files
unless they need it.
I just tried it. Also, from inspection of the makefile
%.db : %
@makemap hash $@ < $<
it would seem that it does the right thing; that is, invoking makemap only if
the .db is older than the file upon which it depends.
Is it conceivable you are seeing a different problem?
Did this issue arise under the limbo beta or something, in which case
maybe there's something causing this behavior?
Please take another look at this, as the alternate fix you most recently
1. rebuilds all databases, even if only one needs rebuilding
2. does not rebuild the "possible" databases, as does the Makefile.
(I don't know how significant this is, but it seems significant to me).