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[Discuss] I'm getting mail for "nobody"

On Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 04:39:03PM -0400, Bill Horne wrote:
> I just noticed that my new server is accepting mail for "nobody".

The question is, what do you expect to happen when mail is sent to
nobody?  Or is it that you didn't expect mail to be sent to nobody?

There are at least a couple of ways this can be handled.  The two most
useful are to figure out what's sending mail to nobody and make it
stop (or change where the mail goes), or add an alias to nobody in
/etc/aliases to point the mail where you want it to go (which might be

You listed a couple of commands which included editing some files, but
of course we can not see what the result of that was.  Note also that
the canonical location for the aliases file moved to /etc/mail/aliases
some time ago, but many vendors (I believe Ubuntu included but not
positive) have retained /etc/aliases for legacy reasons, but if you've
looked for it in one place and it's not there, it may be in the other.

As for what is sending the mail: a number of system services
typically run as nobody, so that they need not run with root
privileges if that is not required.  Cron jobs belonging to such
services may well send the output (usually error messages) of those
cron jobs to nobody.  The text of the mail generally should provide
some clue as to where they came from.

Derek D. Martin   GPG Key ID: 0xDFBEAD02
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