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MAILER.CONF(5) File Formats Manual MAILER.CONF(5)

mailer.confconfiguration file for mailwrapper(8)

The file /etc/mailer.conf contains a series of pairs. The first member of each pair is the name of a program invoking mailwrapper(8) which is typically a symbolic link to /usr/sbin/sendmail. (On a typical system, newaliases(8) and mailq(8) would be set up this way.) The second member of each pair is the name of the program to actually execute when the first name is invoked. The file may also contain comments, denoted by a ‘#’ character in the first column of any line.


The following is an example of how to set up mailer.conf for the default smtpd(8) MTA suite .

# Emulate sendmail using smtpd
sendmail	/usr/sbin/smtpctl
send-mail	/usr/sbin/smtpctl
mailq		/usr/sbin/smtpctl
makemap 	/usr/sbin/smtpctl
newaliases	/usr/sbin/smtpctl

This example shows how to invoke the traditional sendmail(8) MTA suite in place of smtpd(8).

# Execute the "real" sendmail program, named /usr/libexec/sendmail/sendmail
sendmail	/usr/libexec/sendmail/sendmail
send-mail	/usr/libexec/sendmail/sendmail
mailq		/usr/libexec/sendmail/sendmail
makemap 	/usr/libexec/sendmail/makemap
newaliases	/usr/libexec/sendmail/sendmail
hoststat	/usr/libexec/sendmail/sendmail
purgestat	/usr/libexec/sendmail/sendmail

mail(1), mailq(8), mailwrapper(8), newaliases(8), smtpd(8)

Perry E. Metzger <>

The entire reason this program exists is a crock. Instead, a command for how to submit mail should be standardized, and all the "behave differently if invoked with a different name" behavior of things like mailq(8) should go away.

December 8, 2015 OpenBSD-6.2