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Sendmail, 3rd Edition by Bryan Costales

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:include: Mailing Lists

The special notation :include: in the right-hand side of an alias causes sendmail to read its list of recipients from an external file. For that directive to be recognized as special, any address that begins with :include: must select the local delivery agent and, beginning with V8.7, must have the F=: delivery-agent flag set (F=: (colon)). This is automatic with most configuration files, but if your configuration file does not automatically recognize the :include: directive, you will need to add a new rule near the end of your parse rule set 0 (Section 19.5). For example:

R :include: $*     $@ $#local $: :include:$1

Beginning with V8.7 sendmail, any delivery agent for which the F=: flag (F=: (colon)) is set can also process :include: files. (Note that eliminating the F=: flag for all delivery agent definitions in your configuration file will disable this feature entirely.)

The :include: directive is used in aliases(5) files like this:

localname:   :include:/path

The expression :include: is literal. It must appear exactly as shown, colons and all, with no space between the colons and the “include.” As with any right-hand side of an alias, there can be space between the alias colon and the lead colon of the :include:.

The /path is the full pathname of a file containing a list of recipients. It follows the :include: with intervening space allowed.

The /path should be a full pathname. If it is a relative name (such as ../file), it is relative to the sendmail queue directory. ...

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