Tweaking the Makefile

Sendmail supports two different formats for the local (on disk) version of databases, notably the aliases database. At least one of these should be defined if at all possible.

NDBM
The ``new DBM'' format, available on nearly all systems around today. This was the preferred format prior to 4.4BSD. It allows such complex things as multiple databases and closing a currently open database.
NEWDB
The new database package from Berkeley. If you have this, use it. It allows long records, multiple open databases, real in-memory caching, and so forth. You can define this in conjunction with one of the other two; if you do, old databases are read, but when a new database is created it will be in NEWDB format. As a nasty hack, if you have NEWDB, NDBM, and NIS defined, and if the alias file name includes the substring /yp/, sendmail will create both new and old versions of the alias file during a newalias command. This is required because the Sun NIS/YP system reads the DBM version of the alias file. It's ugly as sin, but it works.

If neither of these are defined, sendmail reads the alias file into memory on every invocation. This can be slow and should be avoided. There are also several methods for remote database access:

NIS
Sun's Network Information Services (formerly YP).
NISPLUS
Sun's NIS+ services.
NETINFO
NeXT's NetInfo service.
HESIOD
Hesiod service (from Athena).

Other compilation flags are set in conf.h and should be predefined for you unless you are porting to a new environment.


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