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 Ifmail 1.0 - FidoNet/Internet gateway
A new version of Ifmail released. Many features added, some bugs fixed.
Ifmail is a gateway between FidoNet netmail and echomail and Internet
mail and news. See README file for more detailes.

The package uploaded to

Copyright (c) 1993 by Eugene G. Crosser

This is a README file for ifmail - another Internet/FidoNet gateway

You may do virtually what you wish with this software, so long as
the explicit reference to its original author is retained:

Eugene G. Crosser <>, 2:5020/23.14@FidoNet


This piece of software was developed to fit into my current mail/news
environment: Smail 3.1 and Cnews. I honestly beleive that it also
can be easily used with sendmail, but I had no chance to try it.
I can tell nothing about INN, if you make it work (or fail to make it
work) with INN, please let me know.

Ifmail program converts RFC-822 compliant mail and RFC-1036 compliant
news to FTN packets. It must run setuid owner of fidonet related stuff.
The current packet naming is BinkleyTerm, with file/directory names in
lowcase. Naming conventions are implemented in a separate source file,
pktname.c, to make modifications easier. Full 5d outbound directory
structure not implemented yet.

The opposite way program is called iftoss. It expects a non-arcmail
packet on stdin and passes converted mail messages and/or generated
newsbatch to sendmail and/or rnews.

There are also two frontends: ifpack and ifunpack. Ifpack scans the
outbound directory and packs *.?ut packets into arcmail file attaches,
and ifunpack scans the inbound directory, unpacks and removes arcmail
files, and feeds packets to iftoss (and then removes them, or renames
if tossing was unsuccessfull).

All programs show version information and a short help message when run
with "-h" key.

For ifmail, default is mail mode operation. In mail mode, you must specify
recepient(s) address(es) in the command line, in the form:
"". When the news mode is in
effect, i.e. "-n" key is specified or the program is called by alias
"ifnews", a news article (or batch) is expected on stdin. "-r" key is used
to specify the destination of the packet, in the form
"[pNN.]fNN.nNN[.zNN[.domain]]". In news mode, if -r key is omitted, the
first recepient address is used as routing address, and if it is absent
too, $NEWSSITE environment variable is used as a routing address.

Ifmail and iftoss programs try to preserve as much information as possible
in "X-FTN-..." headers and "^ARFC-..." kludges, and restore messages more
or less accurately to their original form when double-gatewaying.

A dbm-based alias database is supported, so if a message passes from a
newsgroup to echo, the author's free form name and domain address are
stored, and when a netmail reply comes from fidonet to that free form name,
it is passed as mail message to the remembered domain address.

Several addresses may be specified in the config file, netmail from fidonet
addressed to any of those addresses is assumed local and resolved through
the aforementioned database, otherwise the mail will be routed through the
normal MTA (and presumably packed to some other fidonet node). If there is
a "To:" line at the beginning of the fido message, address is taken from it

On the other hand, if you make a system mail alias file accessible to the
iftoss program, it makes attempt to "backward resolve" the "from"
addresses, that is, if the originating address of the FidoNet message
matches the right side of some mail alias, the "From:" header of the
generated mail/news message will contain "" address
rather than "".

Message IDs are converted as follows: "^AMDGID: <address> <hexnum>" is
converted to "<decimalnum>@<address>". If there was no MSGID in the
fidonet message, messageid of the form <creation-time>@<from-address> is
generated, so that when a single message is gatewayed in several distinct
places, it will have the same messageid anyway (for some (little) risk of
having two different messages with the same messageid). RFC822 Message-IDs
are converted back when they can be, otherwise the messageid
"<local>@<domain>" is converted to "^AMSGID <domain> crc32(<local>)".
When an RFC message is split, unique MSGIDs are generated for all parts
after the first one. In any case, the original "Message-ID:" header is
preserved in the "^ARFC-Message-ID:" kludge and used if the message comes
back to usenet on some (other) gateway.

On the way from news to echo, if the node to wich the packet is being
created is present in the "X-FTN-SEEN-BY:" header(s), the message is not
included in the packet. SEEN-BY lines in the messages included into
the packet consist of (1) your node primary address, (2) copy of
"X-FTN-SEEN-BY:" header(s), (3) ftn addresses that could be parsed
from the CNews file "$NEWSCTL/log" in the line with the corresponding
Message-ID. For the latter to work, you should have a Cnews compatible
log file available for reading and have an "ndbm" package. I hope that
INN writes the log file in the same format as Cnews, and if not, then
the source file "msgidbm.c" should be modified as appropriate.

Ifmail does some attempt to process file attaches, but only locally.
No pass to Internet and back, but if a fileattach netmail message is
routed from one fidonet node to another, it probably will take the
attached file with it.

There is also a feature to define "forbidden" groups. If a usenet
message is crossposted to some of the gated groups _and_ to some
of the forbidden groups it will not be passed to fidonet.

Ifunpack program is nothing more than a frontend to iftoss: it scans
the inbound directory, tries to unpack arcmail files and then feeds
packets to iftoss. If you have sys/vfs.h and statfs() system call,
the program checks for available disk space before unpacking and tossing.

Ifpack program scans outbound directory structure and converts .out
packets to arcmail file attaches.

OK, try it...

Files reference

--- Example ifmail configuration files


--- Example news batch and mail messages and Fidonet packet


--- Example Smail configuration files


--- Example cnews configuration files


--- Perl scripts to maintain the alias database


--- Source code

Makefile, Version, *.c, *.h

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 Sat, 02 Mar 1996 06:19:37 GMT   
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