[ALUG] Managing cron and similar E-Mails from headless systems

Chris Green cl at isbd.net
Fri Feb 17 11:58:34 GMT 2017

On Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 11:10:33AM +0000, Laurie Brown wrote:
> On 17/02/17 10:33, Chris Green wrote:
> > I have several headless systems doing useful work around the place:-
> > 
> >     A Raspberry Pi providing local DNS and DHCP
> > 
> >     A Beaglebone Black on our boat monitoring temperatures and batteries
> > 
> >     An old desktop doing backups in the garage
> > 
> >     etc.
> > 
> > 
> > Most of these have one or more cron jobs running periodic rsync
> > backups, copying data, etc.  If the cron job has an error then it
> > sends E-Mail to the owner of the job ('chris' in most cases, might be
> > root in a couple).
> > 
> > It's (moderately) easy to set up an MTA and /etc/aliases so that the
> > messages are sent to my normal E-Mail.  However I can't come up with a
> > straightforward way of indicating where the messsage is *from*.
> > 
> > You can't just invent a domain name for the headless system because
> > that gets the E-Mail rejected by intermediate systems that try and
> > look up the sender host name.  Cron doesn't seem to have any mechanism
> > for setting the sender's name, cron errors just come from 'root@'.
> > 
> > Can anyone suggest a neat way of handling this so that I know where
> > the errors are coming from?
> Use SSMTP and set up the config file properly...
I looked at SSMTP but it doesn't seem to be maintained and I can't see
how to set the sender name either.

As I said above setting the domain doesn't help because the domain
used has to be a real domain which intermediate mail servers can look
up to check.  So I can't just set the domain to rpi.isbd.co.uk because
there isn't any such domain.

If one could set a default From: line like:-
    From: Rasberry Pi <root at isbd.co.uk>

that would do the necessary but I can't see how to do it.

Chris Green

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