[this is a very young working draft]


Many areas of the world still have poor Internet connectivity, but need email and file transfer; this is especially true where phone lines are hard to come by. We need to establish a cheap and reliable transport.

UUCP served the UNIX community well for many years before the explosion of the Internet -- moving email and USENET news. It runs well over dial-up phone lines, allowing email, USENET, and file transport, as well as remote execution of commands -- if configured for it.

It also can be carried on top of a TCP network connection, so there is a graceful migration path from standard dial-up lines, to dial-up lines running TCP/IP (eg: via PPP), to full-fledged Internet circuits.

This document will try show how to configure SunOS and FreeBSD variants of UUCP for basic transport, and integration with mailers. Other documents will describe a design for a system of local post offices serving desktop/laptop users in the field access to their mail, and a hierarchy of UUCP servers providing transport to the Internet.

Questions wanting answers, loose ends

As yet unresolved questions. Really reminders of document sections to be written. The book Managing uucp and Usenet from O'Reilly and Associates is really helpful. My old 1988 version doesn't cover Taylor UUCP or PC implementations, but the latest may.

Platform-specific issues

I've tried to provide specific configuration information for two implementations of UUCP: SunOS-4.1's and FreeBSD's port of Taylor UUCP. There are of course a lot of details common to both systems, and I document them first.

Common issues


Configuration details

Usage Examples

To send a file to the uucppublic directory:
absinthe% uucp /etc/printcap thanatos\!~/printcaptest
You can also get notification when the job is complete (-m) and notify an intended recipient of the transfer (-n):
absinthe<9> uucp -m -nchris /etc/group thanatos\!~/for-chris/group.test  
The notification (SunOS) looks like:
From: uucp
Date: Sun, 7 Apr 1996 19:12:39 -0400 (EDT)
REQUEST: absinthe!/etc/group --> thanatos!~/for-chris/group.test (chris)
(SYSTEM: thanatos)  copy succeeded
and the recipient (Taylor) gets a notification like:
From uucp Sun Apr  7 19:10:09 1996
Date: Sun, 7 Apr 1996 19:10:08 -0400
From: UUCP pseudo-user 
To: chris
Subject: UUCP succeeded

Message from UUCP on thanatos Sun Apr  7 19:10:08 1996

The file
was successfully transferred to
as requested by

SunOS-4.1's stock UUCP


Specific files

FreeBSD's port of Taylor UUCP

FreeBSD ships with Taylor UUCP installed. Documentation, in GNU "info" format lives in /usr/share/info. The config file directory is /etc/uucp/.

At the very least, if Taylor is only *accepting* incoming calls from other UUCP systems, it must have the remote systems named in the "sys" file; format is simply "system <incoming_system_name>". More complex configurations are required for having Taylor *originate* connections to remote systems.

Sendmail SMTP/UUCP Integration

I configured UCB Sendmail-8.7.2 to use local, smtp, and uucp mailers. I also had to specify the use of a mailertable to match machines to specific mail transports, else it would try to send via the usual SMTP.
#  Start from generic SunOS 4.1.x. with local and SMTP mail only.
#  Add support for UUCP.
VERSIONID(`$Id: Welcome.html,v 1.2 1996/04/08 04:58:19 chris Exp $')
FEATURE(mailertable, dbm /etc/mailertable)
This .mc file is turned into a .cf file via make, then installed in the usual place, in this case /etc/sendmail.cf. The daemon must be killed and restarted for this to take effect.

The mailertable maps hosts and domains to mailers, overriding the default use of SMTP. My /etc/mailertable specifies that mail to thanatos goes by uucp:

thanatos.i3inc.com	uucp:thanatos
This has to be converted to a DBM file with the "makemap" command, from the sendmail source distribution under the makemap directory. I used the command:
# makemap dbm /etc/mailertable < /etc/mailertable
Subsequent mail to user@thanatos.uucp caused sendmail to queue up the mail in UUCP, where it waited for the next contact with thanatos. This polling still needs to be documented??

??I see that sending to user@thanatos.uucp or user@thanatos.mydomain both get queued up via UUCP. Is there a way to send user!thanatos.uucp (or thanatos!user) via UUCP, but Internet addresses by SMTP??

Chris Shenton
Last modified: Mon Apr 8 00:57:15 1996