The access file is similar to The spammers File, but offers more options and flexibility. For example, with the access file you can:

  • Reject e-mail (e.g. Spam) from specific users, domains, IP addresses, and networks.
  • Specify the text (or use sendmail's default) of messages to return to senders of rejected e-mail.
  • Accept e-mail from specific users within a domain, while rejecting e-mail from all other senders in the domain.
  • Reject e-mail sent to specific local users.

There are also a number of other features of the access file, which are documented in the ~/usr/local/sendmail/cf/README file.


The access file functions can be installed by modifying your sendmail configuration file (~/etc/ You can do this by using the sendmail M4 macros, which include ready-to-use configuration files with the full anti-spam support. Connect to your server via Telnet or SSH and do the following.

  1. Install the sendmail Configuration Utilities.

  2. Copy your current ~/etc/ file to a backup location by running the following command:

    % cp ~/etc/ ~/etc/
  3. Install the new anti-spam sendmail configuration file that is approprate for your server's O/S.

    NOTE: The anti-spam rules require an ACL account with in order to function. To learn more about getting an ACL account, go to MAPS Fee Structure page.

  4. Create a file named local-host-names, if it doesn't exist already, in your ~/etc directory on your server. In this file, list all the domains on the server that are allowed to recieve e-mail locally. The list should be one domain per line. Previously, these domains were listed on the Cw line of the sendmail configuration file.


Create or upload an ~/etc/access text file with the format described in the documentation in the ~/usr/local/sendmail/cf/README file. Then, issue the vnewaccess command:

% vnewaccess

Please note: the information on this page applies to ITS web hosting plans. It may or may not apply to other environments. If you are looking for a feature described here, or better support from your hosting provider, please consider hosting your site with ITS!

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