'AuthMechanisms'' ''''


The AUTH mechanisms V8.10 and later

The AuthMechanisms option is used to declare the types of authentication you want to allow to be passed in the AUTH ESMTP extension (see RFC2554). You use this option by listing the mechanisms you wish to set as its value:

O AuthMechanisms=mechanisms               configuration file (V8.10 and later) 
-OAuthMechanisms=mechanisms               configuration file (V8.10 and later) 
define(`confAUTH_MECHANISMS', `mechanisms')   mc configuration (V8.10 and later) 

When there is more than one preferred mechanism, each is separated from the others by space characters. For example:


Before the actual AUTH is generated, sendmail produces an intersection of the mechanisms you want and those supported by the SASL software you have installed. Only those that are specified by both this option and those supported by your software are listed by the issued AUTH command:


Here, you wanted both CRAM-MD5 and KERBEROS_V4 offered as mechanisms. But if the SASL software installed on your machine, for example, supports only CRAM-MD5 and DIGEST-MD5, the common or intersecting mechanism will be CRAM-MD5, so that is all that will be advertised.

When more than one mechanism is listed, the other side will negotiate them one at a time, until one succeeds. For example, the interplay of the offered mechanisms and the counters by the other side might look like this:

220 other.domain ESMTP Sendmail 8.12.7/8.12.7; Sat, 18 Dec 1999 09:17:09 -0800 (PST)
EHLO host.your.domain
250-host.your.domain Hello you@host.your.domain [], pleased to meet you
250-AUTH CRAM-MD5 KERBEROS_V4                we support
250 HELP
AUTH CRAM-MD5                                they first try this
 authentication challenge here
 authentication reply here
504 5.7.0 Authentication failure             that fails
AUTH KERBEROS_V4                             so they try this
 authentication challenge here
 authentication reply here
235 2.0.0 OK Authenticated                   which succeeds

The following mechanisms are the maximum set of those recognized by the cyrus-sasl-1.5.16 distribution. Not all will be compiled in, so not all will be supported.


The ANONYMOUS mechanism allows anyone to use the service. Authentication parallels that of the anonymous ftp login.


The CRAM-MD5 mechanism is the style of authentication used by POP servers known as APOP.


The DIGEST-MD5 mechanism is a stronger version of the CRAM-MD5 mechanism that also supports encryption.


The GSSAPI mechanism implements an API for general security services that also support encryption. One example is support for Kerberos V5, which is achieved using GSSAPI.


The KERBEROS_V4 mechanism implements authentication based on MIT's Kerberos 4.


The PLAIN mechanism can perform plain text password authentication (in a single step) with either PAM, KERBEROS_V4, or /etc/passwd (or /etc/shadow) authentication.


The LOGIN mechanism is a two-step version of PLAIN.

The complete list of current mechanisms, and the RFC that describes each, can be found at http://www.iana.org/assignments/sasl-mechanisms/ and http://www.sendmail.org/~ca/email/mel/SASL_info.html.

The AuthMechanisms option is available only if sendmail is compiled with SASL (SASL) defined.

The AuthMechanisms option is not safe. If specified from the command line, it can cause sendmail to relinquish its special privileges.

    Part I: Build and Install
    Part II: Administration
    Part III: The Configuration File
    Chapter 21. The D (Define a Macro) Configuration Command
    Chapter 24. The O (Options) Configuration Command