Debian Services for the Debian Developper

Following is not tested contents. This is under contraction.

When we became Debian Developper (DD), we knew we obtained few privilages:

Well, there is more to it. Let me go through them step-by-step.

Step 1: New password

It is a good idea to set your new password through [ mail gateway].

$ echo "Please change my Debian password" | gpg --clearsign | mail

After validating the request the daemon will generate a new random password, set it in the directory and respond with an encrypted message containing the new password. (The password can be changed using one of the other interface methods.)

Please note many of the Debian service have similar [ mail based configuration].

Step 2: Set up your Debian account LDAP data

Configuration of your Debian account can be done through the web interface of [ LDAP Debian server] after loging in with your password with "Update my info" button.

Here you can set your password to a momorable one.

Since Debian does not supply POP3 service, you may think that mails sent to "<yourname>" and the "debian-private" mailing list subscription must be picked up at external mail address. This is not the case. You can keep direct secure access to these mail address using Debian service. I will explain it following information described in [ BSMTP on] .

Step 3: Set up your shell accounts

Debian offers shell accounts to the developer using SSH service. See sshd(8) and set up your SSH setup locally on your PC.

The virtual .ssh/authorized_keys file for each user can be set by the Debian LDAP server. Probably the most common way to use this function will be:

$ gpg --clearsign < .ssh/ | mail

which will set the authentication key to the identity you are using. Multiple keys per user are supported, but they must all be sent at once.

Step 4: Set up your <yourname> domain for mail

Although there seems to be no explicit rule on what 3rd level domain name we can pick, the common sense is to use your Debian account name. Let's set up, for example , by creating a text file osamu.txt:

$ cat osamu.txt   IN MX  10   IN TXT    "Osamu Aoki <>"   IN TXT    "PGP 253A 4076 6A3B CCE2 A426  DEF5 E80F C4C1 A806 1F32"
$ gpg --clearsign <osamu.txt | mail

Here please note that there is a "." (period) after "".

If you also want a web service on the domain, you can set it by adding your host IP (e.g.

$ cat osamu.txt   IN A   IN MX  10   IN TXT    "Osamu Aoki <>"   IN TXT    "PGP 253A 4076 6A3B CCE2 A426  DEF5 E80F C4C1 A806 1F32"
$ gpg --clearsign <osamu.txt | mail

Step 5: Set up your PC to accept mail to <yourname> domain

You need to set your local PC to accept mails addressed to "" including ones for "root".

See exim4 configuration.

Example --- FIXME

Then you obtain BSMTP script from:

Example ---- FIXME

Now you have mail address on which you do not rely any external resorces.

These days, the value of this set up has been more for security and stability. (If it is just to get subscription to high volume Debian ML, I would use free (commercial) service such as

Step 6: Alternative mail addresses

Although "<yourname>" is most common e-mail address used by the DD on Debian system, there are many available mail addresses for you.

See /etc/exim4/* on and Debian DNS set up to figure out exactly how you use all these.

See also [ Debian GNU/Linux -- Email Forwarding].

Further stady

Let's login to debian machine. (Here, Let's see how people uses this host for BSMTP by "cat /etc/exim/bsmtp" and check their domain set up. (I am not publishing exact content of these and hiding some contents here Try these command yourself.):

osamu@gluck:exim$ cat bsmtp
r**** user=d** group=Debian file=/home/d**/bsmtp/r*****
s***** user=b** group=Debian file=/home/b**/bsmtp/s*****
r*** user=c******* group=Debian file=/home/c*******/bsmtp/r***
osamu@gluck:exim$ dig r*** ANY
;r***               IN      ANY

r***        3600    IN      MX      0


osamu@gluck:exim$ dig s***** ANY
;s*****             IN      ANY

s*****      3600    IN      MX      10 s*****.a****.org .au.
s*****      3600    IN      MX      20 s*****.m****** u*****
s*****      3600    IN      MX      30 alts*****.m***** o*********
s*****      3600    IN      MX      0
s*****      3600    IN      TXT     "PGP ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** **"
s*****      3600    IN      TXT     "PGP **** **** **** **** **** **** **** **** ****"
s*****      3600    IN      TXT     "******** <b**>"
s*****      3600    IN      A       2**.1**.1**.8*

The first one is for one with just fast internet connection without any SMTP mail hosts to get BSMTP service via Debian host. (The second one is for you with fixed IP SMTP mail hosts. Let's leave this for now.)

[:OsamuAoki: Osamu Aoki]