Sendmail and dual-stack IPv6

We’ve been using IPv6 for a few years, but for various reasons we hadn’t yet prepared our sendmail MTAs to use the new protocol. We run a dual-stack environment, so all servers need to use both IPv4 and IPv6. According to sendmail’s documentation it should be possible to use the host name for both daemons, so initially we tried it like that in our .mc file:

DAEMON_OPTIONS(`Name=MTA-v4,Family=inet,A=smtp-out.rrz.uni-koeln.de,M=fh')
DAEMON_OPTIONS(`Name=MTA-v6,Family=inet6,A=smtp-out.rrz.uni-koeln.de,M=fh')
DAEMON_OPTIONS(`Port=smtp,Addr=127.0.0.1, Name=MTA')
CLIENT_OPTIONS(`Name=MSA-v4,Family=inet,A=smtp-out.rrz.uni-koeln.de,M=h')
CLIENT_OPTIONS(`Name=MSA-v6,Family=inet6,A=smtp-out.rrz.uni-koeln.de,M=h')

That worked fine on a test system, but for reasons unknown it failed on our actual production server. It resulted in these error messages:

Mar 23 10:35:39 smtp-out.rrz.uni-koeln.de sendmail[6662]: NOQUEUE: SYSERR(root): opendaemonsocket: daemon MTA-v6: cannot bind: Address already in use
Mar 23 10:35:39 smtp-out.rrz.uni-koeln.de sendmail[6662]: daemon MTA-v6: problem creating SMTP socket
Mar 23 10:35:39 smtp-out.rrz.uni-koeln.de sendmail[6662]: NOQUEUE: SYSERR(root): opendaemonsocket: daemon MTA-v6: server SMTP socket wedged: exiting

We have now implemented a workaround: instead of the hostname we use the actual IPv6 address for the IPv6 daemon and client:

DAEMON_OPTIONS(`Name=MTA-v4,Family=inet,A=smtp-out.rrz.uni-koeln.de,M=fh')
DAEMON_OPTIONS(`Name=MTA-v6,Family=inet6,A=IPv6:2a00:a200:0:12::25,M=fh')
DAEMON_OPTIONS(`Port=smtp,Addr=127.0.0.1, Name=MTA')
CLIENT_OPTIONS(`Name=MSA-v4,Family=inet,A=smtp-out.rrz.uni-koeln.de,M=h')
CLIENT_OPTIONS(`Name=MSA-v6,Family=inet6,A=IPv6:2a00:a200:0:12::25,M=h')

One more tip: with an IPv4-only setup we used the ‚b‘ flag (use the incoming interface for sending the message) as modifier for the DAEMON_OPTIONS, but with dual-stack that doesn’t work: if you receive a message via IPv4 but have to send it via IPv6 (or vice versa), it will fail.

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