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messaging The BSD Unix Message Transfer Agent supporting
mail transport via TCP/IP using SMTP. Sendmail is
normally invoked in the background via a Mail User Agent
such as the mail command.
Sendmail was written by Eric Allman at the University ofCalifornia at Berkeley during the late 1970s. He now has his
own company, Sendmail Inc.
Sendmail was one of the first programs to route messages
between networks and today is still the dominant e-mail
transfer software. It thrived despite the awkward ARPAnet
transition between NCP to TCP protocols in the early 1980s
and the adoption of the new SMTP Simple Mail Transport
Protocol, all of which made the business of mail routing a
complex challenge of backward and forward compatibility for
several years. There are now over one million copies of
Sendmail installed, representing over 75% of all Internet mail
Simultaneously with the announcement of the company in
November 1997, Sendmail 8.9 was launched, featuring new tools
designed to limit junk e-mail. SendMail 8.9 is still
distributed as source code with the rights to modify and