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Mailbox Names for Common Services, Roles and Functions (RFC2142) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000002698D
Original Publication Date: 1997-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-15
Document File: 6 page(s) / 8K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

D. Crocker: AUTHOR

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC2142: DOI


This specification enumerates and describes Internet mail addresses (mailbox name @ host reference) to be used when contacting personnel at an organization. [STANDARDS-TRACK]

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 28% of the total text.

Network Working Group D. Crocker Request for Comments: 2142 Internet Mail Consortium Category: Standards Track May 1997


Status of this Memo

This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


This specification enumerates and describes Internet mail addresses (mailbox name @ host reference) to be used when contacting personnel at an organization. Mailbox names are provided for both operations and business functions. Additional mailbox names and aliases are not prohibited, but organizations which support email exchanges with the Internet are encouraged to support AT LEAST each mailbox name for which the associated function exists within the organization.


Various Internet documents have specified mailbox names to be used when reaching the operators of the new service; for example, [RFC822 6.3, C.6] requires the presence of a <POSTMASTER@domain> mailbox name on all hosts that have an SMTP server. Other protocols have defacto standards for well known mailbox names, such as <USENET@domain> for NNTP (see [RFC977]), and <WEBMASTER@domain> for HTTP (see [HTTP]). Defacto standards also exist for well known mailbox names which have nothing to do with a particular protocol, e.g., <ABUSE@domain> and <TROUBLE@domain>.

The purpose of this memo is to aggregate and specify the basic set of mailbox names which organizations need to support. Most organizations do not need to support the full set of mailbox names defined here, since not every organization will implement the all of the associated services. However, if a given service is offerred, then the associated mailbox name(es) must be supported, resulting in delivery to a recipient appropriate for the referenced service or role.

Crocker Standards Track [Page 1]

RFC 2142 Mailbox Names May 1997

If a host is not configured to accept mail directly, but it implements a service for which this specification defines a mailbox name, that host must have an MX RR set (see [RFC974]) and the mail exchangers specified by this RR set must recognize the referenced host’s domain name as "local" for the purpose of accepting mail bound for the defined mailbox name. Note that this is true even if the advertised domain name is not the same as the host’s domain name; for example, if an NNTP server’s host name is DATA.RAMONA.VIX.COM yet it advertises the domain name VIX.COM in its "Path:" headers, then mail must be deliverable to both <USENET@VIX.COM> and <USENET@DATA.RAMONA.VIX.COM>, even though these addresses might be delivered to different final destinations.

The scope of a well known mailbox name is its domain name. Servers accepting mail on behalf of a domain...