Redirecting mail

Forwarding email at CSE

CSE currently uses locally-written application called mlalias This takes email sent to a CSE address and forwards it to the recipient(s) defined in the mlalias defined for that address. As there can be more than one recipient, mlalias is therefore useful for most instances where someone wants to forward, redirect or broadcast email. It also allows control over who can mail to an address and allows moderation of email sent to a list of people. Anybody is allowed to create mlaliases under their own username but if you want one with a different name, for instance for a conference, it has to be created by System Support. The simplest use of mlalias is to forward your own mail to one or more addresses.

The quick and easy way

The simplest way to configure your mail forwarding at CSE is to load the Account Control Panel mail forwarding page and set your desired redirection using the controls.

Setting a redirection using the commandline program mlalias

Basic commands

The most basic commands are listed below. For more details, read the mlalias manual entry.
mlalias -C username
creates a mail alias for your account (
mlalias username -a remote@address
will add remote@address to the list of places mail to your CSE account will be sent to.
mlalias username -d remote@address
will remove remote@address from the alias
mlalias -R username
will delete the mail alias. Mail will then deliver straight to your account.

Example: Setting a forward rule for your CSE address

Fred Bloggs (fbloggs@cse) wants to read his email both at CSE and at home, so he:
  1. creates an mlalias for his mail address: -C fbloggs
  2. adds both his CSE account and the yahoo address he uses at home: -a fbloggs
This can be done as one command like this: mlalias -C fbloggs -a fbloggs

If you change your account name

If you change username, you may wish to modify or remove any mlalias under your old username accordingly; SS will make your old username an alias to your new one, so there is no need to maintain an mlalias for the old username as email sent to your old username will be delivered to your new one. However, since mlalias only matches usernames as simple text doesn't check whether your old and new usernames are referencing the same account. You can force mlalias this via the -u flag in the mlalias command. For example, Fred Bloggs used to have the username fblo123 and created the mlalias fblo123.junk. Now his username is fbloggs; if he tries to change the mlalias with: mlalias fblo123.junk -a ... ... he will get a "permission denied" error. Adding the -u flag: mlalias fblo123.junk -u fblo123 -a ... tells the mlalias program that fblo123 is the same person as fbloggs, so the change is allowed.

Redirections for graduating students

If you are graduating from UNSW and would like to keep receiving mail, you can set up an alumni account and then set the redirect to send mails to this account. Please consult the Alumni Accounts page for more information on setting up alumni accounts.
Last edited by Robert Doran 04/12/2014

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email, redirecting