The ETRN command, defined in RFC 1985, provides an extension to the SMTP service whereby an SMTP client and server can interact to give the server an opportunity to start the processing of its queues for messages to go to a given host.
Using ETRN, an SMTP client can request that a remote SMTP server start processing the message queues destined for sending to the SMTP client. Thus, ETRN provides a way to implement “polling” of remote SMTP systems for messages incoming to one’s own system. This can be useful for systems that have only transient connections between each other, for example, sites that are set up as secondary mail exchange (MX) hosts for other sites that only have a dial-up connection to the Internet. By enabling this command, you permit remote, possibly dial-up, servers to request delivery of their mail.
The SMTP client specifies on the SMTP ETRN command line the name of the system to which to send messages (generally the SMTP client system’s own name). If the remote SMTP server supports the ETRN command, it will trigger execution of a separate process to connect back to the named system and send any messages awaiting delivery for that named system.
The allowetrn, blocketrn, domainetrn, and silentetrn keywords control the MTA response when a sending SMTP client issues the ETRN command, requesting that the MTA attempt to deliver messages in the MTA queues.
By default, the MTA will attempt to honor all ETRN commands; that is, the allowetrn keyword is enabled. You can specify that the MTA not honor ETRN commands by including the blocketrn keyword in the channel definition.
You can specify that the MTA honor all ETRN commands, but without echoing the name of the channel that the domain matched and that the MTA will be attempting to run by including the silentetrn keyword. The domainetrn keyword specifies that the MTA honor only ETRN commands that specify a domain; it also causes the MTA not to echo back the name of the channel that the domain matched and that the MTA will be attempting to run.
disableetrn disables support for the ETRN command entirely; ETRN is not advertised by the SMTP server as a supported command.
The sendetrn and nosendetrn channel keywords control whether the MTA sends an ETRN command at the beginning of an SMTP connection. The default is nosendetrn, meaning that the MTA will not send an ETRN command. The sendetrn keyword tells the MTA to send an ETRN command, if the remote SMTP server says it supports ETRN. The sendetrn keyword should be followed by the name of the system requesting that its messages receive a delivery attempt.