Why is sendmail bad?

Josh Boyer jwboyer at jdub.homelinux.org
Thu Feb 24 20:56:11 UTC 2005

On Thu, Feb 24, 2005 at 09:06:48PM +0100, Alexander Dalloz wrote:
> Am Do, den 24.02.2005 schrieb Josh Boyer um 20:53:
> > Most of the discusion has been about what should be the default.  For "newbies"
> > sendmail can be a pain to configure.  It's documentation leaves something to be
> > desired, and the default sendmail.cf file isn't all that helpful.
> Nobody is advised to edit sendmail.cf and submit.cf directly. Everybody
> should always use the .mc files and use m4 to generate the .cf files
> from that.

Yes, sorry.  I meant sendmail.mc.

> Even a "newbie" can do simple setups this way. The makefile under
> /etc/mail makes it simple to rebuild the .cf file or even a service
> restart rebuilds the .cf if .mc files were changed.

Yes, but with exim you don't need to run make.  You just edit the config file
and you're done.

> More complex setup always require a deeper understanding of the whole
> mail server (MTA side as well IMAP/POP3 side) topic. The basic Sendmail
> setup shipped with Fedora Core runs out-of-the-box locally. The change
> to open it for outside connections is a 1 line change. Well
> understandable documented.

Really?  I disagree.  I hardly know anything about mail servers, yet I exim
allows me to run spam and virus checking by simply uncommenting one line.  And
unlike sendmail, I didn't have to explicitly enable outside connections.

> A good understanding with running an MTA is needed because a
> misconfigured MTA not only can influence communication faults with other
> MTAs but even lead to lost mail.

I'll agree that it's always a good idea to learn about things.  But that doesn't
mean that an MTA can't be configured to do more advanced feature out of the box.

> So with Sendmail by calling these kind of applications as a milter entry
> in the sendmail.mc.

Sure, but a user needs to know what a milter entry is right?  And how to set it
up to do what you need it to do, etc.  I don't have a clue what a milter entry

I'm not saying sendmail can't do equivalent (or even more) things.  I don't
claim to know a lot about MTAs, what makes them good, what doesn't, and why one
is better than the other.  I'm just saying that from a newbie perspective
(mine), exim was easier for me to use.


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