Why is sendmail bad?

Josh Boyer jwboyer at jdub.homelinux.org
Thu Feb 24 23:41:22 UTC 2005

On Thu, 2005-02-24 at 22:17 +0100, Alexander Dalloz wrote:
> Am Do, den 24.02.2005 schrieb Josh Boyer um 21:56:
> As said too, same with Sendmail: just restart the service so that it
> rereads his configuration.

Restarting the service runs m4 on sendmail.mc?  If so, I didn't know

> > 
> > 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.
> That is an argument to "improve" the default setup Sendmail is shipping
> with Fedora Core.

Yes, sure.

> > 
> > 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
> > is.
> You don't know because you didn't read the documentation. It is ok as
> you don't run Sendmail.

I did run Sendmail.  For almost a year.  In fact, I first tried exim 2
days ago.

Yes, I didn't read any documentation other than what's in sendmail.mc
(at first).  Yes, that makes me lazy.  But I only read the exim.conf
file too, and now I have spamassassin running at SMTP time.  And yes,
that also could be an argument for improving Sendmail's default

> My argument was different: anyone running an MTA reachable from the
> public internet should know well about his service. This is very obvious
> for all who's daily business is mail administration.

Eventually.  I was in a situation where I switched ISPs and didn't have
an email address anymore.  I hate hotmail, and didn't have access to
gmail yet.  So, I got a mail server running as fast as I could.  _Then_
I learned more about it.

Had Sendmail come with some spam filtering stuff built in, I'd have used
it from day one.  As it stood, it didn't and I never found the time to
figure out how to enable that.

It took me about a day to get me and my one other mail user up and
running on the simple setup that I have.  Probably half of that was
messing with the Sendmail configs.  With exim, it took me 20 minutes and
that included getting spam filtering running.  And again, all I did was
read the config files for each.

> > 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.
> If you feel so, ok. From reading the Exim documentation I don't have the
> impression that the Exim configuration is that intuitive.

This is quickly turning into a flame.  I'm partly to blame for it, but
that's not what I intended.

I don't think Sendmail is "bad".  I just think other MTAs are easier to
use out of the box.  That's just my opinion.  Me, and the mail server
that shouldn't be running by all accounts I've read in this thread, are
bowing out now.


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