Provides: MTA and smtpdaemon?

Ville Skyttä ville.skytta at
Mon Apr 9 15:10:49 UTC 2007

On Monday 09 April 2007, Jesse Keating wrote:
> On Sunday 08 April 2007 16:08:12 Ville Skyttä wrote:
> > I thought that a Provides: smtpdaemon would mean a service that runs a
> > local SMTP service daemon and Provides: MTA something sendmail command
> > line compatible that can send mail; filed some bugs, but it appears that
> > there are some disagreement over their purposes.
> Hrm, I always thought they were hooked up with alternatives and could
> supply the role of sendmail should you want something else.  I thought most
> our software that sends mail out has a generic require on mta with the
> assumption that should something be brought in via the mta requirement that
> it would set up alternatives correctly and operate in an expected way.

Well, that's more or less the original question reworded: which requirement 
("MTA" or "smtpdaemon"; there's no "mta" in rpmdb, it's just the name of the 
alternative), and exactly what is the expected way?  How does a packager 
decide which of these to add a dependency on?

Current state of affairs:

* Uses the "mta" alternative to install /usr/sbin/sendmail and at least a
  subset of its slaves:
- yes: sendmail, postfix, exim, ssmtp, esmtp
- no : -

* Provides: MTA:
- yes: postfix, exim, ssmtp
- no : sendmail, esmtp

* Provides: smtpdaemon:
- yes: sendmail, postfix, exim, ssmtp
- no : esmtp

Use of the "mta" alternative seems to be in order, but I thought the "correct" 
way to fix the rest would be to add "Provides: MTA" to sendmail and esmtp, 
and remove "Provides: smtpdaemon" from ssmtp.  This way the "mta" alternative 
and "MTA" Provides would be in sync, and only things that actually run SMTP 
daemons would provide "smtpdaemon".

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