some minor Core pruning

David Woodhouse dwmw2 at
Wed Jun 28 14:10:35 UTC 2006

On Wed, 2006-06-28 at 07:10 -0500, Josh Boyer wrote:
> > Norm for what? /usr/sbin/sendmail is there for all major mail servers,
> > and it behaves just the same in all cases normal userspace
> > programs care about. Hell, the usual "desktop user" case does not
> > need a mailserver at all on the local machine, since noone reads
> > mail sent to root at localhost.localdomain, anyways.
> I do.  Be careful with assumptions and abstractions.  :)

We're talking about _defaults_ though, so it's not entirely unreasonable
to make such generalisations.

According to your Received: headers, Fedora's defaults have already
failed you -- you've already installed Exim from Extras, and presumably
removed sendmail. Would it really matter to you if it were been some
simple outgoing-only relay tool that you'd had to remove, instead of

My point is that if we're going to pretend to be rational and
consistent, there should be _one_ package providing /usr/lib/sendmail in
Core, and those other than the default should be in Extras. Currently
the default is sendmail, which means postfix should be moved to Extras.

Whether the default _should_ be sendmail is a separate question. There
are arguments for it being sendmail purely because that's 'expected',
which sound to me much like the arguments that computers should come
with Windows because that's 'expected'.

There are arguments for it being a simple relay which can only handle
outgoing mail and no local delivery -- even mail to root@ can be set up
to forward to a real email address elsewhere. You're right that that
wouldn't serve everyone -- but the GNOME folks have made far _worse_
generalisations on Fedora's behalf, and at least this is one decision
that we can override for ourselves just installing a proper MTA.

There are arguments for it being Exim, which is capable of acting as
simple outgoing relay and is _also_ capable of much more; spam checking,
antivirus, greylisting, etc. -- all without third-party software (other
than SA and ClamAV themselves). I think that's probably the best choice
-- it's easy to configure, well documented, more functional than any of
the alternatives, and has a good security record. It also has complete
and _mature_ support for IPv6, unlike postfix which was recently
observed to be bouncing mail for domains with IPv6-only primary MX.

I'm sure someone can contrive some kind of spurious argument for it
being postfix, too -- despite that fact that postfix doesn't match Exim
in functionality and doesn't match either Sendmail or Exim in


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