Subject: Re: turning sendmail into a symlink
To: Paul Wain <>
From: Nathan J. Williams <nathanw@MIT.EDU>
List: current-users
Date: 12/05/1998 16:09:28
>> I am proposing that
>> /usr/sbin/sendmail turn into a symlink to /usr/sbin/sendmail.real, [...]
>> Comments?
>Only thay maybe the "real" program be named something different, much like
>the way that "X" is symlinked to something descriptive. e.g. sendmail ->
>sendmail.8.1.8 (or whatever the current version is).

	Seems like the issue is that "sendmail" is both the defined
(if somewhat ad-hoc) interface to the mail system and the name of a
particular mail system. We want to keep the interface, but allow the
use of different mail systems. Thus, if you use a
link-to-the-real-thing system, the name of the real thing should
reflect which mail system it's from. We can then have
/usr/sbin/sendmail linked to /usr/sbin/sendmail.vmail, or
/usr/sbin/sendmail.qmail, or /usr/sbin/sendmail.sendmail
(sendmail.esr? sendmail.sendmail-inc?), or whatever.

	That said, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the defined
administrative interface to switching mailers being "fiddle with
symlinks in the distribution tree". Options: We can not call this a
defined interface, just a convenience hack; make /usr/sbin/sendmail a
script that reads a config file; or take another cue from the X setup
and have /usr/sbin/sendmail point to /etc/sendmail, which in turn
points to the appropriate system-specific mailer.

	- Nathan