Subject: Re: replacing sendmail with postfix (summary)
To: William Allen Simpson <>
From: David Laight <>
List: current-users
Date: 07/04/2003 21:22:24
> (1) currently, out-of-the-box, post install, neither mailer runs.  This 
>     is due to the NetBSD install requirement that no externally 
>     accessible services run by default.

Ok, sysinst could (but doesn't) have a menu of a list of (simple)
services to enable.  Adding entries to /etc/rc.conf and uncommenting
lines from /etc/inetd.conf isn't an impossible feature.

> (2) there is *no* consensus on the sendmail configuration for merely
>     sending daily/weekly root mail, without accepting incoming mail
>     (the default necessary to install).  

I'd disagree, such a configuration is pointless.
You need to generate one capable of sending mail.

> (3) sendmail example in /etc/defaults/rc.conf does work with the 
>     current sysinst, with some manual tweaking. 

Except that all the sample sendmail config files are brain-dead.
In order to hide the machine name, and to put the correct address
in the envelope many systems will need:
And if on dialup:
	CLIENT_OPTIONS(`Address=, Modifiers=h')dnl
Indeed on dialup you may need to masquerade as a system in your ISPs
domain - and you definitely don't want that name escaping.

> (4) manual tweaking is undesirable.
> (5) sendmail is better at managing large numbers of domains.
> (6) the out-of-the-box install only needs single user mail forwarding, 
>     handling only 2 to 4 messages per day. 

See above...

> (7) sendmail has a bigger memory footprint than postfix.
> (8) sendmail has a history of security problems.

Most are fixed....

> (9) postfix does *not* have the localhost problem (PR install/21999), 
>     because postfix always uses FQDNs internally.
> (10) the change to use postfix without incoming mail is simple and 
>     straightforward (1 line).

Why is support for incoming mail undesirable?
Mail forwarding is disabled and most will be bounced anyway.
From memory basinc sendmail configurations reject incoming mail anyway.
You have to tell it the local users somewhere.

> (11) those desiring to use sendmail for larger installations also have 
>     the expertise to handle the mailer.conf change, and other changes.

But many people running 2 or 3 systems don't.  They don't have the
mail volumes of a corporate server, but, in reality, need a similar setup.

> (12) and most surpassing to me of all, most of the respondents, even 
>     those suggesting the fixes for sendmail problems I described, 
>     state they've changed to postfix.  The populi have spoken!
> Therefore, I conclude that postfix should be the DEFAULT mailer, but 
> not the only mailer.  That requires only 3 file changes:
>  * comment (add # next to) smtpd in /etc/postfix/
>  * swap the commented lines (sendmail to postfix) in /etc/mailer.conf
>  * have sysinst add "postfix=YES" to /etc/rc.conf

And using sendmail takes no changes!

> This will not tread on anybody's toes, will not affect current 
> operations, will not prevent folks from using other mailers, but will 
> solve the current install bug (PR install/21998).

I'm not sure it will.
A certain amount of other mail has to suceed - eg from crashed vi sessions.
These all require local mail delivery to be setup for all users.


David Laight: