Subject: Re: Replace system Postfix
To: NetBSD User's Discussion List <netbsd-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 02/01/2005 18:46:18
[ On Tuesday, February 1, 2005 at 07:13:24 (-0600), Richard Rauch wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: Replace system Postfix
> IMHO, even one mailer is too much.  We can get those guys from pkgsrc.
> If we are not going to assume a full-blown mail server, do we really
> need much sophistication for nightly mail?  I'd say: Forget about
> aliases, filtering, and friends.  All mail is local to local.  All
> mail is correctly formatted.  All system mailboxes are mbox.  (^&
> It should be comparatively simple to deliver the mail in that case.
> If those assumptions are wrong, then the user can go to pkgsrc and
> pick the mailer of their dreams.

I'm not so sure you want to do without support of /etc/mail/aliases.

I know I wouldn't -- I don't want all my system mail going into separate
mailboxes, and on publically reachable machines I don't want root's mail
going to root's mailbox as I might not want to read mail as root, even
if it could only have been delivered (most immediately) from a local

Even without aliases though you'd have to have a wrapper on mail.local
to handle a minimum number of sendmail compatible command-line flags (or
add support for them right to mail.local, but '-t' requires some serious
sophistication to do right and even a trivial parser is non-trivial :-).

For the common, and perhaps even most common, situation where no local
mail should ever be delivered pkgsrc/mail/mini_sendmail is a pretty good
alternative (though far from perfect), but it still would be nice to
support the local /etc/mail/aliases.  It has a very poor '-t' parser

(I have 3/4's of the work done on a full rfc2822 parser though... :-)

The problem is that once you cover these two bases properly (local or
relayhost delivery), with aliases, and with sufficient compatability to
Sendmail(tm), you've pretty much got to have a full blown MTA to do the
job right (esp. if you bother to queue mail when the relayhost is down).

Every time I think about these issues though I just go and install
smail-3, from my own private pkgsrc module.  :-)  (It works for local
mail delivery as you describe above without having to run a daemno, and
for most cases of remote mail delivery too; and right out of the box
with no configuration -- and a two-line config file can force it to
relay everything through a mail hub, also still without a daemon, though
mail can get left in the queue and need manual attention, but any user
can force a queue run.)

> While I would question the point of including 1 full mailer, I am
> baffled at the decision to include *two*.

Well there are some of us who prefer not to do very much on any system
until after some form of emacs is installed, and I for one wouldn't be
unappy if a Emacs, or good emacs-like editor, were supplied by default
in the base system just so I didn't have to fetch it or build it after
doing a fresh install (or going to work on someone else's system).  :-)

So just imagine!  ;-)

(my real point is that Sendmail(tm) vs. any other MTA is similar to the
vi vs. emacs debates -- and the easiest way to win is include both!  :-)

						Greg A. Woods

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