Subject: Re: /etc/mailer.conf vs. postfix vs. sendmail vs. ??? (was: CVS commit: basesrc/etc)
To: Charlie Allom <>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 10/20/2002 14:41:54
[[ this should probably be on netbsd-users not tech-userlevel, and I've
replied to a separate branch of the thread there.... ]]

[ On Sunday, October 20, 2002 at 16:36:36 (+1000), Charlie Allom wrote: ]
> Subject: Re: /etc/mailer.conf vs. postfix vs. sendmail vs. ??? (was: CVS commit: basesrc/etc)
> OK - I agree with it all - but not everyone uses NetBSD for system
> administration. Each day NetBSD gets closer to being a 'user-friendly'
> desktop OS, that we'd like our mothers to use - why cut them out?

I think you miss the point.

Every general purpose computing system requires administration and
management.  The closer such systems get to the Public (Big Bad)
Internet, and/or if they host multiple users, then the harder such
sysadmin work gets (if its to be done even close to correctly).

If you want to create a user-friendly desktop system with NetBSD at its
core then I'm sure your Mom, and maybe even my Mom, would love you for
it.  However don't expect such a system to be any safer to use directly
on the Public Internet than any other GUI-laden pre-configured system.

My Mom can use my desktop just fine, but I wouldn't ever expect her to
have to take a system like NetBSD and make it work like my desktop
works, nor would I ever expect her or anyone like her to manage the
underlying systems that provide its services.

Only highly specialized computing systems can achieve a state where they
are self-managing and they don't, at least not on the client end,
require skilled professional support.

If all you want is a way to send and receive e-mail then all you need is
a mail reader client like Mozilla or Pine and access to a mail server
running on some other host (eg. at your ISP).  You don't need a local
mail server.  You don't need anything listening on the SMTP port.  You
don't even need cron or anything else running that'll try to send
reports using e-mail.

								Greg A. Woods

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