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Old 10-17-2008, 11:35 AM
Patrice Dumas
 
Default Sendmail still default?

On Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 01:31:32PM +0200, Lutz Lange wrote:
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> Hi,
>
> i've just wondered why sendmail is still the default MTA in Fedora.
> Please enlighten me?

This is a (very) controversial issue. If I recall well, it has been
decided not to change anything for F10, but there was an heated thread
some time ago, and maybe this could be discussed in the timeframe of
F11. To sum up some people considered that local delivery was a must for
the default MTA, and that a send-only MTA wasn't good enough, eg, for
cronie. My personnal opinion is that there should not be any MTA in the
@base or @code group, and that a MTA should be chosed if it is pulled in
as a dependency, so it could be sendmail or anything else. Whether local
delivery is a must for cronie or other packages that today require
/usr/sbin/sendmail is another story that caould be discussed a bit more,
though in the end it seems to me that this should be up to the
maintainer.

But could you please elaborate a bit more on something like a proposal?

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Old 10-17-2008, 12:11 PM
Lutz Lange
 
Default Sendmail still default?

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Patrice Dumas schrieb:
> On Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 01:31:32PM +0200, Lutz Lange wrote:
>> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
>> Hash: SHA1
>>
>> Hi,
>>
>> i've just wondered why sendmail is still the default MTA in Fedora.
>> Please enlighten me?
>
> This is a (very) controversial issue. If I recall well, it has been
> decided not to change anything for F10, but there was an heated thread
> some time ago, and maybe this could be discussed in the timeframe of
> F11. To sum up some people considered that local delivery was a must for
> the default MTA, and that a send-only MTA wasn't good enough, eg, for
> cronie. My personnal opinion is that there should not be any MTA in the
> @base or @code group, and that a MTA should be chosed if it is pulled in
> as a dependency, so it could be sendmail or anything else. Whether local
> delivery is a must for cronie or other packages that today require
> /usr/sbin/sendmail is another story that caould be discussed a bit more,
> though in the end it seems to me that this should be up to the
> maintainer.
>
> But could you please elaborate a bit more on something like a proposal?
>
> --
> Pat
>

Hi Pat,

i'm an instructor an just had students wondering why we still ship
sendmail as default. All i was really looking for was a good
argumentation shows why we do it like that. I wanted to show that is was
a choice and that we do it for good reason.
The for me obvious alternative is using postfix as default. This seams
more up to date, easier to configure, and it's not a big blob of binary
software as sendmail seams to be. For the stability argument, i've hear
that sendmail and postfix are quite comparable and have had about the
amount of bug both in severity and count over the last few years.
But to be fair, i will confess, i'm not really that deep into Mail and
therefore the wrong person to judge from a professional perspective.
Though i think we should provide good reasons for the thinks we ship /
do. An just arguing we've done this for X years this way, doesn't seam
enough somehow.

Cheers
Lutz
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:39 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Sendmail still default?

Lutz Lange wrote:



i've just wondered why sendmail is still the default MTA in Fedora.
Please enlighten me?


It works. It can be configured to do just about anything. Everyone who
has every worked with a unix-like system is used to it. Every program
written for unix-like systems is likely to expect it to be installed.
Even though the original design and code weren't particularly secure,
the current version is probably one of the most audited pieces of code
and the milter capability lets you extend it with features that don't
share the full permissions of the main process yet can interact in real
time during delivery.


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Old 10-17-2008, 12:49 PM
"Nicolas Mailhot"
 
Default Sendmail still default?

Le Ven 17 octobre 2008 14:39, Les Mikesell a écrit :
>
> Lutz Lange wrote:
>>
>>
>> i've just wondered why sendmail is still the default MTA in Fedora.
>> Please enlighten me?
>
> It works.

Sort of

> It can be configured to do just about anything.

Like others

> Everyone who
> has every worked with a unix-like system is used to it.

No

> Every program
> written for unix-like systems is likely to expect it to be installed.

They only expect the sendmail interface alternatives are also providing

> Even though the original design and code weren't particularly secure,
> the current version is probably one of the most audited pieces of code
> and

And upstream has such a confidence in the result they're rewriting it
from scratch.

> the milter capability lets you extend it with features that don't
> share the full permissions of the main process yet can interact in
> real time during delivery.

Milter is supported by alternatives too

Not that I particularly want to shoot ambulances, but those are not
good arguments.

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Old 10-17-2008, 12:57 PM
shmuel siegel
 
Default Sendmail still default?

Nicolas Mailhot wrote:

Not that I particularly want to shoot ambulances, but those are not
good arguments.


They would be lousy arguments for changing to sendmail but they are
fairly good arguments for keeping it. One needs a fairly compelling
reason to change something that is already there. The above arguments
amount to "there is no compelling reason to change".


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Old 10-17-2008, 01:13 PM
Les Mikesell
 
Default Sendmail still default?

Nicolas Mailhot wrote:



i've just wondered why sendmail is still the default MTA in Fedora.
Please enlighten me?

It works.


Sort of


What does that mean? It delivers most of the mail on the internet and
always has.



Even though the original design and code weren't particularly secure,
the current version is probably one of the most audited pieces of code
and


And upstream has such a confidence in the result they're rewriting it
from scratch.


And its not the first time. All good programs are periodically
rewritten and improved.



the milter capability lets you extend it with features that don't
share the full permissions of the main process yet can interact in
real time during delivery.


Milter is supported by alternatives too


They pretend to, but won't actually run complex milters like MimeDefang.


Not that I particularly want to shoot ambulances, but those are not
good arguments.


Sorry, but I don't see any counterargument here. The alternatives are
all worse.


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Old 10-17-2008, 01:13 PM
Lutz Lange
 
Default Sendmail still default?

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shmuel siegel schrieb:
> Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
>> Not that I particularly want to shoot ambulances, but those are not
>> good arguments.
>>
>>
> They would be lousy arguments for changing to sendmail but they are
> fairly good arguments for keeping it. One needs a fairly compelling
> reason to change something that is already there. The above arguments
> amount to "there is no compelling reason to change".
>

What about : it's not easy to configure it right or to learn how to do
it. If you already know it, you might be fine. If not you might be in
trouble.
And: It's second choice for an MTA for most people i know.
I may know the wrong people but as an instructor i meet quite a lot of
them

Cheers
Lutz
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:18 PM
Denis Leroy
 
Default Sendmail still default?

Les Mikesell wrote:

It can be configured to do just about anything.


The sendmail configuration file is arguably one of the most complex and
obfuscated configuration format ever designed in the history of computer
science. :-)


-denis

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Old 10-17-2008, 01:28 PM
Lutz Lange
 
Default Sendmail still default?

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

Les Mikesell schrieb:
>
> What does that mean? It delivers most of the mail on the internet and
> always has.
>
...
>>
>> Milter is supported by alternatives too
>
> They pretend to, but won't actually run complex milters like MimeDefang.
>
>> Not that I particularly want to shoot ambulances, but those are not
>> good arguments.
>
> Sorry, but I don't see any counterargument here. The alternatives are
> all worse.
>

The question remains, is it the best option for the most users? That's
what the default MTA should be right?

Cheers
Lutz
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:28 PM
Bryan Kearney
 
Default Sendmail still default?

Alan Cox wrote:

On Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 03:18:52PM +0200, Denis Leroy wrote:
The sendmail configuration file is arguably one of the most complex and
obfuscated configuration format ever designed in the history of computer
science. :-)


You've clearly never worked with either IBM JCL or TECO


=3.4.2;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;


-- bk

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