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Old 04-19-2010, 07:19 PM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default Setting up a fall back ISP SMTP in sendmail

On Monday 19 April 2010 16:49:34 Grant Edwards wrote:
> On 2010-04-19, Tanstaafl <tanstaafl@libertytrek.org> wrote:
> > On 2010-04-18 6:27 PM, Peter Humphrey wrote:
> >> On Sunday 18 April 2010 22:06:44 Mick wrote:
> >>> I was reminded that I do not understand sendmail enough for my liking.
> >>
> >> Does anybody?
> >
> ><flame-protect>
> >
> > That's why Wietse invented postfix.
> >
> ></flame-protect>
>
> I gave up on sendmail about 12 years ago and switched to qmail and/or
> postfix. I didn't know anybody was still using sendmail. Is it the
> default MTA for any of the popular Linux distros?

Yes. Centos/RedHat et al. The installer has a screen to let you choose, but if
you click-click-click-Yes through it like most numbnuts will, sendmail is what
you get.

How do I know this? Because I fought valiantly with one of them today.

I took me 90 minutes to figure out how to add a SmartHost. Vogon poetry is a
delight compared to those damn .cf files. And the .mc's aren't much better.

--
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com
 
Old 04-19-2010, 07:20 PM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default Setting up a fall back ISP SMTP in sendmail

On Monday 19 April 2010 21:07:47 Mick wrote:
> On Monday 19 April 2010 15:49:34 Grant Edwards wrote:
> > On 2010-04-19, Tanstaafl <tanstaafl@libertytrek.org> wrote:
> > > On 2010-04-18 6:27 PM, Peter Humphrey wrote:
> > >> On Sunday 18 April 2010 22:06:44 Mick wrote:
> > >>> I was reminded that I do not understand sendmail enough for my
> > >>> liking.
> > >>
> > >> Does anybody?
> > >
> > ><flame-protect>
> > >
> > > That's why Wietse invented postfix.
> > >
> > ></flame-protect>
> >
> > I gave up on sendmail about 12 years ago and switched to qmail and/or
> > postfix. I didn't know anybody was still using sendmail. Is it the
> > default MTA for any of the popular Linux distros?
>
> I am not sure if it is a default MTA but I have a CentOS server which comes
> with it. I guess it's one of these masochistic things that either decide
> to completely avoid learning (like emacs?!) or once you start you don't
> want to let it beat you! :-))

I recall this old quip:

You are not a real Unix sysadmin till you have written a sendmail.cf by hand.
You are insane to attempt it twice.

;-)


--
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com
 
Old 04-19-2010, 07:28 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default Setting up a fall back ISP SMTP in sendmail

On 2010-04-19, Mick <michaelkintzios@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Monday 19 April 2010 15:49:34 Grant Edwards wrote:
>> On 2010-04-19, Tanstaafl <tanstaafl@libertytrek.org> wrote:
>> > On 2010-04-18 6:27 PM, Peter Humphrey wrote:
>> >> On Sunday 18 April 2010 22:06:44 Mick wrote:
>> >>> I was reminded that I do not understand sendmail enough for my liking.
>> >>
>> >> Does anybody?
>> >
>> ><flame-protect>
>> > That's why Wietse invented postfix.
>> ></flame-protect>
>>
>> I gave up on sendmail about 12 years ago and switched to qmail and/or
>> postfix. I didn't know anybody was still using sendmail. Is it the
>> default MTA for any of the popular Linux distros?
>
> I am not sure if it is a default MTA but I have a CentOS server which
> comes with it.

Yikes. That seems a bit cruel.

> I guess it's one of these masochistic things that either decide to
> completely avoid learning (like emacs?!) or once you start you don't
> want to let it beat you! :-))

Ah, yes. I have golf for that. 20 years and no real improvement, but
maybe next week...

--
Grant Edwards grant.b.edwards Yow! I was making donuts
at and now I'm on a bus!
gmail.com
 
Old 04-19-2010, 07:42 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default Setting up a fall back ISP SMTP in sendmail

On 2010-04-19, Alan McKinnon <alan.mckinnon@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Monday 19 April 2010 16:49:34 Grant Edwards wrote:
>> On 2010-04-19, Tanstaafl <tanstaafl@libertytrek.org> wrote:
>> > On 2010-04-18 6:27 PM, Peter Humphrey wrote:
>> >> On Sunday 18 April 2010 22:06:44 Mick wrote:
>> >>> I was reminded that I do not understand sendmail enough for my liking.
>> >>
>> >> Does anybody?
>> >
>> ><flame-protect>
>> >
>> > That's why Wietse invented postfix.
>> >
>> ></flame-protect>
>>
>> I gave up on sendmail about 12 years ago and switched to qmail and/or
>> postfix. I didn't know anybody was still using sendmail. Is it the
>> default MTA for any of the popular Linux distros?
>
> Yes. Centos/RedHat et al. The installer has a screen to let you
> choose, but if you click-click-click-Yes through it like most
> numbnuts will, sendmail is what you get.

And yet the "geekier" distros like Debian and Gentoo gave up on
sendmail years ago. You can install sendmail in either, but people
don't seem to.

> How do I know this? Because I fought valiantly with one of them
> today.
>
> I took me 90 minutes to figure out how to add a SmartHost. Vogon
> poetry is a delight compared to those damn .cf files. And the .mc's
> aren't much better.

There's a reason why the chapter on Mail in the Unix Hater's Handbook
has the quote:

Not having sendmail is like not having VD.
Ron Heiby
Former moderator, comp.newprod

The UHH "Mail" chapter is mostly about sendmail:

Sendmail was built while the Internet mail handling systems were in
flux. As a result, it had to be programmable so that it could
handle any possible changes in the standards. Delve into the
mysteries of sendmail's unreadable sendmail.cf files and
you'll discover ways of rewiring sendmail's insides so that
@#$@$^%<<<@#) at @$%#^! is a valid e-mail address. That was great
in 1985. In 1994, the Internet mail standards have been decided
upon and such flexibility is no longer needed. Nevertheless, all of
sendmail's rope is still there, ready to make a hangman's knot,
should anyone have a sudden urge.

I particularly like the list of reasons why the Sendmail book has a
bat on the cover:

* The common North American brown bat's diet is composed principally
of bugs. Sendmail is a software package which is composed
principally of bugs.

* Sendmail and bats both suck.

* Sendmail maintainers and bats both tend to be nocturnal creatures,
making "eep eep" noises which are incomprehensible to the average
person.

* Have you ever watched a bat fly? Have you ever watched Sendmail
process a queue full of undelivered mail? QED.

* Sendmail and bats both die quickly when kept in captivity.

* Bat guano is a good source of potassium nitrate, a principal
ingredient in things that blow up in your face. Like Sendmail.

* Both bats and sendmail are held in low esteem by the general
public.

* Bats require magical rituals involving crosses and garlic to get
them to do what you want. Sendmail likewise requires mystical
incantations such as:

R<$+>$*$=Y$~A$* $:<$1>$2$3?$4$5 Mark user portion.
R<$+>$*!$+,$*?$+ <$1>$2!$3!$4?$5 is inferior to @
R<$+>$+,$*?$+ <$1>$2:$3?$4 Change src rte to % path
R<$+>:$+ <$1>,$2 Change % to @ for immed. domain
R<$=X$-.UUCP>!?$+ $@<$1$2.UUCP>!$3 Return UUCP
R<$=X$->!?$+ $@<$1$2>!$3 Return unqualified
R<$+>$+?$+ <$1>$2$3 Remove '?'
R<$+.$+>$=Y$+ $@<$1.$2>,$4 Change do user@domain

* Farmers consider bats their friends because of the insects they
eat. Farmers consider Sendmail their friend because it gets more
collegeeducated people interested in subsistence farming as a
career.

Note that this was written in the early 1990s. Sendmail has been
considered archaic and overly complex for almost 20 years.

--
Grant Edwards grant.b.edwards Yow! My mind is making
at ashtrays in Dayton ...
gmail.com
 
Old 04-19-2010, 09:50 PM
Mick
 
Default Setting up a fall back ISP SMTP in sendmail

On Monday 19 April 2010 20:19:16 Alan McKinnon wrote:
> On Monday 19 April 2010 16:49:34 Grant Edwards wrote:
> > On 2010-04-19, Tanstaafl <tanstaafl@libertytrek.org> wrote:
> > > On 2010-04-18 6:27 PM, Peter Humphrey wrote:
> > >> On Sunday 18 April 2010 22:06:44 Mick wrote:
> > >>> I was reminded that I do not understand sendmail enough for my
> > >>> liking.
> > >>
> > >> Does anybody?
> > >
> > ><flame-protect>
> > >
> > > That's why Wietse invented postfix.
> > >
> > ></flame-protect>
> >
> > I gave up on sendmail about 12 years ago and switched to qmail and/or
> > postfix. I didn't know anybody was still using sendmail. Is it the
> > default MTA for any of the popular Linux distros?
>
> Yes. Centos/RedHat et al. The installer has a screen to let you choose, but
> if you click-click-click-Yes through it like most numbnuts will, sendmail
> is what you get.
>
> How do I know this? Because I fought valiantly with one of them today.
>
> I took me 90 minutes to figure out how to add a SmartHost.

Ha, ha! You should have asked in this M/L! ;-)

> Vogon poetry is
> a delight compared to those damn .cf files. And the .mc's aren't much
> better.


.cf files are strictly for hackers, well, <aheam> I meant sendmail hackers.
;-)

The problem is that you'll spend an hour or two setting it all up, it'll work,
you'll never touch it again. Then, two years later something will require you
to reconfigure it and there will be no way on this earth that you will
remember what you did or why it made any sense at the time! Ha, ha! :-))
--
Regards,
Mick
 
Old 04-19-2010, 09:55 PM
Mick
 
Default Setting up a fall back ISP SMTP in sendmail

On Monday 19 April 2010 20:20:27 you wrote:
> On Monday 19 April 2010 21:07:47 Mick wrote:
> > On Monday 19 April 2010 15:49:34 Grant Edwards wrote:
> > > On 2010-04-19, Tanstaafl <tanstaafl@libertytrek.org> wrote:
> > > > On 2010-04-18 6:27 PM, Peter Humphrey wrote:
> > > >> On Sunday 18 April 2010 22:06:44 Mick wrote:
> > > >>> I was reminded that I do not understand sendmail enough for my
> > > >>> liking.
> > > >>
> > > >> Does anybody?
> > > >
> > > ><flame-protect>
> > > >
> > > > That's why Wietse invented postfix.
> > > >
> > > ></flame-protect>
> > >
> > > I gave up on sendmail about 12 years ago and switched to qmail and/or
> > > postfix. I didn't know anybody was still using sendmail. Is it the
> > > default MTA for any of the popular Linux distros?
> >
> > I am not sure if it is a default MTA but I have a CentOS server which
> > comes with it. I guess it's one of these masochistic things that either
> > decide to completely avoid learning (like emacs?!) or once you start you
> > don't want to let it beat you! :-))
>
> I recall this old quip:
>
> You are not a real Unix sysadmin till you have written a sendmail.cf by
> hand. You are insane to attempt it twice.
>
> ;-)


He, he! I thought it went along the lines of:

"He who has never hacked sendmail.cf has no soul;
he who has hacked sendmail.cf more than once has no brain."
- Old Hacker Proverb

--
Regards,
Mick
 
Old 04-20-2010, 01:53 PM
Harry Putnam
 
Default Setting up a fall back ISP SMTP in sendmail

I think you all are missing something... sendmail is better documented
than any of the other pretenders.

Now understand, that I am easily the dullest knife in the drawer on
this list even though by unix/linux standards I'm fairly long in the
tooth having started my computing skills in 1996 and broke in on
redhat at that time (using sendmail). I'm sad to say, I'm still a
noob in a vast number of areas.

I've used sendmail all that time. If I can figure out how to use
it.... It really must not be that hard. At least not hard to find
piles of help on google.

Admittedly though my usage has always been just a homeboy home lan
administrator so closest I ever come to using sendmail anything like
what its target usage base is, would be a home lan mailhub.

Unless, I'm terribly misinformed, sendmail is still the most commonly
used mta in the unix world of servers.

At least according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sendmail

Qmail home page says it is the second most common MTA but doesn't say
who is first.... its sendmail... I'm pretty sure.

About all the snipes concerning hacking sendmail.cf... I'm sure you
are all aware that any hacking needs to happen in sendmail.mc... then
let m4 sort out sendmail.cf.
 
Old 04-20-2010, 03:28 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default Setting up a fall back ISP SMTP in sendmail

On 2010-04-20, Harry Putnam <reader@newsguy.com> wrote:

> About all the snipes concerning hacking sendmail.cf... I'm sure you
> are all aware that any hacking needs to happen in sendmail.mc... then
> let m4 sort out sendmail.cf.

IOW, sendmail has a configuration file so incomprehensible that the
configuration file needs a configuration file.

QED

--
Grant Edwards grant.b.edwards Yow! Do you guys know we
at just passed thru a BLACK
gmail.com HOLE in space?
 
Old 04-20-2010, 03:51 PM
Harry Putnam
 
Default Setting up a fall back ISP SMTP in sendmail

Grant Edwards <grant.b.edwards@gmail.com> writes:

> On 2010-04-20, Harry Putnam <reader@newsguy.com> wrote:
>
>> About all the snipes concerning hacking sendmail.cf... I'm sure you
>> are all aware that any hacking needs to happen in sendmail.mc... then
>> let m4 sort out sendmail.cf.
>
> IOW, sendmail has a configuration file so incomprehensible that the
> configuration file needs a configuration file.

Internet mail is quite complex, yes.
 
Old 04-20-2010, 04:02 PM
Grant Edwards
 
Default Setting up a fall back ISP SMTP in sendmail

On 2010-04-20, Harry Putnam <reader@newsguy.com> wrote:
> Grant Edwards <grant.b.edwards@gmail.com> writes:
>
>> On 2010-04-20, Harry Putnam <reader@newsguy.com> wrote:
>>
>>> About all the snipes concerning hacking sendmail.cf... I'm sure you
>>> are all aware that any hacking needs to happen in sendmail.mc... then
>>> let m4 sort out sendmail.cf.
>>
>> IOW, sendmail has a configuration file so incomprehensible that the
>> configuration file needs a configuration file.
>
> Internet mail is quite complex, yes.

Yet all of the other popular MTAs seem to have human-readable
configuration files and don't need a meta-configuration-file/language
to generate their configuration files.

--
Grant Edwards grant.b.edwards Yow! Where does it go when
at you flush?
gmail.com
 

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