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Old 07-27-2008, 08:39 PM
Mario Vukelic
 
Default 8.04 MTA?

On Sun, 2008-07-27 at 13:24 -0700, Robert Holtzman wrote:
> I see that sendmail is not the default MTA. I can't find what is.

http://www.google.com/search?q=ubuntu+default+mta ?

> Searching the system shows no postfix, exim4 or anything else that I can
> find.

"aptitude search postfix exim sendmail" gives me a looong list of
packages. Note that there are also smail, ssmtp and other similarly
simple MTAs for special cases, e.g., if you only want local mail for
system messages.


> Running a search on "ubuntu 8.04 MTA" came up with an entry for
> their server guide I found amusing. It states that postfix is the default
> MTA then goes on to give instructions on installing and configuring
> postfix. If it's the default, why are they telling you how to install it?
> Anyone have an explanation?

A desktop system rarely needs an MTA, and Ubuntu's default setup does
not require one. Installing an MTA for users who don't need one and who
don't know what an MTA is has no benefit in the best case and is an
added security liability in the worst case.

Maybe space on the installer CD is an even greater concern: Ubuntu's
1-CD install means space is tight, and everybody who needs an MTA or
should use one can install it afterwards, so the space on the CD is used
for more important stuff.

postfix is still the default MTA because when you don't have one
installed and install a package that depends on having an MTA, Ubuntu
installs postfix as the dependency. It is also the default because the
offical docs assume or describe postfix, as you have noticed. Further, I
expect that the server team focuses its testing on postfix.


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Old 07-27-2008, 08:39 PM
Charlie Kravetz
 
Default 8.04 MTA?

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

On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 13:24:16 -0700 (MST)
Robert Holtzman <holtzm@cox.net> wrote:

> I see that sendmail is not the default MTA. I can't find what is.
> Searching the system shows no postfix, exim4 or anything else that I can
> find. Running a search on "ubuntu 8.04 MTA" came up with an entry for
> their server guide I found amusing. It states that postfix is the default
> MTA then goes on to give instructions on installing and configuring
> postfix. If it's the default, why are they telling you how to install it?
> Anyone have an explanation?
>
> Thanks.
>
> --
> Bob Holtzman
> "If you think you're getting free lunch,
> check the price of the beer"

On the chance of sticks and stones coming my way, the simple answer to
"why are they telling you how to install it?" is because it does not
come pre-installed.

I think it has to do with security, keeping ports closed and other
things I don't understand fully.

Good luck,

- --
Charlie Kravetz
Linux Registered User Number 425914 [http://counter.li.org/]
Never let anyone steal your DREAM. [http://keepingdreams.com]
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Old 07-27-2008, 08:59 PM
Mario Vukelic
 
Default 8.04 MTA?

On Sun, 2008-07-27 at 22:39 +0200, Mario Vukelic wrote:
> postfix is still the default MTA because when you don't have one
> installed and install a package that depends on having an MTA, Ubuntu
> installs postfix as the dependency. It is also the default because the
> offical docs assume or describe postfix, as you have noticed. Further, I
> expect that the server team focuses its testing on postfix.

I forgot one thing: server support contracts with Canonical. I'd expect
that they also include postfix by default.


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Old 07-27-2008, 09:47 PM
Hal Burgiss
 
Default 8.04 MTA?

On Sun, Jul 27, 2008 at 10:39:09PM +0200, Mario Vukelic wrote:
>
> postfix is still the default MTA because when you don't have one
> installed and install a package that depends on having an MTA, Ubuntu
> installs postfix as the dependency. It is also the default because the
> offical docs assume or describe postfix, as you have noticed. Further, I
> expect that the server team focuses its testing on postfix.

And because of postfix's long and steady record of being a top notch
performer. And because it was designed from the ground up with
security as high priority. And its configuration is saner than some of
the alternatives. In fact, if you need a real MTA, I can't think of a
good reason to use anything else. Its painless to install. It works
out of the box for most typical cases.

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Old 07-27-2008, 11:32 PM
Robert Holtzman
 
Default 8.04 MTA?

On Sun, 27 Jul 2008, Mario Vukelic wrote:

> "aptitude search postfix exim sendmail" gives me a looong list of
> packages. Note that there are also smail, ssmtp and other similarly
> simple MTAs for special cases, e.g., if you only want local mail for
> system messages.

Coming from a redhat background, I keep forgetting about the various
aptitude options.

>> Running a search on "ubuntu 8.04 MTA" came up with an entry for
>> their server guide I found amusing. It states that postfix is the default
>> MTA then goes on to give instructions on installing and configuring
>> postfix. If it's the default, why are they telling you how to install it?
>> Anyone have an explanation?
>
> A desktop system rarely needs an MTA, and Ubuntu's default setup does
> not require one. Installing an MTA for users who don't need one and who
> don't know what an MTA is has no benefit in the best case and is an
> added security liability in the worst case.

I was unaware that an MTA isn't required for a desktop installation. I
thought it was neccessary to transfer the mail from the server to the MUA,
or in my case to Procmail.

I will probably have to install sendmail or postfix as I want to run
SpamAssassin, invoking it thru the MTA rather than thru Procmail. I have
documentation on setting this up on sendmail but nothing on postfix. Oh
well, research time (again). I would wecome any pointers on this from
anyone.

> postfix is still the default MTA because when you don't have one
> installed and install a package that depends on having an MTA, Ubuntu
> installs postfix as the dependency. It is also the default because the
> offical docs assume or describe postfix, as you have noticed. Further, I
> expect that the server team focuses its testing on postfix.

That gives me the best reason yet of why they refer to it as the default.

--
Bob Holtzman
A day without fusion is like, a day without sunshine
If it smells it's chemistry, if it crawls it's biology, if it doesn't
work it's physics


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Old 07-28-2008, 01:40 AM
Derek Broughton
 
Default 8.04 MTA?

Mario Vukelic wrote:

> On Sun, 2008-07-27 at 13:24 -0700, Robert Holtzman wrote:
>> I see that sendmail is not the default MTA. I can't find what is.
>
Is sendmail the default on _any_ Linux distro? Not one of the ones I've
used.

> http://www.google.com/search?q=ubuntu+default+mta ?
>
>> Searching the system shows no postfix, exim4 or anything else that I can
>> find.

Ubuntu doesn't have a "default" MTA, because...
>
> A desktop system rarely needs an MTA, and Ubuntu's default setup does
> not require one. Installing an MTA for users who don't need one and who
> don't know what an MTA is has no benefit in the best case and is an
> added security liability in the worst case.

Indeed.

> postfix is still the default MTA because when you don't have one
> installed and install a package that depends on having an MTA, Ubuntu
> installs postfix as the dependency. It is also the default because the
> offical docs assume or describe postfix, as you have noticed. Further, I
> expect that the server team focuses its testing on postfix.

Specifically, Ubuntu packages requiring an MTA depend on "postfix |
mail-transport-agent", so that if any MTA is already installed, it fulfills
the dependency, but if no MTA is installed postfix is requested.
--
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:42 AM
Derek Broughton
 
Default 8.04 MTA?

Robert Holtzman wrote:

> I was unaware that an MTA isn't required for a desktop installation. I
> thought it was neccessary to transfer the mail from the server to the MUA,
> or in my case to Procmail.

Procmail can do that itself.
>
> I will probably have to install sendmail or postfix as I want to run
> SpamAssassin, invoking it thru the MTA rather than thru Procmail. I have
> documentation on setting this up on sendmail but nothing on postfix.

I can't believe the documentation wouldn't be _more_ available for
Postfix...
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:32 AM
Dan Farrell
 
Default 8.04 MTA?

On Sun, 27 Jul 2008 22:42:47 -0300
Derek Broughton <news@pointerstop.ca> wrote:

> Robert Holtzman wrote:
>
> > I was unaware that an MTA isn't required for a desktop
> > installation. I thought it was neccessary to transfer the mail from
> > the server to the MUA, or in my case to Procmail.
>
> Procmail can do that itself.

What mail server wouldn't be running POP or IMAP? The MUA should be
able to pull (or view) the mail directly from(on) th server!

You don't need a MTA unless you intend to accept incoming mail from the
outside world and send outgoing mail directly to the final
recipient ... and you probably don't want to do that. At that point,
you basically have a fully functional mail server.

> > I will probably have to install sendmail or postfix as I want to run
> > SpamAssassin, invoking it thru the MTA rather than thru
> > Procmail. I have documentation on setting this up on sendmail
> > but nothing on postfix.
>
> I can't believe the documentation wouldn't be _more_ available for
> Postfix...

Yeah, it should be pretty easy to scare up. I have postfix on my mail
server and strongly considered setting up server-wide spamassassin, but
got lazy. Honestly, if I were you I would use fetchmail and procmail +
spamassassin if i _really_ wanted to keep all my mail locally.

Consider this: if you have a dynamic IP, people are unlikely to accept
your email. Unless you have a business-type connection, your ISP
probably isn't even going to allow port 25 communication to or from
your server. Furthermore, keeping your mail locally means that unless
you have remote access, you have to be at home to read your mail.
Finally, who is going to send the mail to postfix?

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Old 07-28-2008, 04:04 AM
Steve Lamb
 
Default 8.04 MTA?

Dan Farrell wrote:
> What mail server wouldn't be running POP or IMAP? The MUA should be
> able to pull (or view) the mail directly from(on) th server!

One that is dedicated to SMTP only?

> You don't need a MTA unless you intend to accept incoming mail from
> the outside world and send outgoing mail directly to the final
> recipient ... and you probably don't want to do that. At that point,
> you basically have a fully functional mail server.

Or you actually want mail notifications from cron/anacron jobs to
get somewhere meaningful. Of course you can just run Nullmailer for
those, no need for an inbound MTA for simple SMTP sending.

> Finally, who is going to send the mail to postfix?

One of the 30 accounts set up by default on Ubuntu?



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Old 07-28-2008, 04:11 AM
Mario Vukelic
 
Default 8.04 MTA?

On Sun, 2008-07-27 at 16:32 -0700, Robert Holtzman wrote:
> I was unaware that an MTA isn't required for a desktop installation. I
> thought it was neccessary to transfer the mail from the server to the
> MUA, or in my case to Procmail.

A more typical desktop install, at least for Ubuntu's target users,
would be Evolution or Thunderbird fetching email from a remote POP or
IMAP server, and using the ISP's MTA.

It seems sensible to optimize for this case, as the procmail and
mutt-using folks are perfectly capable of installing their MTA of
preference


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