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Re: Postfix as default MTA?

> Do I think postfix can be made the default MTA?  No.  For starters, its
> postinst needs to match exim's (and smail's).  It's really nice to provide
> users with a simple and fast way to configure the MTA even if the MTA is
> easy to configure.  And I guess it needs to stabilize a bit (not that it's
> unstable, but as I understand it, it's under heavy development)

Postfix has been showing itself to be generally rock-solid.  The reason
(as I understand it) for it being a "beta" is because the feature set is
not complete (but good enough to replace 99%+ of sendmail installations),
not because what is there is not solid.  While there is certainly some
development going on, it is mostly in the form of new features.

In the past I have maintained a policy of only uploading beta versions to
unstable, and then pressuring Wietse to upgrade a snapshot to beta when
things got too different.  With the license change, I went ahead and broke
that policy (I'm thinking just this once unless people feel strongly
otherwise), and uploaded the 19990627 snapshot to main.  (The DFSG license
is not a code change, and the code changes are not that major between 0601
and 0627.)

One of the reasons for only uploading betas is that Wietse has indicated
that experimental features, included in snapshot releases, are subject to
being removed or rewritten before a beta appears.  There's more of a
potential bump with the snapshot releases, and I don't want to deal with
the 'this broke' kind of bug reports...

I would like to see Postfix as the default MTA, largely because of
Wietse's reputation, my interaction with him over the past several years,
and what I have seen of the code, but I am not in a position to compare
Postfix to Exim, so I'll try to duck that debate and leave it at "I think
it would be a good thing."

Having said that, I think there are still a few things that need to be
done before I would be comfortable having Postfix be the default mailer:

1. As several people have pointed out, the configuration portion of the
   postinst script that I wrote for postfix, well, sucks.  More to the
   point, it doesn't exist.  On Wietse's list of things-to-do is
   'postconf -s', which would set a config variable to the desired value,
   with comment preservation.  I've been stalling on working on the
   changes myself, hoping that Wietse would do it for me.  Doing a
   proper postfixconfig requires either having or writing the code for
   postconf -s.

2. I would think that while #1 is being done, the added exposure from
   being in main would be nothing but good for the Postfix package.

And while I'm rambling on...

= Postfix currently depends on adduser, for adding the dynamic user postfix
  and the groups postfix and postdrop.  This has caused some questions in
  the past, but the alternatives I currently see are (1) recreating adduser
  in the postinst script, or (2) making the user and groups static (part of
  the base /etc/passwd).  Comments on the three solutions are solicited.

= There is a long outstanding request to be able to install Postfix on
  a uucp only system (that is, netbase is __not__ installed.)  The current
  method is to --force-depends, and then edit master.cf to remove the
  smtp entries.  Is there a large desire to make this easier?


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