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Re: Changing standard mailbox setup of Debian?

Richard Kettlewell schrieb:
> Radovan Garabik writes:

> Similar remarks might apply to backups - it's common to define how
> backups are handled at a granularity of filesystems rather than
> directories within filesystems, so keeping mail out of $HOME provides
> more scope for choosing different policies.
> This isn't a discussion about what policy to use on any given site:
> it's about what the default should be.  The examples above suggest
> that /var/spool/mail (or /var/mail) supports a wider range of
> policies; and I think that that makes it a more suitable choice for a
> default.

We do only have this problem because of some programs that
ignore MAIL. MAIL allows you to choose whatever path you want,
and thus is a lot more flexible than any hard coded default.

In this case, where the default can easily be overridden to just
about everything, but only if the administrator knows how to do
it and thus probably also what consequences it will have
(locking, security, quotas). The current default path (and the
surrounding setup) is really bad because it's a per default
security risk (SGID mail MUAs on every system) or, if you remove
the SGID bits to fix that, unuseable over NFS with many (older)
operating systems.

Best would probably be to get most MDAs and other daemons (most
MUAs seem to do it right) to use MAIL instead of a hardcoded
path first and then consider changing the default (in a graceful
way such as described in my former mail) to something more
reasonable for less experienced users.

Using Maildir would probably not work, since there is too much
mail-related software that can't use it (yet).

ciao, 2ri (using a maildir in his $HOME over NFS btw)

> It's also a good thing not to change defaults without very good
> reason.  dpkg's conffile handling is a good demonstration of this[1],
> but the principle is a wider one.

That's why I think that just switching everything over to
another path would demand for trouble, instead pam_mail
or whatever else can set MAIL should try to determine wheter
/var/spool/mail/ and  only use the new dir's if the old ones are
not used.

(This could also be done by an install/upgrade time
configuration (a shared debconf variable would be really nice)).

ciao, 2ri
Q: How does a Unix guru have sex?
A: gunzip;strip;touch;finger;mount;fsck;more;yes;fsck;fsck;fsck;umount;sleep

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