Re: default MTA for sarge
On Mon, Jul 14, 2003 at 02:06:59PM +0200, Andreas Barth wrote:
> * David Nusinow (firstname.lastname@example.org) [030714 13:35]:
> > As someone who just spent a week wrestling with both exim4 and postfix,
> > I'd have to second this and go with postfix. The thing that bothers me
> > about exim4 is that looking in /etc/exim4/conf.d is kind of
> > frightening. I understand that it's very powerful, but editing the
> > thing is rather frightening. postfix's defaults seemed relatively easy
> > to edit, while the complexity of exim4 made things difficult.
> Sorry, I just can't follow. The config of exim4 is for default cases
> very very easy (all you have to do is answer the questions at
> installation time). You don't have to take a look at /etc/exim4/conf.d
> for any standard case. However, if you're doing something advanced you
> will have to look at the documentation in any case. And the exim4
> package gives you the free choice: You can put a single file in
> /etc/exim4/exim4.conf (perhaps starting with the autogenerated file),
> you can use the /etc/exim4/conf.d-setup for best convinience, and you
> can make your own brew with a custom exim4-config-package. All you
> have to do is look into the README.Debian-file of exim4, and that's
> not too much.
> As to /etc/exim4/conf.d: Adding own stuff is very easy, and you don't
> break the configuration scripts with adding something else, and the
> scripts won't break your config at future updates.
The configuration in /etc/exim4/conf.d is very very difficult to parse.
Here's a sample from mine:
driver = plaintext
public_name = PLAIN
This was to get AUTH working. What the hell is going on there? It had a
nice comment telling me what format my passwords were supposed to be
in, but when it wasn't working I had to look at this. I tried for about
a half an hour before going back to postfix. In addition, the fact that
things are scattered about the directory makes it difficult for someone
who's not familiar with the system to understand what's happening.
Granted, postfix has this issue too, with the various databases, but
it's not quite so bad.
> > Granted, I could have gone the alternate route of forgoing
> > debconf-based defaults, but I don't trust my skills that much, and
> > quite frankly, the exim manual is a hell of a lot more difficult to
> > parse and deal with than the simple postfix one.
> You don't have to even read the manual for default cases.
The default cases weren't working for me, and I don't have some very
> > Unfortunately, neither install worked well enough to enable me to set
> > up a desktop that routed all non-local mail to a smarthost (an
> > incredibly common configuration) so the people who are in the most need
> > for good automatic configuration in the default MTA aren't being served
> > by either package.
> Sorry, you're wrong. exim4 gives the selection "smarthost" for this,
> and it just works.
It didn't "just work" for me. Here's why. I don't have a domain name.
Most standard desktops don't either. So if I put my hostname in as the
mail origin, then all local delivery worked fine. But routing to the
smarthost wouldn't work, because my DNS didn't resolve. Ok, then I
could put my isp's mail origin in and masquerade as one of their
machines. But then all mail delivered to postmaster or root at this box
wound up going to their machines as well. So all my apt-listchanges
output and various little cron job reports went to some poor guy.
Now, mind you, all this time my ISP's instructions were to set up
authorization in my mail client. This is also fairly standard for ISP's
these days, as we all say not to run open relays. Getting this set up
in exim was incredibly difficult. Not to say it was easy in postfix
either, but I at least didn't feel intimidated by postfix the way I did
with exim. But, as I said before, the defaults for neither program met
my needs, and I'm betting they don't meet the needs of others. I wish I
could say otherwise, but my last week demonstrates that there's still a
ways to go.
- David Nusinow