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Re: Let's write a system admin friendly mail server packaging system

"Roberto C. Sánchez" <roberto@connexer.com> wrote:

>On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 06:42:50PM +0200, Michael Banck wrote:
>> On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 11:58:26PM +0800, Thomas Goirand wrote:
>> > Mario 'BitKoenig' Holbe wrote:
>> > > I'm installing apache2 and have a web server - more or less working,
>> > > I'm installing dhelp and ... magic, magic ... it extends the running
>> > > web-server to serve the dhelp content as well. I'm installing smb2www
>> > > and it extends the running web-server to act as smb client as well.
>> > > How do they do this? There is some conf.d directory which contains
>> > > config snippets for each of the packages.
>> > 
>> > Yes, which feature I requested from the upstream of postfix. I got a
>> > stunning reply that it was a stupid idea, that it would be slow to
>> > parse, and that postconf wouldn't work anymore. So forget about having
>> > this in postfix, we must find another way.
>> Eh, Debian can patch upstream software if it thinks it is necessary for
>> inter-operation, that's the one of the major points of having a
>> distribution.
>That is true.  However, it must be balanced with making the software
>different than it is on every other platform.  I'm not saying that it
>cannot be done.  Rather, there needs be a discussion as to whether that
>is something that Debian wants to do.  It is not as simple as just
>patching a high profile package like postfix.
FWIW, dovecot supports config.d too.

For postfix, as I understand the design,  it would be as non-trivial effort to move to a similar cascading config directory approach. Fortunately it's not needed. 

In postfix you need to be able to programmatically modify both main.cf and master.cf.  I believe that the upstream supported postconf tool supports making all needed changes to main.cf. The Debian package also ships some Debian (and derivative) specific scripts to allow smtp filters and policy services to be added to master.cf by other packages in a policy compliant way.

They are simplistic,  but should serve this use case (it's the one I wrote them for).

Additionally,  Ubuntu ships a distro specific binary called dovecot-postfix that implements part of this vision already.  We'd love to see it in Debian if the dovecot maintainer is interested. 

Scott K

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