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Re: switching from exim to postfix

On Monday, April 30, 2012 06:14:19, Riku Voipio wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 28, 2012 at 07:12:42PM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> > There's nothing particularly wrong with Exim; it works just fine.
> Exim in 2012 not supporting 8BITMIME and thus being the last Major MTA
> forcing quoted-printable conversions to make emails "7bit clean" is quite
> horribly wrong.

I think it would be useful to describe what issue(s) there are concerning 
8BITMIME and why this is important.  I've found some information [1] about 
this, but it isn't clear what problems are actially *caused* by the lack of 
8BITMIME support by default in Exim.  Is it just slow sending of outbound 

> Debian is the main source of Exim installs in internet, it is also our
> fault. According to one old stat, 34% of mx records were exim, most
> probably almost all simply because it came by default in debian and it was
> "good enough" so people didnt' switch away from it.

The quoted 2010 survey [2] showed Exim was the most popular MTA (which I found 
surprising), deployment of Exim growing just slightly faster than Postfix, and 
everything else falling in popularity.  I don't know how one would verify (or 
dispute) the claim that Debian was the main source of Exim installs, and I'm 
not sure that's a "problem" that needs fixing.  (Also if you look more closely 
at the survey, ~55% of responding MTAs didn't identify themselves and are thus 
not counted in the statistics, which is a potential wide margin of error.)

> So yes, switching to postfix by default  would reduce the workload of email
> servers around the globe (no need to burn cpu cycles and thus co2 to
> convert emails to quoted-printable).

The statistics quoted showed that Exim was most popular, so wouldn't switching 
to Postfix by default actually be more CPU costly than the reverse?  :-/  [I'm 
not saying you're wrong, just that I don't see the logic in the argument.]

I administer both Postfix and Exim and greatly prefer Exim (specifically 
exim4-daemon-heavy and using a single config file), but I wouldn't mind if the 
default were Postifx.  Whatever the default MTA is should IMHO be whatever DDs 
supporting Debian think is the most supportable and "the best default".

I've likewise often wondered if a low-resource MTA like DMA or ssmtp could be 
the default MTA for Desktop installs (and I've occasionally tried them), but 
as has been discussed there seem to be some issues with the idea.  In my case 
for Desktops I want the local MTA to be able to handle sending local outbound 
mail to a server via port 587 over TLS with authentication, to retry sending 
at increasing time intervals, using a "queue runner" but without a daemon 
listening, and to notify the sender on a permanent failure.  Thusfar I've only 
been able to find all of that in a full-fledged MTA.

[1] http://cr.yp.to/smtp/8bitmime.html

[2] http://www.securityspace.com/s_survey/data/man.201007/mxsurvey.html

  -- Chris

Chris Knadle
GPG Key: 4096R/0x1E759A726A9FDD74

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