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Re: Removing the MTA from the default install

Adam Borowski wrote:
> On Wed, May 02, 2012 at 10:02:37AM +0200, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> > Is this the right time to do it?
> No.  Cron needs some way to report about its jobs,

Cron came up in the previous discussion about this on -devel (which I'd
started), so I fixed that.  See the patches in
http://bugs.debian.org/670118 for cron and http://bugs.debian.org/670137
for anacron.  With those patches, cron and anacron can log job output to

>  mdadm has to notify about
> failures, etc, etc.

mdadm already recommends an MTA, and mdadm has priority optional, making
it not part of the default install.  So, an MTA could become priority
optional as well, and only get pulled in when needed.  In any case,
mdadm already logs to syslog by default, and can run an arbitrary
user-specified command on alerts as well.  Based on that, I'd suggest
changing the Recommends to a Suggests, so that people installing on RAID
don't end up with an MTA unless they otherwise want one.

I also fixed apt-listchanges (http://bugs.debian.org/666086) so that the
default configuration works with or without an MTA installed.

As far as I can tell, that seems sufficient to move an MTA from standard
to optional.  Installing a package which Depends (or Recommends) on an
MTA will still pull one in as needed.  Sysadmins who want a mail server
can easily select the "mail server" task in tasksel, or otherwise
install their mail server of choice.

- Josh Triplett

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