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Re: sSMTP and other MTAs

On Sat, 4 Apr 1998, Hugo Haas wrote:

> I was asked to modify sSMTP package so that we can sSMTP and another MTA
> can coexist (someone would like to install both sSMTP and Exim).
> Basically, it is not a bad idea because sSMTP just gets mail off the
> system and is not a daemon, so it does not really conflict, except because
> it provides a /usr/sbin/sendmail link.
> I don't know what is the best way to do that. I see two solutions:
> - split it into two packages. [snip]
> - use alternatives. [snip]

I made a few tests with update-alternatives. dpkg has no problem replacing
an alternative symlink by a real file when installing another MTA package. 
(for instance, the /usr/sbin/sendmail symlink will be replaced by the
sendmail program from Sendmail package). 

However, when the MTA package is removed, the symlinks aren't restored. We
need to call manually update-alternatives --auto (I don't think it would
be sensible to ask all MTA maintainers to use alternative just for the
sSMTP package). Therefore, /usr/sbin/sendmail won't exist anymore, and the
user is not warned by dpkg about this.

Would it be a clean way to use a configuration script, ssmtpconfig say,
which would ask if ssmtp should be used as a sendmail (update-alternatives
--install) or not (update-alternatives --remove)? Well, if the user
installs and then removes another MTA, he will have to rerun the script,
but I don't see any other solution...

Thank you for your help.



Hugo Haas         <Hugo.Haas@via.ecp.fr>     <http://www.via.ecp.fr/~hugo/>
PGP2 key id 0x8a5af90d, fingerprint 45AB 8D24 B3E4 C9DD E85C 25C8 DB0B BFA3

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