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Re: MTA Suggestion

On Sat, 8 Nov 1997, Jason Costomiris wrote:

> I nominate qmail + tcpserver/tcpcontrol.  I'm in the process of
> converting all of my boxes to it.  Very nice, easy to control
> relaying/spam, and FAST.

no way!

qmail might be excellent at what it does but it's incompatible with
/var/spool/mail. the one time i installed it, i couldn't even get it
to use procmail as the local delivery agent instead of qmail-local
(putting a .qmail file in every home directory is NOT a viable option,
i want procmail as THE local delivery agent). i didn't spend much time
on it though - reading the docs and faqs etc just made me angry at the
author's arrogant attitude.

there's also the 'minor' problem that only a few MUAs (i don't know of
one except for qmail-popper) will work with qmail's new maildir format.

it's anti spam features don't seem as good as Claus Assman's check_*
rules for sendmail 8.8.x (which have been included with the latest
debian sendmail packages in unstable). they certainly don't seem
anywhere near as flexible.

but the biggest problem with qmail is the author's attitude. it would
be fine if he said "here's the way i like things to run, so that's the
default...but if you prefer the old standard ways then make this change
and that change and everything will run sweetly". but he doesn't do
that, he says "the old ways suck so you can't have them. you have to do
it my way even if my way sucks for your particular setup. tough luck".

that doesn't cut it with me. software installed on MY system has to
conform to MY way of doing things or provide good reasons for me to
learn a new and better way.  *None* of the stated reasons for the
superiority of "the qmail way" were good enough for me to be willing to
make such a drastic change to the way mail works on my systems.

he goes on about nfs locking problems with NFS, ignoring the fact that
most NFS locking problems are related to sloppy programming. debian has
managed to produce an NFS safe locking library, so it's obviously not
impossible. and any site running an automounter daemon for user home
directories would be overloaded by qmail insisting on delivering mail to ~
(and would still suffer from the NFS locking problem he is so worried

in summary, i think that his reasons for doing things the way he does
are, for the most part, ill-informed opinion and bigotry. there is some
substance to what he says but it's nowhere near as black and white as
the way he says it.

finally, qmail is non-free. debian CAN'T use it as the default MTA.


craig sanders
networking consultant                  Available for casual or contract
temporary autonomous zone              system administration tasks.

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