[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: MTA Suggestion

On Sun, 9 Nov 1997, Tim Ferrell wrote:

> > 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.
> > 
> Actually this is not entirely true... You can set up qmail to use mbox
> files - but as you point out, the author strongly discourages this. NFS
> issues aside, I do not care much for maildir.

yes, the debian qmail package in experimental/ even uses them by
default. only problem is that a user's main mailbox file is in the WRONG
place, in ~/Mailbox rather than /var/spool/mail/<username> where it

I still don't know of any MUAs which will read mail from either maildir
or ~/Mailbox. admittedly, configuring pine or elm to read ~/Mailbox
rather than the usual spool dir is pretty simple....but that requires
every user on the system to reconfigure their mail client.

> > but the biggest problem with qmail is the author's attitude. 
> The sad thing is that it is often difficult for most people to separate
> genuine issues from personal crusades...

i see the author's attitude as being a genuine issue - his arrogance
prevents him from being able to produce software which can be used by
people with conflicting (and equally valid) ideas about how the mail
system should work.

I prefer to use software written by authors who are responsive to user's

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

because you can't distribute modified source, modified binaries, or even
pre-compiled binaries without special approval from the author.  price is
probably the least important factor in what makes a program free - the
freedom is in freedom to modify and distribute, not in zero cost.

> Anyhow, I will stick with sendmail, despite its complexity - it is a
> known quantity and does what *I* like... ;-)

me too.  i look at other MTAs from time to time, just to keep up with
alternative ways of doing things, but i haven't yet found a compelling
reason to switch away from sendmail.  vmail sounds like it will be good when
it's released, but that was still in the design stage last time i looked at
the vmail web pages (a few months ago...i'll dig up the url if you're

personally, i think that sendmail is actually simpler to configure than
smail or exim....or more precisely, debian's sendmailconfig script can
configure a system which will meet the needs of <wild guess> 99% </wild
guess> users. run sendmailconfig, answer a few questions, and you end up
with a sendmail.cf file which works. if you need something more complex,
you can either edit /etc/mail/sendmail.mc or /etc/sendmail.cf directly.

i know that debian's smail has a similar config script - i used to run
smail a few years ago, before i switched to sendmail - and it's very
useful too.  I just find the million-and-one directories and files a lot
more confusing than a single .mc or .cf file.

sendmail also happens to be the best documented MTA around - there's at
least 2 or 3 good books devoted to sendmail. this was one of the reason
i finally gave up on smail - i couldn't find any books on smail anywhere
(the bat book isn't what i'd consider light reading but at least it


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

TO UNSUBSCRIBE FROM THIS MAILING LIST: e-mail the word "unsubscribe" to
debian-user-request@lists.debian.org . 
Trouble?  e-mail to templin@bucknell.edu .

Reply to: