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Re: Using Ubuntu when I'm used to Debian.

Quoting Andrew Sackville-West <andrew@farwestbilliards.com>:

one of the symptoms of "user friendliness". Ubuntu, I assume, makes the assumption that they are pulling in windows users who want a windows type mail environment with MUA talking smtp and pop to smarthosts out on the 'net at large instead of a local mail distribution system. I'm sure there are other symptoms of a similar nature where they are moving away from the *nix heritage in the interest of user-friendliness. I wonder how that plays out in the long run?

I have become a fan of the *nix philosophy and *nix heritage ever since I started using Debian (about 3.5 years ago). However, this is one are (mail distribution) where I do not agree. Each network should have some specifically designated *outbound* mail exchangers. All other hosts should be blocked from sending any outbound mail to the public net. That is just part of being a good netizen. A while back I was getting tons of spam from a host in the state government of New Mexico netblock. It was somebody's laptop that got infected and started relaying spam. That is ridiculuous.

The fact is that the majority of users lack sufficient knowledge to properly admin an MTA. They should simply configure their systems to point to their ISPs or organizations mail relays. I'm not saying that local mail distribution is obsolete, just that a situation where every host on a network can send email to the public Internet is part of the problem we are currently experiencing.

When I still had SBC, they decided to block all outbound port 25 traffic. I was infuriated since I was paying for their Internet service and didn't feel that I should have to opt-out of this port 25 block. I was able to get them to ublock it when I explained to them that I wanted to run my own mail server and that I knew what I was doing. Thinking back, though, I realize it was a great idea from their part since most users are clueless.

A distro targeted at clueless users (or the masses, or whatever other euphamism you prefer), should take precautions not to create a situation where they can easily mess up.


Roberto C. Sanchez

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