why is sendmail the adopted mta?

Michel Talon talon at lpthe.jussieu.fr
Sun Jan 2 09:49:52 PST 2005

Simon 'corecode' Schubert wrote:

we're not there yet. not even half way; for that we'd need to package 
the base system which is something that is highly controversial, too.
Packaging part of the base system and packaging the totality of the base 
system are two different things. I agree that making packages for every 
small thing is stupid. However there are a couple of notoriously 
controversial software which could very well be packaged separately.
Perl and Bind8 were obviously in this category, note that FreeBSD-5
packages them separately now, or have replaced Bind8 by Bind9 which is 
far less controversial. Sendmail is obviously in this category.
Yes for sure sendmail recommends itself to be the standard MTA because
it is of Berkely origin, and it has been very useful in the past.
However it has always been a security hazard, and continues doing so, 
even in the recent past. It has enormous configurability which nowadays
serve no useful purpose since all sort of strange addressing schemes,
Bitnet, Decnet, etc. have disappeared. So  you are now paying the price 
of this configurability in terms of configuration difficulties,
without any ensuing utility whatsoever.

Why do I bring this up?
Because I see no good reason to keep using sendmail ... and because I
believe that dragonflybsd is doing a great work adopting and creating
new software solutions that look better than the existing ones....
open ntpd
dragonfly itself .. when comparing to freebsd.

And this is a very cogent argument.

as you might see no ``good'' reason, there might be hundreds of people 
seeing a very good reason to keep it.

Those hundred people are the same that will never convert to 
Dragonflybsd nor to FreeBSD-5, because they are convinced that only 
FreeBSD-4 has the one true stability, that sendmail has the only true 
features and so on. Precisely dragonflybsd is an effort in a non 
conventional direction, as far as i understand, so arguments based
on inertia are not very relevant here.

i don't use sendmail, too. i'm using postfix, from ports, and i'm happy 
with it. you got the choice.

As has been repeated many times, installing the postfix port doesn't 
remove the sendmail stuff, the sendmail manpages that hide the postfix 
ones, etc. Of course someone diligent enough can remove all that stuff 
by hand, but as soon as a system becomes widely used, this sort of thing 
becomes "unprofessional". Do you imagine doing that on a pool of 100 

Michel Talon

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