why is sendmail the adopted mta?

Michel Talon talon at lpthe.jussieu.fr
Mon Jan 3 13:02:31 PST 2005

Mads Martin Joergensen wrote:
Michel Talon wrote:

Please put an end to this ever-recurring bikeshed.

There are good reasons why these bikesheds are ever recurring,
and experience shows that, finally, these controversial softs
get expelled. Perl has been sacked from FreeBSD-5, Bind8 has been 
DragonflyBSD comes with a new installer, etc. 

Apart from that--would the fact that Postfix comes with the IBM Public 
license be a reason it couldn't be imported to replace sendmail?

It may be, i could not care less about licence problems, so i don't 
know. Anyways the only think people ask is a simple way to remove all
sendmail stuff from their machine, without having to chase components in
several disconnected places. This could be done with a simple shell 
scripts if people don't want to package the MTA.

It is not that sendmail doesn't work or lacks performance, it is that 
sendmail has one of the worst records securitywise, including recent 
problems (*), and is ways too complicated to configure, particularly 
with the recent security bandaid of having two different sendmails, with 
different mail queues and different config files which is atrocious to 
understand if you have anything non standard to do. People have other 
things to do with their time rather spending days to configure things 
which are done in  a couple of minutes with postfix, and presumably exim.

(*) the famous ssh exploits are certainly not an excuse for sendmail.
The OpenBSD people who were ultra conservative, still relying on Bind4
and other antiquities in the name of security have finally understood 
that this did not buy anything securitywise but greatly impeded 
usability and have converted to Bind9. Either them or the NetBSD people
offer sendmail and postfix in the base system, so it is not a
"lese-Berkeley" crime to ask for such a thing.

Michel Talon

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