Why is sendmail is part of the system and not a package?

Giorgos Keramidas keramida at ceid.upatras.gr
Tue Oct 27 18:17:09 UTC 2009

On Tue, 27 Oct 2009 15:43:39 -0200, Gonzalo Nemmi <gnemmi at gmail.com> wrote:
>On Tuesday 27 October 2009 7:32:14 am b. f. wrote:
>>>It's in /usr/sbin/sendmail.
>>>How many people actually use it? Very few.  Why isn't it moved to
>> Obviously, not everyone wants or needs sendmail in the base system.
>> But quite a few people do use it, and many FreeBSD developers are
>> happy with the status quo, so it is unlikely that sendmail will be
>> removed soon.  But there's nothing to prevent you from disabling it
>> in rc.conf(5):
> Or from switching to other BSDs in which the last word over an issue
> stands in the hands of reason .. and not in the hands of status quo...
> which, by the way, never took any science a single step forwar, and on
> the contrary ... did everything it could to stop it ... because
> otherwise, there would be no status quo anymore or it will fall in the
> hands of others.

This is precisely the reason why the `status quo' exists.  Because
people tend to get all political about this sort of thing, and that's
exactly the point where the entire discussion goes downhill.

First of all, there are ways to build a base system _WITHOUT_ any trace
knobs.  So it's not like FreeBSD stops anyone from removing Sendmail.

Now, the rest of the comments about 'science' and 'moving forward' are
not productive at all.  If someone wants to move the particular thing
forward there is a well-known _technical_ way of resolving this:

  - Import your MTA of choice in a local branch.
  - Integrate the $NEWMTA with the base system of FreeBSD.
  - Update the manpages and documentation for $NEWMTA.
  - Submit the patches to the FreeBSD team for review.
  - Keep updating them as FreeBSD changes.
  - Maintain and keep the $NEWMTA in shape, by:
      + reimporting new releases
      + fixing any bugs that creep up
      + answering questions of the people who are in a (painful)
        transitional phase while the dust from $NEWMTA import settles
      + showing that you have a genuine interest to keep $NEWMTA in a
        functional, up to date, working condition

This is a *lot* of work.  Don't be fooled into thinking that I am ever
implying it's going to be easy.  It will take time, patience, a _lot_ of
effort on the part of the submitter, and a sizable amount of _time_.

But it is not impossible.  So, anyone who really _wants_ to do it, is
really both welcome to go ahead and certainly free to do it.

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list