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

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at msu.edu
Tue Oct 27 21:33:01 UTC 2009

On Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 05:03:12PM -0200, Gonzalo Nemmi wrote:

> On Tuesday 27 October 2009 4:32:45 pm Erik Norgaard wrote:
> > Jonathan McKeown wrote:
> > > Just as a matter of interest, if you want to rip sendmail out of
> > > the base system, which MTA would you like to replace it with? Or
> > > are you suggesting the system ship with no way to handle mail?
> >
> > This thread moving of topic from OP, but it is always fair to debate
> > what should be considered a base system. Is an MTA a requirement or a
> > remnant from history?
> Dear Erik:
> Contrary to your belief the thread isn't moving of topic from OP, it's 
> just taking the same default route it has been taking for ages:
> 1) telling the OP the OS needs an MTA
> 2) telling the OP he can replace the default MTA
> 3) telling the OP he can remove given MTA from base
> 4) telling the OP about "historical reason"
> 5) Not telling the OP why has FreeBSD has left so many historical reason 
> behind to persuit new goals but retained Sendmail as the default 
> MTA "for historical reasons".
> Sorry .. but that's the way it goes every time someone asks the same 
> question.

I will add one more that covers it best.
Sendmail works just fine and there is no ACTUAL CURRENT reason to
get rid of it.    Years ago it had some weaknesses which have been

So, that leaves personal preference as the only real reason
for wanting to replace it.   
In that case, if your personal preference is to replace it, go ahead.
There are several candidates and an earlier post described well how
to do it.

As for putting it in ports and taking it out of base, well, some
message system is often needed before ports are installed.  Sendmail
fills the bill.    Some other could also, but since Sendmail works
just fine and is already there, then it is.


> > And if an MTA is a requirement then asking which one is the best
> > choice is also a fair question. An equally fair answer could be
> > whichever change requires the least work.
> Indeed
> > No different than asking, why is NIS still in the base? Why no ldap?
> > why BIND, but no http? Why NFS? etc...
> Let me save you the trouble; the answer to mot of that questions will 
> be: historical reasons and that other solutions can "can only dream of 
> enjoying a fraction of the respect that BIND and Sendmail command in 
> the industry" 
> Believe it or not ...
> > I think the only void answer is because of tradition, that just seems
> > to show that noone really remembers why some choice was made.
> >
> > BR, Erik
> Best Regards
> Gonzalo Nemmi
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