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

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Wed Oct 28 17:31:56 UTC 2009

On Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 02:14:17AM +0000, Frank Shute wrote:
> I'll speculate as to the reasons:
> NetBSD: probably wanted something smaller footprint-wise.
> OpenBSD: wanted something more secure.

Those both sound like great reasons.

> Dragonfly: started afresh, so could replace it without many headaches.

Considering what DragonFly's new MTA does (and doesn't do), I'm pretty
sure "smaller footprint" was among the reasons for it to use something
other than Sendmail, too.

> Saying that, it would be neat if it was taken out of base and replaced
> with something minimal that could cope with the demands of cron and
> not much else. Then the user is expected to install a MTA of their
> choice out of ports.
> That would mean less code in base and fewer security advisories.

OpenSMTPD looks promising.  If it turns out to be as nice as it seems it
will, I wouldn't be opposed to making it part of base instead of
Sendmail, but of course it's entirely possible that I've overlooked some
potential problems.  The licensing is right, too (unlike, perhaps, that
of Postfix).

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
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