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

Jonathan McKeown j.mckeown at ru.ac.za
Fri Oct 30 08:18:28 UTC 2009

On Thursday 29 October 2009 21:58:54 Lars Eighner wrote:
> On Thu, 29 Oct 2009, Ruben de Groot wrote:
> > sendmail is NOT a legacy application. It's actively being developed
> > ON FreeBSD. Actually, the maintainer(s) are doing a great job
> Bullshit.
> Why does sendmail call up the internet during boot?  If it needs to know
> who it is, why can't it look in hosts?  Since it cannot be trusted to send
> mail, what does it need to know from the internet?  It has been horribly
> broken for the 15 years or so that I have run FBSD, and this m4 stuff is a
> pile of crap.  There is no documentation whatsoever.  Unless you buy a book
> from O'Reilly and line the pockets of the "maintainer(s)."  Why can't it be
> a option to configure the system without it?  Not any money in that, is
> there?

This is exactly the sort of ill-informed religious rant that always comes up 
when sendmail is discussed, and makes me wonder why some people are so 
vehemently anti-sendmail that they feel the need to say things which are only 
marginally true if that.

My laptop boots quite happily without an Internet connection, so it's simply 
not true to say that sendmail always calls the Internet during boot.

Have a look at /usr/share/sendmail/cf/README, and 
at /usr/src/contrib/sendmail/doc/op (where you can make the sendmail 
operations guide in a variety of formats including pdf) and you'll realise 
that your claim that there's no documentation is also flat-out false. I've 
got the Bat book (in fact I've got *looks at bookshelf* the 2nd and 3rd 
editions). I almost never look at them any more because I can find what I 
need in the documentation provided with sendmail.

No-one is asking you to use sendmail, or even to like it, but please don't lie 
about it; and if you don't want sendmail in the base system, do as several 
people have suggested, pull your finger out and do the work to fix it.

(Just in case, I should probably point out explicitly that, as usual, I don't 
speak for my employer: this is an entirely personal opinion).

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