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Re: Changing the default for `send-mail-function'

From: chad
Subject: Re: Changing the default for `send-mail-function'
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2011 16:38:06 -0700

On Jul 7, 2011, at 9:31 AM, Richard Stallman wrote:

>    You laugh, but I saw this pretty frequently when I last looked;
>    root's mbox was filled with errors, bounces, and bug reports.
> I think we need to understand more about how that failure occurred.
> How did those messages get into root's inbox?
> Was there no MTA installed?
> Was an MTA installed and not configured?
> Was an MTA installed and configured wrong?
> If so, which MTA was it?

I've seen it with sendmail, postfix, and exim, but that was
several years ago.  I cannot provide more recent data on such
large installations, unfortunately.

For modern, individual installations, I can tell you that for
GNU/Linux systems like Ubuntu, there typically won't be an MTA
installed. If there is an MTA installed, I suspect that it won't
be configured usefully - I'm not sure that there's a clear line
between `not configured' and `configured wrong' in many of these
cases.  Distributed systems often either don't want local
delivery at all or want it for a tiny subset of cases, that might
include local services just usually do not include interactive
users.  I'm not sure if you'd consider this `configured wrong' or
not, but it does include the case where address@hidden would
work, but non-root-user would not.

It is entirely possible that I've become too pessimistic on this
front; all I can really usefully say at this point is this: My
Personal experience running from about 20 years ago to about 10 years
ago revealed a steadily increasing trend of local delivery problems,
errors, and gotchas.  The email environment since then has moved even
further along the trajectory that seemed to have caused these
problems, so I'm dubious (but not expert) about their chances of
having improved since then.

I hope that helps,

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