8.04 MTA?

Mario Vukelic mario.vukelic at dantian.org
Sun Jul 27 20:39:09 UTC 2008

On Sun, 2008-07-27 at 13:24 -0700, Robert Holtzman wrote:
> I see that sendmail is not the default MTA. I can't find what is.

http://www.google.com/search?q=ubuntu+default+mta ? :)
> Searching the system shows no postfix, exim4 or anything else that I can 
> find.

"aptitude search postfix exim sendmail" gives me a looong list of
packages. Note that there are also smail, ssmtp and other similarly
simple MTAs for special cases, e.g., if you only want local mail for
system messages.

>  Running a search on "ubuntu 8.04 MTA" came up with an entry for 
> their server guide I found amusing. It states that postfix is the default 
> MTA then goes on to give instructions on installing and configuring 
> postfix. If it's the default, why are they telling you how to install it? 
> Anyone have an explanation?

A desktop system rarely needs an MTA, and Ubuntu's default setup does
not require one. Installing an MTA for users who don't need one and who
don't know what an MTA is has no benefit in the best case and is an
added security liability in the worst case.

Maybe space on the installer CD is an even greater concern: Ubuntu's
1-CD install means space is tight, and everybody who needs an MTA or
should use one can install it afterwards, so the space on the CD is used
for more important stuff.

postfix is still the default MTA because when you don't have one
installed and install a package that depends on having an MTA, Ubuntu
installs postfix as the dependency. It is also the default because the
offical docs assume or describe postfix, as you have noticed. Further, I
expect that the server team focuses its testing on postfix.

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