[xubuntu-users] fresh installation does not report cron errors: no MTA installed

Peter Flynn peter at silmaril.ie
Sun May 4 16:09:29 UTC 2014

On 05/04/2014 03:26 PM, Wybo wrote:
> I just did a fresh install of trusty and deliberately made a failing
> entry in the crontab:
> * * * * * mkdir /qwer/qwer
> In /var/syslog, this results in:
> May  4 16:04:01 dekker CRON[2395]: (root) CMD (mkdir /qwer/qwer)
> May  4 16:04:01 dekker CRON[2394]: (CRON) info (No MTA installed,
> discarding output)

This is because a cron error results in sending mail to the owner, and
there is no Mail Transfer Agent installed.

> When I look in the documentation
> (https://help.ubuntu.com/14.04/installation-guide/amd64/ch08s05.html),
> it says:
>    For this reason the packages exim4 and mutt will be installed by
>    default (provided you did not unselect the “standard” task during
>    the installation). exim4 is a combination MTA/MDA that is relatively
>    small but very flexible. By default it will be configured to only
>    handle e-mail local to the system itself and e-mails addressed to
>    the system administrator (root account) will be delivered to the
>    regular user account created during the installation.
> Still, mutt and exim4 appear not to be installed, although I did not
> exclude or remove any packages. Is this a bug?

If you did not unselect the "standard" task, then it certainly looks
like an error.

WARNING: installing mutt may force it to be the default system MUA,
which means that clicking on a mailto: link in your browser will run
mutt, which may not be the MUA you want if you normally use Thunderbird,
Evolution, or something else. Unsetting this is virtually impossible, as
the config for xda seems to ignore all other settings.


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