Reasons behind defaulting atd and sendmail

Chris Tyler chris at
Fri Sep 5 13:04:13 UTC 2008

On Fri, 2008-09-05 at 01:21 -0500, Michael Cronenworth wrote:
> Are there any legitimate reasons why the "atd" and "sendmail" services 
> are enabled by default? A "default" install is for a desktop and they 
> are quite useless in that regard.

I've never heard "default" defined as desktop before. Why do you equate
the two? (To me, the default is a solid base that needs a (small) bit of
package selection to make an optimal server or desktop -- but I also
think that the PC paradigm has us thinking too hard in terms of 'server'
and 'client' and that there are lots of use cases that are

> Sendmail only stores the logwatch output, which actually accumulates 
> after a period of time because no normal desktop user reads the mail. It 
> could possibly fill up a hard drive on a small drive, such as a eeePC 
> 4gb system. I realize we all have terrabyte hard drives now and logwatch 
> is only kilobytes in size, but it's still garbage. Don't get me wrong, I 
> use logwatch mail on Fedora server installs, but for a desktop user... 
> who never reads it...

I like being able to assume basic outbound MTA functionality is present,
so imho having sendmail there by default is a Good Thing. (But yeah, no
one reads root's mail. Maybe firstboot should give the option -- enabled
by default -- to redirect root's mail to the first user created (or
another address of the user's choice) via /etc/aliases).

> As for 'at' well... do *normal* Fedora users have any benefit from this 
> starting up? I realize there is a gnome-schedule utility, but it is not 
> installed by default.

I didn't realize we're not running a combined crond/atd until your
message prompted me to check! I wonder why...


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