Reasons behind defaulting atd and sendmail

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at
Fri Sep 5 15:04:31 UTC 2008

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.

The fact that you don't use a service the way it was intended doesn't 
make it useless.

> Sendmail only stores the logwatch output, which actually accumulates 
> after a period of time because no normal desktop user reads the mail.

Pretty much every program with a unix heritage assumes that sendmail is 
available to deliver occasional status and warning messages.

 > It
> could possibly fill up a hard drive on a small drive, such as a eeePC 
> 4gb system. 

The point of using mail for these notifications is that it can easily be 
configured to deliver it where you want, instead of accumulating where 
no one looks at it.

> 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...

Turn it off if you aren't going to read it - but a better approach is to 
configure sendmail to deliver it to a gmail account or a place where you 
will read it without having to go out of your way and where the space it 
consumes until you read it won't be a problem.  I suppose it would be 
nicer if fedora had a 'fill-in-the-form' setup to configure sendmail to 
use a remote relay that needs smtp auth and to forward everything since 
those are common needs these days.

> 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 don't know what you think 'normal' users do, but most of the point of 
having a computer is that it can do things for you automatically.

   Les Mikesell
     lesmikesell at

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