F20 - Unintended consequences of no default MTA - How best to fix

Lars E. Pettersson lars at homer.se
Tue Dec 31 18:58:27 UTC 2013

On 12/31/2013 07:28 PM, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> I don't buy into this argument at all.  For one, there are graphical log
> utilities that a regular user would be a lot more comfortable and then
> root mail is mostly useless for a regular user.   If you think a regular
> user is spending time reading mails from root or reading
> /var/log/messages, you got a definition of "normal user" that doesn't
> look anything close to realistic.   Anyone who is interested enough in
> reading root mails in a Fedora box should be more than capable of
> installing an MTA.

What graphical log utilities are you thinking about?

Yes, regular users do spend time reading mail from root (after they have 
found out how /etc/aliases work), and they do look at /var/log/messages. 
Of course there are users that never have done either, but I would bet a 
majority has (this based on people I know and have met since I started 
with Linux mid 1990).

We should have sane defaults in the system. And providing a facility to 
move mail locally is a good one. Why let the mails sent to root get 
totally lost? As is the case in f20? Would it not be better to use an 
MTA to move this to the main users mail spool (using /etc/aliases setup 
at installation of the system)?

Why should we guard the user from seeing mail from the system? Or 
provide a simple way for them to find out what is happening with the system?

How do you propose that we should make it simple for an ordinary user to 
get information from and about the system?

Lars E. Pettersson <lars at homer.se>

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