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Re: Too many Recommends (in particular on mail-transport-agent)




On 30 May 2017 at 07:57, Ansgar Burchardt <ansgar@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> my impression is that too many packages use Recommends that should
> really be Suggests.  As a random example: installing dracut as a
> initramfs provider will pull in exim4... (dracut-core Recommends: mdadm
> which Recommends: default-mta | mail-transport-agent).  This seems
> really not ideal.
>
> As a result many people seem to disable installing recommended packages
> by default.  I believe we should be much more agressive in downgrading
> dependencies to Suggests.
>
> For example, very few packages should Depend/Recommend a MTA: if you
> just send notifications (like mdadm), you would need a properly
> configured MTA anyway or they just end up in a file nobody will ever
> look at (I don't see local mail to root as very useful).
>
> I suggest that only very few packages should Recommend a MTA: packages
> that mainly deal with mail on servers in some way or another (for
> user-facing applications, speaking SMTP to a remote SMTP server is
> common enough that these shouldn't Recommend a MTA usually either).

Maybe exim should easily provide or default to authenticated smarthost
(satellite) configuration and /etc/aliases should be configured to
forward system mail somewhere else (eg: the sysadmin's work email, in
case of SMART or md errors)?

Alternatively, if a real MTA is too heavy, why not install msmtp-mta
by default?  It (including msmtp) is only ~336K, and it's easy to set
up for authenticated SMTP.  Exim4-daemon-light is ~1292KB.  Maybe
these aren't easy enough to configure?  Does the following need to be
revisited?: https://wiki.debian.org/Debate/DefaultMTA

Are there people who wouldn't appreciate an email from smartd or md
warning them a hard drive is about to fail or that there is something
wrong with their array?  For desktops, it's way too easy to miss a
notification popup, assuming a notification system is installed...and
not all desktops have integrated smart monitoring, and not all users
install gsmartcontrol.  All users should receive notification of
hardware failure, no?  As I see it the issue is if an admin receives
uncountable apt-listchanges emails for something like when a great
many containers are upgraded, and it should be possible to skip
configuration (and disable) any provider of mail-transport-agent for
VMs and containers.

Cheers,
Nicholas