Finding sendmail during configure

Forrest J. Cavalier III mibsoft at
Thu Sep 4 18:53:58 UTC 2003

Russ wrote:

> they had installed, but we looked for sendmail on the path of the user
> doing the compile. 

INN 2.3.0 and previous behavior did exactly what the comments from
INN 2.3.0 said:

dnl The sendmail code takes this philosophy:  We assume that there are some
dnl sites which don't have sendmail in the path for a reason, whatever that
dnl may be.  And we also assume that there are some of those sites which
dnl don't want us to automatically pick one from a likely place.  So we
dnl detect it, then search for it, but then notify the human.

So, if sendmail is at /usr/lib it would have printed a message
such as:

  sendmail was found at /usr/lib/sendmail.  If this is correct, re-run
  with --with-sendmail=/usr/lib/sendmail.

I think that INN 2.3.0 behavior satisfies (at least in spirit) what Bill Sellers
wanted when he wrote:

> Unless the are unresolved dependencies, it should work.  On a Solaris 8
> system, sendmail is installed by default via Solaris in /usr/lib, and
> configure should pick up on it.  If someone else needs to override this,
> thenthey should use --with-sendmail.  I think this will all boil down to a
> preference or philosophy.

Eric Klavon wrote:

> People who know enough to be concerned about sendmail in the first
> place will read INSTALL, see the caveat, and do the right thing
> depending on their local config.

I think you miss the point entirely.  

The goal of configure is to install software properly with as few
surprises as possible. It is NOT a goal to do it in as few commands
as possible, with the least amount of messages presented to the user
(although autoconf is waaay too noisy.)

The "people who know enough to be concerned" are a fraction of those
who install INN.  Is it a service to the rest (the majority) to
silently pick a sendmail which is not trusted to be in the installer's
path?  Consider that there are plenty of sites which have a junior
admin using a root account set up by policy or a senior admin who
carefully picked what was in the path.

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