Finding sendmail during configure

Russ Allbery rra at
Thu Sep 4 20:00:10 UTC 2003

Erik Klavon <erik at> writes:

> No, it is certainly a disservice! Sorry I wasn't clear on this point. I
> belive I advocated doing what everyone else does. I just poked around a
> bit and it looks like only one package I have recently compiled from
> source looks in the path for things like sendmail. (There are cases of
> looking for build tools like cc in $PATH if all else fails, which seems
> reasonable.) Is this behavior common or recommended by some authority in
> autoconf?

I did a quick survey of a half-dozen packages, and they all seemed to do
what we're currently doing when trying to find sendmail, namely add
/usr/sbin:/usr/lib to the end of PATH and then search the resulting path.

I think only searching /usr/sbin and /usr/lib would actually be safer and
more reliable (in other words, the exact opposite of what INN's behavior
was in the last release).  I'm really worried about picking up random junk
from the user's path; people in my experience often have all sorts of
nonsense in their path that they don't necessarily mean to expose to
programs they're compiling.

(In my case, this would mean that INN would find /usr/sbin/sendmail
instead of /var/qmail/bin/sendmail, but that's fine; I actually slightly
prefer that.  I had to make sure that /usr/sbin/sendmail existed and
worked anyway, since all of the standard Debian packages expect it.  I
think that's the common case for pretty much all Unix implementations,
except that sometimes it's /usr/lib/sendmail instead.)

Russ Allbery (rra at             <>

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