[sf-lug] how to read root's email?

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Dec 29 13:23:15 PST 2008

Quoting Alison Chaiken (alchaiken at gmail.com):

> I've gone completely over to web-based mail and, having just upgraded
> to Fedora 10, would prefer not to run sendmail on my local systems.
>   Nonetheless I still need to read root's email somehow.

Just as a point of information, Fedora tends to have:

# ls -l /usr/sbin/sendmail
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 21 Dec 20 00:25 /usr/sbin/sendmail -> /etc/alternatives/mta

/etc/alternatives/mta is then a symlink that points to an actual mail
transfer agent of some sort.  It doesn't have to literally be sendmail:
It can also be Postfix, and I suppose could potentially be Exim or any
of a variety of other things.

# alternatives --config mta

...will show you the installed packages available to fill the "mta"

I don't know if any of the "nullmailers" (small, limited purpose MTAs)
such as ssmtpd are packaged for Fedora 10, but you might consider using
one of those.  http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Mail/nullmailers.html

But then, you didn't actually say what your particular issue with
sendmail is, or what you're trying to achieve / what you're trying to
avoid.  So, I'm unsure what specific problem you're trying to solve.

Please note that _even_ full-blown MTAs such as sendmail are often
installed to operate in a non-daemon mode, e.g., just get called as
needed to run as a local delivery agent to process the mail to mbox
 /var/spool/mail/[some_local_user] , such that there's no mail daemon
hanging around in RAM all the time, and never anything listening on the
outside interfaces' port 25.

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