<mail> command missing?

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<mail> command missing?

David-99
I've just done my second fresh install of Breezy (both for friends).
Apparently the "mail" unix command is missing! These seems really odd.
Have I missed something obvious?

It's not available from apt and I thought it was a basic shell command.

It's still there on two other machines that I upgraded from Hoary.
/usr/bin/mail

David.

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Re: <mail> command missing?

Mike Bird-6
On Tue, 2005-12-13 at 03:03, David wrote:
> I've just done my second fresh install of Breezy (both for friends).
> Apparently the "mail" unix command is missing! These seems really odd.
> Have I missed something obvious?
>
> It's not available from apt and I thought it was a basic shell command.
>
> It's still there on two other machines that I upgraded from Hoary.
> /usr/bin/mail

You'll need to install the mailx package.  It was required by
ubuntu-base in Hoary but dropped for Breezy.  I have no idea why.

--Mike Bird


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RE: <mail> command missing?

Will H. Backman
In reply to this post by David-99
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [hidden email] [mailto:ubuntu-users-
> [hidden email]] On Behalf Of David
> Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 6:04 AM
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: <mail> command missing?
>
> I've just done my second fresh install of Breezy (both for friends).
> Apparently the "mail" unix command is missing! These seems really odd.
> Have I missed something obvious?
>
> It's not available from apt and I thought it was a basic shell
command.

>
> It's still there on two other machines that I upgraded from Hoary.
> /usr/bin/mail
>
> David.
>
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No MTA (such as postfix) is installed by default, so a lot of the basic
CLI mail apps are missing.  This is unfortunate, as Gnome's Bugbuddy
still tries to send a bug report through the local MTA and fails.

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Re: <mail> command missing?

Peter Garrett
In reply to this post by Mike Bird-6
On Tue, 13 Dec 2005 03:23:39 -0800
Mike Bird <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, 2005-12-13 at 03:03, David wrote:
> > I've just done my second fresh install of Breezy (both for friends).
> > Apparently the "mail" unix command is missing! These seems really odd.
> > Have I missed something obvious?
> >
> > It's not available from apt and I thought it was a basic shell command.
> >
> > It's still there on two other machines that I upgraded from Hoary.
> > /usr/bin/mail
>
> You'll need to install the mailx package.  It was required by
> ubuntu-base in Hoary but dropped for Breezy.  I have no idea why.
>
> --Mike Bird

I noticed this too. I assume it's part of the "no servers by default"
policy - if anyone knows whether that's right, please enlighten us.

Looking at the requirements of mailx we see that that it needs a MTA
installed ( e.g. postfix) Since I like to get emails from root telling me
what , for example, cron daily might have found amiss, i went ahead and
installed it, including postfix.

$ apt-cache depends mailx
mailx
  Depends: libc6
  Depends: liblockfile1
 |Depends: postfix
  Depends: <mail-transport-agent>
    courier-mta
    esmtp-run
    exim
    exim4-daemon-light
    masqmail
    nullmailer
    sendmail-bin
    smail
    ssmtp
    xmail
    zmailer
    exim4-daemon-heavy
    hula-manager
    postfix
  Depends: base-files
  Conflicts: <suidmanager>

I found this decision by Ubuntu a bit annoying, but I guess it's something
only geeks and sysadmins etc need or know about ;-)

Peter



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Re: <mail> command missing?

Derek Broughton-2
Peter Garrett wrote:

> On Tue, 13 Dec 2005 03:23:39 -0800
> Mike Bird <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> On Tue, 2005-12-13 at 03:03, David wrote:
>> > I've just done my second fresh install of Breezy (both for friends).
>> > Apparently the "mail" unix command is missing! These seems really odd.
>> > Have I missed something obvious?
>> >
>> > It's not available from apt and I thought it was a basic shell command.
>> >
>> > It's still there on two other machines that I upgraded from Hoary.
>> > /usr/bin/mail
>>
>> You'll need to install the mailx package.  It was required by
>> ubuntu-base in Hoary but dropped for Breezy.  I have no idea why.
>
> I noticed this too. I assume it's part of the "no servers by default"
> policy - if anyone knows whether that's right, please enlighten us.

Well, I'd have to claim a small part in that decision, then.  I have, since
Warty, campaigned - and filed bugs - against the requirement for postfix in
(*)ubuntu-desktop.  I do, though, think it should require
<mail-transport-agent>.  I prefer to use masqmail for a desktop system that
won't ever need a full MTA.
>
> I found this decision by Ubuntu a bit annoying, but I guess it's something
> only geeks and sysadmins etc need or know about ;-)

It makes me happier :-)
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Re: <mail> command missing?

Mike Bird-6
In reply to this post by Peter Garrett
On Tue, 2005-12-13 at 23:37, Peter Garrett wrote:
> I noticed this too. I assume it's part of the "no servers by default"
> policy - if anyone knows whether that's right, please enlighten us.

Hopefully they'll stop dumbing down Ubuntu before they remove the X
server too.

Working local email is *essential* for fault-finding on desktop and
server systems unless you're going to rework how cron jobs work.

Wait!  Forget that last part.  We already have sudo and no mail.  Let's
not get any sillier.

Anyone from Kubuntu got your ears on?  Any hope of making Kubuntu a
saner alternative to Ubuntu?

--Mike Bird


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Re: <mail> command missing?

Peter Garrett
On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 10:01:07 -0800
Mike Bird <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Tue, 2005-12-13 at 23:37, Peter Garrett wrote:
> > I noticed this too. I assume it's part of the "no servers by default"
> > policy - if anyone knows whether that's right, please enlighten us.
>
> Hopefully they'll stop dumbing down Ubuntu before they remove the X
> server too.
>
> Working local email is *essential* for fault-finding on desktop and
> server systems unless you're going to rework how cron jobs work.
>
> Wait!  Forget that last part.  We already have sudo and no mail.  Let's
> not get any sillier.
>
> Anyone from Kubuntu got your ears on?  Any hope of making Kubuntu a
> saner alternative to Ubuntu?
>
> --Mike Bird

Well, i wouldn't get *too* upset about this: after all, if you know you
want local mail and why, the solution is one command away.

I was vaguely puzzled and annoyed, but after installing what I needed, I
pretty much forgot about it until it was raised in this thread.

I assume the "server" version that just came out respects the needs of
those who use cron and friends, and who want to receive mail from root to
keep themselves informed. For the desktop, installing mailx pulls in
postfix - or I guess you can choose your mta and install that instead?

As for sudo .... *cough* ... we won't go _there_  AGAIN, will we?
( Please ? )

But we could argue about this forever no doubt ;-)

Peter
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Re: <mail> command missing?

Mike Bird-6
On Wed, 2005-12-14 at 10:26, Peter Garrett wrote:
> I assume the "server" version that just came out respects the needs of
> those who use cron and friends, and who want to receive mail from root to
> keep themselves informed. For the desktop, installing mailx pulls in
> postfix - or I guess you can choose your mta and install that instead?

Bzzt, sorry:

1) mailx is just as important on desktops:
  BIG BOSS: Cronjob WTF?
  SYSADMIN: I'll install mailx on your laptop when you get back from
            Tokyo.  If it still happens after that we can figure out
            what's been breaking.  Meantime, I'll start updating my
            resume shall I?
 
2) mailx is not even installed in server versions:
  http://people.ubuntu.com/~cjwatson/seeds/ubuntu-server-breezy/
  http://wiki.edubuntu.org/SeedManagement

We of course have procedures to deal with this stuff.  The problem
is the new convert who loses an email or a client or a job because
of the perfectly reasonable expectation that a Linux distro's
default configuration is not going to silently discard important
emails.

--Mike Bird


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Re: <mail> command missing?

Peter Garrett
On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 11:20:20 -0800
Mike Bird <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, 2005-12-14 at 10:26, Peter Garrett wrote:
> > I assume the "server" version that just came out respects the needs of
> > those who use cron and friends, and who want to receive mail from root to
> > keep themselves informed. For the desktop, installing mailx pulls in
> > postfix - or I guess you can choose your mta and install that instead?
>
> Bzzt, sorry:
>
> 1) mailx is just as important on desktops:
>   BIG BOSS: Cronjob WTF?
>   SYSADMIN: I'll install mailx on your laptop when you get back from
>             Tokyo.  If it still happens after that we can figure out
>             what's been breaking.  Meantime, I'll start updating my
>             resume shall I?

OK, OK :) - point taken!

>  
> 2) mailx is not even installed in server versions:

Now that *is* scary....

>   http://people.ubuntu.com/~cjwatson/seeds/ubuntu-server-breezy/
>   http://wiki.edubuntu.org/SeedManagement
>
> We of course have procedures to deal with this stuff.  The problem
> is the new convert who loses an email or a client or a job because
> of the perfectly reasonable expectation that a Linux distro's
> default configuration is not going to silently discard important
> emails.

Right - you have a point , indeed.  I respecfully submit. < grovelling
sounds in the background>

Peter



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Re: <mail> command missing?

Derek Broughton-2
In reply to this post by Mike Bird-6
Mike Bird wrote:

> On Wed, 2005-12-14 at 10:26, Peter Garrett wrote:
>> I assume the "server" version that just came out respects the needs of
>> those who use cron and friends, and who want to receive mail from root to
>> keep themselves informed. For the desktop, installing mailx pulls in
>> postfix - or I guess you can choose your mta and install that instead?
>
> Bzzt, sorry:

There's no need to be insulting.
>
> 1) mailx is just as important on desktops:

Yes, it is.  I pushed for not forcing Postfix onto the system, but that's
because it's overkill for what Ubuntu promises.  
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Re: <mail> command missing?

Mike Bird-6
On Thu, 2005-12-15 at 06:29, Derek Broughton wrote:
> I pushed for not forcing Postfix onto the system, but that's
> because it's overkill for what Ubuntu promises.  

I know Gnome's policy is to dumb down the system to the lowest
common denominator -
http://lists.osdl.org/pipermail/desktop_architects/2005-December/000486.html
http://lwn.net/Articles/163792/
- but could not Kubuntu install Postfix and Mailx?

The Postfix debconf help could maybe use some clarification
but I think most KDE users are capable of clicking on "Local
Delivery Only" if that's what they actually want.

--Mike


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Re: <mail> command missing?

David-99
In reply to this post by Mike Bird-6
On Tue, Dec 13, 2005 at 03:23:39AM -0800, Mike Bird wrote:

> On Tue, 2005-12-13 at 03:03, David wrote:
> > I've just done my second fresh install of Breezy (both for friends).
> > Apparently the "mail" unix command is missing! These seems really odd.
> > Have I missed something obvious?
> >
> > It's not available from apt and I thought it was a basic shell command.
> >
> > It's still there on two other machines that I upgraded from Hoary.
> > /usr/bin/mail
>
> You'll need to install the mailx package.  It was required by
> ubuntu-base in Hoary but dropped for Breezy.  I have no idea why.
>


This sounds like a bug to me, or at least some inappropriate dumbing down.
Does this mean that with each new release of Ubuntu we need to check what
has been considered inappropriate for the "average" user?

What disappears next? Terminal? rm? Everyone knows how dangerous rm is ;-)

I'm really happy with Ubuntu, but that doesn't mean that everything the
gods of ubuntu do is correct, and  this one doesn't look good to me.

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Re: <mail> command missing?

Derek Broughton-2
In reply to this post by Mike Bird-6
Mike Bird wrote:

> On Thu, 2005-12-15 at 06:29, Derek Broughton wrote:
>> I pushed for not forcing Postfix onto the system, but that's
>> because it's overkill for what Ubuntu promises.
>
> I know Gnome's policy is to dumb down the system to the lowest
> common denominator -
>
http://lists.osdl.org/pipermail/desktop_architects/2005-December/000486.html
> http://lwn.net/Articles/163792/
> - but could not Kubuntu install Postfix and Mailx?
>
> The Postfix debconf help could maybe use some clarification
> but I think most KDE users are capable of clicking on "Local
> Delivery Only" if that's what they actually want.

But Postfix is huge overkill.  If (*)ubuntu-desktop required
<mail-transport-agent> (the minimum mailx would seem to need is esmtp) and
recommended postfix, I'd be happy enough.  Removing mailx is not "dumbing
down", it's crippling.  
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Re: <mail> command missing?

Dick Davies-2
On 16/12/05, Derek Broughton <[hidden email]> wrote:

> But Postfix is huge overkill.

You'll need a sendmail binary at least, so why not postfix?

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Re: <mail> command missing?

Derek Broughton-2
Dick Davies wrote:

> On 16/12/05, Derek Broughton <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> But Postfix is huge overkill.
>
> You'll need a sendmail binary at least, so why not postfix?

Because it's far more than is needed.  I use masqmail which meets all my
needs.  Postfix is easier to configure than Exim (I've used both) but still
too difficult for the average desktop user. Masqmail is dead simple.  The
average user is going to send external mail via their ISP's SMTP server, so
they don't need remote mailing capability, in which case they can use esmtp
for local mail.
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Re: <mail> command missing?

Mike Bird-6
In reply to this post by Derek Broughton-2
On Fri, 2005-12-16 at 07:42, Derek Broughton wrote:
> But Postfix is huge overkill.  If (*)ubuntu-desktop required
> <mail-transport-agent> (the minimum mailx would seem to need is esmtp) and
> recommended postfix, I'd be happy enough.  Removing mailx is not "dumbing
> down", it's crippling.  

I've never used ESMTP so I'll quote from the package description -

>ESMTP does not receive mail, expand aliases or manage a queue
>but can deliver mail locally via an MDA.

- from which it would appear that:

1) For offline systems ESMTP is inadequate without an MDA.  Postfix
   can "do it all".
2) Most users are going to want all the system accounts forwarded
   to "[hidden email]".  Without aliases, it does not appear that
   ESMTP can accomplish this.
3) For dialup users who may be offline much or most of the time,
   ESMTP's lack of a queue would result in many lost messages.

Postfix is a reliable solution.  While not internally simple, it
is simple to install and very reliable.

Let us not start breaking new installations by targetting Ubuntu
at a mythical lowest common denominator.  Alternatively, if
Ubuntu chooses to follow Gnome down that path, let us please
have Kubuntu stick to the KDE high ground of functionality and
choice.

--Mike Bird


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Re: <mail> command missing?

Mike Bird-6
In reply to this post by Derek Broughton-2
On Fri, 2005-12-16 at 09:35, Derek Broughton wrote:
> Postfix is easier to configure than Exim (I've used both) but still
> too difficult for the average desktop user.

Have you tried installing postfix in Ubuntu?

Postfix can be tricky to configure for configurations that esmtp
and masqmail can't handle, but for simple cases such as "Local
Delivery Only" or "Satellite System" its just point and click.
The debconf help could maybe use a little improvement to further
explain the easy cases but that's no reason to break Ubuntu by
dumping Postfix.

--Mike Bird


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Re: <mail> command missing?

David-99
In reply to this post by Derek Broughton-2
On Fri, Dec 16, 2005 at 11:42:01AM -0400, Derek Broughton wrote:
> Mike Bird wrote:
>
> > On Thu, 2005-12-15 at 06:29, Derek Broughton wrote:
> >> I pushed for not forcing Postfix onto the system, but that's
> >> because it's overkill for what Ubuntu promises.
> >
> > I know Gnome's policy is to dumb down the system to the lowest
> > common denominator -
snip>
> But Postfix is huge overkill.  If (*)ubuntu-desktop required
> <mail-transport-agent> (the minimum mailx would seem to need is esmtp) and
> recommended postfix, I'd be happy enough.  Removing mailx is not "dumbing
> down", it's crippling.  

I can't see why postfix is a problem. If you don't need it, it sits there
doing not very much. If you do need it, it's essential.

I could just as easily say that I don't need gaim because it's not a
function *I* use, or OO for that matter.

David.

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Re: <mail> command missing?

Derek Broughton-2
In reply to this post by Mike Bird-6
Mike Bird wrote:

> On Fri, 2005-12-16 at 07:42, Derek Broughton wrote:
>> But Postfix is huge overkill.  If (*)ubuntu-desktop required
>> <mail-transport-agent> (the minimum mailx would seem to need is esmtp)
>> and
>> recommended postfix, I'd be happy enough.  Removing mailx is not "dumbing
>> down", it's crippling.
>
> I've never used ESMTP so I'll quote from the package description -

I haven't either. It's irrelevant, I was just pointing out that _I think_
it's the least you would need to install to make mailx work.  The point is
you definitely _don't_ need Postfix. fwiw, I think esmtp-run is the MDA
component, but I could be wrong.

> Postfix can "do it all".

We don't _need_ "it all", and I for one don't want it.  I don't want
Postfix, I don't need Postfix, and I'm pleased that it's no longer required
for Ubuntu.  I just think they went too far.  If - as I already suggested -
the *ubuntu-desktop packages required <mail-transport-agent> then you could
have postfix, I could have masqmail, and anybody else could use any MTA
they wanted.

> Postfix is a reliable solution.  While not internally simple, it
> is simple to install and very reliable.
>
> Let us not start breaking new installations by targetting Ubuntu
> at a mythical lowest common denominator.  

You don't break new installations if you require _an_ MTA.  If the depends
is "<mail-transport-agent> | postfix" you'll get postfix if you don't
already have an MTA that provides mail-transport-agent.  It's not rocket
science.

I don't understand this talk of "dumbing down" or "lower common denominator"
- that's not what happens when you remove mailx.  afaict, this is just a
mistake, not an attempt to dumb it down.
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Re: <mail> command missing?

Derek Broughton-2
In reply to this post by Mike Bird-6
Mike Bird wrote:

> On Fri, 2005-12-16 at 09:35, Derek Broughton wrote:
>> Postfix is easier to configure than Exim (I've used both) but still
>> too difficult for the average desktop user.
>
> Have you tried installing postfix in Ubuntu?

Not since Warty - but that's why I switched to masqmail.  It wasn't worth
the trouble.
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