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FS#12662 - [dcron] Missing MTA dependancy in dcron

Attached to Project: Arch Linux
Opened by Henk van de Kamer (hvdkamer) - Sunday, 04 January 2009, 11:55 GMT
Last edited by Paul Mattal (paul) - Monday, 25 January 2010, 13:37 GMT
Task Type Bug Report
Category Packages: Core
Status Closed
Assigned To Tobias Powalowski (tpowa)
Jan de Groot (JGC)
Aaron Griffin (phrakture)
Thomas B├Ąchler (brain0)
Architecture All
Severity Medium
Priority Normal
Reported Version None
Due in Version Undecided
Due Date Undecided
Percent Complete 100%
Votes 0
Private No


I found the follewing in /var/log/crond due to  bug 12661 :

02-Jan-2009 00:02 unable to exec /usr/sbin/sendmail -t, user -oem, output to sink null02-Jan-2009 01:01 FILE /var/spool/cron/root USER root pid 3439 cmd /usr/sbin/run-cron /etc/cron.hourly

IMHO dcron needs an MTA and for most computers it is enough to have a smtp-fowarder like the ssmtp package. I suggest that the dcron package gets a dependancy in such a way that ssmtp, exim, postfix or whatever MTA is at least installed. I also suggest that ssmtp becomes the default and therefor moves to the base install.

Additional info:
[root@ve180 ~]# pacman -Qi dcron
Name : dcron
Version : 3.2-3

Steps to reproduce:
Create a cron job which has output.
This task depends upon
 FS#16085 - [dcron] Replace with bcron 

Closed by  Paul Mattal (paul)
Monday, 25 January 2010, 13:37 GMT
Reason for closing:  Fixed
Additional comments about closing:  added optdepend in dcron 4.4-1
Comment by Glenn Matthys (RedShift) - Sunday, 04 January 2009, 12:01 GMT
I disagree, a basic install has no need for an MTA.
Comment by Henk van de Kamer (hvdkamer) - Tuesday, 06 January 2009, 08:05 GMT
As you can see the default settings of dcron assumes that there is an MTA present to send out its warnings. You may not like that, but then you must give another way to solve this bug :-). For example create a sendmail script that captures the output and puts it in a well know place. And give users a warning how to correct this non standard Unix way and install an MTA. Either way the current package and its settings are not enough to handle the day to day use as shown in the above error.
Comment by Gavin Bisesi (Daenyth) - Saturday, 21 March 2009, 14:37 GMT
I'd include it as an optdepend.
Comment by Henk van de Kamer (hvdkamer) - Thursday, 23 April 2009, 15:20 GMT
Sorry, an optdepend is IMHO something which is nice to have but not essential for the correct working of the package. In this case dcron expects a MTA so it is a depend. The most simple MTA -- just getting the mail to a real MTA -- is available in the ssmtp package. That one contains the needed sendmail binary.
Comment by Aaron Griffin (phrakture) - Tuesday, 22 September 2009, 18:41 GMT
Wow old bug. Just the facts:

Wikipedia says "Cron is a time-based job scheduler in Unix-like computer operating systems. 'cron' is short for 'chronograph'". This is correct. Without an MTA installed, dcron does this exactly as it should. As such, that makes the MTA _additional functionality_ and is not required to operate properly.

However, we will most likely be replacing dcron soon.
Comment by Paul Mattal (paul) - Sunday, 06 December 2009, 19:58 GMT
This at least nominally depends on whether or not we switch to bron, which should hopefully be decided soon.
Comment by Paul Mattal (paul) - Monday, 04 January 2010, 03:15 GMT
It sounds like an optdepend is the right choice here.

Even though we may well switch to bcron, I'll give tpowa (as maintainer) until 1/10 to object and then add the MTA optdepend to dcron.