Local Intranet Mail

After updating the office desktop to Slackware 15.0, despite several months of testing, one important feature was not fully tested — system spool mails. Even in a humble house network system mails are important to know the health of all computers.

All system emails are forwarded to the office desktop. After applying the final tweaks to go live, moving through the update check list revealed no mails were being forwarded.

Checking mail queues showed all mail being retained at each remote system. Until the office desktop was updated to 15.0 there had been no such issue with the previously updated 15.0 systems.

The cause of the disruption in Slackware 15.0 is adopting postfix. The venerable sendmail was relegated to the /extra set of packages. Unlike sendmail that “just worked” with no configuration, postfix did not just work without configuration changes.

The blockage was caused by postfix at the office desktop. When the office desktop was running Slackware 14.2 and sendmail, none of the updated 15.0 systems with postfix had trouble forwarding mails. The blockage was only at the receiving end with postfix. Apparently postfix requires no special configuration to provide mail transfer services and forwarding mail, but requires configuration to receive mail.

Several hours trying to configure postfix on the office desktop produced little more than futility. The final solution was returning to known territory — removing postfix and installing sendmail. Just like that system mails were functional again.

Newer is not always better.

Problem solved but Yet Another Example why updating computers is so frustrating.

Something always breaks. Always.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: Slackware

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