[TAG] More spam than content?
rick at linuxmafia.com
Sat Aug 7 05:13:39 MSD 2004
A couple of afterthoughts to my earlier post, and then comments back in
reply to Ben.
> Tied into this Exim 3.x base setup was automatic parsing of Mailman
> control files by the MTA (no need to edit /etc/aliases when you add or
> remove a list), likewise a neat hack.
I should add that the standard prototype Exim (3.x or 4.x) configuration
files do _not_ include this "neat hack", anywhere that I've seen. The
required stanzas to implement Exim routers and transports to
automagically handle Mailman lists is always a manual hack. One wonders
why package maintainers haven't been cluebatted into fixing this.
> With Exim 4.x, by contrast...., well, at first it didn't seem as if
> there were a configuration file at all. Slowly, I started figuring
> out that the Debian package maintainer had moved the package's
> installation default from a unitary /etc/exim4/exim4.conf file to one
> that gets automagically assembled from configuration _fragment_ files
> stored within a /etc/exim4/conf.d/ tree.
Actually, there was an additional reason for my initial puzzlement and
dismay that I hadn't mentioned: I kept making tweaks to
/etc/exim4/exim4.conf to do things like reimplement the backup MX
service I had long provided to friends and, agonizingly, nothing seemed
to happen when I restarted the daemon. It took me a long time to
realise that the damned daemon was checking _first_ in, of all places,
/var/lib/exim4 for the exim4.conf. It checked in /etc/exim4 only if the
file didn't exist in /var/lib. By the time I chased down that nasty
surprise, I was frazzled and ready to quit while I was ahead.
> Thus, for example, /etc/exim4/domains/relaytodomains contains just the
> one line "loyalty.org", because I'd agreed to MX for Seth David
> Schoen's domain of that name.
> I _think_ making Exim4 be willing to handle LG.net is as simple as
> adding a line directly underneath the one for loyalty.org . I can do
> that in a flash.
And have done so. To the best of my knowledge, linuxmafia.com now is
eminently willing to handle mail addressed to linuxgazette.net, i.e.,
relay for it (at least). I see a change necessary (I think) to also
make the system recognise mail to linuxgazette.net as being for itself,
and could do that, but see below.
> That conffile is bewilderingly difficult to read.
It was mostly the shock of a highly unfamiliar layout, plus the /var/lib
thing, plus the assemble-from-fragments thing, plus the dereferencing of
files in /etc/exim4/acls and /etc/exim4/domains thing. All at once.
I've just put a copy of my current /etc/exim4/exim4.conf file here for
I'm also printing the fool thing out to read.
> There's also some small amount of magic having to do with ensuring
> that Mailman supports multiple domains. I need to find, read, and
> master that -- and then set up mailing lists in parallel to the
> existing ones, build replicas of the archived back posts, and schedule
> a cutover.
OK, here's the unfortunate part: It's probably not that simple.
Googling for "multiple domains" + Mailman, one finds such things as
The person quoted says:
o Configure your MTA to handle the new domain
o Configure Mailman to use the defined virtual addresses for the
new domain's lists.
o Configure your Web server to do likewise (because of the Web
interface to the mailing lists).
See the joker in that pack? It's the last item. If I were to make
Apache virthost for linuxgazette.net's mailing lists as host
"linuxgazette.net", that would work -- but only if my Web server also
hosted all of linuxgazette.net's _other_ Web content.
So, we're back to an observation I made quite a few months ago -- that,
I realise we were rushed, and we did quite well with the new server
setup under the circumstances, but it's a damned shame nobody though to
have the mailing lists defined as being on "lists.linuxgazette.net" via
an additional "A" record, rather than "linuxgazette.net", because then
we could easily re-point that "A" record to wherever we want, without
the public even noticing the switchover.
Unless I'm (still) missing something, we now are in a situation where
addresses have to change, and so we might as well set up
"lists.linuxgazette.net" belatedly -- pointing to my 184.108.40.206 IP.
Quoting Ben Okopnik (ben at callahans.org):
> Eeep. In that case, as long as I'm not forced to switch, I won't.
> Exim's conffile and its logical approach are, IMO, its best features;
> every other MTA I've tried required tons and tons of study before I
> figured out that I had no clue of what to do with it. :)
Problem is, I've never actually studied Exim (any version), really at
all. Anyone know a _good_ guide?
I'm a little embarrassed that I'm still unclear on what Exim routers,
transports, and directors are, and how they fit together. Apparently,
directors disappeared with 4.x, but I have no idea why -- which is
probably fine, since I didn't know what they were in the first place.
> OK, then, let's try this: since your comfort level with Exim4 is
> increasing (at least that's what I'm getting), and it sounds like you
> already _are_ doing something similar to hosting LG, it sounds like an
> easy, non-stressful version of a transfer isn't too far off.
Probably. If someone can point me to something to study (other than my
own /etc/exim4/ tree and
I would be grateful.
> I don't know enough about it to say, but is there any kind of testing
> you can do to find out?
See if you can relay mail to LG.net via linuxmafia.com. Should now
work -- worth knowing, either way.
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