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Last week was very busy; despite my pouring copious hours into it, my research is going slower than I could possibly have imagined. For the current round of experiments I'm using much higher-quality tools than I did last semester, and I sure appreciate not having to fix stupid bugs everywhere I look. Slowness comes from the learning curve—so many tools to understand, so many configuration options to confound, so many places a feature could be inserted. I wasn't able to get any results by last Monday; I'm now working for this Monday. (Mondays are the days everyone in our group sends status reports and results, so it's a natural climax to the week; Wednesdays are meeting days, providing an added incentive to get stuff done™).

To change the topic completely, is Mac OS X's sendmail configuration supposed to work out of the box at all? While poking around I discovered that I had thousands of files in one machine's /var/spool/clientmqueue directory, mostly output from cron jobs and subsequent “can't deliver” notifications, followed by bounces after a few days. The log showed messages like this:

Apr 12 05:01:28 byron sendmail[7070]: h3B4PMFk000538: to=root, delay=1+05:35:46, xdelay=00:00:00, mailer=relay, pri=2731595, relay=localhost, dsn=4.0.0, stat=Deferred: Connection refused by localhost

There's a “/dev/null” in root's .forward, but it appears to be completely ineffective in preventing the pileup. Yay.

The only way to get even local mail delivery to work appears to be to run a sendmail daemon. By default turning on MAILSERVER in /etc/hostconfig causes the server to be open to the world, which I would not like. The undocumented (that I could find) M4 expansion for DAEMON_OPTIONS(`Port=smtp,Addr=,Name=MTA') causes sendmail to listen on the loopback interface only.

Back to my original question: is this stuff supposed to work out of the box, or is OS X's default mail configuration broken and untested? I use Postfix on my servers and don't use or particularly like sendmail, but for simple local workstation use I don't want to rock the boat.

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