Mail server install questions

Steven Smith steve.t.smith at
Sat Sep 7 19:46:34 UTC 2019

> The list that mail-server wants to install (given that I’ve already installed postfix, dovecot, and some more because I tried to workaround it) is very long.
> And it seems to consists of a lot of stuff that is not needed at all for a mail server. It raises all these questions I don’t know an answer to and that stalls me. E.g.: Why is cyrus-sasl2 installed when cyrus isn’t there at all (we use dovecot)? Why is cairo (a vector drawing program) installed? Why does it install bind9 and dns-server?

Uh, because all those dependencies are either specified by other dependent ports, or are explicitly necessary within the main port.

sasl isn’t a dependency of mail-server, it’s a dependency of openldap, which is a dependency of gnupg2, which is a dependency of gpgme, which is a dependency of gmime, which is a dependency of rspamd, which mail-server uses. See:

port deps mail-server | grep sasl
port rdeps mail-server | less

And for any mail server you’re running you’ll want to split the horizon so your LAN clients don’t reach out to the internet to grab mail from the server sitting on the same LAN. You need a DNS server for that. If you don’t want to run the MacPorts DNS server, just don’t load it, as discussed in the Portfile notes.

> (Maybe some sort of library being reused, but I already have unbound and nsd running, so I don’t need that software and it will only clutter my system and possibly clash with the DNS stuff that is already there). Fontconfig? Freetype? Why should I use logrotate (yet another tool) while newsyslog works fine on macOS (and is already configured)? Etc. 

You should configure your system the way you think it should be configured. Mail server configuration involves a lot of interdependent, fragile parts, and the mail-server port provides a baseline working example. As it says in its Portfile description, it’s very easy to modify to the tools you want to use.

> I kind of dislike getting all this software on my machine when it is not needed. I don’t know what it all does, it might open attack vectors I’m unaware of. It makes me uncertain. It increases maintenance load and risk of extra work.
> When I follow the dependencies of mail-server on, there is no way I can find the dependencies (e.g. follow the ‘depends on’ and nowhere you end up requiring X11. 

Please try these commands:

man port
port rdeps mail-server
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