Debian Weekly News - email

Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 00:15:26 -0600 (MDT)
From: Jason Gunthorpe <>
Reply-To: Jason Gunthorpe <>
To: Debian Developers <>
Subject: admin: Exim install on master

Okay everyone,

The exim installation on master is now completed. This means all existing
.qmail files are not longer used for anything and all mail is processed by
exim using standard sendmail-like .forward files. I have painstakingly
converted all the .qmail files into comparable .forward files where
possible, and mailed people otherwise. I've double checked the addresses
that do alot of traffic on master, and they all appear to go to the same
place still. Some of you might have problems, particularly if
  a) You don't have a lastlog entry, I was very intolerant of people
     using local storage that have never logged in. Many of these people
     had a local mail spool and a forwarding, so only the forwarding
     remains now.
  b) You did something really odd, like put /var/spool/mail in your
     .qmail or use qmail $ variables in your .qmail
  c) Using qmail-specific pseudo-list software
Anyhow, on to the features that are available. I'll put this on a web page
someplace later.

Mail Path
Exim's setup supports several ways to route mail:
  #1 -> LDAP forwarding
  #2 -> .forward file
  #3 -> .procmailrc file
  #4 -> .forward-foo file
  #5 -> .forward-default file (NOTE: Not .forward-foo-default - Only 1

Mail to goes:
  [#1 -> #2 -> #3] or [#4 -> #5]

Mail to goes:
  [#2 -> #3 -> #1] or [#4 -> #5]

LDAP forwarding will be used by many machines, using a forwarding
directive in LDAP will make your mail faster and more reliable since it
has multiple paths to go through.

** If you use procmail for your main mailbox, PLEASE, erase your .forward
file and put a .procmailrc in its place instead! This feature has been
supported on master for a good while now, and will continue to be

The correct way to invoke procmail is "|/usr/bin/procmail [options]"
Ignore the IFS=".." stuff in the procmail man page.

MailBox formats
Mailbox format files "/debian/home/foo/Mbox"
Maildir format files "/debian/home/foo/MDir/"

To deliver to /var/spool/mail/foo use a construct like '|/usr/bin/procmail
-m /dev/null'. Putting the mailbox path will not work. You must use
absolute paths for mailboxes, qmail-like ./ paths are not supported by

Also, 'Exim Filter' files are deliberately turned off.

Delivery Environment
Some environment variables are set per-message (not quoted! Careful!)
It is important to note that the environment variables dealing with
addressing apply to the ENVELOPE address are totally completely
unrelated to the actual contents of the message:

'Standard' Env Variables: EXTENSION (the 'foo' in .forward-foo)
                          LOGNAME,USER (your user name)
                          SENDER (envelope originator of message)
'Qmail' Env Variables:    EXT == EXTENSION
                          LOCAL = (the entire bit before the @)
                          RECIPIENT = (the entire envelope to)
Such that,

These are the environment variables I hope we will commit to keeping,
should we ever change mailers again.


Date: Mon, 8 May 2000 22:09:45 -0400
From: Richard Higson <>
Subject: The debian-s390 port is beginning to pick up speed.

Cross-posting to:

Hi, and Greetings from Poughkeepsie, NY, USA,
where I'm currently working on the Linux/390 Redbook

While I'm here, and have access to a full park of the biggest, best
and meanest Mainframes I've ever seen, I've started doing the
dirty-work of bootstrapping a debian-s390 port in my 'copious free time'.
I will continue to do this when I get back home, although the
machine that I'll have then will be miniscule in comparison
to what I have experienced here.

I've found many friends of Debian within IBM.
Debian is seen here as a well respected, high quality distribution.
A debian-s390 distribution also seems to fit well with the idea that
IBM just doesn't want to be in the distribution business.
However it is organisationally very difficult for a Cosmos as large as IBM
to formulate a "cooperation" with an "informal" organisation such as Debian.

I am particularly impressed with the way that I see the spirit of
free (speach) software being respected, understood and *lived*
within various teams I've had the chance to meet here (and in Germany).
There are still issues being worked out, such as the incorporation
of the gcc-s390-tool-chain changes but these kinds of things are
taking place at the common denominator speed of the respective
lawyers, not the developers. It will happen.

I hope that IBM finds a way of publicly saying that they welcome and
support Debian's initiative to produce a "debian-s390" port without
requiring us to assume a commercial identity (which we neither have
nor want).

I hope that Debian finds a way of accepting, and saying
thankyou for the support, encouragement and hard work that many
individuals and departments within IBM are giving us.

That's enough politics for today, here comes the fun stuff.

I modified a script from Florian Lohoff ( which
just walks through the Packages-list and targets anything without an
$ARCH-veto. (The only use a Mainframe would have for a soundblaster card
would be if the floor were slightly uneven.)

These source packages wander through dpkg-buildpackage -b -us -uc.
The survivers land in 'OK', everything else goes to 'NO',
which is where the fun starts - picking up the pieces and fixing them.

There's nothing subtle about this way of doing it, and it *is*
a good cpu, tool-chain and disk-testing tool, so I called it the
Brute-Force-Build-Daemon ;-)

You can follow the fun at

If you have suggestions about how we *should* be doing the debian side
of this, or if you want to join in the fray, just join the debian-s390
mailing list at

s390-linux specifics and generics are discussed at

"Whatever you do will be insignificant,
but it is very important that you do it."  == Mahatma Gandhi ==
Have a nice day ;-) Richard Higson

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This issue of Debian Weekly News was edited by Joey Hess.