[Techtalk] Howto remove everything email-related from Debian?

Conor Daly conor.daly-linuxchix at cod.homelinux.org
Thu Sep 27 16:43:12 UTC 2007

On Thu, Sep 27, 2007 at 07:56:40AM -0700 or so it is rumoured hereabouts, 
lois at brasshat.net thought:
> Hello list! 8)
> I have a really low spec virtual server with very little RAM. I managed to
> remove most of the services (i only need cron and sshd), but sometimes the
> system wants to send emails and it starts qmail processes that i cannot
> disable for some reason.
> Is there any way to disable all email stuff besides deleting all email
> related programms?
> Thankies!
> x Lois x
> PS: I am new. Hello again .. Maybe you will need more info:
> - Debian Etch minimal
> - I only have a few Bash/Ruby scripts running via cron
> - Sometimes those break with:
> 16012 ?        S      0:00 bin/qmail-queue
> 17874 ?        S      0:00 /usr/sbin/cron
> 17875 ?        Zs     0:00 [sh] <defunct>
> 17877 ?        S      0:00 bin/qmail-inject -H --

It strikes me that cron is at fault here.  If a program being run by cron
generates output for the screen that is not handled, cron will email that
output to the user.  The usual way to deal with that is to redirect the
output from the program to either a logfile or to /dev/null (if you don't
care about the output).  Given that unexpected output from a program
running under cron is usually an error message, it's probably better to
use a logfile rather than /dev/null .  My cron entries look like:

* * * * * /path/to/program1 > /path/to/logfile 2>&1
* * * * * /path/to/program2 > /dev/null 2>&1
* * * * * /path/to/program3 >> /path/to/appended/logfile 2>&1

These will eliminate cron's attempts to email stuff.

What happens if you do 'apt-get remove qmail' ?

Conor Daly <conor.daly at cod.homelinux.org>
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