[Mimedefang] Builds for MacOS X?

Bill Cole mdlist-20140424 at billmail.scconsult.com
Thu Apr 24 15:56:49 EDT 2014

[Yes, I'm responding to an oldish thread...]

On 29 Jan 2014, at 19:17, philipp_subx at redfish-solutions.com (Philip 
Prindeville) wrote:

> I have some clients that are MacOS X shops, including using a Mac 
> server box as their mail server.
> They currently don?t use Mimedefang, but I?m trying to sell them on 
> the idea.
> MacOS already ships with Perl, SpamAssassin and Postfix, of course, so 
> adding Mimedefang should be a no-brainer.

Not really. MacOS X Server uses amavisd-new to hook SpamAssassin & 
ClamAV into Postfix. MD and amavisd-new overlap substantially in 
functionality. Amavisd-new is the most widely used filtering hub for 
Postfix, as its history predates Postfix having Milter support.

> Problem is, they don?t want to build from sources, install, and then 
> customize the config (other than mimedefang-filter, of course).  They 
> want a drop-in .dmg or .pkg file they can use.
> Problem is? I don?t know of anyone doing MacOS builds and I?m not 
> seeing any references to MacOS in the sources.  Not seeing any project 
> builder files, either.
> Am I missing something?
> Is there an obvious reason that Mimedefang isn?t used with MacOS?

The fact that MacOS switched from Sendmail to Postfix before Postfix had 
Milter support is the practical historical reason. To
build and run MIMEDefang on a Mac requires a dependency tree of 
Sendmail's libmilter and some Perl modules which will make the system 
fragile to update breakage if installed in the simplest ways. Even if 
you try to minimize the footprint on Apple's turf, integrating with 
their "Server" product's components is likely to push the typical 
flakiness of Server updates into the realm of mystifying failures. If 
one starts with MacOS X Server and adds in MIMEDefang, one must 
anticipate rebuilding the Server config from scratch with every Apple 
update. Since MacOS X Server is most attractive to people like those you 
describe, there isn't much demand for a "drop-in" that integrates with 
Server's mail rig but makes it more fragile.

However, it is quite workable to run a Postfix+ MIMEDefang mail system 
on MacOS. I have been doing so for almost 8 years. However, my approach 
has been to build and install the whole stack of software independent of 
Apple's implementations (and not even on Macs with their "Server" 
product) from scratch and more recently using some pieces from MacPorts: 
postfix, libmilter and an alternate Perl universe. Despite the hostility 
of the "malevolent dictator for life of MIMEDefang" towards Apple, the 
build and install of MD on MacOS X 10.{4,5,6} has never required manual 
hacks to the code or the build tools except for a trivial fix to 
t/unit/dates.t to accommodate BSD's date implementation. The only real 
gap I've had to fill in myself has been to wrap the distributed init 
script in a "StartupItem" bundle, a lazy choice on 10.4 that I've grown 
to regret as my non-Server server has migrated to the last MacOS 
runnable on my oldest Mac (currently: 10.6.8 on a Core Duo iMac). I have 
no plan to package my build for others but for anyone else trying to do 
so would be wise put in the effort to port the script launchd instead of 
using the simple (and half-broken) SystemStarter.

And that's why I reanimated this old thread. Building and running 
MIMEDefang on MacOS X isn't very hard. The original discussion made 
clear that David is hostile to explicit MacOS support, as is his 
absolute privilege. That explains why the distribution lacks any such 
support, which I'd wondered about for a while. That is NOT the 
fundamental reason that MIMEDefang isn't present in Apple's Server 
toolkit or that *no one* supports a MIMEDefang add-on for Server. Those 
issues are rooted in history and in Apple's 'walled garden' habits.

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