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I'm running Ubuntu Intrepid, and have been seeing the following my logs:

Aug 23 16:01:03 wp1 sm-mta[13700]: n7NFJIad013566: Warning: program /usr/sbin/sensible-mda unsafe: No such file or directory
Aug 23 16:01:03 wp1 sm-mta[13700]: n7NFJIad013566: SYSERR(root): Cannot exec /usr/sbin/sensible-mda: No such file or directory
Aug 23 16:01:03 wp1 sm-mta[13700]: n7NFJIad013566: Warning: program /usr/sbin/sensible-mda unsafe: No such file or directory
Aug 23 16:01:03 wp1 sm-mta[13700]: n7NFJIad013566: SYSERR(root): Cannot exec /usr/sbin/sensible-mda: No such file or directory

I have tons of these messages now, where I had none before. Looking it up, it appears Ubuntu has some special sendmail packages that might not have been installed when I installed sendmail.

Do I need "sensible-mda"? No one should be authenticating nor sending via the server - it's just a default local smtp host that's setup to allow for web forms to post to email, and for the system to send system logs, etc.

Why would these messages just start appearing?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Perhaps you've installed sendmail by using the sendmail-bin individual package instead of installing the sendmail wrapper package.

Anyway, if you install sensible-mda (or the sendmail wrapper package), the problem you're seeing should disappear.

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just realized that you WANT this package. otherwise your virtual machine kills itself because the log files take up the whole disk space. true story. –  pduersteler Jan 18 '12 at 19:24
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The sensible-* programs are installed so that other system scripts etc. can rely on a program which provides a certain functionality being in the right location.

sensible-mda is a dependency of sendmail, so it should exist on your system.

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Also you should seriously consider not running sendmail.

Either exim4 or postfix are much better options for real mail servers, and ssmtp and nullmailer are much better options for hosts that will only send outbound mail.

As this point the only people who should be running sendmail are those with large old installations or a need for some of the very complex non-SMTP routing that sendmail can do.

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I had not used nullmailer before, but that sounds like exactly what I wanted. Thanks! –  FilmJ Sep 8 '09 at 22:07
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