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Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

This page tries to answer questions which I am often asked about my packages.

Also available is a Belorussian translation provided by webhostingrating.com.

Since when have you been building Postfix RPMs?
I have been building Postfix rpms since before 2000 when postfix was called vmailer. The original rpms were built with help from others on the postfix-users mailing list.
Which versions of Postfix do you provide packages for?
The available packages link tells you which versions are supported.
Which distributions are supported?
The available packages link tells you which distributions my packages run under.
I try to support the latest RedHat Enterprise distributions and also Fedora Core. However Fedora Core's update cycle is rather fast so I have not always tried to build for the latest version.
Why should I use your rpms and not RedHat's standard rpms?
When I started building my rpms RedHat did not provide any rpms for Postfix. Now that RedHat does provide rpms for Postfix you may not need to use my rpms unless you need a newer version than the version they provide, or you need to use Postfix with options which RedHat's postfix rpm does not provide. If this is the case then you can try my rpms, otherwise I'd suggest you stay with RedHat's.
How do I build a binary rpm from a src.rpm on your site?
The building rpms link tells you how.
From where can I download your rpms?
My rpms can be downloaded from http://ftp.wl0.org/ but also please consider using the mirrors listed on the mirrors link. The people providing mirrors may be closer to you and their server may be available when my server is not. If you do use a mirror send the maintainer a word of thanks for his effort.
How can I find out when you produce new rpms?
Subscribe to the postfix-rpm-announce mailing list. For some reason the mailman list interface here does not show the mailing list for some reason (I still need to determine why). The mailing list archives show previous messages sent to the list. Be aware that my server is on several RBL lists because I am a cable subscriber and therefore the mail software on your server or your ISP's server may reject mail from the announcement list. I can't fix these rejections. Maybe you can.
Why don't you provide binary RPMs with option ...?
The binary RPMs on my site are the most simple binaries and there have the smallest number of dependencies. If I were to build a binary Postfix package with lots of different options this would require YOU to install the dependent RPM packages even if you don't need them. As it is easy to build a binary rpm from my source rpm with varied options I think it is better that you do this according to your needs. There are just too many options to build all possible combinations and therefore keep everyone happy.
Why don't you build binary packages for distribution xxxx?
Probably because no-one has asked me to or I don't have the hardware to build for it. My build environment is limited to a small number of distributions. Remember I do this in my own free time. However if you would like me to consider including a distribution which I don't currently provide binary rpms for then please let me know.
Why is your build procedure not normal?
Originally I tried to build for several different distributions and the locations of files and some of the dependencies were distribution dependent. To avoid having to set up all these differences in the spec file I adjusted the spec file I created to take these differences into account. The spec file is created from a templated spec file provided with the other source files and a build script which generates the actual spec file from the template file taking into account the distribution and required build options. Although there are still differences between different distributions the differences are less of an issue. However changing the build procedure now requires more work to put ALL the checks and conditional behaviour inside the spec file rather than outside it. rpm macros for situations like this (including determining the distribution on which the build environment is running) are not trivial. So for the moment the build procedure remains the same. Maybe I'll look at this again and consider simplifying the build procedure and therefore enabling rpmbuild --define "dist rhel4" postfix.spec type builds in the future. However I'd still prefer the spec file to know on which distribution it is being built without having to tell it manually.
I get problems building option POSTFIX_XXX with option POSTFIX_YYYY
Some build options are not compatible. If you get this problem then try building with each option on it's own to determine if the problem is with an individual part of the build. If both options don't build together then please inform me. I probably should write down a list of known incompatibilities.
I get problems building with the option POSTFIX_SPF
The SPF patches for Postfix have not been very widely supported. Often they don't work in combination with other patches/options. Therefore if you insist on using the POSTFIX_SPF don't expect too much feedback from me. If you can fix the problem then please send me the appropriate patches to my spec file. If you can't then let me know there is a problem and I will try and list the problem somewhere on my web site.
The build script says that my distribution is not recognised. What should I do?
Detecting the distribution is done by the script postfix-get-distribution provided in the src rpm. If your distribution is not supported and it is a RedHat clone then please provide me with the information which allows me to recognise the distribution as a clone. This is usually the output of rpm -q distribution-release, where distribution-release is the name of the distribution's release rpm. e.g. CentOS has a rpm called centos-release. If the release number does not correspond with the RedHat release number then please tell me the correspondence. If the distribution is not a RedHat clone and the build procedure can be straightforwardly configured to build on the distribution you are using then please provide me details and I will see if I can modify the build procedure to configure the build procedure correctly.
Do your packages build on SuSE, Mandriva, ...?
I know of people using my packages on other non-redhat distributions such as SuSE and Mandriva. With rpm distributions such as these which are not RedHat clones the configuration environment is quite different from RedHat's so you may experience problems. I do however appreciate feedback and suggestions which would make my packages run on a wider variety of distributions if this can be done in a straight forward manner. It seems unsatisfactory that a common rpm package can not be created to work on all distributions with the necessary tweaks as this would save development time for everyone especially when adjusting the package for a new distribution or version of postfix.

© 2001-2014 Simon J. Mudd <sjmudd@pobox.com>
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