An issue when removing EXIM on FC11 does not make sense

When I do a "yum remove exim" it says it wants to remove things that look to me like I still need/want. Why is it wanting to remove crontabs for example? What is going on?


exim i586 4.69-10.fc11 installed 3.6 M

Removing for dependencies:

anacron i586 2.3-78.fc11 installed 57 k

cronie i586 1.3-2.fc11 installed 134 k

crontabs noarch 1.10-30.fc11 installed 2.4 k

net-snmp i586 1: installed 788 k

net-snmp-libs i586 1: installed 4.5 M

php-snmp i586 5.2.9-2.fc11 installed 25 k

rpm i586 4.7.1-1.fc11 installed 1.9 M

rpm-libs i586 4.7.1-1.fc11 installed 733 k

rpm-python i586 4.7.1-1.fc11 installed 97 k

yum noarch 3.2.23-3.fc11 installed 3.4 M

Transaction Summary

9 Replies


yum remove --nodeps packagename

//just remember - you break it - you bought it//

Many things depend on exim because they send mail (cron sends reports, for example). Is there a reason why you're trying to remove exim?


Many things depend on exim because they send mail (cron sends reports, for example). Is there a reason why you're trying to remove exim?

This is what I thought was causing the problem. I want to use postfix instead of exim only because I know postfix.

Am I ok with removing without touching the dependencies?

Have you installed postfix first? Many of those dependencies should be on the need for a mail and both exim and postfix should satisfy them.

At least that's how it works in CentOS, so I'd expect FC11 to be similar :-)

Also, just do "rpm -e" to remove the one package; that'll abort if other packages still depend on it but it won't try and remove other packages.

Usually when I install Postfix under debuntu, Exim is automatically removed. Can't say for Fedora, but I'd hope it's similar since that's 95% of cases.

The other 5%, well…

RedHat/Centos (and I think Fedora) uses the "alternatives" system. You can install multiple pieces of software that provide the same resources (eg a mailer) and then use alternatives to pick the one that actually gets used.

eg on my system: % alternatives --display mta mta - status is auto. link currently points to /usr/sbin/sendmail.postfix /usr/sbin/sendmail.postfix - priority 30 slave mta-mailq: /usr/bin/mailq.postfix slave mta-newaliases: /usr/bin/newaliases.postfix slave mta-pam: /etc/pam.d/smtp.postfix slave mta-rmail: /usr/bin/rmail.postfix slave mta-sendmail: /usr/lib/sendmail.postfix slave mta-mailqman: /usr/share/man/man1/mailq.postfix.1.gz slave mta-newaliasesman: /usr/share/man/man1/newaliases.postfix.1.gz slave mta-sendmailman: /usr/share/man/man1/sendmail.postfix.1.gz slave mta-aliasesman: /usr/share/man/man5/aliases.postfix.5.gz Current `best' version is /usr/sbin/sendmail.postfix.

I'm not too sure how this handles init scripts. Obviously removing the unnecessary package afterwards fixes it :-)

Looking at the CentOS install/remove scripts, installation adds the rc links, installs the postfix system into alternatives. The remove script deletes the rc links and removes postfix from the alternatives system.

The sendmail scripts do similar.

So to switch from sendmail to postfix you'd install the postfix package, configure postfix as necessary, remove the sendmail package, start postfix.

I'd guess switching from exim to postfix should work the same way.

Thanks for everyones suggestions, very much appreciated.

sweh, your points were spot on. I really learned something about how detailed

the package managers are.

I installed postfix and then did a remove on exim and it showed no dependencies were to be deleted.

Again, thanks everyone!

Thanks for the tip.

Installing postfix (in Fedora) allowed me to cleanly remove just exim with "yum erase exim"

FYI, Debian deriviatives also use an alternatives system of similar spirit, for things like sytemwide default editors, windowmanagers, and random tools.

Difference is that systemwide pieces of software, like an MTA, usually are set up so they don't allow installing two of them at the same time.

So yeah, 'aptitude purge exim4' would want to remove a lot of things depending on mail-transport-agent, but 'aptitude install postfix' would say 'Packages that will be installed: ; Conflicting packages that will be uninstalled: ; do you want to continue?', and do the swap without killing rest of the system.

It's discussable which way is better; having more than one MTA on one system in very rare cases may be exactly what you want, but in 99% of cases it's a mistake that's gonna lead to a lot of pain. And if you really need it, you can edit the package to make it not conflict, and not try to take over system mailboxes, then install such a local modified version, I guess.


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