mailman: incorret boot dependency on mail-transport-agent

Luca Bruno lucab at
Mon Dec 15 13:48:05 UTC 2008

Package:  mailman
Version:  1:2.1.11-7
Severity: normal
User:     initscripts-ng-devel at
Usertags: incorrect-dependency

while installing on a insserv-enabled system, I encountered an issue
with mailman boot dependency list:

Unpacking mailman (from .../mailman_1%3a2.1.11-7_i386.deb) ...
Processing triggers for man-db ...
Setting up mailman (1:2.1.11-7) ...
Looking for enabled languages (this may take some time) ... done.
Installing site language en ............................................ done.
Configuring mailman for domain thetis ...
Upgrading from version 0x0 to 0x2010bf0
getting rid of old source files
insserv: Service mail-transport-agent has to be enabled to start service mailman-qrunner
insserv: exiting now!
dpkg: error processing mailman (--configure):
 subprocess post-installation script returned error exit status 1
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

I discussed it briefly with Peter on IRC, which came up with suggestions:

<pere> the MTAs do not provide a boot facility mail-transport-agent, so it is 
 always wrong to add it as a dependency in the lsb header of init.d scripts.  
 they can't provide it, as it would give problems with conflicting provides.
<pere> (I know some script do provide it, but they are buggy and need to be 
 fixed too. :)
<pere> if mailman uses /usr/lib/sendmail as I suspect, there is no need to 
 have boot dependency on an mta.

Cheers, Luca

 .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux **  | Luca Bruno (kaeso)
: :'  :   The Universal O.S.    | lucab (AT)
`. `'`  			| GPG Key ID: 3BFB9FB3
  `- 	| Debian GNU/Linux Developer
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