MTA taking too long at boot

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MTA taking too long at boot

Postby Durandal » 2005-08-23 12:36

My boot up is pretty fast, but at one point it gets to:

"Starting MTA: "

And then waits for quite a awhile (3-4 minutes) before moving on. It eventually fills in the correct value and finishes the boot, but it seems like an awfully useless waste of mine and Debian's time.

Is there any way I can speed this up?

I'm not really sure exactly what it is, but I believe it has to do with the Mail System (which was configured during Install for a Local System only)

Also, on a seperate note... My internet seems to be detected via a DHCP connection/setup while in the command line interface, but then when I get into GNOME I got nuthin. Searchin for help now, but since I'm posting already I might as well include this too. :)


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Postby Harold » 2005-08-23 21:01

Debian, for reasons I fail to comprehend, considers the mail transfer agent exim to be a necessary part of a base install. If you have a desktop computer and your email client -- sylpheed, kmail, evolution, whatever -- is pulling your e-mail from your ISP, then exim is doing nothing but taking up space on your hard drive.

My advice: apt-get remove --purge exim
Last edited by Harold on 2005-08-24 19:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Durandal » 2005-08-24 07:23

Harold wrote:Debian, for reasons I fail to comprehend, considers the mail transfer agent exim to be a necessary part of a base install. If you have a desktop computer and your email client -- sylpheed, kmail, evolution, whatever -- is pulling your e-mail from your ISP, then exim is doing nothgin but taking up space on your hard drive.

My advice: apt-get remove --purge exim


1) I can no longer boot to the Command Line, GNOME has taken over and won't let me boot there. I have to access it via terminal from within GNOME.

2) I have setup X Windows, GNOME and KDE, but am still working on figuring out why it's not (within the GUI) detecting my ISP/connection. So as of now, I have no email client setup within GNOME plus...

3) I installed Debian cuz I'd like to do as much as possible from a CLI. So if I can get exim setup as a mail client that's readable from the CLI AND exim is a decent mail client then I might as well leave it and try to configure it correctly.

What do you think?


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Postby jobezone » 2005-08-24 07:42

Durandal wrote:1) I can no longer boot to the Command Line, GNOME has taken over and won't let me boot there. I have to access it via terminal from within GNOME.

You probably have GDM installed.
You can remove it
aptitude remove gdm
stop it from running at boot
mv /etc/rc2.d/s99gdm /root
(I use this method, so that I can always move the script back into the rc.2 directory. Maybe there are better ways to do it)
or access the Virtual Terminals using the keyboard shortcut keys Ctrl+Alt+F1, F2, etc.
2) I have setup X Windows, GNOME and KDE, but am still working on figuring out why it's not detecting my ISP/connection. So as of now, I have no email client setup within GNOME plus...

Do you use a modem, or broadband to acess the net? If a modem, try pppconfig. If broadband, are you using cable or adsl?
3) I installed Debian cuz I'd like to do as much as possible from a CLI. So if I can get exim setup as a mail client that's readable from the CLI AND exim is a decent mail client then I might as well leave it and try to configure it correctly.


exim is not a email client, but a Mail Transfer Agent. I'm not sure, but I think it's installed by default in Debian because it handles the mails sent to root by the system (sometimes from debconf, or cron). Anyway, it's not useful as an e-mail client. Others perhaps can tell you which CLI e-mail client is good.
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Postby Jeroen » 2005-08-24 09:29

jobezone wrote:Others perhaps can tell you which CLI e-mail client is good.


mutt takes a bit to configure, but is very flexible and can be made good (the defaults, however, are not so ideal...)

emacs users might like gnus (I don't use either, don't know for sure)

That's about it as far as free CLI email clients that I know... pine is a very well known non-free CLI email client, and IMHO still the best one, user-friendly wise, of all.
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More ?

Postby Guest » 2005-08-24 10:20

jobezone wrote:Do you use a modem, or broadband to acess the net? If a modem, try pppconfig. If broadband, are you using cable or adsl?


I am using an external cable modem, that connects via a PCI card.


3) I installed Debian cuz I'd like to do as much as possible from a CLI. So if I can get exim setup as a mail client that's readable from the CLI AND exim is a decent mail client then I might as well leave it and try to configure it correctly.


exim is not a email client, but a Mail Transfer Agent. I'm not sure, but I think it's installed by default in Debian because it handles the mails sent to root by the system (sometimes from debconf, or cron). Anyway, it's not useful as an e-mail client.[/quote]

It may not be useful as an e-mail client, but if I am using a CLI email client, do I still need exim installed (to handle that mail routing?)? Will there be problems with the email client if I uninstall exim?

If I need exim in order for a CLI email client to work, is there any other way I can get past the slow boot during "Starting MTA:?" Or is there another Mail Transfer Agent that boots a little faster?


Thanks for all your help so far, I'll post back in a few hours to let you know how the Boot Problem you helped me with turns out.

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Re: More ?

Postby Guest » 2005-08-24 10:21

Anonymous wrote:
jobezone wrote:Do you use a modem, or broadband to acess the net? If a modem, try pppconfig. If broadband, are you using cable or adsl?


I am using an external cable modem, that connects via a PCI card.


exim is not a email client, but a Mail Transfer Agent. I'm not sure, but I think it's installed by default in Debian because it handles the mails sent to root by the system (sometimes from debconf, or cron). Anyway, it's not useful as an e-mail client.


It may not be useful as an e-mail client, but if I am using a CLI email client, do I still need exim installed (to handle that mail routing?)? Will there be problems with the email client if I uninstall exim?

If I need exim in order for a CLI email client to work, is there any other way I can get past the slow boot during "Starting MTA:?" Or is there another Mail Transfer Agent that boots a little faster?


Thanks for all your help so far, I'll post back in a few hours to let you know how the Boot Problem you helped me with turns out.

Durandal
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Re: More ?

Postby Durandal » 2005-08-24 10:23

jobezone wrote:Do you use a modem, or broadband to acess the net? If a modem, try pppconfig. If broadband, are you using cable or adsl?


I am using an external cable modem, that connects via... eh, sorry, before I said PCI but it is actually connected via an Ethernet port.

exim is not a email client, but a Mail Transfer Agent. I'm not sure, but I think it's installed by default in Debian because it handles the mails sent to root by the system (sometimes from debconf, or cron). Anyway, it's not useful as an e-mail client.


It may not be useful as an e-mail client, but if I am using a CLI email client, do I still need exim installed (to handle that mail routing?)? Will there be problems with the email client if I uninstall exim?

If I need exim in order for a CLI email client to work, is there any other way I can get past the slow boot during "Starting MTA:?" Or is there another Mail Transfer Agent that boots a little faster?


Thanks for all your help so far, I'll post back in a few hours to let you know how the Boot Problem you helped me with turns out.

Durandal
Last edited by Durandal on 2005-08-24 20:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Durandal » 2005-08-24 10:25

Jeroen wrote:
jobezone wrote:Others perhaps can tell you which CLI e-mail client is good.


mutt takes a bit to configure, but is very flexible and can be made good (the defaults, however, are not so ideal...)

emacs users might like gnus (I don't use either, don't know for sure)

That's about it as far as free CLI email clients that I know... pine is a very well known non-free CLI email client, and IMHO still the best one, user-friendly wise, of all.


Thanks. I think I might try gnus, I like that it's free and compatable with emacs (or at least liked by emac users). Pine could be cool and I will look more into it.

D
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Postby Jeroen » 2005-08-24 10:40

Oh, and you generally need an MTA in order to use mail on your system (although a lot of clients can be configured to not need one, they would then need to be told of a non-standard way to send mail).

If it boots slowly, there must be some misconfiguration somewhere (DNS or otherwise), try launching exim -bd -d as root (after having stopped your normal daemon) and see what part of the startup takes so long. If you run exim4, you can also add the -d option as in
Code: Select all
SMTPLISTENEROPTIONS='=d'
to /etc/default/exim4, and reboot your computer.
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Re: More ?

Postby jobezone » 2005-08-24 19:25

Anonymous wrote:I am using an external cable modem, that connects via a PCI card.

hm, try executing at root:
dhclient
I also have a cable modem, which connects to a ethernet card, and debian has always detected my network when installing, so I really don't have more experience with troubleshooting this.

It may not be useful as an e-mail client, but if I am using a CLI email client, do I still need exim installed (to handle that mail routing?)? Will there be problems with the email client if I uninstall exim?

Not with the email client. If you will be using your ISP's email service, you configure the email client to your ISP's pop3 and smtp servers.
Like I, and others, said, there may be some functionalities which you'll loose without an MTA installed, like geting local mail from your system. i.e., try running as root, in a terminal, mail. You probably will have some mails from your Debian system :)

If I need exim in order for a CLI email client to work, is there any other way I can get past the slow boot during "Starting MTA:?" Or is there another Mail Transfer Agent that boots a little faster?

I used to have that problem, but now it loads fast. I can't remember now if it was because I upgraded to unstable, or what.
You could try searching for existing bugs in exim4 at http://bugs.debian.org/exim4 to see if this has been reported. If not, you could send a bug yourself.
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Postby Harold » 2005-08-24 19:42

Durandal> 1) I can no longer boot to the Command Line, GNOME has taken over and won't let me boot there. I have to access it via terminal from within GNOME.

apt-get remove --purge gdm, and your computer will once again boot to the console.
Once logged in, launch Gnome with the command xinit /usr/bin/gnome-session. Launch KDE with xinit /usr/bin/startkde.

Jeroen> mutt takes a bit to configure, but is very flexible and can be made good (the defaults, however, are not so ideal...) ... pine is a very well known non-free CLI email client, and IMHO still the best one, user-friendly wise, of all.

mutt configuration is hideous! Pine is much more straightforward. There is not a .deb for Pine in the official Debian mirrors; however, a .deb can be downloaded from Pine's home page.

Durandal> My internet seems to be detected via a DHCP connection/setup while in the command line interface, but then when I get into GNOME I got nuthin.

?!?!?! Details, please. What precisely is working on the command line that is not working in Gnome? And is it working in KDE?
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Postby Durandal » 2005-08-25 07:41

Jeroen wrote:If it boots slowly, there must be some misconfiguration somewhere (DNS or otherwise), try launching exim -bd -d as root (after having stopped your normal daemon) and see what part of the startup takes so long. If you run exim4, you can also add the -d option as in
Code: Select all
SMTPLISTENEROPTIONS='=d'
to /etc/default/exim4, and reboot your computer.


Ok. I believe I was using exim4, so I did the above editing and recieved this as the error message after the long "Starting MTA: " load:

"Starting MTA: exim: incompatible command-line options or arguments."

Again, all I can recall from installation concerning setting up the MTA was that I chose the Local system setup option because I had not setup the network earlier in the install.

D
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Wake up Debian

Postby Durandal » 2005-08-25 07:55

jobezone wrote:
Anonymous wrote:I am using an external cable modem, that connects via an Ethernet card.

hm, try executing at root:
dhclient
I also have a cable modem, which connects to a ethernet card, and debian has always detected my network when installing, so I really don't have more experience with troubleshooting this.


I ran dhclient and the results were at first a lot of "Sending" or "Listening" , followed by many "DHCPDISCOVER on lo or on eth0. Seems like some of those IP's were similar (the same) as my IP Netmask. After all those it then reads:

"No DHCPOFFERS recieved.
No working leases in persistant database.

Sleeping"

Not sure what to make of that, but I'll add that I explored around a little more to see what things looked like from GNOME's end of things. It looks like it recognizes an ethernet connection, but when I open a browser or try to invoke the web, it is a no go. No error message besides the page could not be found/loaded.



If I need exim in order for a CLI email client to work, is there any other way I can get past the slow boot during "Starting MTA:?" Or is there another Mail Transfer Agent that boots a little faster?

I used to have that problem, but now it loads fast. I can't remember now if it was because I upgraded to unstable, or what.
You could try searching for existing bugs in exim4 at http://bugs.debian.org/exim4 to see if this has been reported. If not, you could send a bug yourself.


Basically, I didn't find anything based on the error message I got from adding the -d option to the exim4 file, because I'm not sure which arguments or options MTA is trying to pass at the command-line that are failing...

D
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Postby Durandal » 2005-08-25 08:10

Harold wrote:Durandal> 1) I can no longer boot to the Command Line, GNOME has taken over and won't let me boot there. I have to access it via terminal from within GNOME.

apt-get remove --purge gdm, and your computer will once again boot to the console.
Once logged in, launch Gnome with the command xinit /usr/bin/gnome-session. Launch KDE with xinit /usr/bin/startkde.


I chose to move the script to /root as suggested in an above post, and I use xinit /usr/bin/gnome-session to launch it as it don't want to use gdm for fear it will take over again. :) I did have a question of curiosity tho.. One option for removing GDM was to use "aptitude remove gdm" but you suggest "apt-get remove --purge gdm." Is there any difference between these two operations in terms of removing a program?


Durandal> My internet seems to be detected via a DHCP connection/setup while in the command line interface, but then when I get into GNOME I got nuthin.

?!?!?! Details, please. What precisely is working on the command line that is not working in Gnome? And is it working in KDE?


Well, first, when I boot the computer it looks for, then detects a DHCP setup. Everything seems kosher. Bootup, login as root, run dhclient as suggested above and it gives me an error (posted just above).

So I went into GNOME and looked around there. Within the network settings it seems to recognize an ethernet connection. However, when I try to use a web browser or invoke the internet in any way (whois query, ping) nothing registers or loads.

I vaguely am starting to recall from the 3rd installation that perhaps the installer couldn't detect the Ethernet card/port and asked me to pick one manually. Is there a way to go back and set that manually now? And if so, what do I choose?

I ran ipconfig /all from a dos shell in WXP and got this for the Ethernet Card:

"Ethernet Adapter Local Area Connection
Marvell Yukon ### PCI-E ASF Gigabit Ethernet Control "


Hope that helps.

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