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Once in a while I'd like to report a bug using Debian reportbug facility... or use other programs which assume working sendmail. However I'd rather like not to install any mail server on a home desktop machine.

I know I can install esmtp, configure it... but maybe there is simpler solution?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You should be able to configure debian reportbug to use your ISP's mail server to send outgoing mail (I have comcast and they even allow me to create an extra email address to use).

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I have all my Debian systems with the default exim4 MTA configured as a "satellite system" of my ISP's outgoing mailserver (I stay well away from sendmail after previous experiences on RedHat). I have no problems using reportbug or anything else which expects to be able to send mail via a service on localhost. However, it does mean things like cron logs make a roundabout trip via my ISP's POP3 mailbox rather than just being locally delivered... but it works for me.

(If you want to explore this route, during dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config, the relevant option for "General type of mail configuration" is "mail sent by smarthost; no local mail" and later give the name of the ISP's SMTP server for "outgoing smarthost".)

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Jeff is right that you should be able to do this directly via reportbug (see the note in the docs about $HOME/.reportbugrc for how to set this up on your machine).

However, if you end up wanting an SMTP server for yourself anyhow, I highly recommend ssmtp. It's an extremely easy-to-use, easy-to-configure SMTP server for a home machine. It also has no dependencies that you shouldn't already have installed, so the installation is trivial and costs you no disk space to try.

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I did not know ssmtp. It seems that it is unmaintained: – liori Aug 9 '09 at 15:41

Esmtp can be configured to use your ISP's mail server, I've set it up with gmail and works great.

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