Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 433906
yum-updatesd does not emit via email
Last modified: 2008-05-14 14:25:50 EDT
Description of problem:
yum-updatesd does not send notification emails despite the fact that it is
configured to do that. Below is the contents of /etc/yum/yum-updatesd.conf
# how often to check for new updates (in seconds)
# 259200s = 3d
run_interval = 3600
# how often to allow checking on request (in seconds)
updaterefresh = 600
# how to send notifications (valid: dbus, email, syslog)
emit_via = email
email_to = root
email_from = root
# automatically install updates
do_update = no
# automatically download updates
do_download = no
# automatically download deps of updates
do_download_deps = no
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Verify email from root to root functions.
2. Set up yum-updatesd.conf as set above (make run_interval = 600 for testing)
3. Run yum check-update to verify that there actually are packets to be updated
3. Start yum-updatesd
Nothing is received.
E-mail received at intervals specified.
The problem is that the yum-updatesd program in Fedora 7 (and, alas, RHEL5) is
very... inflexible... when it comes to notifications via email.
Specifically, the F7 yum-updatesd code uses an SMTP instance from the smtplib
Python module, but doesn't allow you to customize the host/port in
yum-updatesd.conf. Because the SMTP instance defaults to localhost:25, if no
SMTP daemon is listening on port 25 of localhost, yum-updatesd silently fails to
send mail. (At least, from my read of the code, if there's an SMTP listen on
port 25 of localhost, I think it should work. I honestly haven't tried.)
So, if you don't have an SMTP listener, you're out of luck; yum-updatesd in
Fedora 7 doesn't know how to submit mail messages by invoking a command-line
In Fedora 8, yum-updatesd was forked into a separate package, and many of its
egregious problems were fixed: email notifications will actually work without an
SMTP listener, it no longer wakes up 100 times per second (!), it doesn't hold
TCP sockets open in CLOSE_WAIT forever, etc.
IMHO, pre-F8 yum-updatesd is simply too buggy to use. If you can't update to
F8, I'd simply stick a "yum check-update" cron job into cron.daily, and turn off
Jeremy, is there any realistic hope of backporting the fixed yum-updatesd from
F8 to F7 or (even better) RHEL5? (I care much more about RHEL5 than F7, but
since RHEL5 has yum-3.0.1, that might not be trivial...)
A new yum/yum-updatesd is planned for RHEL-5.2, so that should solve the RHEL
An investigation of how exactly the SMTP server on localhost:25 behaved (using
telnet), it was found that a no-domain MAIL FROM: identifier was not accepted.
Fixed the issue by changing in /etc/yum/yum-updatesd.conf
email_from = root
email_from = root@localhost
The e-mail message however is so bland, that I will revert to what was
suggested earlier: a yum check-updates in cron.weekly. It seems that yum-
updatesd in FC8 has a much sexier message, with an actual list of packages that
could be updated. Any chance that it would be ported back to FC7?
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There's no sense in backporting to Fedora 7 now, and this should be fixed in
RHEL 5.2. I'd suggest closing with CURRENTRELEASE or NEXTRELEASE...