Posted December 12, 2008
Here's a debian package for convincing apt that you have a mail transport agent. I built it on intrepid. I know it works on hardy. It should work on any version/architecture.
cd /tmp wget http://tomclegg.net/software/mta-manually-installed_1.0_all.deb sudo dpkg -i mta-manually-installed_1.0_all.deb
How to build it yourself
First install equivs and remove exim if apt sneaks it in along with the real dependencies. (!)
sudo apt-get install equivs sudo apt-get remove exim4 exim4-daemon-light exim4-base exim4-config
Create a deb file and edit it to suit.
equivs-control mta-manually-installed emacs mta-manually-installed
Mine looks like this.
Section: misc Priority: optional Standards-Version: 3.6.2 Package: mta-manually-installed Provides: mail-transport-agent Description: prevent apt from trying to install a mail-transport-agent
Build the .deb package.
Install the resulting package.
sudo dpkg -i mta-manually-installed_1.0_all.deb