mail server setup questions
perrin at apotheon.com
Wed Sep 5 14:29:29 PDT 2007
On Wed, Sep 05, 2007 at 04:52:56PM -0400, Bob Johnson wrote:
> On 9/5/07, Andrey Shuvikov <mr.hyro at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Hi,
> > I'm trying to set up a home mailserver with imap/web access. But I was
> > going to use exim. Several people mentioned postfix here, but nobody
> > named exim. Is it a matter of personal preference or is exim not
> > suitable for this task?
Exim is as suited for the task as Postfix and Sendmail. All three are in
roughly the same class of mail transfer agent, and are roughly
interchangeable in terms of functionality.
Sendmail is very old-school Unix in its design philosophy, from what I've
seen. Postfix is pretty easy to wrap your head around and is pretty
light on resources when well-configured. Exim -- well, I suspect it has
some excellent qualities to recommend it, but my personal experience is
that it's a severe pain in my fourth point of contact to configure. Exim
is the default MTA for Debian, and while I was using Debian I ended up
swapping out Exim for Postfix on every install after I finally got tired
of dealing with Exim's configuration complexities and caveats. Your
mileage may vary.
> Whatever you do, please don't use Qmail. I don't want any more
> blowback spam than I already get.
I'm not a huge fan of Qmail, either. I not only try to avoid it myself,
but wish others would do so as well.
> In case I haven't made myself clear, I despise Qmail with a passion. I
> suppose it is suitable for people who like puzzles (as in "What
> patches do I need to make this do something useful?" or "What
> third-party tool do I need to make sense out of these awful log
> files?") and who don't mind inflicting lots of unnecessary secondary
> spam on the rest of the world. Yes, I know there are _supposed_ to be
> patches that fix that problem, but (a) the one I've seen in action
> doesn't work very well, and (b) you shouldn't need to apply
> third-party patches to your mail server to make it do what it is
> supposed to do in the first place.
Basically, Qmail seems to have taken the philosophy of removing
everything non-basic to make Qmail "secure" and "simple" by default.
Unfortunately, as you hinted, this means Qmail requires a bunch of
third-party add-ons, tools, plugins, and extensions to do anything
useful, and those extras are not subject to the same standards of
simplicity and security as Qmail itself. The end result is that Qmail
servers tend to end up badly unsecured and something of a nightmare to
maintain -- or, at least, that's what I've seen.
It's also not really open source software, or wasn't last I checked,
anyway. For all I know, all my experience with Qmail (and thus my
knowledge of it) may be obsolete.
My memory of Qmail is somewhat reinforced by this, however:
This, however, makes it clear that you should (in the US) be able to get
away with passing around patches all you like:
. . . which has nothing to do with whether it's "open source", really.
CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
Amazon.com interview candidate: "When C++ is your hammer, everything starts
to look like your thumb."
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