Mail server recomendations (was: is the list the right place to ask?)

John Nielsen lists at
Sat Feb 10 06:57:37 UTC 2007

On Saturday 10 February 2007 01:33, Ray wrote:
> I'm looking for a package (or set of packages) that would provide a mail
> server with the following capabilities
> minimally:
> pop and smtp access that could handle 20 to 100 domains and 200 to 2000
> mail boxes.(allowing some room for future growth)

SMTP: sendmail is part of the base system and is pretty powerful but has a 
steep learning curve. There are alternatives available in the ports, one of 
the more popular being postfix. Others such as qmail may also be worth 

POP, etc.: I highly recommend dovecot. It's efficient, pretty easy to 
configure, and can handle almost any setup you can imagine. You also get 
IMAP with this, which even if you don't want on its own you will want to 
use with your webmail package.

> ideally: also provide a web interface for individual users and also for
> administration on a per domain and whole server level.
> we have several customers that need to be able to administer their own
> domains, (Read this as I don't want ten calls a day saying "I forgot my
> password") but we don't want them touching others accounts.

Admin: webmin provides a reasonably secure web-based frontend to many 
different admin. tools and allows you to grant different levels of access 
to each tool to different users. Virtualmin might be an even better match 
for what you're after.

Webmail: For features, go with Imp and any other parts of the Horde suite of 
applications that interest you. Horde's groupware package is starting to 
get pretty polished, and the individual components (mail, calendar, address 
book, tasks, etc) are all quite mature. Setup and config is a bit on the 
complex side, but there's work going on there and much of the initial 
config is now web-based.  Other popular and simpler webmail packages 
include OpenWebMail and SquirrelMail.

> spam and virus scanning would be a definite plus, but from what I have
> read, these two parts are fairly straight forward.
> We have recently changed the web server from M$ to FreeBSD and now we're
> trying to change the mail server too.
> Thanks for any pointers or suggestions.

I use clamAV on my mailserver, works great and keeps itself up-to-date 
pretty well. Easy integration with sendmail via a milter. For spam you'll 
likely want a combination of techniques. SpamAssassin is a good starting 
point. Also look at the DNS black- or greylisting features of your SMTP 
program (I use a couple realtime DNS blacklists with sendmail). Depending 
on the types of messages you're hoping to stop/detect, you might also want 
to look at MimeDefang.

Everything above is in the ports. You have a lot of options so it's just a 
matter of nailing down what you want in terms of features and then 
selecting the best tool for the task.


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