Best SMTP Gateway Program and Reporting Tools

Paul Chvostek paul+fbsd at
Thu Aug 14 21:30:38 UTC 2008

Hi Josh,

On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 03:22:55PM -0500, Josh Kidd wrote:
> I just wanted to pose this question to the list on people's opinions as
> to what the best SMTP Gateway program (ie. Sendmail, Postfix, etc) is
> and what the best log analysis tool for that SMTP program is. 

All the advice from other messages stands.  Each package has its
benefits.  Everbody knows and supports sendmail, but it's annoying to
configure.  Postfix is great, easy to configure, and now with "milter"
support can do almost anything that Sendmail can.  Smail and Exim users
swear by their products, and I'm sure they're great (though I've never
used either).  Zmailer scales beautifully, though if you actually have
enough traffic to take advantage of its scaling, you should buy another
five mail servers.

As for the best log analysis tool ... it's not free, but I absolutely
adore Sawmill (  It will support any and all
log formats -- I currently use it with both Sendmail and Postfix logs.

Highly recommended.  And not very expensive.

> is our main requirement is to have a way to view the logs on a web based
> interface that will allow our system administrators when a customer
> complains they didn't receive an email to be able to go into the logs
> and search by date/time and view the activity for that period to
> determine if the mail went through our system or if it was blocked and
> if so why. 

Grep is your friend.  Innovative use of grep, even.  And if you use
sendmail, here's a tool I wrote many many years ago that's had regular
use over the years:

I haven't yet adapted it to Postfix logs.  Trickier to parse.

> I've heard of and read about a few different programs like SMA and
> Anteater and pflogstats, but I don't know if these will have the
> functionality I need to allow admins to search logs for a specific
> date/time and/or specific phrase/address on a web based interface.

Yup.  The most detailed view of your log data is a direct one that you
can get using grep.  I don't know those other packages, but I do love
Sawmill's web UI.

(Hear that, Greg?  I'm marketing for ya! ;] )


  Paul Chvostek                                             <paul at>

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