MTA advice ??

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Sun Aug 24 19:45:11 UTC 2008

pete wrote:
> I have a hosted domain that recently changed their mail filtering. I am 
> not happy with the new setup and am considering setting up my own. 
> Looking for tips on setting up something on my freeBSD 6.1 box.

Running your own MTA is one of those sysadmin rights of passage.  It's 
unfortunate that the general levels of spam and other nastyness around
the net make it so much harder than it should be nowadays.
> My ISP is cablevision IO. Not sure what they allow, ie: whether I can 
> have my hosted domain set to use my cable IP as a MTA, or if I have to 
> do some kind of end run around cablevision to get a MTA set up locally.

Hmmm... Whether this is allowed or not depends very much on the ToS of
your supplier.  Most big consumer ISPs won't let you run a mail server.
Most business ISPs will.  There are suppliers who will host e-mail for
you, for a consideration.  eg. -- a UK outfit so probably
not ideal for you, but a good example of what can be done.
> Also looking for advice on which software would serve me bet in this 
> instance.

Now that's a whole big can of worms.  Just about everyone has
religious-level opinions about what the best MTA is.  I tend to use
sendmail, because I know how to make it do what I want.  It's not for 
everyone though. postfix I generally hear good things about, and it
supports the same  libmilter stuff as sendmail, which is handy for
setting up things like DKIM signing or interfacing with spamassassin.
qmail has it's devotees but it's unlike just about any other Unix
daemon you've ever met.  Exim is pretty industrial strength and good
when you have to interface a lot with databases.  The config file
language is a bit odd though.

That's the 'big 4'.  There are plenty of smaller players like Courier
also available.  And we haven't even got onto such contentious topics
as 'what IMAP/POP3 server should I use' or 'if foobar webmail the thing
for me?'



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP:     Ramsgate
                                                  Kent, CT11 9PW

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