Whic mail server?

Karl Vogel vogelke+unix at pobox.com
Mon Sep 28 01:37:51 UTC 2009

>> On Sun, 27 Sep 2009 06:01:22 -0700 (PDT), 
>> Aflatoon Aflatooni <aaflatooni at yahoo.com> said:

A> I am running a server that is acting as the mail server for only
A> internal users (about 50 users).  Currently we are running Sendmail...

   First things first: if you're happy with Sendmail and your system works
   to your satisfaction, I'd leave it be.  Just watch your logs and keep an
   eye out for security patches.

A> I am wondering if qmail is thought to be better than sendmail.

   There are fanboys on all three sides of that question ("yes", "no", and
   "qmail bites, use this-other-MTA instead").  I switched from sendmail to
   qmail on a server because I had an odd corner case that qmail happened
   to handle just about perfectly.  I also botched a qmail install on my
   own workstation, didn't feel like finding out what I did wrong, and
   decided to install Postfix instead.

   I've had fine experiences with both qmail and Postfix.  If you're
   using a system that's a little under-powered, you might appreciate Dr.
   Bernstein's efforts to make qmail and its supporting tools *very* frugal
   with OS resources.  If you're used to the sendmail way of doing things,
   you'd probably be better off with Postfix.

   I like Dr. Bernstein's programming approach, but be prepared to spend
   time getting used to his way of setting up network daemons, etc.  It's
   internally consistent but *very* different.  It takes me 30-40 minutes
   to install all of the qmail stuff from source because I've done it at
   least 6 or 7 times; I could probably cut that in half if I didn't save
   build and installation outputs for my logs.  My first time took most of
   a weekend to figure out what was going on.

A> Any suggestions on spam filters like spam-assassin?

   I tried SA a few years ago, and it was a little heavy-weight for my
   filtering needs.  I use a simple Bayesian filter (ifile) trained on
   around 100,000 spams plus some procmail rules, and I get along fine.
   Your mileage will vary.  I saw some other comments:

>> Qmail is not, nor has it been, actively supported for years.

   Depends on what you mean by support.  The user community is very active;
   have a look at http://www.ornl.gov/lists/mailing-lists/qmail/ if you
   doubt it.  OTOH, said community can be a bit, um, brusque, but the Qmail
   Handbook and the "Life with Qmail" webpage filled in the blanks for me.

>> Qmail has a very limited set of features...

   It's intended to handle one problem well, which it does.  If you have
   some other requirements, http://www.qmail.org/ probably has a plugin
   that will do what you want.

   OK, now let's settle which text editor is best.

Karl Vogel                      I don't speak for the USAF or my company
They say marriages are made in heaven.  So is thunder and lightning.
                                                         --Clint Eastwood

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