[Probably a bit OT] A question about mail systems

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk
Sat Jan 8 15:02:02 UTC 2011

On 08/01/2011 12:26, Rolf Nielsen wrote:
> So here's what I want to do.
> 1. Have fetchmail get the messages.

Should not be a problem.

> 2. Have an MTA (is that the right name, I always confuse them) deliver
> them locally to a maildir.

While you can use an MTA it's not actually necessary in this case.  What
you absolutely do need is a Local Delivery Agent (a.k.a Mail Deliver
Agent: MDA) of which there are several available.  You should be able to
hook them up directly to fetchmail.

Some LDAs that understand Maildir --

   procmail  -- stand-alone mail filtering and delivery application.
   deliver   -- part of dovecot IMAP server

> 3. Have either a POP3 or an IMAP server from which I can retrieve the
> messages to whichever client I choose.

   dovecot works very well serving Maildir via IMAP.  As mentioned
   elsethread, dovecot v2 isn't really stable yet.  Also lacks some of
   the add-ons like managesieve.  For a quiet life, stick to dovecot v1
   for the moment.

> 1 isn't a problem unless I need to make some radical changes.
> How do I set up 2 in the easiest possible way? Can anyone point me to a
> tutorial or HOWTO that I've missed? Or perhaps give me some tips on how
> to do it?

IIRC there's a '-m' flag to fetchmail which is what you want.

The other bit of this is setting up dovecot without needing to install
LDAP or MySQL or whatever.  That's not very difficult actually, and
covered in the Dovecot Wiki.  Either use PAM authentication from Dovecot
(in which case usernames, passwords etc. will be identical to what you
use to log into your server), or use a local passwd format file.

While you don't need an MTA for *reading* e-mail like this, you will
definitely need one for sending e-mail.  The good news is that it can be
on some completely different system eg. provided by your ISP, or via
gmail etc.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey     Ramsgate
JID: matthew at infracaninophile.co.uk               Kent, CT11 9PW

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