freebsd : personal mailing system : setup : at wits end

Polytropon freebsd at
Wed Oct 10 22:21:58 UTC 2018

On Wed, 10 Oct 2018 16:41:28 +0530, Mayuresh Kathe wrote:
> okay, so i have spent the past 3 days trying to setup a personal mailing
> system under freebsd 11.2.
> i have grown to hate the stateful nature of "mutt" and relish the fond
> memories of "MH".
> but, i have been unable to find material about how to setup a MH based
> mailing system for personal use, for that matter, i have been unable to
> locate a package for MH, is it listed under a different name like
> heirloom or something?

MH is just a way of storing mail messages and mailboxes. It's
an alternative to classic mbox, and the conceptual origin of
MailDir (often considered today's standard).

MH mail storage, just like mbox, can be utilized on the server
as well as on the client. For example, my MUA Sylpheed uses MH
for locally storing messages, while the mail subsystem (sendmail)
on my home PC uses mbox. As you can see, they can co-exist. It
is even possible to use two different MUAs which operate on the
same local mail storage, given they both use the same format.
If I remember correctly, this was possible in the past with
early versions of Thunderbird, in combination with mutt (or
was it pine?), not sure.

The big difference is this:

	                   | mbox format         | MH format
	one message is ... | a portion of a file | a file
	a mailbox is ...   | a file              | a directory

The rules of the MH format basically apply to the MailDir format
as well.

As you can see, both concepts have advantages and disadvantages.

> could someone please help me understand the nitty-grities of getting a
> personal mail system setup under freebsd?

Can you be more precise about what "mail system" should include
for you? The term itself is too broad. A "mail system" could be
one, several, or all of those:

	mail transfer agent - MTA (transmits to other servers)
	mail delivery agent - MDA (delivers to local boxes)
	mail user agent - MUA ("mail program" for the user)

Basically, the following concepts can be involved:

	SMTP (send messages to servers or accept them)
	POP3 (hand over messages to MUA)
	IMAP (let MUA remotely manipulate messages on server)

There are also additional components, such as a web interface,
as a replacement for a MUA stand-alone program, or a spam filter,
or a "sieve" implemented in the MDA...

Note that the descriptions in parentheses are highly oversimplified,
as anyone who deals with mail systems (in its broadest meaning)
can tell you. ;-)

As you initially mentioned "personal mailing system", do you wish
to run your own server for receiving messages, or do you only want
a means to get your messages from storage elsewhere, and have some
specific kind of access to them? Do you think fetchmail + SHH + pine
could be such a combination?

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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