FAQ
Hi all,

While researching mailing list managers I encountered several mail
servers (MTA) programs.

If I am to make changes to sendmail might as well install another
server which will be better/easier for me as a non-admin person to
use/configure/maintain.

these are the servers I am aware of:

sendmail

exim

postfix

smail

qmail

Any recommendations/suggestions?

Should I even bother to replace sendmail?

Thanks,

-avi

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  • Brad Knowles at Aug 27, 2003 at 10:13 pm

    At 2:21 PM -0700 2003/08/27, Aviram Carmi wrote:

    If I am to make changes to sendmail might as well install another
    server which will be better/easier for me as a non-admin person to
    use/configure/maintain.
    [ ... deletia ... ]
    Any recommendations/suggestions?

    Should I even bother to replace sendmail?
    Sendmail is quite capable of doing the job. However, many people
    find it difficult to configure and manage.

    For smaller sites, or sites wishing to have a simpler
    configuration file, I find that postfix generally works very well.
    It has one of the simplest configuration files that I have ever seen,
    and comes configured out-of-the-box to be just about the perfect MTA
    for a mailing list.

    I've also heard good things about Exim, but my own experiences so
    far have been less positive with it than with postfix. Note that
    Exim is not designed to be a drop-in replacement for sendmail,
    whereas postfix works very hard to function correctly in this role.


    If you'd like to learn more about postfix, you may want to check
    out the article at
    <http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid/08/25/1125223&mode=thread&tid6&tid2&tid•>,
    and read the pages that they link to.


    You should also read the Mailman FAQ, question 4.2 "Which MTA
    should I use with Mailman?", at
    <http://www.python.org/cgi-bin/faqw-mm.py?req=show&fileúq04.002.htp>.

    --
    Brad Knowles, <brad.knowles at skynet.be>

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
    -Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania.

    GCS/IT d+(-) s:+(++)>: a C++(+++)$ UMBSHI++++$ P+>++ L+ !E-(---) W+++(--) N+
    !w--- O- M++ V PS++(+++) PE- Y+(++) PGP>+++ t+(+++) 5++(+++) X++(+++) R+(+++)
    tv+(+++) b+(++++) DI+(++++) D+(++) G+(++++) e++>++++ h--- r---(+++)* z(+++)
  • Raymond Wood at Aug 27, 2003 at 10:43 pm

    On Thu, Aug 28, 2003 at 12:13:10AM +0200, Brad Knowles imagined:
    At 2:21 PM -0700 2003/08/27, Aviram Carmi wrote:
    If I am to make changes to sendmail might as well install another
    server which will be better/easier for me as a non-admin person to
    use/configure/maintain.
    [ ... deletia ... ]
    Any recommendations/suggestions?

    Should I even bother to replace sendmail?
    Sendmail is quite capable of doing the job. However, many people
    find it difficult to configure and manage.
    I tend to agree. Feature-wise, Sendmail is still the most
    powerful MTA AFAICT, but most people can make their lives easier
    by choosing a less complex one, like Postfix or Exim.

    Cross Smail off your list; it is way old, and possibly obsolete.
    Qmail has fanatical devotees, but is not a 'drop-in' replacement
    for Sendmail, and also has a 'non-free' license. I'd cross them
    both off your list. YMMV.
    For smaller sites, or sites wishing to have a simpler
    configuration file, I find that postfix generally works very
    well. It has one of the simplest configuration files that I
    have ever seen, and comes configured out-of-the-box to be just
    about the perfect MTA for a mailing list.
    Postfix is also designed, like Qmail, from the ground up with
    security in mind. I'm told the source-code is a joy to look at,
    but don't quote me on that as I'm no authority :-)
    I've also heard good things about Exim, but my own
    experiences so far have been less positive with it than with
    postfix. Note that Exim is not designed to be a drop-in
    replacement for sendmail, whereas postfix works very hard to
    function correctly in this role.
    I think you want to double-check this; you may be thinking of
    Qmail here. AFAIK Exim, like Postfix, is structured to be a
    drop-in replacement for Sendmail, but verify this for yourself.
    If you'd like to learn more about postfix, you may want to
    check out the article at
    <http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid/08/25/1125223&mode=thread&tid6&tid2&tid•>,
    and read the pages that they link to.


    You should also read the Mailman FAQ, question 4.2 "Which MTA
    should I use with Mailman?", at
    <http://www.python.org/cgi-bin/faqw-mm.py?req=show&fileúq04.002.htp>.
    FWIW I use both Exim and Postfix, and they both work fine. If I
    were to set up a new server right now, I'd go with Postfix. I
    just wish it had Exim's license ;)

    Have Fun,
    Raymond
    --
    "What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the
    homeless, whether the mad destruction is brought under the name
    of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?"
    (Gandhi)
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  • Will Yardley at Aug 28, 2003 at 1:28 am

    On Wed, Aug 27, 2003 at 06:43:54PM -0400, Raymond Wood wrote:
    On Thu, Aug 28, 2003 at 12:13:10AM +0200, Brad Knowles imagined:
    For smaller sites, or sites wishing to have a simpler
    configuration file, I find that postfix generally works very well.
    It has one of the simplest configuration files that I have ever
    seen, and comes configured out-of-the-box to be just about the
    perfect MTA for a mailing list.
    Postfix is also designed, like Qmail, from the ground up with
    security in mind. I'm told the source-code is a joy to look at, but
    don't quote me on that as I'm no authority :-)
    I will third the suggestion to check out Postfix. I've used it on
    both very large scale systems (multiple mail machines, 30k+ users per
    cluster of machines), as well as on my own workstations. It's easy to
    configure, but flexible, fast, performs well, secure, and it's author
    isn't a raving loon *coughQMAILcough*.

    It has a good user community, and the postfix-users list is generally
    very helpful. Wietse himself (Postfix's author) posts to the list
    frequently, and provides some amusing entertainment at times.

    There may be certain features that it lacks, but I haven't ever run up
    against them, and I imagine most people will find the same thing.

    I've not run Exim since version 3.x, but I've heard good things about
    the recent releases of Exim as well.

    --
    "Since when is skepticism un-American?
    Dissent's not treason but they talk like it's the same..."
    (Sleater-Kinney - "Combat Rock")
  • Brad Knowles at Aug 28, 2003 at 2:12 am

    At 6:28 PM -0700 2003/08/27, Will Yardley wrote:

    I will third the suggestion to check out Postfix. I've used it on
    both very large scale systems (multiple mail machines, 30k+ users per
    cluster of machines), as well as on my own workstations.
    I've run larger scale systems. On the clusters of machines I've
    run, handling traffic for ~1m users, you start seeing issues that
    Wietse has not foreseen, and because of the scale of the problem is
    difficult for him to replicate. In those cases, the thing that
    matters is whether or not you can get him interested in helping you
    to solve your problem.

    However, if you're not anywhere close to that size, you're not
    likely to have those kinds of problems.
    There may be certain features that it lacks, but I haven't ever run up
    against them, and I imagine most people will find the same thing.
    I have. See above.

    That said, for smaller sites, I still think it's the better
    choice for many people.

    --
    Brad Knowles, <brad.knowles at skynet.be>

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
    -Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania.

    GCS/IT d+(-) s:+(++)>: a C++(+++)$ UMBSHI++++$ P+>++ L+ !E-(---) W+++(--) N+
    !w--- O- M++ V PS++(+++) PE- Y+(++) PGP>+++ t+(+++) 5++(+++) X++(+++) R+(+++)
    tv+(+++) b+(++++) DI+(++++) D+(++) G+(++++) e++>++++ h--- r---(+++)* z(+++)

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postedAug 27, '03 at 9:21p
activeAug 28, '03 at 2:12a
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