Which mail server to run?

Which mail server to run?

Post by root » Thu, 13 Jan 2000 04:00:00




having email forwarded to from my Web host.  It's being sent to the IP

name is something like: xx999999-a.state.home.com.  The MX record at my
host points to mail.mydomain.com.  How do I get the machine to know that

installed a POP3 mail server yet because I wanted to wait to see which
one you guys recommended.  I was thinking Qmail because of the
security.  Any suggestions?

Thanks

 
 
 

Which mail server to run?

Post by Rod Smi » Thu, 13 Jan 2000 04:00:00


[Posted and mailed]




> having email forwarded to from my Web host.  It's being sent to the IP

> name is something like: xx999999-a.state.home.com.  The MX record at my
> host points to mail.mydomain.com.  How do I get the machine to know that


That depends on the mail server you use. In Postfix, for instance, you
edit the main.cf configuration file and set the mydestination variable so
that it includes all the names you want. Other mail servers have similar
mechanisms, but they vary from one server to the next.

Quote:> I haven't
> installed a POP3 mail server yet because I wanted to wait to see which
> one you guys recommended.  I was thinking Qmail because of the
> security.  Any suggestions?

Qmail isn't primarily a POP mail server, although the Qmail package might
include one (I really don't know). Qmail, Postfix, Sendmail, Exim, Smail,
and various others are primarily SMTP mail servers -- they both send and
receive mail using the SMTP protocol. A POP server works differently, as a
means to dish mail out to relatively simple client programs at the client
program's request. Think of SMTP as being a sender-initiated protocol, and
POP as a receiver-initiated protocol. SMTP servers generally both send and
receive mail, whereas POP servers generally only send it (at the request
of the receiver). There are ways to reconfigure things so they don't fit
this prototype, though.

It sounds like you want an SMTP server running on your system to accept
direct connections. You'd only need a POP server if you want to read the
mail that your Linux box accepts on other machines (machines on your local
network, say, or a machine at work) using mail programs on those machines
(as opposed to using telnet to log onto the Linux box and use pine, mutt,
or some other mail program on the Linux box itself).

As to which one is best, to some extent that's a matter of personal
preference. Sendmail, Qmail, Postfix, and Exim seem to be the most popular
mail servers in the Linux world at the moment. Sendmail and Exim are
"monolithic" programs, meaning that they run as one massive binary,
typically with root privilege. Qmail and Postfix are both modular, so most
sub-tasks are done with restricted privilege. In theory, a modular
approach poses fewer security risks, but of course to a large extent this
depends on the implementation details. Postfix and Qmail also both claim
to be much more efficient than Sendmail, but I doubt if that's a major
concern for you. Personally, I use Postfix because I found it easier to
configure to do the things I wanted than Sendmail, but you might not find
this to be true for you. Overall, unless you provide some specific need
you've not yet articulated, I'd have to recommend that you at least try to
get whatever mail server comes with your distribution working. If you have
problems getting it to do what you want, check the documentation for a
couple of other mail servers to see if they support whatever you're trying
to do. If they do, switch.

--

http://members.bellatlantic.net/~smithrod
Author of books on Linux networking & WordPerfect for Linux