sendmail vs smail

sendmail vs smail

Post by Richard A. Kurni » Mon, 05 Feb 1996 04:00:00



Hi all,

I'm looking to renovate our e-mail transport agents.  We are working
with many different architectures and unix flavor operating systems.
i.e. Solaris, SunOS,Ultrix.....

I would like to hear the positive and negative values of both smail and
sendmail.  We are dealing with approx. 400 users.

I would be interested to hearing any suggestions on this topic.  I've
never configured mail on this many different systems before so
suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks,

--

 
 
 

sendmail vs smail

Post by Brad Knowl » Wed, 07 Feb 1996 04:00:00




> I would like to hear the positive and negative values of both smail and
> sendmail.  We are dealing with approx. 400 users.

    I've not had a whole lot of experience with Smail, but what I do know
is that it has very few configuration options.  This makes it both very
easy to configure and virtually useless if the few configuration options
available don't suit your needs.

    Sendmail is more complex to configure, but more flexible.  Sendmail
does have the advantage of having two very well-written books to help you
with configuring it (which Smail doesn't have), but you could argue that
this is also a drawback, because it demonstrates that sendmail needs the
additional documentation.

    You may not believe this, but I'd be inclined to recommend you use
Smail, if that's what your vendor ships as a standard option.  If you have
to get the software yourself and configure it, then Smail loses a lot of
its advantages because the added hassle of compiling and installing it
somewhat offsets the simplicity of the package.

    Also, although Smail may fit your needs today, I think you need to
look forward to a day when Smail can no longer cut it, and what you will
do then.  It might or might not make more sense to go straight to sendmail
now, and skip the intermediate step with Smail.  Only you can make that
decision once you look at the packages themselves and the available
documentation.

--

    comp.mail.sendmail FAQ Maintainer      <http://www.his.com/~brad/>

The comp.mail.sendmail FAQ is at <http://www.his.com/~brad/sendmail/>

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sendmail vs smail

Post by John R Pier » Wed, 07 Feb 1996 04:00:00



Quote:>Hi all,

>I'm looking to renovate our e-mail transport agents.  We are working
>with many different architectures and unix flavor operating systems.
>i.e. Solaris, SunOS,Ultrix.....

>I would like to hear the positive and negative values of both smail and
>sendmail.  We are dealing with approx. 400 users.

>I would be interested to hearing any suggestions on this topic.  I've
>never configured mail on this many different systems before so
>suggestions would be helpful.

We used to use SMAIL, its main advantage was very easy setup.  We
switched to sendmail, because we wanted to do some things that smail
couldn't do (mainly, 'masquerade' a internal gateway by stripping it



system...)  Also we wanted to auto-forward any mail not otherwise
listed to a specific gateway without having to constantly add users to
the aliases file.  sendmail can do all this and more.  smail can't.

Assuming all these systems are on one network, you probably want to
designate one specific host to be the main mail server, and have all
mail routed to and from it.  Have your users on the various systems
use 'pop' based mail readers rather than having the mail always sent
to the specific system the user is on.  That way when users move
around workstations, they always get their mail no matter WHAT they
are on.  This of course requires that all the users have an account on
the central mail server for pop/smtp purposes _OR_ setting up the
aliases file to redirect their mail to the system they are homed on
(and then running sendmail on ALL the systems...).

I'm sure other folks have different ideas about how to do this, this
is just the way that works best for me and our network (we have lots
of PC&mac users and not many unix users)

-jrp

 
 
 

sendmail vs smail

Post by Mike O'Conno » Wed, 07 Feb 1996 04:00:00




:We used to use SMAIL, its main advantage was very easy setup.  We
:switched to sendmail, because we wanted to do some things that smail
:couldn't do (mainly, 'masquerade' a internal gateway by stripping it



:system...)  Also we wanted to auto-forward any mail not otherwise
:listed to a specific gateway without having to constantly add users to
:the aliases file.  sendmail can do all this and more.  smail can't.

For your first issue, yeah, you definitely want something that's more
designed to muddle with headers like sendmail on the machine(s) that will
talk to said stupid netwokr.  But for your second point, check out the
smart-user directive?  That would appear to do exactly what you describe.  

With smail, I'm less likely to get bitten by the huge-program-suid-root
bug-of-the-week club.  With smail, I don't have to worry about my headers
being munged in some goofy way or another.  

:Assuming all these systems are on one network, you probably want to
:designate one specific host to be the main mail server, and have all
:mail routed to and from it.  Have your users on the various systems
:use 'pop' based mail readers rather than having the mail always sent
:to the specific system the user is on.  That way when users move

Easier said than done in many cases.

--

 InterNIC WHOIS: MJO                                 http://www.coast.net/~mjo

"It seems like once people grow up, they have no idea what's cool."    -Calvin

 
 
 

sendmail vs smail

Post by Piercarlo Gran » Wed, 07 Feb 1996 04:00:00


>>> On Sun, 4 Feb 1996 22:45:00 GMT, "Richard A. Kurnik"


rkurnik> Hi all, I'm looking to renovate our e-mail transport agents.
rkurnik> We are working with many different architectures and unix
rkurnik> flavor operating systems.  i.e. Solaris, SunOS,Ultrix.....

Both smail and sendmail are boradly equivalent. Adminstration of smail
is definitely easier; if you learn the cryptic macro language of
sendmail you can do very sophisticated things that smail cannot do, but
these are very rarely needed.

There is an alternative that is probably the best for large scale sites,
and it is zmailer; its macro rewriting language is identical to the
shell, and is thus both fiarly legible and familiar, and is much more
efficient than either smail or sendmail (it does not fork).

 
 
 

sendmail vs smail

Post by Andrew MacInty » Thu, 08 Feb 1996 04:00:00




Quote:>Hi all,
>I'm looking to renovate our e-mail transport agents.  We are working
>with many different architectures and unix flavor operating systems.
>i.e. Solaris, SunOS,Ultrix.....
>I would like to hear the positive and negative values of both smail and
>sendmail.  We are dealing with approx. 400 users.

I can't speak from experience of using it, but Zmailer (or is it Zmail?)
is another alternative.  If memory serves me correctly, its located on
an ftp site somewhere in Toronto (archie should be able to help find it).

--
Andrew I MacIntyre                     "These thoughts are mine alone..."


Fido:   Andrew MacIntyre, 3:620/243.18        |        Australia

 
 
 

sendmail vs smail

Post by Brad Knowl » Fri, 09 Feb 1996 04:00:00



> With smail, I'm less likely to get bitten by the huge-program-suid-root
> bug-of-the-week club.  With smail, I don't have to worry about my headers
> being munged in some goofy way or another.

    With older versions of sendmail, this was a serious problem.  With
more recent incarnations, sendmail is actually one of the more secure
processes on the machine.  In fact, I understand that Eric has gotten a
lot of complaints about his tightening security up too far, and breaking
certain bits of functionality that used to work and that people liked.

--

    comp.mail.sendmail FAQ Maintainer      <http://www.his.com/~brad/>

The comp.mail.sendmail FAQ is at <http://www.his.com/~brad/sendmail/>

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sendmail vs smail

Post by Brad Knowl » Fri, 09 Feb 1996 04:00:00




> There is an alternative that is probably the best for large scale sites,
> and it is zmailer; its macro rewriting language is identical to the
> shell, and is thus both fiarly legible and familiar, and is much more
> efficient than either smail or sendmail (it does not fork).

    I guess I'm going to have to dig out my archives of
comp.mail.sendmail, because it has been proven in real-world usage that
version 8 sendmail is significantly faster than Zmailer.  A large
University was using Zmailer (certainly an improvement over IDA sendmail,
which is what they'd been using before) and was bottlenecking at 4000-5000
messages per hour on a 100% busy machine.  Installing version 8.6.12
sendmail immediately caused them to jump up to 5000-6000 messages per hour
and only 1/2 to 2/3 busy.

    Zmailer was a nice concept, but from what I can tell, it hasn't kept up.

--

    comp.mail.sendmail FAQ Maintainer      <http://www.his.com/~brad/>

The comp.mail.sendmail FAQ is at <http://www.his.com/~brad/sendmail/>

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sendmail vs smail

Post by Ingo Pasch » Fri, 09 Feb 1996 04:00:00



>>>> On Sun, 4 Feb 1996 22:45:00 GMT, "Richard A. Kurnik"

>rkurnik> Hi all, I'm looking to renovate our e-mail transport agents.
>rkurnik> We are working with many different architectures and unix
>rkurnik> flavor operating systems.  i.e. Solaris, SunOS,Ultrix.....
>Both smail and sendmail are boradly equivalent. Adminstration of smail
>is definitely easier; if you learn the cryptic macro language of
>sendmail you can do very sophisticated things that smail cannot do, but
>these are very rarely needed.

I have to disagree: With the m4-configuration-macros, creating a
sendmail.cf-File is _way_ easier than building the smail-config-Files from
the supplied examples. For most leaf-sites, the m4-config-macro you have to
write is just 2-4 lines long!

And, _if_ you should ever need to change the rulesets, you can.

With sendmail 8, you don't have to tamper with the sendmail.cf-File anymore!

Let me give two examples:

1. My config-File is quite long because I use some customizations:

-----------------------------------------------------------
divert(-1)
include(`../m4/cf.m4')

VERSIONID(`xlan-mailconfig V1.0 -ip')

OSTYPE(nextstep)dnl

Dmxlan.hil.de
define(`confDOMAIN_NAME', `$m')dnl
define(`UUCP_MAX_SIZE', 1000000)dnl

define(`SMART_HOST', `uucp-dom:dinx')dnl
define(`UUCP_RELAY', `uucp-dom:dinx')dnl

FEATURE(nodns)dnl
FEATURE(always_add_domain)dnl

MAILER(local)dnl
MAILER(smtp)dnl
MAILER(uucp)dnl
-----------------------------------------------------------

If you have an interconnected machine, you can use:

-----------------------------------------------------------
divert(-1)
VERSIONID(`generic.mc')
OSTYPE(nextstep)dnl
DOMAIN(generic)dnl
MAILER(local)dnl
MAILER(smtp)dnl
-----------------------------------------------------------

I don't think this is cryptic. I have used smail before and
found it much more cumbersome to maintain the config-Files.

Ciao,
Ingo.

 
 
 

sendmail vs smail

Post by Michael Sinatr » Sat, 10 Feb 1996 04:00:00



>     I guess I'm going to have to dig out my archives of
> comp.mail.sendmail, because it has been proven in real-world usage that
> version 8 sendmail is significantly faster than Zmailer.  A large
> University was using Zmailer (certainly an improvement over IDA sendmail,
> which is what they'd been using before) and was bottlenecking at 4000-5000
> messages per hour on a 100% busy machine.  Installing version 8.6.12
> sendmail immediately caused them to jump up to 5000-6000 messages per hour
> and only 1/2 to 2/3 busy.

I don't know if you deliberately withheld the name of the "large university," but
I do know that Cornell was using Zmailer on most of its machines, including its
central mail router and its listserver, which has quite a few mailing lists.  
This had worked better than some earlier version of sendmail (perhaps it was
5+IDA as you mention), but about a year or two ago, a few of their main servers
began * at the high volume.  There was a period of about one whole week
when only a trickle of mail could get in or out of the university.  They ended up
having to shut down the listserv for all but "essential mailing lists" (if such a
thing existed) and do a crash installation of v8 on all of their machines (8.6.8
was the latest at the time, I think).  Things cleared up dramatically at that
point.

Mike

 
 
 

sendmail vs smail

Post by D. J. Bernste » Sat, 10 Feb 1996 04:00:00


  [ with Zmailer, a host was 100% busy at 4000-5000 messages per hour ]
  [ with sendmail 8.6.12, immediately jumped up to 5000-6000 per hour ]

Amazing. This implies that, on average, 24000 messages per day were
being bounced from that one host. Could you provide more details, for
those of us who missed the event?

Anyway, qmail can handle loads like that on a PC.

---Dan

 
 
 

sendmail vs smail

Post by Piercarlo Gran » Sat, 10 Feb 1996 04:00:00



piercarl> There is an alternative that is probably the best for large
piercarl> scale sites, and it is zmailer; its macro rewriting language
piercarl> is identical to the shell, and is thus both fiarly legible and
piercarl> familiar, and is much more efficient than either smail or
piercarl> sendmail (it does not fork).

brad>     I guess I'm going to have to dig out my archives of
brad> comp.mail.sendmail, because it has been proven in real-world usage that
brad> version 8 sendmail is significantly faster than Zmailer.

We have already gone over this twice over the years, and in both cases I
have explained why the figures you report are erroneous hearsay. However
let's go over it again:

brad> A large University was using Zmailer (certainly an improvement
brad> over IDA sendmail, which is what they'd been using before) and was
brad> bottlenecking at 4000-5000 messages per hour on a 100% busy
brad> machine.

Which is impossible because it means that Zmailer takes almost a second
per message _of CPU time_. Now, not even*takes that much to format
a page.

brad> Installing version 8.6.12 sendmail immediately caused them to jump
brad> up to 5000-6000 messages per hour and only 1/2 to 2/3 busy.

Which is pretty bad, because it means about one third of a second of CPU
time per message, which is slower than*on a comparable machine :-).

brad>     Zmailer was a nice concept, but from what I can tell, it
brad>     hasn't kept up.

Uhm I read from the overview in the zmailer source:

  zm> - What experience shows that it can do?

  zm>   Original developement systems had loads of 1000-2000 messages a day
  zm>   (somewhat more route decissions, like 2-3 times that),

Note _loads_, not peak, and this was many, many years ago.

  zm> but multi-router mode has enabled serious processing to happen which
  zm> sends out 20-50 THOUSAND messages a day On one burst-load test the
  zm> system did show up to handle about 12500 messages a day per router
  zm> process (three route lookups on each message from DNS across the
  zm> Ethernet).

In the case where _all_ messages are offsite. This is a worst case, many
years ago, and does not mean CPU.

  zm> If system can take more route processes, it is most likely
  zm> possible to increase system performance to hundreds of thousands
  zm> messages per day..  There is no conclusive evidence that next
  zm> possible bottle-neck, scheduler, won't clog, but there appears to
  zm> be ample power (if your host has it..) -- 50 000 messages a day is
  zm> no problem.  ( Sun SS-10/41 ) [ Apr-1994 ] Another burst-load test
  zm> routed 1000 messages to "nobody" (via local alias db to
  zm> "/dev/null") on an Sun SS-10/50 MHz/Solaris 2.4, gave speed of 120
  zm> 000 messages per day per router process (the test was run with 4
  zm> parallel routers) On same machine with scheduler from
  zm> zmailer-2.99.15, scheduling the messages took a bit under two
  zm> minutes (1:55), which indicates speed of roughly 750 000 messages
  zm> per day.  Very likely it can exceed million messages per day (not
  zm> million recipients, like when expanding lists, but million
  zm> individual recipients) [ Aug-1995 ]

So, on a modern machine it does 1,000 local deliveries in 120 seconds,
for a speed of 10,000 messages per hour at 1/3 load.

Presumably this turns into much the same for non local deliveries even
for remote deliveries, if one configures multiple processes (say 3-6) as
one should do, because then DNS lookup waits can be overlapped.

 
 
 

sendmail vs smail

Post by Brad Knowl » Sun, 11 Feb 1996 04:00:00




> I don't know if you deliberately withheld the name of the "large
> university," but I do know that Cornell was using Zmailer on most of its
> machines, including its central mail router and its listserver, which
> has quite a few mailing lists.

    No, it wasn't intentional.  I just couldn't remember who they were.
But the experience Cornell had certainly seems to jive with the report I
vaguely remember (which may actually have been Cornell, but I don't know
for sure).

--

    comp.mail.sendmail FAQ Maintainer      <http://www.his.com/~brad/>

The comp.mail.sendmail FAQ is at <http://www.his.com/~brad/sendmail/>

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sendmail vs smail

Post by Christoph Rim » Sun, 11 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Hello


> >>> On Sun, 4 Feb 1996 22:45:00 GMT, "Richard A. Kurnik"

> rkurnik> Hi all, I'm looking to renovate our e-mail transport agents.
> rkurnik> We are working with many different architectures and unix
> rkurnik> flavor operating systems.  i.e. Solaris, SunOS,Ultrix.....

> Both smail and sendmail are boradly equivalent. Adminstration of
> smail is definitely easier; if you learn the cryptic macro language
> of sendmail you can do very sophisticated things that smail cannot
> do, but these are very rarely needed.

In sendmail you can control the conditions for sendmail to fork, depending
on the machine load. In smail you cannot, but say to either spawn one
smail for every single task or run all tasks serially through only one
smail process. No alternatives in between these extrema.

In my understanding of mail systems, sendmail is far more flexible, and it
is the much better choice for machines that have to handle high amounts of
mail traffic.

-cr

--

 
 
 

sendmail vs smail

Post by Brad Knowl » Sun, 11 Feb 1996 04:00:00





>   [ with Zmailer, a host was 100% busy at 4000-5000 messages per hour ]
>   [ with sendmail 8.6.12, immediately jumped up to 5000-6000 per hour ]

> Amazing. This implies that, on average, 24000 messages per day were
> being bounced from that one host. Could you provide more details, for
> those of us who missed the event?

    I don't think it was so much a matter of being bounced per se as it
was the peaks being significantly flattened.  I'm sure there were some
bounces, but I don't think that they were anywhere near 24k per day.

    As it stands on our systems, we handle ~7200 messages per hour per
machine before we start getting into bottlenecks in various parts of the
system (some of which may be back-end limited).  And we can sustain for
short bursts a rate that would correspond to 24k messages per hour.

    Of course, since we do two million Internet mail messages a day across
the whole system, we obviously have a large number of machines (especially
since we have to program to handle the full peak load without the machines
being a bottleneck, and we have to have additional capacity on-hand for
future growth as well).

Quote:> Anyway, qmail can handle loads like that on a PC.

    Has anyone tested it in a two-million message a day environment?
What's your biggest customer?  How many messages have been processed
through it over the entire lifetime of the software at all customer sites?

--

    comp.mail.sendmail FAQ Maintainer      <http://www.his.com/~brad/>

The comp.mail.sendmail FAQ is at <http://www.his.com/~brad/sendmail/>

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1. sendmail vs. smail

i was wondering if anyone can help me here.  i am running linux 1.1.50 over a
slackware install (fall 94 2.1.0).  this box is at home, and i want to fire up
elm and compose messages then mail them with the return address of my
university published address.  (i know this has been talked about before).  i
have tried the suggestions of changing the configuration file for smail.
the only result was that a header showing this address was sent.  this does not
help when the recipient wants to (R) to the post.  am i right in figgering that
sendmail is more configurable in this respect?  also, (if you know) can i
compose multiple messages without sendmail/smail trying to send them out until
later?  i am using a slip connection, and would like to connect only when i
need to send out mail.

thanks for any help,
keith grider

--
__________________________________________________________________________
Keith Grider                        "If I had $1000000 i'd buy you a green

                                    that's cruel!"  Bare Naked Ladies

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