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[aclug-L] Re: Virtual POP3 and IMAP server

[aclug-L] Re: Virtual POP3 and IMAP server

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To: discussion@xxxxxxxxx
Subject: [aclug-L] Re: Virtual POP3 and IMAP server
From: Jonathan Hall <jonhall@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 11:07:39 -0500
Reply-to: discussion@xxxxxxxxx

Since this time yesterday, I've learned quite a bit--particularly about
qmail and postfix as possible alternatives to sendmail.

> > Reliability. qmail never loses mail.
> Sendmail's very reliable about not losing mail in my experience.  I've
> counted on this ability often.

Is this "qmail never loses mail" perhaps in response to the claim by qmail's
author that postfix is an easy target for certian 'DoS' attacks by local
users that can cause postfix to lose mail?  If so, I'll mention that
postfix's fix is avaialble, and can be used optionally.  With the 'fix' in
place, postfix does not use world-accessable mail spool dirs, but at the
loss of some performance.

For my particular application (and I realize this is not the same as
everyone else's), that's not a concern, b/c nobody will have shells on my
mail server machine.

I think the three contenders (in my own personal competition), sendmail,
qmail, and postfix, are all on equal footing on the 'losing mail' argument.

> > User-controlled mailing lists. Users don't have to pester the system
> > administrator to create new lists.
> As in majordomo-style lists, where the subscriber can control his own
> subscription?  Or just owner-controlled distribution lists that any user
> could do with his own email client?

Since when does an MTA handle mailing lists anyway?  I'd much rather use
majordomo or listar or some other 3rd party mailing list package than my
MTA... regardless of what MTA I use.  And even if my MTA does support that,
I wouldn't use it, I'd still use some other app.

> > Straightforward administration. qmail works with a minimum of fuss.
> I thought it was very difficult to configure.

I agree... I tried qmail about 2 years ago... it took me about 20 minutes to
install it... about 3 hous to realize I had no idea how to configure it,
then 3 weeks figure out how to completely remove it from my system.

Granted, that was 2 years ago... perhaps it's automated scripts,
documentation, and whatnot, have improved by now.

> > Flexible program deliveries. qmail provides a powerful interface for
> > external mail processors.
> What's "powerful" about it?  Sendmail seems to do alright with delivery
> agents and piping messages to programs.  How do you get more "powerful"
> than passing a message off to another program?

To answer this... it seems qmail is quite powerful in its ability to handle
virtual domains.  Now that's not to say sendmail can't do it... but I think
qmail can do it 'more easily.'  I think you can do just about anything under
the sun with sendmail + procmail.  So it's probably not a questin of
__ability__ as much as it is a question of efficiency, mantainence effort,
and ease of configuration.

qmail apparantly has a bunch of "add-on" packages that allow it to do
special things (like virtual domains, POP3, IMAP etc).  I question, though,
whether all those should really be the role of the MTA.  Does "more
powerful" mean "power hungry"?  In reading some things by qmail's author,
I'm beginning to think so... I think he wants to "take over" all mail
aspects with a single program.  I'm not sure that's wise.

> > The maildir format. This feature makes it easy to set up high-volume
> > distributed POP toasters.
> Maildir sounds nifty, but I use Pine to directly access my mailbox... I
> dunno if it handles Maildir (it may), but I often count on all my messages
> being in a single file because I look at them with command line utilities.
> I often pop into my mail archive folder and grep through the files to
> locate old messages, and I use rotatelogs to expire out old message
> archives.  And I only have two POP users, so mbox format works fine for
> me.

My only comment here is... Jump out of the 1980s and stop using pine.  :P

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  Jonathan Hall  *  jonhall@xxxxxxxxxxxx  *  PGP public key available
 Systems Admin, Future Internet Services; Goessel, KS * (620) 367-2487  *  PGP Key ID: FE 00 FD 51
                  -=  Running Debian GNU/Linux  =-
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