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Re: Debian's mail daemons

> Philip Hands wrote:
> >I think we should seriously consider using qmail as our default MTA.  It's 
> >only real weakness lies in it's documentation, and that should be reasonably 
> >easy to fix.
> AFAIK, qmail is highly antisocial WRT the number of connections it forces
> on a recipient host.

This seems to be overstating the case somewhat.  The default behaviour is to 
allow up to 20 (configurable) outgoing SMTP connections at a time.  Since 
these will normally not all be to one host, this does not seem excessive.

Of course, if you configure qmail to send all your outbound mail to a single 
machine (i.e. your ISP's mail server) then this would mean 20 connections, but 
in this situation you should be using serialmail (maildir2smtp), which would 
only open a single smtp session.

I agree that if you just get the qmail sources and install them, without 
putting any effort into making sure the configuration is appropriate for your 
setup, that it can be sub-optimal.

If on the other hand you consider qmail, and its ancillary packages as a 
whole, this is not the case.

The debian packaging system gives us a major advantage here, in that we can 
have qmail suggest the other packages (serialmail, rmail etc) and have the 
post-installs set up an optimal configuration for the user.  The package 
maintainers obviously need to keep up to speed on what the bes configuration 
might be, but the users shouldn't need to worry (unless they want to do 
something complicated).

The problems that people (including me) have when moving to qmail seem to 
arise mostly from thinking that the optional extras are optional --- whereas 
you are likely to _require_ one or two of them.

The documentation doesn't help here, because it basically says ``Just compile 
and Go'', but as I said before, that's something we could help to remedy.

Once you realise that you need to ad some extra bits, you can set up a MTA 
that is properly tailored to your needs.

This modular approach is what makes Unix great, and also works rather nicely 
for an MTA once you get used to it.

IMHO Monolithic, all encompassing, MTA's are really against the spirit of 
Unix, and also tend to spawn security problems.

Cheers, Phil.

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