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Re: pop3 and Maildir

On Thu, 15 Feb 2001, Eric Ravelomamantsoa wrote:

> I've been following this thread with interest because I'm also looking 
> for a pop3 server for a Debian system . Anyway. There are some basic 
> points I'm missing though. What are the pros and cons of Maildir versus 
> other formats. What is the point with Mysql and pam authentication and 
> how does it affect a mail server.  Can somebody, please give me some 
> pointers where those are explained, and what are the best current 
> practices for setting up a pop/imap mail server?
> Thanks to all,
> Eric.

Okay, we run pop3, imap and smtp currently on a debian box. The real
advantage I see it with Maildir, is that it allows you to run your
mailspool over NFS, as it require no locking. That enables you to have
several different machines delivering to the same mailspool. NFS is of
course slower but having several machines acting as your mail system gives
you totally different possibilities of taking down one server and refit it
while the customers dont notice a thing. The mailbox format is the
'defacto' standard and some claim it to be faster. But it requires locking
if you use several different programs working with it at the same time.

pam makes authentication 'transparent' in that it allows you to choose the
authentication method separate from the program using it. If the mail 
program supports MySQL authentication directly, they usually also allow
extra information to be pulled from the tables. Courier-IMAP is of that
kind, and allows you to specify for each 'user' the uid,gid,mailbox
placing, password etc. In the end that can give you a system where you
dont need to give mailusers "real" unix accounts.

/Roger Abrahamsson

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