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Re: Building a mail server

i'm learning exim right now. i'm going to use this as MTA along with courier-imap for POP3.
from what i know, exim should be able to handle all the things you mentioned (except that filter setup from within a MUA). but you wouldn't have to mess around with a shell account. i've heard of sieve as a kind of filtering language (heard only, i'll have to look at it myself). there's a web interface called smartsieve where you can set up your own filter rules in a browser.

i have previously tried to get qmail up and running, but it seems to be a *little* too secure for me... wasn't even able to get it send at least a single mail. so i threw the whole thing away and started with exim. this one looks much easier to manage, i have just 'finished' my concept of virtual domains/users with a mysql database (only for account->maildir/password information). since i'm going to start my own internet webserver in autumn, my plans are to automate the whole configuration (e-mail inclusive) as far as possible. also for my end users/customers.

if you're interested in some configuration details of my test server, just send me a mail...


-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht----- 
Von: "Jeffrey Hartmann" <debain@lefty.org>
An: <debian-user@lists.debian.org>
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 30. Juli 2003 21:37
Betreff: Building a mail server

> I run a small server that is used for myself and some friends and family to
> host email, webpages, etc.
> I'm looking to put a new mail server into place and after much research I'm
> even more confused than ever, and I'm looking for some advice.  I've look at
> many packages, but I might be missing a few or maybe even missed that one
> package could be setup in a special way.
> I'm currently using sendmail, qpopper, and openwebmail.  Although this setup
> works, it's lacking in some features I would like.
> Requirements (mostly standard stuff):
> 1) maildirs - I've been told that maildirs is less CPU intensive since the MUA
> doesn't have to scan through huge mailbox files.  I also like that one mangled
> message isn't going to corrupt a whole mailbox.  The other option I was
> thinking about was Cyrus or maybe find something that stores mail in mySQL,
> but many people seem to talk badly about 'proprietary' mail storage formats.
> 2) virtual domain support
>      specifically I like the sendmail style virtusertable:
>           bob@domain.com: user1
>           @domain.com:    user2
> 3) imap - Cyrus or Courier seem to be the current top contenders.
> 4) webmail - I like openwebmail, but it only does mbox mail spools. 
> Squirrelmail seems to be the most popular here.
> 5) smtp auth - Sendmail had a patch/configuration option for this. 
> pop-before-smtp is an option, however I like the smtp auth method better. 
> It'd be nice if I could have everything behind SSL and still have it
> compatible with the popular windows MUAs.
> 6) pop3 - pretty standard, just needs to work.
> Now the optional requirements.  These are things I would REALLY like to see,
> but I could live without.  So any suggestions that could get me the closest to
> all of these is best.
> 1) Server based filtering,  What I'm really looking for here is the ability to
> sort all my mail by domain.  So maindomain.com mail would end up in INBOX/,
> but domain1.com mail would end up in INBOX/domain1.com/.  This really ties to
> the IMAP, as those are the folders I would be sorting into, and I'd like the
> filtering to happen on the server so it's already filtered no matter what MUA
> I'm connecting with.  It could also be used for just general mail filters like
> filters mailing lists to different folders.  Right now I color code my
> messages in OE so I know what mail server it came from, but I can't seem to do
> that in IMAP.
> It would be nice to be able to setup the filters from the MUA, but I'm
> guessing thats going to be pretty rare or impossible to find.  It wouldn't be
> too horrible to have to do it manually from a shell, as the people using this
> feature would be the more advanced users.
> Along this line also the POP3 server shouldn't distinguish between the
> filtered mail and just kick it all out like a normal pop3 server.  (The filter
> could possibly add some X- header to signify the sorting for pop users.)
> 2) virtual users.  Currently everyone has thier own account on the system, and
> mail is delivered according to the virtusertable.  I have some family members
> that don't really know how to use a shell account, so I'd like the ability to
> not have to open that account for them.  I'd rather have virtual users than
> having to take measures to lock the account.  So I would still need that
> virtusertable functionallity, but it would have to be able to deliver to
> virtual accounts as well.
> 3) spam and virus scanning.  This seems pretty trivial to implement.  Mainly
> I'd like to have the spam filters, but virus scanning is a plus as well. 
> SpamAssassian looks good, but I'm not sure if there are any virus scanners
> that wouldn't cost too much for a small server like this.
> 4) fetchmail or something like it that could run globally for all users like
> every hour and inject the messages into the maildir/IMAP.  Again if I could
> filter this so messages from myisp.com went into INBOX/myisp.com/ I would be
> happy.
> At this point I know I'm going to have to change webmail systems, and I need
> to decide on an IMAP server.  Not even sure what's available for a server-side
> filter, and what MTAs it's compatible with.  Sendmail is the tried and true
> proven system, but from what I understand it doesn't support maildirs, which
> makes postfix look good, as postfix also seems very popular.  Courier-IMAP
> seems to be popular, but I'm not sure what the difference is between that and
> Cyrus.  The whole Courier mail system (mainly the MTA) doesn't seems to be
> very popular in general, and I have yet to figure that out.
> So can anyone give me some idea of what they run, or suggestions of what to
> use that could be configured to do a lot of this stuff?  Ease of install isn't
> really an issue, as I really don't have to do that very often.  Ease of use
> and maintenance is a big issue, as I don't want to have to go through a 50
> step process every time I add a new user.
> Thanks,
> Jeff
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