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Re: I want separate MUA/MTA/MDA



MJM said on Fri, Aug 08, 2003 at 02:32:45PM -0400:
> Recent threads have piqued my interest and desire to use separate
> MUA/MTA/MDA.

MUA: The thing the user users to compose mail.  Mutt, webmail, pine, Outlook.
These often use SMTP to submit their outgoing mail, but that doesn't make them
MTA's, 'cause they don't do routing.

MTA: Mail Transport Agent.  The thing that routes email.  sendmail, postfix,
exim.  Speaks SMTP in both directions (in and out), and may speak LMTP for
delivery.  May also accept mail on the submission port.

MDA: The thing that puts the message into the mail store.  Many MTA's come with
their own (postfix uses local, sendmail uses mail.local).  procmail is another
popular one, as is maildrop.  Most MTA's allow user control via a .forward
file, or similar mechanism.

Mail store: The place where your mail lives.  Either a collection of mailboxes
(in mbox, Maildir, mbx, mh formats), or something more complex (Cyrus's
mailstore, SQL DB, etc).  People always forget this part, but you need a way
for your mail to get from your mail store to your MUA (common ways are POP,
IMAP, or just ssh into the box and run mutt, if your mail store supports direct
access).
 
The Sendmail book will talk about a lot of this stuff, but it's mostly in the
documentation of the various parts.

M

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