Mail Server (MTA / MDA)

Comments, suggestions and questions about Linux Format magazine and the coverdiscs

Moderators: ChrisThornett, LXF moderators

Mail Server (MTA / MDA)

Postby SeanOS » Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:48 pm

I was very curious when I saw you were doign a Mailserver roundup, however quite suprised at the results.

I thought it very odd (and without much backing) that postfix got such a low rating compared to the others.
I use postfix on all my systems (going from home computers only for logs etc, to 50/100 user systems where each person has mail account, to large enterprise systems, where large batches of 500,000+ emails sent out at a time). I have no problem with you giving it a 5 or otherwise, but I would be curious to know why.

Courier, I am also curious about your rating.
Courier mail server (as a whole package) is quite horrible I found (overly complex to point of thinking back to days of COBOL programming and thinking 'it wasnt that bad really') however, the Courier-Imap & Courier-pop packages are excellent. For my large mailservers I use Courier imap & pop, alongside postfix, and they work very well.
I would also be curious as to see why you rated courier so low (it would nearly be worth marking courier components seperately).

I'm not too familar with rest - I try keep away from sendmail due to bad memories, and no reason to try others, so I cannot comment.

Anyways, could be interesting discussion (or flame :)

Regards,

Sean
SeanOS
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 12:37 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Stop with the FUD of Sendmail

Postby uksysadmin » Sun May 08, 2005 9:07 am

I was pleasently surprised seeing an unbiased review of Sendmail finally! Sendmail gets bad press because of it's history. Like the above... I try to keep away from sendmail due to bad memories... the FUD associated with it - its complex and as a result a security risk. But what version do people keep referring to? A release from 1997? It's at 8.13.4 at the time of writing with many many bug fixes and feature enhancements since those bad memories.
Complex? Sure - but for most people's needs it isn't. Part of the problem stems from people editing the wrong config file - sendmail.cf - that's one helluva complex config file that is best left to sendmail itself to look at. Look at sendmail.mc and you will see a friendlier view of about 20th of the size.
I'm responsible for the rollout of hundreds of machines running Sendmail running on RHEL. A very minimal modification of the default supplied RH sendmail.mc is all that is required to get it sending mail required for our network. I'm also in the fortunate position of being able to direct the standards of our mail side setup which at present sees us using a few extra mail servers such as Postfix, QMail and the commercial Communigate. These will be replaced with Sendmail with minimum of fuss. Sure, I've had a number of years experience of Sendmail - but it's no less complex to configure than any other mail server out there.

Now that rant is over I too was surprised at the review of Postfix but like the poster here with his other mail server experience, the experience I have here with Postfix was from an already established mail server setup that I picked up with little ease - not because its "easy" - but just from general experience of mail server configuration, so my opinions may be biased. What I was surprised about was the fact that Postfix doesn't handle high volumes of mail well (I'm going from memory as the mag isn't at hand)... but I've read elsewhere it is suitable. In fact we use it to send out ~350,000 emails within an hour or two. The load is handled well when we configure it to handle about 25 email threads at a time on an average server of dual Xeons. What will be interesting and one where I could form some sort of opinion is when we replace this with Sendmail and compare.

At the end of the day, comparing such options comes down to a number of things - whatever you are used to, whatever you are comfortable with and the risk assessment of changing to a "better" solution in an enterprise.
User avatar
uksysadmin
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 8:34 am

RE: Stop with the FUD of Sendmail

Postby SeanOS » Sun May 08, 2005 7:14 pm

I wasn't speaking ill of sendmail, I didn't comment on it's review - because of my lack of experience with it.
I know sendmail has improved a lot, but no reason to change over to it.

My post was mainly commenting on low score given (without much reason) ot postfix, and some other scores, which seemed ... strange.
SeanOS
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 12:37 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland


Return to Magazine and coverdiscs

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests