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#1 2013-03-20 16:06:52

Nairou
Member
Registered: 2010-01-12
Posts: 17

Confusion over mail server components

My arch server currently hosts my website, and I'm looking into creating a mail server attached to my website domain. Something simple, for a very small number of users.

However, so far I haven't been able to get past the multitude of mail-related packages people are using. Sendmail, postfix, dovetail, courier, cyrus, procmail, qmail, fetchmail, ... Everyone seems to have their own combination they use, and I'm having a hard time understanding what task each package is trying to cover.

I know I need a MTA package to talk to SMTP servers, and I need a MDA package to store mail on my server. I only want the mail accessible by IMAP/POP3, so I don't need any packages for reading the mail locally on the machine (procmail?). And ideally, I'd like authentication done with virtual (non passwd) users, though that's only because it feels cleaner than creating lots of system user accounts. Though if using system accounts lets me avoid using a SQL database, then that might be better... I'm having a hard time knowing what my options are.

Postfix seems to be a favorite, I think it is a MDA? I'm not entirely sure. But it seems to use a SQL database for everything. And then a lot of people use PostfixAdmin to admin it, which requires Apache (which I don't use). Courier doesn't mention use of a SQL database, but there seem to be several Courier packages that do various things, and wiki articles regarding Courier also include lots of other packages to go with it. Maybe I should just use Sendmail? Simple sounds nice. But I think Sendmail is just a MTA... so I still need to find a MDA to go with it, right? Argh...

Is there a list somewhere showing what components you actually need in a mail server, and which packages fit where? I'd like to actually learn what I'm doing, rather than blindly follow a wiki that has me install 5 different packages for a particular result.

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#2 2013-03-21 21:11:24

teekay
Member
Registered: 2011-10-26
Posts: 270

Re: Confusion over mail server components

A good read on "what does what":
http://wiki2.dovecot.org/MailServerOverview

If you don't want to use SQL based virtual user management (and if you decide to use postfix MTA and dovecot MDA/LDA :-)), here is a howto:
http://wiki2.dovecot.org/HowTo/VirtualU … lesPostfix

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#3 2013-03-22 15:51:20

Nairou
Member
Registered: 2010-01-12
Posts: 17

Re: Confusion over mail server components

Excellent! Thanks for the informative links!

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