[svlug] Mail recommendations?
J C Lawrence
claw at kanga.nu
Tue Jun 6 12:03:46 PDT 2000
On Tue, 06 Jun 2000 11:31:12 -0700
Paul Keser <paulk at shopexpert.com> wrote:
> I know allot of people still use sendmail, I have a friend that
> really likes Qmail and I heard Postfix mentioned in the $MAIL
> thread. What do you recommend and why...security, ease of use,
> features, etc...
QMail is impressive and has an excellent security history and basic
security design (many tiny cooperating programs none of which trust
each other). It is also an extremely fast MTA. Its main detractor
is its author; Dan Berstein can be an acquired taste. The code is
also quite unreadable. QMail also deviates from many of the basic
sendmail models (eg the handling of aliases, MDirs, etc) which can
make adapting external programs to QMail entertaining.
Postfix is probably the youngest of the current crop of MTAs, is
built on a very similar highly secure model to QMail, and has been
evolving rapidly. The author, Wietse Venema, has a long history of
activity in the security arena and is the author of TCP Wrappers
among other things. Postfix' code is readable, the author
responsive, and the mailing list active. I've generally found
Wietse pleasant to deal with. Postfix generally tries hard not to
deviate from the sendmail model in terms of external interfaces.
This can make it significantly easier to integrate with external
QMail and Postfix are both extremely fast MTAs.
Exim is probably the next best known. Built off the monolithic
SMail design, it has a good security history but its monolithic
model counts against it. Performance is good. Sometimes slightly
faster than Qmail/Postfix, often slightly slower.
Unlike sendmail, the config files for all three are human readable.
> I am looking for something I can secure and I can incorporate PGP
> keys. Easy to configure is nice but that what you all are for :-)
Incorporating PGP support at the MTA level is not a graceful affair
In general I'd recommend people making any sort of switch to go to
Postfix. It is quite mature now and is what I'd be using were I
making that choice now.
Which of course reveals the fact that I'm not following my own
I use Exim on all my boxes. At the time I made that choice, several
years ago now, Postfix was still called VMailer and was in beta, and
QMail didn't seem worth it. Exim has proven more than fast enough
for my needs, has a pleasant and understandable config file,
integrates well with everything I need it to, and hasn't given a
lick of trouble.
Why aren't I using Postfix? Lethargy and Legacy. What I have
works. I'm not keen on tearing down working systems just to replace
them with another working system and just praying that the downtime
in the middle doesn't hurt too much. I'll make the switch to
Postfix eventually -- there's just nothing to drive it right now.
J C Lawrence Home: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*) Other: coder at kanga.nu
--=| A man is as sane as he is dangerous to his environment |=--
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