[CentOS] E-Mail Serving Options

John R Pierce pierce at hogranch.com
Mon Apr 27 18:54:03 UTC 2009

Jason Todd Slack-Moehrle wrote:
> Hi All,
> What are my e-mail serving options? I need to host POP, IMAP and SMTP.  
> I must admit that non-windows e-mail hosting has always been a chore  
> for me. I remember QMail and QPopper IIRC.

'nix systems seperate email into two seperate functions, A) the message 
transfer agent or MTA, of which sendmail and postfix are the two main 
solutions, qmail is deprecated in most circles. exim is yet another 
option, and B) the IMAP/POP services for clients to read mail, of which 
dovecot and cyrus are the two main choices nowdays, qpopper is quite 
hoary and old and deprecated.

of the two main MTAs, sendmail is considered something of a legacy, and 
if you're not already intimately familiar with it, I'd skip it 
entirely.   postfix is preferred by most everyone who's switched to it, 
and for new installs.

dovecot is probably simpler to setup and use as an imap/pop system, 
while cyrus is more flexible and complex (for instance, cyrus can use a 
SQL database for its backing store and for virtual mail users, rather 
than requiring unix accounts and flat files).

of course, as soon as you open a mail server up to incoming internet 
mail, you need to configure spam filtering or you'll be swamped.   
there's many different approaches to this, and most people end up using 
a combination of several.   razor, spamassassin, mailscanner, an 
antivirus scan if you have windows users, an RBL like zen.spamhaus.net 
to block well known spam sources, etc etc etc.

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