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What mail server are you running?
I'd like to know what kinds of mail servers people are running on *nix boxes. I have had an old mail server running Exim delivery to local mbox format in user's home folders and imapd for client connections.
My new server (which a nice young lady set up for me) is running Postfix with a DBmail backend on MySQL, using dbmail to supply the imap daemon for the clients and putting it through dspam and clamav, which annoyingly changes the subjects of the emails with [SPAM] (especially annoying if they're not spam and then you're stuck with marked emails) but anyway, I may change this later...
I am a little concerned that this setup may blow up some time in the not too far future. I've already seen an alert from my monitoring server that MySQL has too many connections. I can increase this no doubt, but I just don't have all that much faith in the scalability and reliability of this server like I do with say Exchange which I had in my previous workplace.
It already consumes over twice the storage space of the old server (Exim/mbox) and I have had one or two minor issues with it already. It feels like there are too many things that can go wrong with it and if any of them break then the whole thing breaks.
I am very interested in other people's experiences with mail servers so I have something to compare to. Could you please share your experiences; which mail servers you have run in what configs with what users?
- Join Date
- Dec 2004
I feel your pain and have dealt with similar "bloated" mail systems - only to replace it with Exchange. The mail system that I currently employ is simply a Barracuda (Linux appliance) on the gateway performing AV and Spam detection and relaying to a backend Exchange server. A simple and reliable setup for my organization.
I've used Postfix in the past for use with SpamAssasin and I just couldn't get the reliability nailed down. I was faced with restarting the mail daemons at least every month or two.
My setup uses Sendmail - impeccably simple (although getting it right took a bit of thought and googling) and I've transported my config across re-installs and upgrades for a number of years. I dont use clam av or spamassassin, I rely on other methods to control spam - most notably realtime black hole lists handled by Sendmail, and giving people a couple of extra email addresses they use when they sign up for stuff on the internet; when those emails become known, they attract spam, and we just turn them off.
Currently, my mail is served by Dovecot through IMAP and POP3, although nobody on my lan uses POP3. Having IMAP meant I can use squirrelmail as a web front-end, too.
I've found this setup to be ultra-reliable, and other than some open relay problems when I first set this up (maybe 4 or 5 years ago), its not missed a heartbeat.
how do you store your emails, though? mbox, maildir, database backend?
Errr, local mailboxes on the server... Dovecot also lets you specify directories in the users home, so their inbox stays in /var/mail while they have other mail folders elsewhere.
from this it sound like you're running with mbox, which we were using until recently which is a little deprecated now (or maybe you're using maildir - are folders stored as files or are they folders with emails as individual files in them?). Mbox also doesn't scale well, not for the type of mad users we have with 9000 emails in each folder cos it has to decend those 9000 to get to the newest email.
I may set up a personal server using mbox for a while but then I'm gonna migrate that to maildir before considering a backend database solution, but I'm not impressed with the new one I have at work, there is too much that can go wrong with it, but I guess I'll have to experiment.
any other experience or opinions welcome.