[plug] Mail server query

Christian christian at amnet.net.au
Mon Apr 17 12:25:16 WST 2000

On Sat, Apr 15, 2000 at 01:54:59AM +0800, Bret Busby wrote:
> From what I understand, sendmail is a sorcery utility, qmail is better,
> and apparently faster, and, postfix is simpler than both, and would
> adequately manage our requirements.

sendmail would probably work out-of-the-box for your requirements but
qmail would require a bit of work.  Still, I think Postfix is probably
the best solution for you.

> I am not sure whether we would need to use fetchmail in addition to
> postfix. Could someone please advise regarding that.In having a look at
> the documentation on the postfix.mirror.aarnet.edu.au website, I am
> under the impression that postfix does the downloading and distributing
> and everything.

Depending on the situation regarding your connection (permanent or
not?), static IP for your connection (MX record for that IP?) and
whether you have a domain name etc.  My guess is that you have a domain
name and all the email for this goes into one mail box.  If this is the
situation then you will need fetchmail and Postfix.

> However, from memory, I understand that we also need a POP server
> application (or, using an IMAP application has been mentioned). My
> understanding of the difference between IMAP and POP mail servers, is
> that the email stays on an IMAP server, and is downloaded from a POP
> server.

IMAP allows you to manage remotely the mailboxes that would normally exist 
on your local machine.  The advantage here is that you can go to any
machine on the network, log into the IMAP server and all your mailboxes
will still be there.  POP3 allows you to manage one mailbox (the inbox)
remotely but still doesn't necessarily do a great job of it.  However,
if you want to just pull down all your mail to one machine it is still
the best approach.  One disadvantage of IMAP is that, given enough users
with big enough mailboxes, it can really bog down the machine
particularly if that machine doesn't have enough memory or has an IDE
drive.  Also, I've had trouble finding Linux IMAP-enabled mail clients
which actually do a good job.

Actually, if the requirement for being able to log into any machine and
access your email is important then a combination of Netscape Roaming
Access and IMAP is a very good solution.  Basically you can go to any
machine and all your bookmarks, address book entries, mail filters,
preferences, certificates and mailboxes will be there automatically.

> I have heard mention of cucipop, and I have had a look at the
> information on the freashmeat site, which lists many POP sever
> applications, and states that the cucipop licence is "free but
> restricted". Could someone please clarify that?

cucipop is not under a technically free license but if you read the
copyright then you will see that the terms are not that restrictive.  If
you want me to send you a copy of the license I will do this off-list.
The main restriction which prevents it being free software is that it
cannot be sold (aside from minor distribution costs) as part of any
commercial package.

> Also, on the Tucows site, are many POP server applications, including
> one named IMAP Server, which is both IMAP and POP, apparently. The
> licence on that, instead of being GPL, is BSD. What is the difference?

BSD is less restrictive than the GPL.  BSD software can be re-licensed,
the only real restriction is you must include correct attribution.

> And, which POP server application is the best one to use for these
> conditions, if one is necessary to use with postfix?

Postfix is SMTP (outgoing).  POP3 allows you to collect your mail and
download it.  Unless your users are going to log onto your server and
read their mail there then you do need a POP3 or IMAP server -- I would
recommend cucipop.



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