Switching from qmail+vmailmgr to exim/postfix+??

I've been running a neat but ancient qmail+vmailmgr setup for a few years now on my (very small) mail server and while I can't complain too much about it, I'm looking into switching to a different MTA.

The main reason for the change is a change from Gentoo to Debian. While I loved the flexibility of Gentoo and fine-tuning every package to my liking it's the time spent compiling that ended up driving me away. I've been running a rock solid Debian install both at home and work, so I've decided it's time to switch my Linode to it.

Most of the other stuff (LAMP, svn, icecast, etc) I can easily handle, but the qmail process in Debian seems very convoluted. I'm thinking of giving exim a shot since it's the debian default, but I'm open to trying postfix if it serves my needs better. Here's what I like about the current setup:

Each virtual domain only needs one actual system account.

Easy online UI to add/remove domains/users. I'm using the (very old omail-admin program for this right now).

Integrate virtual domains with courier-pop3/imap.

No mysql requisite. I do have it installed right now, but I prefer editing textfiles for configuration, etc. (Not a firm requirement).

That's pretty much it. Out of these requirements, it's the first one that I'm having a hard time figuring out how to do. I believe both exim and postfix work with courier, so that part is easy.

Any ideas or input are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

3 Replies

From what I've been able to tell following the various exim/postfix "wars" in the Debian devel list, exim and postfix are pretty much equivalent in overall functionality. The configuration approaches are different though, and I've always found postfix to be easier to get my head around. Others feel the opposite.

The postfix site (www.postfix.org) has lots of how-tos for various setups. Postfix can use mysql (among others), but it can be entirely file driven, as well. I do sort of remember that most of the web-based config systems used mysql, though. At home, postfix integrates with courier just fine. I'd suggest poking around the how-tos, find one that matches your desired setup, and see if it suits.


Thanks for your input. I should have done a little more research on my own before asking. I looks like either vexim (here's a good doc about gettting it to work with debian) but it seems a little more convoluted since exim doesn't seem to support virtual domains the way I want to set them up (without requiring a system account per account) out of the box.

Postfix, on the other hand, does. And there's quite a few pages out there explaining how to set it up. There's even a neat WebUI to make changes to the setup. I think I'm going to try it this way first.

Once again, thanks for the reply, and I love the sig BTW.

I'll probably pop back in here once I get it going to ask about SPF, DomainKeys, RBL, SpamAssasin and all these other neat things that any proper mail server should have.

I have Postfix+Postfix_Admin setup running on Ubuntu, based off this guide.

You can search through workaround.org's mailing list archives see the map files I posted for others. I also got quota working.

> I'll probably pop back in here once I get it going to ask about SPF, DomainKeys, RBL, SpamAssasin and all these other neat things that any proper mail server should have.

Check out ASSP, it is badass!

I have something like following….

Mail from internet => ASSP => Postfix => Dovecot => Sieve => User.

Mail from user => ASSP => Postfix => Internet.

Use stunnel for ASSP web management. As you find default ASSP web admin tool isn't SSL-based.

(Be warned, ASSP takes A LOT of time and patience to tune it. The end results are worth it.)


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