[Techtalk] Complete mail solution

Magni Onsoien magnio+lc-techtalk at pvv.ntnu.no
Wed Oct 3 22:18:16 EST 2001

> Summarized Requirements:
> - SMTP and POP3
> - Webmail
> - Virus filtering (Known stupid stuff like iloveyou and SirCam)
> - Easy to maintain

You are _sure_ these are the requirements? No shared calendar-stuff

If it's only smtp, pop3, webmail and virus filtering I'd go for some
random smtp-software, ditto pop3, squirrelmail for webmail and a
solution based on e.g. Amavis for virus-scanning.

Myself I have set up a solution with postfix for smtp, courier-imap for
POP3 and IMAP [hm, anybody else have experienced LOTS of problems with
Outlook and courier (pop daemon)?] and Squirrelmail for webmail. Since
the mail itself is stored on an NFS share, we use maildir for the mail
in stead of traditional mbox (maildir has one file pr mail and is said
to be NFS secure), postfix can write maildirs and courier-imap read
them. Squirrelmail is a webmail usinig IMAP for accessing the mail,
since courier-imap contains both imapd and pop3d this is no extra work.

Anti-virus was out of the question because of cost (this is a system for
one of those free webmails, so they didn't want anything with expensive
licenses), but should be fairly easy to setup. My old Uni uses Amavis
with F-Secure (I think), and they then have to buy the F-Secure

I don't know for Amavis, but the other part should be easy to setup: get
an old PC, install a recent distro and make sure it updates itself
(Debian can do this, as can RedHat 7.1 and probably lots of others too),
install postfix as MTA (smtp) and courier-imap for the pop/imap-stuff -
both these should be available as ready-to-install packages - and
Squirrelmail (which may not be available as package, but is a dream to
install once you have apache and php4). Tada, you have a mailsystem with
a friendly UI :)

For Amavis, check www.amavis.org, it contains all the info you need I

If you want a admin interface for the sysadmins after you, you can have
a look at something like webmin. I haven't used it myself, but it looks

For how many users should this solution scale? My Uni has 2 frontend
mailservers that receive mail from outside, scan it and then deliver it
to smtpd on 3 fileservers (this is to avoid NFS trouble). 20,000 users,
about 100,000 incoming mails each day. Two frontends are enough for this, 
one is not. The ISP I sat up a system for has two frontends receiving
mail, delivering it via NFS to a dedicated fileserver. About 100,000 
incoming mails each day. On both systems the frontends have about
6-700MHz CPU and 256-512MB RAM and they are also pop/imap-servers in
addition to receiving mail.


Magni :)
sash is very good for you.

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