[TriLUG] Which is better?

bak bak at picklefactory.org
Wed Oct 10 20:18:58 EDT 2007

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Anyone who values his sanity and is responsible for anything but the
most basic SMTP setup would have to answer Postfix.  Any daemon program
that requires m4 just to build the config file from hundreds of lines of
incomprehensible macros is more than your life is worth.  Anyone who has
ever had The Bat Book fall his foot knows just what I mean.  Sendmail's
milter support is fairly easy to use, however.

Postfix+Dovecot is now turning into a superb way to provide
POP+IMAP+SMTP with SASL-based SMTP auth and a very flexible variety of
authentication methods (krb, SQL database, passwd files, whatever).  I
cannot tell you how simple, flexible, and bulletproof it's been to me
over the past few years.

Postfix generally is considered more secure due to its habit of
splitting the work between multiple daemons, each with its own purpose.
 In extremely large installations routing millions of pieces of mail a
day this could eventually become a bottleneck, or at least it was as of
a year or so ago.

Sendmail has had a long and storied history of vulnerabilities, though
lately it's been far more robust.

qmail is even more robust -- almost ridiculously so -- but as its author
considers it perfect, and as it's not GPL'd, doing things like
authentication or delivery into virtual domains etc. etc. consists of
wedging tiny little programs into gaps between qmail processes and
praying that they work right and are secure.  Plus you have to run
daemontools to use it.  Daemontools suffers from the same sort of
problems that qmail does.  However, for something that just needs to
shuffle mail around at high speed according to MX records, it's almost
impossible to beat, and I don't believe anyone has ever discovered a
security flaw.

- --bak

WA Brown wrote:
> Which mail server is better? Postfix or Sendmail? What are the differences 
> between the two?
> WA Brown
> vices_faq/ 
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