: Sendmail or PostFix?


Morley
Aug 11th, 2006, 02:13 PM
I'm running a co-located Xserve for running a database service. Now I'd like to migrate my eMail to this machine. However I have zero prior experience with mail service issues and frankly I don't want to divert precious hours to what appears, at first glance, to be a complex arena.

My eMail needs will be light -- managing the sending and receiving of eMails to and from my very small software development company (currently one person). However I can't afford the time and the risk of doing something well intentioned but unwise.

I'm part way through reading a lengthy tutorial on the subject -- a discussion on how to sidestep the complexities of Apple's pre-installed SendMail app and use PostFix instead, and why. (I've found a lot of other URLs to read on this SendMail and PostFix for Macs as well.) http://www.stepwise.com/Articles/Workbench/eart.index.html This site is both re-assuring and also intimidating. Written by Graham Orndorff who has spent most of his adult life on eMail serving issues, particularly Apple related.

Am I being overly cautious? Or, given my rather light needs, something that should be a no-brainer? I'm finding it hard to assess.

By the way, I have no preference for SendMail or PostFix. I just want to be able to send and receive mail relatively efficiently via this Xserve.

I appreciate your comments.

mikef
Aug 11th, 2006, 05:42 PM
I'm part way through reading a lengthy tutorial on the subject -- a discussion on how to sidestep the complexities of Apple's pre-installed SendMail app and use PostFix instead, and why.

I've got Postfix pre-installed on my Tiger machine... are you running something other than Tiger? I don't know the history of the mailer(s) included with OS X, so perhaps older versions had different MTAs.

I switched from Sendmail to Postfix years ago. My mail needs are also modest, but I found Postfix a little easier to understand (ie. not having to learn the m4 language to write a customized sendmail.cf). The only feature I would like to see in Postfix that Sendmail has is milters, but there are workalikes.

Am I being overly cautious? Or, given my rather light needs, something that should be a no-brainer? I'm finding it hard to assess.

You could probably make Sendmail work for you, but the learning curve is steeper than for Postfix, IMO.

Morley
Aug 12th, 2006, 08:59 AM
The Xserve is running Panther (10.3.9) and PostFix is installed, untouched in its default state. (It took some poking around to find it.)

Can you recommend steps to activate and/or test it? Do you have pointers to docs which were useful to you.

Much appreciated.

AppleAuthority
Aug 12th, 2006, 12:44 PM
I prefer Postfix over Sendmail for various reasons. I recommend taking a look at a program called <a href="http://www.cutedgesystems.com/software/PostfixEnabler/">Postfix Enabler</a>, which will allow you to set up the mail server in a short amount of time. I've used it in the past, and it works as described.

Morley
Aug 12th, 2006, 07:55 PM
I prefer Postfix over Sendmail for various reasons. I recommend taking a look at a program called <a href="http://www.cutedgesystems.com/software/PostfixEnabler/">Postfix Enabler</a>, which will allow you to set up the mail server in a short amount of time. I've used it in the past, and it works as described.
Two things. The author of PostFix Enabler tells me that because the way an Xserve is wired (very differently from a standard Mac) his Enabler program doesn't support Xserves. And in the meantime I've discovered (didn't realize this before) PostFix was installed by Apple on this Xserve by default.

So my question is now revised. How do I activate/test it? It may already be activated for all I know. In other words, I'm coming at this very much as a novice.

Much thanks for whatever advice is offered.

mikef
Aug 12th, 2006, 11:49 PM
I basically used nothing more than the docs at http://postfix.org to configure my server. It's been massively tweaked with anti-spam rules, filters, etc., since but the basic setup is from the Postfix site.

Testing? Send mail to a user on the mail server internally and externally. I haven't checked, but there must be something on the Postfix site about testing.

Morley
Aug 14th, 2006, 06:00 PM
Supplemental question.

Can more than one domain be served by the same server? I assume the answer has to be yes, but I'm stuck figuring out how to do it.

Apple has a web page giving basic tips on configuring mail service. They've taken me into their Server Admin tool where I find one domain is already set up. There doesn't appear to be anything obvious for adding a second domain targetted at the same IP, same machine.

Any clues?

mikef
Aug 14th, 2006, 09:39 PM
Yes, I would recommend consulting the docs at postfix.org if the GUI doesn't offer the ability to add virtual domains. Basically, you tell the mail server who it handles mail for and the destination of mail for the other domain if not delivered locally.