[Mailman-Users] MTA only for Mailman
brad at stop.mail-abuse.org
Thu Jul 27 22:21:19 CEST 2006
At 10:58 AM -0600 2006-07-27, Ivan Fetch wrote:
> Is anyone using a light weight MTA to just hand emails off to Mailman
> and deny anything else?
The issues here are that you need to have certain features in your
MTA in order to get that to work well with Mailman, such as a
mechanism for adding aliases or some other method of identifying to
the MTA which mailing lists are in existence and how to deliver mail
to the appropriate addresses for each, etc....
In essence, this means that you can use a lighter-weight MTA than a
more standard MTA sendmail, postfix, or Exim, but if you go that
direction then you're going to be on your own. Alternatively, you
could use sendmail, postfix, or Exim, and just not use those other
features of the program that you don't need.
> I'm looking at Sun Sendmail (I know, it's definitely not light weight)
> to do this, simply because it's already on the boxes in question - I'm
> still sorting out how to get Sendmail to deliver to aliases, but not local
Sendmail, postfix, and Exim are the three MTAs that integrate most
naturally with Mailman. On python.org (where the mailman-users
mailing list is hosted, among many others), we currently use postfix.
So, we can pretty much guarantee that the integration there is going
to work well.
I've been involved in the postfix community for many years (since the
days it was called VMailer), and I can tell you that Wietse has done
a lot of things that make postfix a good MTA to use out-of-the-box
for mailing lists.
I can also say that postfix is one of the very few programs I know of
that can have a truly useful configuration file that is just two or
three lines long, with everything else being taken from built-in
Many people in the community also use sendmail, and the integration
there is also pretty good -- that is, assuming you're running a
pretty standard source-based install, because most vendors do some
pretty heavy (and weird) customization of sendmail to work "better"
in their environment.
Now, it turns out that John Beck is a longtime member of the Sendmail
Consortium (the group that supports the open source version), and has
been "the sendmail guy" at Sun for many years, and he's been working
to get all those bizarre Sun-isms eliminated from the version they've
been shipping. Still, there are some oddities that have remained.
Your choices there are to either install the source-based version of
sendmail and get that configured to work in your environment, or
figure out what needs to be done to the Sun version in order to get
it to work well with Mailman.
From an objective viewpoint, it takes more work to get sendmail
configured to work well for mailing lists than it does to get postfix
configured to serve that same environment, but if you're more
familiar with sendmail then it may be less work to stick with that
than to try to rip that out and replace it with a completely
different package. It will also take more work to maintain sendmail
suitably in this kind of environment as compared to postfix, but if
you're doing lots of mail filtering (e.g., anti-spam or anti-virus
processing), then you reach a point where sendmail will scale and
perform better than postfix on the same hardware.
I can't speak too much for Exim, although I know a number of people
in the Exim community make use of Mailman, and they've made it pretty
easy to set things up so that you never need to update the aliases or
anything in order to get the two working together. I can tell you
that Exim is pretty different from either sendmail or postfix, and if
you've been used to using one of those two packages then it may take
you some time to warp your mind around the Exim way of doing things.
That said, I know that Exim is an excellent MTA if properly
configured, and is perfectly suitable for use with Mailman.
> Thanks for any feedback on MTAs, or a more sensable way to accomplish
Not knowing anything more about your environment, I'd guess that it
should be pretty easy to get postfix installed and configured for
your system, and we know that it integrates well with Mailman.
IIRC, pretty much all these issues are covered in the archives, and
they should also be covered in the FAQ.
Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755
Founding Individual Sponsor of LOPSA. See <http://www.lopsa.org/>.
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