[Mailman-Users] MTA only for Mailman

Ivan Fetch ifetch at du.edu
Fri Jul 28 17:19:22 CEST 2006


    Thank you Heather Madrone, Mike Horwath, and Brad Knowles for your 

    I'm running Postfix other places with mailman and it is indeed very 
nice.  Since this MTA instance is just for handing off to Mailman, we're 
not doing any spam filtering or munging of emails.

    I have sendmail working here with Mailman (as a test), but I'm having 
difficulty getting it to ignore local accounts; I'd like it to handle 
aliases (which it is) but not deliver email to local users on the box. 
With Postfix I could just set local_recipient_maps, but I haven't found 
simelar functionality in Sendmail's m4 files yet. ;)  Any Sendmial experts 
out there who know this right off the top of their head?

    I certainly could install Postfix in global storage (so all cluster 
nodes can use it) and go that route too.


Ivan Fetch.

On Thu, 27 Jul 2006, Brad Knowles wrote:

> 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
>>  accounts.
> 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 defaults.
> 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
>>  this.
> 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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