MailScanner/Sendmail for Dummies??

Joshua Pickering mis at KAYNE.COM
Fri Apr 4 22:45:33 IST 2003


I realize that asking for a little help with Sendmail is slightly off-topic for this mailing list.  However, I think MailScanner is an excellent product (*big* props to you, Julian) and I see the fact that you have to wrap your head around Sendmail prior to being able to deploy it as being a real Achilles heel to it.  I was born in a Windows world and have been steadily making inroads into the land of OpenSource (even deploying my first Samba printserver last week).  However, sendmail is a beast - a beast that requires a tremendous amount of knowledge to configure.  The guy who wrote Sendmail wrote in the forward to the O'Reilly book that Sendmail is complicated because 'life is complicated.'  With all due respect to him, I see that mentality as being one of the biggest obstacles to the OpenSource community.  There are plenty of people in my position who would love to be able to work more with OpenSource Technologies, but are significantly hampered by the level of complexity of some of this stuff.  The MailScanner.conf file is great - well commented, easy to understand variables and parameters (another tip of the hat to Julian).  But the configuration of Sendmail is so convoluted that the configuration file has configuration files (M4)!  It's like Vi or Emacs - so arcane!  I realize that this type of technology is complicated, but configuring it shouldn't have to be.  I wish I wrote code so I could contribute more.  However, I think getting the configuration of this stuff to the point so that it's manageable to someone who doesn't have the bandwidth to learn Sendmail will be the key to more widespread adoption of it.

I am looking to build a RedHat-based MailScanner/Sendmail/SpamAssassin/VirusScan box that would sit between my T1 and my Exchange server.  For those familiar with it, I would be replacing an existing Windows 2000 Server running GFI MailEssentials.  All email comes in through the T1, is processed by the MailEssentials box (virus scanning/content filtering, etc.) and is then passed on to the Exchange server.  All outgoing mail is passed to the MailEssentials box and delivered from there.  I would imagine this to be a fairly common type of configuration, with one of the only major deltas being multiple mail servers.

I would like to propose the following (and will even donate webspace to that end) - let's create a repository of common Sendmail configurations, MySQL configurations, MTA configurations (e.g. Exchange Server tips) with the specific goal of facilitating MailScanner deployments.  I know this is not a Sendmail list, but I think there must be plenty of people like me who would want to deploy MailScanner but are stopped in their tracks by the formidable task of configuring Sendmail.  I would even be open to writing and hosting a 'MailScanner for Dummies' type website.  The docs on the MailScanner site are a great place to start but, IMHO, have some holes that need to be filled.  I'd like to help out for the common cause in any way I can.

Anyway, it's just an idea.  I'm not trying to make any enemies here - I genuinely want to help out.  Your comments and thoughts are welcomed.  And, if anyone has any good recommendations for books or sites that help simplify the configuration of Sendmail, I'm all ears (or eyes).


Joshua Pickering

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...

More information about the MailScanner mailing list