Slightly OT: virtual hosting

Steve Campbell campbell at
Fri Feb 4 19:14:43 GMT 2005

    [ The following text is in the "iso-8859-1" character set. ]
    [ Your display is set for the "US-ASCII" character set.  ]
    [ Some characters may be displayed incorrectly. ]

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jason Balicki" <kodak at FRONTIERHOMEMORTGAGE.COM>
Sent: Friday, February 04, 2005 1:28 PM
Subject: Slightly OT: virtual hosting

> Hello all,
> First of all, if this is too OT, let me know (preferably
> with a suggestion as where to take the discussion --
> this is the only list I know of that has a good size
> community of mail admins that use all sorts of different
> MTA setups.)
> I've been a faithful MailScanner user for years now,
> and I love the package.
> However, I'm trying to consolidate several separate
> mail servers that I maintain under one roof (so
> to speak) and it seems like every virtual hosting
> solution has severe drawbacks.
> The options are limitless, but here's what I've
> considered so far:
> Webmin+Virtualmin (and the associated mailscanner
> webmin component).  I like this, and I've had it
> partially set up, but the one drawback that I see
> is that I have to give people funky pop/imap logins,
> and for some reason I find that quite distasteful.
> The same as above, but without Webmin.  Same
> drawbacks, plus I'd have to maintain the
> virtual user table by hand.
> qmail+vpopper+clamav+spamassassin.  This would allow
> me to use sane usernames, but 1) I've heard it's
> a pain to get running (small, but my frustration
> level is high enough now :) and 2) I'd be ditching
> MailScanner.  I know I could run Mailscanner on
> a separate box, but I'd be doubling the number
> of servers needed, plus I don't know if I could
> get the MailScanner box to drop unknown users.
> Well, that's about all I've seriously considered
> at this point.
> I'd like to continue to use MailScanner, as I like
> the all in one anti-spam and anti-virus capabilities,
> as well as the wonderful community, but it looks like
> I may have to switch out, and I'm not liking that
> possibility.
> Some other considerations:
> 1) someone else may have to administer this at some
> point.
> 2) I may add more domains, especially since I'll have
> the infrastructure in place.
> 3) I have absolutely no budget right now.  I have
> a few spare desktops that I can sacrifice to be
> servers, but new hardware is not an option right
> now.  (My boss won't even let me convert the 5
> desktop-cased servers into rackmounts right now,
> even though I have a nearly empty relay-rack.)
> If you're running a virtual hosting solution, what
> are you using?  Are you happy with it?  If not what
> would you change?  Is there anything I've missed
> that I should be considering?
> Also, I'm most familiar with Linux based solutions,
> but I'm not opposed to *bsd.  However, I've tried
> to standardize on WhiteBox Enterprise Linux (where
> I can) to make things easy on myself.
> Thanks a lot for any input.  If you think this isn't
> a good discussion for the list, please email me
> directly.
> --J(K)


I use two different solutions here for different domain combinations.

The first is linuxconf. It allows you just about anything you want with
virtual domains - one server to handle multiple domains, common user names
across domains (usr1 at and usr1 at, and the likes. It
requires a few changes to your xinetd pop entries, but MailScanner works
flawlessly with the end result. It uses its own virtual server pop daemon, I
think, called vserver. It's very easy to move domains around from one
machine to another.

The second is webmin. I switched from linuxconf to webmin for the opposite
reason for which you are asking - I wanted to split up domains to different

The down side to each:

Linuxconf is getting old, and a lot of the default uses older sendmail
stubs. You can make it work with the newer sendmail stuff, and get the
advantages of the latest sendmail with a little(?) work. There is a new
version of LC 2 that has been mentioned on their list, but I wouldn't hold
my breath. I use the console gui for most of my admin work, and it's OK, and
there is a web based gui if you just have to have it.

Webmin could possibly do all, but after using LC for so long, Webmin has a
small learning curve to it. I like it very much. But it requires you to know
sendmail (If this is your MTA of choice). Fortunately, Webmin also acts as a
very good tutor, which, due to the way LC interacts with what it does,
cannot always do that.

This is just my opinions based on what I know about each. Once you learn the
particulars of each, they both become second hand stuff.

Steve Campbell
campbell at
Charleston Newspapers

------------------------ MailScanner list ------------------------
To unsubscribe, email jiscmail at with the words:
'leave mailscanner' in the body of the email.
Before posting, read the MAQ ( and
the archives (

Support MailScanner development - buy the book off the website!

More information about the MailScanner mailing list