Doubts about PF, what are the pros/cons about other MTAs?

Glenn Steen glenn.steen at
Sun Jun 24 20:58:16 IST 2007

On 24/06/07, Mikael Syska <mikael at> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm going to replace a Post Fix/amavisd-new/spamassassin setup in the
> near future.
> My concers is about all the bad stuff that are with Post Fix and Main
> Scanner ( just a few days ago a message about corrupted headers was on
> the list, Glenn Steen would look at it next week )
That is only a relatively rare problem when using a milter with
postfix (possibly only with Postfix 2.4), so isn't really a common
problem... Hence I will do something about it tomorrow or Tuesday, not
a few minutes ago;-)

> ... and that Post Fix
> maintainers aint happy with the way MS handles mails from PF ... and so
> on ....
Mostly "politics", that has very little bearing on anything. They've
been unhappy with us for years, and it has mostly just been working
(at least as well as any of the other supported MTAs) for the same
The latest quirk from Wietse just need some fine tuning, and then all
is back to normal;).

> Are any of the other MTA's better?
Depending on your view of things you will get "yes, use my pet...",
"no, postfix rulez...." and "not really.... and not any worse
either... It all depends...":-). If you pressed me for a
recommendation I'd give you number three;-)

> I have used postfix for some time ... but maybe the other is better,
> dont know PF that well, so a changed would be accepted.

If you don't know your MTA, when it is so relatively easy to work
with... Well, lets just say you need read up on any MTA you finally
decide to use, including Postfix:-D.
There is quite a lot of stuff written on the MailScanner wiki about
tricks and tweaks and setup recommendations for most MTAs in general,
but perhaps most specifically for Postfix... One could interpret that
as postfix being difficult (if one were an Evil Bunny, like Res:), or
as a testament on the configurability of the combination.

> Of what I have read on the internet ...
> Sendmail is old, odd config(some would say) but it works and performs great.
> qmail is like PF, settings are spread out into more config files.
> Exim, dont know squad about it ...
> But what works best with MS ?

Sendmail probably gets the most thorough rundown, since a) there are
more sendmails out there, and b) Jules favours Sendmail.
Exim and Postfix are pretty close in support (to sendmail), while
Zmail and Qmail are less well covered (even though the Evil Bunny
works on the Qmail port, and Leonardo Hellman seems to keep the Zmail
one alive,from time to time).

> My needs: This is only going to be a mailgateway(so no local mail
> delivery), so transport is needed to external and internal ip's, witch
> must to placed in a database, cause some "Microsoft" people are going to
> handle that part of it ...

Although the solution will look different for all MTAs, they can all
accommodate this.

> It will be run on a Dell PowerEdge 860 with freebsd 6.2. handle about
> 20k mails per day.

No problem for any of them.

> Any suggestions on MTA ?

If you are at all familiar with the Postfix you use already, stick
with it. If you want a slick package based on Sendmail, buy DefenderMX
(commercial MailScanner+MailWatch and a tad more) from Fortress
systems (

> // ouT

-- Glenn
email: glenn < dot > steen < at > gmail < dot > com
work: glenn < dot > steen < at > ap1 < dot > se

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