Yenya's World

Wed, 15 Feb 2006

Why Qmail should not be used

In the local Linux mailing list somebody asked which software should he choose for the mail server. I wrote a lengthy followup on why should not Qmail be used as a MTA for new installations. I think it is a good idea to rephrase this here. This comes from a person who maintains several Qmail instalations, including the listserver. This is not result of a short-time anger with Qmail, but rather a thought-out opinion, formed over years of Qmail usage.

Firstly, some advantages which Qmail have:

And now the shortcomings of Qmail:

The latest problem is the worst one, because it is a design problem - it is a shortcoming of Qmail's modularity. It cannot be solved without rewriting qmail-smtpd (but that would require that it can access the database of users/aliases/etc., so it would have to leave its chroot jail).

So my recommendation is: do not use qmail for new installations. Choose Postfix or something like that instead.

Section: /computers (RSS feed) | Permanent link | 4 writebacks

4 replies for this story:

Bjarne Hansen wrote: Mr

Well I don't know how easy qmail is to configure, but it sounds pretty bad - sounds to me that exim is a much better option - it rejects smtp at the port - it can be configured to stop revicing at some level of load - after doing some config changes and study a litle bit - I think I like it. Actualy I was look for some info if Qmail would do the same - but sounds like no. Then I must agree, today with all the spammers and stuff you realy need to be able to put limits on difrent aspects.

Yenya wrote:

Yes, I think exim or postfix are better choices in the current state of the Net.

Mysidia wrote: Qmail is open source

Public domain. See here: So if you use qmail you have the possibility of forking the development, fixing problems you find, and making your own software release.

Yenya wrote: Re: Qmail is open source

Well, it has been public domain only for last year or so. Before that, its license has not been open source compatible. Try to look into the source code (hardcoded constants everywhere, standard library almost never used, etc). I would rather spend my life doing something more useful than resurrecting a project which has been dead for several years and has been surpassed by other project.

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