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ssh is a secure verion of telnet nothing to do with email encryption.
You are correct in saying you only need postfix if you are running a mail server.
Fetchmail is used to fetch mail from a POP3 server so you may have a need for this if you download email from your ISP.
Hope this helps
ssh is an acronym for secure shell. It is used to connect to your box from outside. It has nothing to do with mail.
Postfix is an MTA (Mail Transport Agent); it recieves from the internet and sends mail there. You can think it as a centralized place having all the mail-configuration in one place so every MUA (Mail User Agent, eg. mutt, pine, mozilla-mailnews, kmail, etc..) doesn't have to be configured separatedly; some MUAs can partially work as MTA:s (this is the way it is done in the windows world; One program tries to do everything, and does everything poorly).
fetchmail is a tool that fetches mail. Especially it fetches mail from other imap or pop accounts and passes them to local MTA, as if they were send here in the first place.
One part missing from the puzzle is a MDA (Mail delivery agent). This is an optional part. MDA (like procmail or mailfilter) can be used to postprocess your mail to be filtered to certain folders with arbitrary criteria; this processing can be done in co-operation with some spam analyzing tools like spamassassin and/or bogofilter.
You do need a MTA to recieve mail eg. from your system, cron scripts, other users and that sending mail from arbitrary program (eg. cvs sends mail on new commits if configured so, and mdadm sends mail if one of your HDs in your raid-array begings to malfunction.)
Mail is quite fundamental part of the messaging system, even if mail is send only locally. (thus postfix is quite heavyduty tool for only local delivery; a program like nullmailer might be more approriate).
The default config in fetchmail probably does nothing. The usage of fetchmail is to fetch mail from one or more of your pop/imap accounts (provided by your isp or similar); if not explicitly configured, it uses no accounts.
Distribution: Xubuntu Dapper - Debian Etch - Puppy Linux
I'm not sure I understand your question, ToniT.
I configured Libranet PPP while installing Libranet (Libranet being my Linux distro). It was very easy. It must have been after package installation but definitly before I launched Mozilla for the first time (and i've installed a new version).