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Old 07-01-2002, 04:04 PM   #1
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Registered: May 2002
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Unhappy Email server

I need to setup an email server for my school district for about 500 people. I downloaded Mandrake 8.2 and had no problems setting up a web server and I have one working as a PDC for Win98 PCs with shares (that took too much time), but I cannot get an email server functioning. I have an NT4.5 server with Exchange 5.5, but it is out of date and I can't get it secure from spamming I am told by some big networks so that will not remove me from their list so my people can email their domain, so I want to change to Linux. Simply, we need to do it as cheap as possible and so it requires little on going maintenance. I say all that to say that I have a valid domain properly setup(infact I am using it now). I purchased RedHat 7.2 Professional on the advise of a tech person for a major distributor, but all my reading has gotten me nowhere. I am getting behind the 8 Ball here. Can someone tell me
(1) How to determine if I have the right packages loaded?
(2) Where to get current configuration information on these packages? I read a lot, but often the articles don't seem to match my system.
(3) Is there a book that I should buy that is not out of date?
Old 07-01-2002, 10:03 PM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2001
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The default mail server for RedHat is going to be Sendmail, which has always had a rash of security holes and is rather cantankerous to configure, but it is the UNIX industry standard SMTP server. If you want to run with it, just poke through the how-tos over at and find one that covers the current sendmail series.

A better alternative is Qmail, you could get the RPM from and read up on it at Its easy to configure relaying (open is off by default so no one will be using you to relay spam), and its easy to black hole incoming spam. Look for the link on the Qmail page called "Life with Qmail", which will walk you through just about any aspect of the configuration. Qmail also comes with its own pop3 server. For imap, there is a imapd which can be made to work with Qmail.

Or... There's the Courier MTA, which will do all 3, plus webmail! I got this to compile without much hastle, although configuring the webmail front-end is a bit of a juggle and relies heavily on CSS which some older browsers (like all of the 4.x Netscapes), choke on. Its still usable under them, just ugly as sin.

To answer your questions in order, assuming you just want to stick with Sendmail:

1) sendmail is hard NOT to install. Basically to find out real fast if its listening:

telnet 25

If you get anything other than "service denied" or whatever, its up.

2) /etc/mail and read up on "man aliases" "man sendmail" etc.

3) Sendmail, by O'Reilly and Associates. Be sure to pick it up with both hands, the 1000 pages or so has been known to pull a wrist tendon free.




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