To: None <netbsd-users@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Tobias Brox <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 04/24/1998 04:17:57
> Not to start a flame war but I would like to know anyones opinion on
> running qmail as opposed to sendmail particularly on a Netbsd machine
> that will be running virtual hosts.?

I have some postmaster experience here. I sort of liked some of the
features in qmail, so I decided to go for it. But I wasn't really
satisfied - didn't manage to integrate the old /etc/aliases-file well,
for instance. Today I have two mail servers, one qmail-server and one
sendmail-server. The qmail server forwards all unknown mail to the
sendmail server. I guess the main reason was that I didn't find out
how to allow relaying of all mail from all users at the local net. I'm
quite satisfied having both the advantages of qmail and the advantages
of sendmail at hand.

IMHO it takes less effort to find out of the qmail configuration (even
though you should check the mail-log and mail-queue rigidly in some
days to find out if everything is OK), and there is less chance that
you accidentally end up doing something fatal in qmail. You don't need
a BIG book to set up qmail, qmail comes with almost sufficient
man-pages, even though it's a lot of undoccumented or poorly
documented features.

It's a small security breach in qmail - an hacker may feed it with an
infinite number of reciepients, then qmail will eat up all available
memory and swap space and NetBSD will jump into the debugger. I guess
some reading at setrlimit(2) or using the csh/zsh command "limit"
could help.

I'm thinking of setting up some virtual hosts, I'd daresay it's
possible through qmail as well, but I'd like to completely separate
the virtual hosts ... i.e., if the MX record for is set
to my.mail.server, I may have a user, but
dude@my.mail.server shouldn't automaticly be a valid email. I think
I've managed to set up the configuration with sendmail for this, I
don't know if it is possible or eventually how it is possible in

Perhaps the biggest advantage with qmail is the flexibility it gives
ordinary users, they may set up miscellaneous filtering (without using
procmail) - even though this isn't documented in the dot-qmail man
page, they may set up any mail address/mail folder at the form
"logname-*" and even their own mailing lists / mailing aliases.

The sendmail offers even more flexibility ... if you're a sendmail
wizard. But it comes along with the standard NetBSD 1.3 distribution
and is ready to run without any configuration at all. :)

Tobias Brox - -