Farewell qmail, you’ve served well!

In the fall of 2001 I set up a “general purpose” server (mail, web, database…) that is still in use today. At that time qmail was still a fairly attractive option even though there had already then not been updates from it’s author for about four years. There were no other major players at that time if one didn’t want to venture to the Sendmail realm (which I didn’t). Postfix and exim had major issues at that time while qmail had all the features available though an increasing number were patches written by various skilled programmers other than Dan Bernstein, author of qmail.

Some years passed by with no further updates to qmail, and already around 2004 exodus started from qmail to alternative clients, namely Postfix. And now, in 2008, it has been a decade since the last release (the original release, in fact) of qmail. In the coming months I have the operating system upgrade (to the newly released FreeBSD 7) coming up, and at the same time I’ll move away from qmail. The most likely replacement MTA is Postfix with dovecot. The details are still somewhat fuzzy; instructions to set up exactly what I’m thinking about don’t seem to be available anywhere, so lots of Googling and trial-and-error are to be expected. A how-to document that perhaps comes to closest is “HOWTO: Postfix, Dovecot, Jamm, OpenLDAP, and SASL” by Peter Lacey. But I don’t want to use Jamm. I get hives from using Java-based management tools, so there has to be something better, right? No? Well, I would also like to use MySQL for at least user data storage if not for message storage as well.

If you’re setting up something similar, or have something similar already up and running, I would like to hear about it. I will be posting details and how-to info here as the configuration of the new mail system is progressing.