In light of these facts, mail servers have been designed by computer experts, with the aim to solve above problems. Currently, there are several options for running a free mail server in the Linux environment. Common servers are Sendmail, Qmail, Postfix and so on. Postfix, one of the most common MTA servers was firstly developed by Doctor Wietse Zweitze Venema early in 1998. In the early practice, mail server was conventionally set by Sendmail program. However, with the fast advancement of technology, Doctor Venema identified some shortcomings while using the Sendmail program, especially with respect to safety and efficiency. In order to solve these problems, Doctor Venema initiated a plan to design a new mail server program which would be faster and safer to replace the original Sendmail program, namely, Postfix. The purpose of this thesis is to give a clear view of mainstream MTA’s, especially the Postfix, comparing it with other MTA servers and explain the application of MTA’s in Linux network and in other security systems. In addition, efforts will also be made to address how Postfix is set up and what protocols can be used.
Research Background and Purpose
In current casual and formal communication, emails are commonly employed to send and receive information. As the main part of the email system, Mail Transfer agent is responsible to receive emails from the one side and then deliver them to another MTA process. A few years ago, Sendmail could only be used in the previous Linux environment. Considering the flaws of Sendmail, developers generated several other MTA servers. In the development of newer options, critical comparison between existing servers and the newer ones is inevitable. This essay hence draws on such comparison to inform on pros and cons of using one over the other based on their characteristics.
One of the fundamental MTA servers is Postfix. Postfix is a product of free software engineering and was originally developed by Wietse Venema under the sponsor of IBM. The initial aim of Postfix was to replace Sendmail, with upgraded functions. Firstly, Postfix was positioned as a fast and easy tool to use. Secondly, it aimed to ensure the maximum security of the system. Thirdly, when considering the wide application of Sendmail among users, it was thus necessary to maintain the compatibility of Postfix with Sendmail. Others like Sendmail, Exim and QMail have different features depending on the problems in MTA process they are addressing. For instance, Sendmail is more user-friendly, it can work very well with just default settings and this enhances the ways it can be used, by novice users and experts.
The aim of this essay work is to explain the characteristics of several mainstream MTA servers in current Linux environment analyse and compare the advantages and disadvantages of these MTA servers. As part of these discussions, the work will also introduce the setting up of Postfix and how to effectively employ protocols, such as SMTP, to avoid potential problems emerging in mail services. The primary goal of this project is to give the audience a general picture of different MTA servers in Linux environment and demonstrate a clear overview of the process and the protocols used in the setting up of the Postfix server.