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Mark Atwood
fallenpegasus
fallenpegasus
Someone needs to write a laptop friendly MTA.
Well, this is annoying.

One of the things on my low grade "to get done" list is to reconfigure amsu to use a smarterhost instead of doing local delivery. Either my own co-lo server, or the one provided by pobox.com.

Well, it just elevated to a higher priority. Since I am now DOCSIS instead of DSL, I'm now in the MAPS blocklist, and so cannot send email to many people, including the people at drizzle.com.

Nobody seems to have written a nice small flexable simple laptop friendly MTA. Everyone instead seems to want to write ones that do lots of queuing and rewriting and preformance hacks and OS level security. My laptop is NOT going to be delivering a hundred thousand emails an hour, hosting a hundred mailing lists, with local delivery to ten thousand mailboxes, on a machine with riddled untrusted and clever users.

I want local delivery of locally generated email, some optional Python or Perl hooks for flexability, very simple queuing, doesn't hammer the disk, can do SASL smarterhost by default, doesnt utterly freak out when the network goes away, and has a configuration file that I can understand exactly what every option does, without having to spend a week doing nothing but getting into the author's head.

Is that too much to ask?
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Comments
From: ex_cerebrate131 Date: July 11th, 2004 10:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Exim?

(Or at least that's what I used to use over dial-up, and ISTR that most of my requirements were pretty similar.)
jatg From: jatg Date: July 11th, 2004 11:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Urrrr?

Myxyplyx ? or something like that? ;)
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: July 12th, 2004 12:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Urrrr?

Ok, here's the problem in plainer english.

My laptop, since it's a complete unix box, knows how to figure out what individual machine on the internet receives each individual email. If I write an email to somebody@aol.com, my box can in itself figure out which one of AOLs many many computers to connect to, and directly connects to it and hands it the mail.

However, since I am now using a cable modem, my own machine is no longer "trusted" by most other machines, because spammers like to use cable modem connections to transmit their foul garbage.

So what I need to do is configure my laptop to, instead of being "smart" about delivery, instead be "dumb". Any email that is not supposed to always stay inside itself, it is to just hand off to a "smart" machine that itself can do the email delivery, and also is "trusted" by most of the rest of the net.

That's the translation of the first part of my post. :)

The second part gets even more complicated.
simonb From: simonb Date: July 12th, 2004 11:32 am (UTC) (Link)

There is always postfix

I've ended up using PostFix for this type of thing; its just one configuration option - relayhost - to state that all non-local mail is sent to a specific server. I've got a script which takes the default main.cf and adjusts it for this.

Basically all it does is:

  • Specify myorigin is to be $mydomain
  • Specify mydomain explicitly as unep-wcmc.org as some machines are in internal.unep-wcmc.org
  • Specify relayhost to be [mailhub.unep-wcmc.org] - the [ and ] surrounding the name tells Postfix to not do an MX look up on the name

And that is it; all mail looks like it comes from unep-wcmc.org and gets sent to the main mailhub where all of the mail routing stuff is actually done.

Right now I'm playing with fun mail routing stuff and even when I've been dealing with taking email addresses of the form firstname.lastname@somedomain and re-writing it to be login@groupwise-server things like the relayhost are still in effect so all mail gets sent via the SurfControl box we use.

I'm also playing with the content-filtering stuff Postfix supports - basically you write a process which acts like an SMTP server to accept the email from Postfix, do whatever you want to the message (in my case do SPF, check some RBLs and make use of ClamAV for virus scanning) and then re-submit the message to Postfix via SMTP.

The Postfix documentation was really improved for the 2.1 release and is now actually useful, including a number of good examples. Its also included in the source distribution.

4 comments or Leave a comment