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qmail: A fast secure mail server

Sendmail is the grand-daddy of all mail servers and it is showing its

age. It's buggy, insecure and it is slow. Updating sendmail to fix the

new bugs is a weekly affair. A sysadmin's scariest dream come true. Enter

qmail - the faster, smaller and way more secure option. qmail ( *not*

Qmail ) is written by Dan J Bernstein and it the new mail server of choice

for many. qmail was written from the ground up with high security in mind

and fulfills this goal right away. qmail has not been cracked even

once. Not that there was any lack of enthusiasm. There has been a 1000$

prize for anyone who can crack qmail but no one has grabbed the prize as

yet. If you want a secure mail server then look no further. As an added

bonus qmail is lighter, faster and easier to configure.

Here's a little HOWTO for the newbie looking to install qmail on his


First up you need to get the qmail distribution source code here

( http://cr.yp.to/software/qmail-1.03.tar.gz ) or if you prefer RPMs then

get them here ( ftp://moni.msci.memphis.edu/pub/qmail )

You will also need the following packages. Do read through all the

documentation on the site otherwise you will not be able to understand

what the procedure below. Specifically read about svscan, supervise, svc

and multilog from the daemontools suite. From ucspi-tcp read about

tcpserver and tcprules. If you want to setup POP3 access then you should

read through checkpassword documentation.

daemontools ( http://cr.yp.to/daemontools.html ),

ucspi-tcp ( http://cr.yp.to/ucspi-tcp.html ) and

checkpassword ( http://cr.yp.to/checkpassword.html )

Extract qmail source code with the following.

tar zxvf qmail-1.03.tar.gz

Do the same for daemontools, checkpassword and ucspi-tcp

tar zxvf daemontools-0.70.tar.gz

tar zxvf ucspi-tcp-0.88.tar.gz

tar zxvf checkpassword-0.81.tar.gz

This will create sub-directories named qmail-1.03, daemontools-0.70,

ucspi-tcp-0.88 and checkpassword-0.81.

Create the base qmail directory

mkdir /var/qmail