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Comments for qmail

10 Mar 2005 08:03 leveret

Re: 8 years and counting...

> maybe the community should just post the final

> known good patches and give up.

The community did bundle qmail with the known good

patches, back in January 2004. Have a look at
They're still supporting it too.

18 Oct 2004 19:37 calyeo

Re: qmail


> We are using qmail at our organization.

> Qmail is perfectly managing more than

> 500 accounts with very

> heavy traffic.

> QMail it's faster and more secure than

> any other MTA.

> The compilation, installation and

> configuration is trivial in front of

> Sendmail.


good fer ya. from my past experience on qmail, adding new features means possibly breaking the qmail code. I would say qmail would be good if you have the time to slowly debug. Not when you want something up, running and glitchless. within a couple of hours.

04 Oct 2004 20:47 shaman

8 years and counting...
I still use qmail because I have some legacy

software that requires it. But it's time DJB either

gave up the code under BSD or GPL, or we call it a

day and stop recommending it to people. It may be

fairly secure, but it's creaking old with plenty of

performance issues and bind/libc/etc. bugs. If he

isn't going to give up the code, maybe the

community should just post the final known good

patches and give up. All the hacks to add

more modern functionality to qmail are just that -

hacks. This dog doesn't hunt in today's Internet

anymore... much less the IPv6 networks that are

coming. Maybe DJB will see the light some day and

free his babies? Sadly, I doubt it.

15 Jul 2002 13:49 mijio

Re: about qmail
DJB has strange ideas about itself and about how programs should intrude the system. Keeping the whole qmail "package" (including binary) in /var/qmail/ could be understood for non-intrusiveness, but what about keeping djbdns caches under /etc/? That quite frequent in DJB's software.
However, qmail is a great software and it really more simple to use than how most people think.
It' objectively much better than sendmail. It could be, instead, compared with courier and such.

02 Apr 2002 20:30 jeffcovey

Re: I agree.

> I would love TLS support. Only Sendmail has it AFAIK.

Exim ( supports TLS,
and it's much easier to set it up under Exim than under Sendmail.

02 Apr 2002 14:26 Gumbytwo

Re: I agree.
I would love TLS support. Only Sendmail has it AFAIK. I have configured it with Sendmail and it works great. Now I want to replace Sendmail. I looked at Postfix and qmail, but both need unofficial patches to work. Shouldn't something as critical as security via encryption be an integral part of any major service network daemon?

19 Jan 2002 15:55 roadmaster

about qmail
qmail by itself is a great piece of software. It gets the job done, and gets it done in a quick, efficient and safe way. Based purely on its technical merits, it's hard to beat qmail for the one task it performs (being a mail transfer agent).

Unfortunately, qmail is not perfect, and most of its flaws come from the author, D.J. Bernstein.

The first thing that strikes a newcomer to the qmail community is how much like a god DJB feels. He's arrogant, somewhat disrespectful, and in general acts like he's the only human being in the world who knows what he's doing.

A lot of qmail's power comes from the fact that it breaks away with most conventions about MTA's, however that also means that most users will take some time to get used to how qmail operates. Here, DJB's "that's the way I did it and if you don't like it you can kiss my ass" attitude doesn't help one bit.

Also, plenty of issue has been made about qmail's license. It's not free in the FSF sense of the word, because you're not allowed to distribute modified versions of qmail. Of course you can make modifications, but you're limited to distributing those as patches, further increasing the difficulty level for a qmail installation. DJB maintains control of qmail's official release, which allows him to keep things working the way he wants to, but that means a lot of people can't share *their* way of doing things unless DJB approves.

If you can get over DJB's nastiness, and qmail's non-freeness doesn't bother you, qmail is really worth a try. Unfortunately bor both the author and his software, those are two pretty big IFs.

19 Jan 2002 15:42 roadmaster

Re: I agree.
Qmail is designed with a unix-like philosophy. It does one thing and does it well. Qmail is an MTA. Some of the features you mentioned (imap4 and pop3, web interface) have absolutely no place in an MTA. Then again, sendmail by itself has none of the above, yet there's no complaints about sendmail. You want imap4 and pop3? get courier-imap. Want a web interface? there are zillions; I prefer squirrelmail which works great with courier's imap service.

qmail might not be the holy grail of MTA's; it's very different from what most users are used to, the license is a bit restrictive, and the author's arrogance and hostility permeate through most of his software (try reading documentation for qmail, djbdns and ezmlm and you'll end up both feeling like you're incompetent, and hating djb's guts for being so mean). But bashing it for stuff that shouldn't be in qmail in the first place just shows a bit of bias.

> You asked me to talk about what qmail is
> missing. This is a short list, so I
> won't put a lot of time into it.
> Feature-complete POP3
> Web interface (of any sort)
> IP multihoming
> Notification alerts
> Antispam (badmailfrom is nearly
> useless)
> LDAP support
> ACAP support
> All this stuff is important in today's
> mail servers. Sure, you may disagree
> with some of the features I've outlined
> here, but PEOPLE WANT THEM. And
> patching all sorts of incompatible
> patches together to get there, plus
> hacking your own code is just plain,
> utterly, inapproachable. Not that a lot
> of this stuff is available to the qmail
> package itself.
> Some of the hardcore qmail supporters
> out there have e-mailed me dispairing of
> the package's condition.

26 May 2001 17:43 kjetilho

Re: I agree.

> no problem.. look at

Misdirection? Qmail doesn't even support basic stuff such as 8BITMIME or DSN. djb prefers to invent his own standards, but unfortunately for him, there are people on the Internet who run software from others.

11 May 2001 17:54 Dreamwalker

Re: I agree.

> Feature-complete POP3
> Web interface (of any sort)
> IP multihoming
> Notification alerts
> Antispam (badmailfrom is nearly
> useless)
> LDAP support
> ACAP support

no problem.. look at <a




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