Encyclopedia > Mail server

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Mail server

A Mail server is a computer server which provides SMTP, POP3 and/or IMAP services. This enables the sending and receiving of email messages.

There are several programs that run on mail servers: SMTP

  • Sendmail - The most versatile, but the one with the most cryptic configuration file. It has had a history of security holes, including the Morris worm.
  • Postfix[?] - By Wietse venema[?]. This MTA is designed for security, with several separate programs each of which does a task.
  • qmail - By Dan Bernstein. Similar in design to Postfix. Additionally the programs run as different user IDs.
  • Exim
  • Courier


  • UW IMAP - Uses mbox format.
  • Courier IMAP - Uses Maildir format, which is much faster and requires no file locking.

Mail filtering

  • Procmail - A general-purpose mail-sorting program.
  • Vipul's Razor - By Vipul Ved Prakash[?]. Razor users (which may be spamtraps) report spam to Razor; mail servers ask Razor whether incoming messages are spam.
  • SpamAssassin - Uses several criteria, including Razor, to recognize spam.

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