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I have asked question on http://stackoverflow.com/questions/9868426/i-need-to-know-which-email-server-i-have-to-use and someone tell me my question would be better on serverfault. I know that this is a common question and asked many times. but there are so many available mail servers that i am not able to decide the one.

Kindly tell that which is the Secure, Stable and fast open source mail server for Centos or Redhat Server. Is there any guide which can be used to deploy the mail server with all its components e.g. smtp, pop3, imap, spam, calender server, antivirus, DNS Setting.

Currently I'm using sun messaging V6 which installed on Solaris 10 and my boss ask me to make a report for the best mail server today in the marketing? I tried to have a look on Google but I couldn't find interesting information for my report.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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We really can't guide you toward a one single true "best" -- There is a "best" in every situation, and you need to look at a bunch of options and evaluate them against your specific requirements. You got a bunch of good suggestions below, and you can Google around for different MTAs and communication suites, but ultimately only you can decide what's "best" for you. All that said, my two cents: "Don't change unless there's a good, compelling reason to do so." -- All the MTAs do essentially the same thing. –  voretaq7 Mar 26 '12 at 17:33
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4 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Zimbra is an open source mail system which runs on linux, and has built in web client, spam filtering, calendar, etc. I've used it before and it works quite well, and is relatively easy to setup compared to setting up each piece individually.

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Well, CentOS ships with Postfix by default, and provides some instructions on setting it up:


Here is a comparison of MTAs:


But, really, these days, unless you have the technical competency and a specific need to run the mail server (and everything that goes with it, including, say, backups), you may be better off using a hosted service, like Google Apps for Domains or Rackspace, etc. They will do a better job than you will.

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If you don't know what you're doing with email, use hosted solutions. +1 for that. –  Bart Silverstrim Mar 26 '12 at 12:26
As far as I know my boss won't use hosted solutions that why I have to find good information and give it to him. –  Fanar ALHAYALI Mar 26 '12 at 13:19
@FanarALHAYALI, clearly, when I get spam six months from now, I will blame it on you :) Anyway, I'd try to convince your boss otherwise. Failing that, Janne's answer is better, in terms of using something like Kolab or Zimbra, which is probably more "like" the Sun messaging application, if you're concerned about calendar, etc. –  cjc Mar 26 '12 at 13:22
We are starting to count first CentOS postfix second one is?? –  Fanar ALHAYALI Mar 26 '12 at 13:27
Actually, first thing would be looking at Kolab or Zimbra. If you don't like those packages (which will do everything), and want to build your own setup piece by piece, it'll be Postfix or Exim for the MTA part, then Dovecot, Courier or Cyrus-IMAP for the IMAP/POP3 part. Postfix/Exim are more or less equivalent (look at the comparison link I posted). Dovecot vs. Courier vs. Cyrus will depend on your the size of your user base. But, really, look at Kolab or Zimbra first. –  cjc Mar 26 '12 at 13:32
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You are describing someone's work for the next six months (considering you should set everything up from scratch and migrate some large installation from the old system the another). So, it's very difficult to type you a short enough reply.

You have couple of ways:

  1. Try something like Kolab or EGroupware and see if they fit your needs at all.

  2. If not, make yourself familiar with stuff like Postfix (for SMTP), Cyrus or Dovecot (for POP/IMAP), amavisd-new, dspam and/or SpamAssassin (for spam filtering), SquirrelMail, Roundcube or Horde (for webmail), clamav or F-Secure (or plenty of others for antivirus), bind for DNS ... and don't forget to choose the underlying OS you prefer to use, and the backup software of your choice, and possible auditing software, and the monitoring/trending software ... the list is quite long

  3. Buy all this from some hosted solution and don't reinvent the wheel.

  4. Use your current system, upgrade to its latest version.

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Thanks for you reply, as I said my boss won't use hosted solutions. Do you know if there an another big project like Sun Messaging v6? in fact we are almost 1000 users! –  Fanar ALHAYALI Mar 26 '12 at 13:30
Also compare the costs - from above at least half a years personell costs and then needing 24 hour coverage and general maintainance) –  Mark Mar 26 '12 at 14:08
You have 1000 users and your boss wants to have someone unfamiliar with email administration migrate from scratch? You may be getting set up for failure... –  Bart Silverstrim Mar 26 '12 at 14:49
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It sounds like you're not really a pro sysadmin, and email security and setup isn't an amateur undertaking. Have you considered using a third-party web-based email system such as Google Mail or similar? That way someone else is doing their job and you're doing yours.

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Chopper3 when I asked the question above I need to get ideas and information's which mean I'm beginner in mail server! and I will write again my boss won't use hosted solutions. Thanks for your understanding –  Fanar ALHAYALI Mar 26 '12 at 13:53
Let's put it this way...I took art classes in high school and have at least one box of crayons and markers. Should I design a professional logo for my company? How hard could it be? It sounds like you're in over your head and need to find a consultant. That's the professional thing to do if you're in charge of the IT department and are in a situation where you don't know what you're doing in a particular project. There's no shame in that. –  Bart Silverstrim Mar 26 '12 at 14:52
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protected by Michael Hampton Nov 12 '12 at 1:39

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