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We've got a server project that's listening on IMAP connections to proxy messages for many different users accounts. We want to test that server for scalability. To that end, we're setting up an IMAP server with lots of dummy users to generate inbound traffic to our server project.

I'm curious about how to best do that on a Ubuntu server instance and also what the IMAP software would pose the least amount of trouble configuring many users for. Should each our of dummy users have an account on that Ubuntu machine or is that not needed?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Nearly every F/OSS IMAP server I know of can use MySQL as an authentication backend. That's the route I'd take if I were you. That way, creating IMAP users is as simple as inserting a bunch of rows into your SQL database.

I've had good luck with Dovecot before, but Courier also supports MySQL virtual users.

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Thank you. What do you advise for configuring the mail store for each user? There are various options, like mbox. What would be easiest. – Wolfram Arnold Jan 24 '13 at 4:17
There are hundreds of tutorials and hundreds of ways to configure things. You need to do your own homework on this and figure out what your needs are. – EEAA Jan 24 '13 at 4:23
Surely. The need is: ease of setup and lots of dummy users. – Wolfram Arnold Jan 24 '13 at 4:30
@WolframArnold - what is easy for me is certainly not easy for you. Regardless of what product you choose, you're going to end up scripting your user creation process - whether that's adding local system users or inserting rows into a SQL database, the amount of work is more or less the same. – EEAA Jan 24 '13 at 18:56
To close the loop on this, we were very successful with Ubuntu + Courier IMAP hooked up to Postgres authentication. We were then able to just add virtual users by inserting into the database and to simulate the arrival of messages by just writing new files to the maildirs. Worked beautifully. We hooked up a little web server so we can drive the test setup by HTTP. – Wolfram Arnold Apr 1 '13 at 21:04

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