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We are building a service of which one part will be forwarding mail; so there will be lots of user@domain.com "accounts" but these will only be forwarded - we will not have any actual mailboxes or store any mail on the server.

While I know most, if not all, mailservers can do this - does anyone have any recommendation for a mail server that is particularly well suited for this purpose? It would be fine if this is all the mail server does.

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5 Answers

From experience:

  • qmail for speed and security
  • exim for configurability
  • postfix for simplicity
  • sendmail for masochists

Your questione is too vague to give a recommendation for what you're doing. The most important consideration is likely to be where you get the config for each forwarding email address.

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Personally, I prefer Postfix. Easy to setup, easy to maintain. It's flexible enough to handle what you are trying to do.

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Based on the limited information in your question, I can't see any obvious reason to prefer a specific MTA for this task. Any modern MTA will handle this admirably. While qmail is getting a little long in the tooth, it is pretty awesome at raw througput. Postfix and Exim are more actively maintained and have far more knobs to twiddle. They both can manage very high throughput.

A much better question is how to manage the aliases, assuming they're each unique. Flat files quickly become a liability. A local LDAP server may be worth considering. Both Exim and Postfix can perform their alias lookups from LDAP.

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I'd use whatever your distro packages. Your config is simply enough that it's not worth picking an MTA.

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We are looking to do pretty much the same thing and are focusing on Postfix to accomplish the task. Aside from already having some expertise w/ Postfix, the big draw for us is that we can add LDAP attributes to users to handle the forwarding and keep all of the user information in LDAP.

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