Distro/Server Spec

Hello Everyone,

I wish to setup a Virtualmin server, just a couple of quick questions if I may.

  1. What is the easiest distro to install and maintain Virtualmin on?

  2. I have a P4 3.2ghz/1gb ram, Approx how many email users would I expect to handle on this server?

Thanks in advance.

Hey Bryce,

The easiest distro to install and maintain at this point is probably either CentOS or Fedora, but whichever of the supported distributions you’re most familiar with is probably the one you should choose for your deployment. Fedora/CentOS have yum, which is a better package management system than up2date on RHEL or yast on SUSE, but not much else is significantly different.

Number of email users is pretty hard to estimate without knowing the usage of the users. I have a similarly equipped server that works pretty hard for 30-40 users–but they are very heavy usage IMAPS users with thousands of emails in every mailbox (one user has over 60,000 messages, and he is not an extremely odd case–the smallest account has probably 10,000 messages)…a much lower usage POP3-only server would probably sustain hundreds or thousands of mailboxes without trouble (I once setup a dual 800Mhz box at an ISP that had about 3000 users, along with spam and AV filtering and it never had any performance problems). In short: It depends. No estimate is going to be accurate without some real usage data. In most cases you can ramp up usage slowly enough to know when to start planning on adding a new server long before it is needed.

That said, Postfix and Dovecot are among the highest performing mail servers available, so they will be plenty fast. SpamAssassin and ClamAV are quite resource-intensive, however, so it’s likely that you’ll find that they cut way down on the maximum mail flow rate of your system. If there were a better/faster combination available, we’d probably support it, and we will probably spend some time optimizing the mail path at some point in the future when customers begin to run into performance issues (so far, we’ve not had anyone with performance issues that weren’t easily resolved by fixing DNS performance).

Thanks for the excellent information Joe.

I will be buying a licence asap.


Do you have a printable version of your Virtualmin Administrators Guide?

Hey Bryce,

I think I do, and now I see that I didn’t actually make it available. I’ll see if I can dig it up (or generate a new one–one of the reasons I’m writing the docs in the format I write them in is so I can generate nice PDFs from the same source). I’ll post a news item about it when I get it figured out and posted.

Thanks for that Joe.