Mail Process Flow As Used In Webmin/Virtualmin

Jamie, it would be nice if you would specify how you personally view the incoming and outgoing mail flow as you apply it in your programming. We know that various server programs may do dual or even triple duty in the various processes needed for handling mail. However, that overall process flow is not clear in viewing the software.

For instance, Dovecot may be a IMAP and POP3 email server or an MDA, or a mail storage server delivering its mail flow to the server using some other MDA. Postfix may deliver mail directly into mailboxes. Postfix may process filtering on its own or may call other programs to do that. What about Procmail? Dovecot may be the SSL server or not. Etc., etc…

Do you use MUA → MSA → MTA → … → MTA → MDA →→ MRA →→ MUA? If so, which software does which function? If not, please clarify in the same vein.

No comment, Jamie?


Does anyone know the answer to this? Maybe its more of a secret than I thought.

As far as I see it.

Virtualmin has more than one mail OPTION Solution.
YEP that is confusing, also for me not heared of all the possible ways in Virtualmin.
But still though it is not upto Virtualmin to explains that kind of “Modules / Servers” that are software in its own with each their own DOCS and Support.
More user friendly to have more info’s yup but time…

As Apache , as PHP and so on,

On the Virtualmin Menu is more then one solution (one kind of food) , the Menu Card is not explaining how to cook and eat that all.

Still some Docu could be more up to date. :wink: ( Placings links to that software distributions as Postfix, Dovecot and so on and their WIKI’s but even there if you are for example looking for the latest modern strict Ciphers hmm… ) Yep so be it, so learning by doing or searching the WEB, only you have to be carefull then to use updated solutions for the right versions of software, not blind copy paste. :wink:
The most perfect solution is still the one that don’t exist, that will be forever. ( Read here Goggggle find themselves the best and near perfect, and then they have almost a monopol dictating the rest , users and custommers)

One should know what for mail solution is needed in the first place, depending on standards and clients, as also some compliance.
Then it would be handy to have a kind of tabel / schema for such in teh DOCU so one can see in almost one overview or with wich settings / modules it should fit.

For the time being you have to use websearch for that, or ask someone near you with the knowledge.

MAILclients for example , worse the old outdated outlook exchange versions , apple versions (web)dav whatever is and was always a pain in the b… for decades to handle all in one solution is a nogo. Kitchm Please take care of to old mailclients they are very unsafe to serve them, if you have such clients i advice to have them sign some papers if things going wrong because of using to old sh…

These aren’t Virtualmin questions. This is a general mail protocol question. It’s not about how we do it…it’s what the various tools do, we’re just installing and configuring them with some reasonable defaults (which are, of course, configurable if you don’t like our defaults, but should probably only diverge if you really understand what you’re changing).

The only thing somewhat out of the ordinary in a Virtualmin system (but not that out of the ordinary) is that Procmail is the MDA we use in the standard configuration, which may process the mail with SpamAssassin and/or ClamAV, as well as custom autoresponder and forwarding scripts that we provide. We have a custom user lookup daemon that may run which allows for some per-domain and per-user decisions to be made about how mail is processed (things like whether forwarding/autoresponders are available, spam/AV scanning happens, etc.) which isn’t really possible with a generic Postfix->Procmail configuration, but Procmail is still the MDA. Procmail is likely to change in the future to something that supports Sieve (which is a newer standard for user mail delivery scripting and configuration that handles much of the same things Procmail does), but not in significant ways from a user perspective, except for those users that write their own procmail recipes. The GUI will hide most of the details for most users, as it currently does. Procmail is quite old and has tons of documentation and examples on the web (the only reason we’ll be moving off of it is that it is minimally maintained, so it doesn’t get a lot of developer attention).

The default mail stack in Virtualmin hasn’t changed significantly in the entire life of Virtualmin…it’s not a secret, it’s just boring, and pretty obvious if you look at the relevant config files. I discussed it at length in the distant past when we were settling on what our mail stack would look like (i.e. when we were deciding whether to use sendmail or Postfix, Dovecot or Cyrus, etc.), and it hasn’t changed much since then.

Postfix receives the mail, probably hands it to Procmail which thinks about it and maybe asks SpamAssassin and ClamAV for their opinion about it, Procmail drops it into a mailbox or otherwise acts on it (either forwarding, trashing, etc.), and then the user usually picks it up using IMAP/POP provided by Dovecot.

Also, Jamie doesn’t read the forums. We don’t let him, as he has too much on his plate already. Eric and I try to follow up on tough questions in the forums every couple of days, as time allows. And, if there are bugs under discussion we may escalate them to the ticket tracker.

“I discussed it at length in the distant past when we were settling on what our mail stack would look like (i.e. when we were deciding whether to use sendmail or Postfix, Dovecot or Cyrus, etc.), and it hasn’t changed much since then.”

Link please.

Also, Dovecot is a fine MDA on its own. Can procmail be removed in favor of Dovecot?