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Post Fix Document

Post Fix Document

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Published by omkar
Postfix Installation & Sequrillmail
Postfix Installation & Sequrillmail

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Published by: omkar on May 07, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/07/2010

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How Mail Server Works :-
\ue000The sender uses a Mail User Agent (MUA) to compose an email. An MUA, often referred to
as a mail client, is a program that allows a user to compose, send and receive email.
\ue000The mail is sent to a Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) which is responsible for sending the email
to the receipient\u2019s MTA. An MTA transfers mail messages between computers via the SMTP
protocol. Postfix, Sendmail, Exim and Qmail are examples of an MTA.
\ue000The recipient\u2019s MTA receives the email and passes it on to a Mail Delivery Agent (MDA). An
MDA manages the user\u2019s mailbox and handles mails for delivery to the MUA using either the
POP or IMAP protocol.
\ue000POP (Post Office Protocol) -: Although most mail clients have an option to Leave a copy on
the server, POP is generally used to download all messages from the mailbox, store them
on the user\u2019s PC as new messages and delete them from the server.
\ue000IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) -: Allows users to view their mailboxes on the
server and to delete mail only when told to do so.
\ue000The recipient uses an MUA to check and retrieve messages from the MDA.
Mbox and Maildir are two common mailbox format used in Unix:-
Mbox vs Maildir: Mail Storage Formats -: The Mbox Format -:This is the
traditional way of storing mail messages in the Unix world. In this format, a regular text file which
serves as the mail user\u2019s mailbox file is created.
How Mbox works -:
Receiving and storing a mail -:
\ue000Lock the mailbox.
\ue000Append the header (usually \u201cFrom [sender's email address] [date and time received]\u201c) and the
mail into the mailbox file.
\ue000Unlock the mailbox.
Retrieving a mail -:

\ue000Lock the mailbox.
\ue000Locate and read the mail.
\ue000Update the mail status flag.
\ue000Unlock the mailbox.

Deleting a mail -:
\ue000Lock the mailbox.
\ue000Move the contents of the mailbox, beginning from the position right after the mail to be deleted
until the end of the mailbox, into the position of the mail to be deleted.
\ue000Reduce the size of the mailbox file by the size of the deleted mail.
\ue000Unlock the mailbox.
Searching a mail -:

\ue000Lock the mailbox.
\ue000Search the mailbox.
\ue000Unlock the mailbox.

Advantages -:

\ue000Format is universally supported.
\ue000Appending a new mail into the mailbox file is fast.
\ue000Searching text inside a single mailbox file is fast.

Disadvantages -:

\ue000Has file locking problems.
\ue000Has problems when used with network file systems.
\ue000Format is prone to corruption.

The Maildir Format -:
This is a new way of storing mail messages. In this format, a directory usually named Maildir is
created for each mail user. Under this directory are three more directories named new, cur and tmp
How Maildir works -:
Receiving and storing a mail -:

\ue000Create a unique file in the tmp directory.
\ue000Write the mail into the newly created file.
\ue000Move the completely written mail into the new directory.

Retrieving a mail -:
\ue000Locate and read the mail.
\ue000Move the mail from new into the cur directory and append the mail status flag into the
filename.
Deleting a mail -:
\ue000Delete the file containing the mail.
Searching a mail -:
\ue000Search each and every mail file.
Advantages -:

\ue000Locating, retrieving and deleting a specific mail is fast.
\ue000Minimal to no file locking needed.
\ue000Can be used on network file system.
\ue000Immune to mailbox corruption (assuming the hardware will not fail).

Disadvantages -:
\ue000Some filesystems may not efficiently handle a large number of small files.

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