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Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?

Posted by trimbo on Fri 19 Aug 2005 at 13:30

I'm planning on migrating 40 or so email accounts from a RedHat 9 / Sendmail server to a new Debian Sarge box. Of the three popular IMAP servers included in Sarge (Dovecot, Courier and Cyrus), which one have people had the best experiences with?

Data integrity is the main concern, more so than performance (which is also the reason I opted for putting the maildirs on an EXT3 volume rather than Reiserfs due to a lack of recovery tools for the latter). I've chosen Postfix as the MTA since it seems the most mature and secure than the alternatives.

Any suggestions from other experienced Debian administrators?

 

 


Re: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by K4sperl (212.33.xx.xx) on Fri 19 Aug 2005 at 12:37

Hello, I use dovecot-imapd for about one year and it works absolutely perfect. Good performance, stable (of course). I had no problems with dovecot. I also use postfix as MTA and it works well with dovecot. cheers,
--
Gerald
holl.co.at

[ Parent ]

Re: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by Steve (82.41.xx.xx) on Fri 19 Aug 2005 at 12:50
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I no longer use it, but I previously had dovecot running for a few months to provide an IMAP server for use in setting up webmail.

It was simple to use, simple to configure and appeared to work very well.

(I used mine with Exim3)

Steve
-- Steve.org.uk

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Re: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by Anonymous (81.204.xx.xx) on Fri 19 Aug 2005 at 12:47
We use Courier IMAP together with postfix, maildrop and openldap and runs stable as a rock. It's a virual hosting server with about 200 users.

The only thing I miss in this setup is the ability to use Sieve scripts. good luck mipmip

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Re: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by leto (194.2.xx.xx) on Fri 19 Aug 2005 at 13:37
u can use sieve script normally.

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by Anonymous (207.154.xx.xx) on Fri 19 Aug 2005 at 16:11
I've been using courier for several years, but have found it to be pretty slow once you get to having large IMAP directories hanging around your Maildir. I've switched to Dovecot, and it's noticeably faster. (As well as being pretty painless to set up.)

I'm also on postfix/ext3.

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by legooolas (144.173.xx.xx) on Fri 19 Aug 2005 at 16:30
We use Cyrus, for an installation of about 25,000 users, and it's been fantastically reliable. It was originally chosen because it can do deliveries such that it hard-links files if a mail is sent to multiple users - saving a *huge* amount of disk space over thousands of users.

Other than that advantage, I don't really see it making a lot of difference which IMAP server you use, as they're all quite quick and standards-compliant enough that small installations will always be fine :)

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by ninjalabs (82.153.xx.xx) on Fri 19 Aug 2005 at 18:46
Just set up dovecot today actually :-)

No problems at all with that and squirrelmail.

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by medwayman (212.159.xx.xx) on Fri 19 Aug 2005 at 18:48
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I use Cyrus, but mainly for the reason that it integrates nicely with OpenGroupware, the combination giving me a viable opensource alternative to [swearmode] Exchange Server [/swearmode].

If you are interested, OpenGroupware has a stable beta available at www.opengroupware.org

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by thomasking (68.92.xx.xx) on Thu 8 Sep 2005 at 08:27
I was wondering if anyone knew about running OpenExchange on Debian. I have tried hooking it up but my base install was Ubuntu and it gave me lots of probs. Thought maybe sarge would do the trick? Want to run a small intranet (no internet access other than dial up on a couple pc's- the company does not want internet, wants people to actually do work rather than surf) and want to allow all these windows boxes to connect to an [swearmode] Exchange Server [/swearmode] mainly just so they can share calendars. I will definitely look at OpenGroupware. Running phpbb2 now, along with a postfix/courier IMAP solution on a sarge box.

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by Anonymous (209.249.xx.xx) on Fri 19 Aug 2005 at 20:07
We just actually switched to dovecot from uw-imap. I can say it has frustrated our customers extensively. For one thing, the usernames are case sensitive, as well as the fact that it does not stript the @DOMAIN from a username if a user entered it.

In addition, it seems to require double the amount of available disk space as the folder it is trying to make (something to do with indexing) which has really frustrated users since we implement quotas. We will probably get around that by putting the .imap folder off of the quota restricted file system, but I'd say it's been pretty frustrating.

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by mjog (203.28.xx.xx) on Sat 20 Aug 2005 at 02:27

Use Cyrus.

Using something as industrial strength as Cyrus is probably overkill given my small (25 user) installation, but it is worth it: Running Cyrus has never given me a minute of pain in the last 8 years I have been using it.

I have never seen it corrupt or lose any mail and MUAs never have any problems connecting to it. It Just Works. Cyrus scales to bejesbus and beyond - it performs great with mailboxes containing tens-of-k messages, and you don't need to have user accounts for each email the machine running cyrus - which is good for security.

The only complaint I have ever had was getting the thing to compile - which you obviously don't need to worry about on Debian - and getting familiar with the way it works i nthe first place, but the docs are much better these days than back in v1.x.

PS: I would say Sendmail is far more mature than Postfix, but then I am just some random wizened old geek. :)

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by Anonymous (84.45.xx.xx) on Sat 20 Aug 2005 at 18:54
> PS: I would say Sendmail is far more mature than Postfix, but then I am just some random wizened old geek. :)

Decrepit is a better word for sendmail.

Hula is the product for newbie mail admins, with one domain, and 25 users, unfortunately it may not be mature enough.

Hula may never tempt me from Postfix as an MTA, but for the newbie admin wanting just a simple mail server I think Hula may become a "no brainer" type choice.

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by mjog (203.28.xx.xx) on Sun 21 Aug 2005 at 02:21

"Decrepit"? Nah. People these days just cannot be bothered to learn it (woah, I _am_ sounding old). I still use it and prefer it because a) it works and b) I know how it works.

When you say Hula, are you talking about Novel's opensource groupware thing? Apparently the technology Hula is based on is pretty good; IIRC it was designed to work for anything from a small installation right up to those of big enterprises. I wouldn't call it a "newbie" or "no brainer" choice, just a product aimed at a different kind of sysadmin.

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by Steve (82.41.xx.xx) on Sun 21 Aug 2005 at 15:16
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I guess it's fair to say that most people will choose a solution that they know, regardless of any alternatives. It's probably the best choice too, rather than trying to install something you don't know so well in production, under pressure.

I can handle sendmail if I must, but there are friendlier systems out there I'd use instead when given free reign.

(Not to start a holy war or anything, but I'm an Exim fan .. closely followed by Postfix).

Steve
-- Steve.org.uk

[ Parent ]

Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by mjog (203.28.xx.xx) on Mon 22 Aug 2005 at 00:24

Yes, good point.

The only contact I have had installing and configuring Exim and Postfix is because they are the default MTAs on new Debian and Ubuntu installs (IIRC).

I keep which of the two above is installed on workstations because beyond the initial debconf questions, I will never have to touch them. It is a pity that the sendmail packages are not similarly configured at installation.

But hey, a heterogeneous approach is never a bad idea.

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by Anonymous (82.119.xx.xx) on Sun 21 Aug 2005 at 00:51
I've been using all three. Cyrus was the most difficult to setup, Dovecot the easiest and also being very solid.

Now I use Dovecot almost exclusively, but choosing Cyrus or Courier is no problem. Look around the configuration files, the structure and the philosophy and find out which one you like most. They are all solid products and you can't do wrong if you choose any of them.

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by Anonymous (70.115.xx.xx) on Thu 25 Aug 2005 at 01:16
Does someone know of a good set of install instructions for Debian & Cyrus? I am wanting to convert from Courier.

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by Anonymous (84.47.xx.xx) on Fri 30 Sep 2005 at 17:37

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by Anonymous (70.176.xx.xx) on Tue 30 Aug 2005 at 05:08
I am not a sysadmin or an IT professional - I just have had a \server at home for the past 4 years. Hobbiest is more like it.

For mail I use courier-imap, maildrop, postfix, and sendmail. I have 5 mail accounts from various services that are brought in to my server via fetchmail, and it has worked flawlessly. configuring courier and maildrop is effortless. Postfix is pretty easy to figure out compared to sendmail (which I still have nitemares about).

I've been considering hula since my needs are small, and it has a purty interface for web access (I have been using egroupware for that and it kinda sucks). Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that support for syncing the calendar with iCal, evolution, kontact and the like is just around the corner, so that's an added bonus for those of us who need an easily accessable calendaring system.

The documentation is limited for hula though. Havent tinkered with it much. Matt Schwartzstein www.mslawaz.com

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Re: Question: Recommended IMAP server for Debian?
Posted by Anonymous (194.149.xx.xx) on Tue 21 Feb 2006 at 21:19
In case someone finds this and looking for performance and IMAP have a look at:
http://www.usenix.net/events/lisa03/tech/full_papers/elprin/elpri n_html/index.html

And yes. Delete operations happen quite rarely. If they do happen they are sort of "batched". That's why dbmail is the real winner. Plus backing up is as easy as mysqldump or mysqlhotcopy and you get repluication built in mysql adding additional failover fetures compared to other IMAP servers.

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Cyrus-IMAP and dots in localparts
Posted by Anonymous (83.145.xx.xx) on Wed 12 Apr 2006 at 16:20
Hello, I'm reading through the Cyrus-IMAP (which I'm interested in) documentation and wonder if I can have adresses with '.' in local-parts of e-mail adresses such as, for example : fist.name.second.name@mydomain.com ?

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Re: Cyrus-IMAP and dots in localparts
Posted by Anonymous (201.9.xx.xx) on Wed 26 Apr 2006 at 02:58
Yes, you can, just create the users with the period in it. Consider setting unix file hierachy separator for it in imapd.conf and then create the mailboxes

cm user/john.doe
cm user/john.doe/Drafts
cm user/john.doe/Sent

cm user/foo.bar
cm user/foo.bar/Drafts
cm user/foo.bar/Sent

and so on...

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