[SATLUG] Best POP3 server?

Mike Nerone mike at nerone.org
Wed Apr 2 14:36:19 CDT 2008

Brad Knowles wrote:
> On 4/1/08, Mike Nerone wrote:
>> It wouldn't work out of the box with a standard MTA configuration,
>> since standard configurations almost always use mbox or maildir, so you
>> do have to configure your MTA a bit (it's not difficult - the MTA can
>> deliver to cyrus via standard LMTP, which is directly supported by all
>> modern MTAs).
> Configuring your MTA to deliver to Cyrus is the least difficult part 
> of installing and configuring the software.
> SASL, now that's another story. Talk about your nightmares.....
Hmm...well, I never had a problem. Under Gentoo, I'm using stock 
installs of cyrus-sasl and cyrus-imap. In my case I use MySQL-based 
authentication, so I had to edit /etc/imapd.conf to provide the DB 
connection details, but if you're using system users like most people 
then you shouldn't even need to do that - most distros probably have it 
configured to authenticate against system users by default (you just 
need to make sure the saslauthd daemon is enabled in your init scripts).

To each his own, though. As I said, I'd only recommend Cyrus IMAPd for 
admin types (or someone who wants to learn). Its internal data structure 
allows it to index more pervasively than dovecot, including true 
database-type files, resulting in generally better performance than 
dovecot (not dovecot's fault - it actually does a fantastic job 
considering the fact that it uses the more general-purpose maildir 
storage scheme (nobody really uses mbox anymore, right?)). To provide an 
external opinion, I'll throw out 
http://www.squirrelmail.org/wiki/SquirrelMailPerformance . Cyrus IMAPd 
also provides more features, such as Sieve. It also avoids a whole class 
of filesystem-permission-related problems by running as its own user 
with a sealed storage system instead of storing mail in user-owned files 
(problems like mailbox-sharing and support for virtual users - partial 
workarounds are possible with dovecot, to be fair) along with even more 
advanced possibilities like MURDER clustering.

I'm just the type that leans toward performance, features, and 
flexibility vs. ease of installation (within reason), which I only have 
to tackle once (the resulting recipe makes future installations easy). I 
take a more involved installation as a learning opportunity.

Mike Nerone

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