mail server problem

asif hussain
Occasional Contributor

mail server problem

Hello everybody

i am asif
i want to configure sendmail server on linux machine as a mail server
i have 50 win98/95 clients are there
my boss wants all the mails has to come into linux mail server and when we connect to internet all the mail has to go to destinations and , if anybody send a mail to
client then first it has to come to linux machine and from there it has to be distributed to clients
pls help me

asif hussain
hello this is asif hussain
Mike McKinlay
Honored Contributor

Re: mail server problem

Asif -- your boss is asking you to do quite a lot of work here. I hope s/he has given you adequate time to work this out.

LINUX as a sendmail system is just great. However, LINUX as a sendmail system connected to the Internet is a lot more work. Will the system always be connected to the Internet, or will it connect to an ISP to upload/download messages intermittently throughout the day?

If always on, you'll need to "harden" or secure the LINUX system. This is not particularly hard, but if you've never managed a LINUX system before, it's not something you want to take for granted. There are lots of good articles on, but in particular check out the HOWTOs at

There you will find how to connect to an ISP, create your email accounts, secure the server and so on.

You'll likely be looking at simple SMTP to send and receive mail at the server, but POP3 or IMAP4 for the client software to authenticate the user.

What client software will you be using? Will you use Outlook Express or another free email client?

Again, this is not a trivial task. You can treat it trivially, but if your email system ends up getting hacked, then you'll have a real problem.
"Hope springs eternal."
Albert E. Whale, CISSP
Honored Contributor

Re: mail server problem


Although this is not a trivial feat, Linux is developed to support your environment. I use it daily (although, like the previous poster indicated this - like Micorsoft Exchange - is not a simplistic environment to configure).

You will need to properly configure DNS, and SMTP.

After you get local (local to the Linux Server) users to work properly, then you can create additional accounts to support the local Users. SMTP is the protocol you'll need to send E-Mail to the Internet. POP3 is the protocol which your users will connect to the Linux server in order to obtain their E-Mail.

I use and Recommend Linux Mandrake because of it's User Interface, Menus, Configuration Tools .... all in all, I find it more advanced than RedHat 6.X

Hope that helps.
Sr. Systems Consultant @ ABS Computer Technology, Inc. &
Shannon Petry
Honored Contributor

Re: mail server problem

Contrary to the other posts, it should not be so "complex" and a big deal at all. Even being new to UNIX/Linux, maybe 3 days max...

First, I dont recommend using any version of Linux over another. I use Redhat 6.2 pro myself, but SunOS, HP-UX, AIX, and Irix as well. The biggest concern is the applications you will use to perform the required tasks.

Here are the tasks that you need to preform.
1. DNS {is this seat also to be the DNS server for your domain?}
* The mail server needs to have an MX record for the domain, and itself. I use bind version available for free download from "". version 9 is a bit friendlier with Win2K, but still too new for me to try yet.....
From ISC's website, you can get tons of information on configuring.
* Redhat has an "RPM" available for bind
2. The next task is the SMTP service/daemon(s). I use sendmail, version 8.9.3. This package is available from "", and you can even buy a CD from them, which has X GUI's to help you configure sendmail for less than $200.00 US. If you are new to sendmail, and SMTP daemons, this is your cheapest and best way of NOT learing "everything" about sendmail, and having it run :)
* Each user MUST have a valid UNIX/LINUX ID. Aliases are a breeze to setup and update.
3. Last is your USER interface for mail. If you prefer IMAP it is available for free from many places, but from Washington University at "". If not, qualcom produces a very nice POP3 server, avaliable at "".
The biggest and most noticable difference between IMAP and POP is the location of the mailbox. IMAP stores mailboxes on the server. POP3 can only store local. I prefer IMAP in Win(9x,nt,2k) because it is a pain in the #$%^&%#! to make a windows box put its mailboxes on the server. IMAP does this for you, so user intervention is minimal in recovery situations.

Once the steps are mapped out, then it is not so bad. Many tools come with each application you need to help in configuration, and lots of forums and online help if you get stuck in one.

Best regards,
Microsoft. When do you want a virus today?