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LinuxPlanet: Sendmail vs. Qmail: A Rational Comparison

Mar 24, 2000, 16:51 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Reichard)

"Eric Allman's sendmail moves the bulk of email through the Internet. As the premier mail transport agent (MTA) using SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), sendmail can be found in every major Linux distribution. However, sendmail is not without its competitors, and perhaps the most prominent one is qmail, developed by Dan Bernstein. While there are many alternative MTAs for Linux, we take a look at sendmail and qmail to see why you might choose one over the other. Both are available as Open Source software at no cost, making the initial price a non-issue, but other costs discussed later may come into play."

"In general, sendmail has some significant advantages. It is very mature being on the of oldest MTAs around. Its wide use and availability has given rise to a vast number of experienced sendmail administrators and consultants. It is also one of the better documented applications, with books like O'Reilly's sendmail book written by Bryan Costales with Eric Allman. There are also extensive online tutorials, FAQ files and other resources. This documentation is important because of the vast array of features in sendmail."

"Of course, sendmail has some disadvantages. Its feature list is only rivaled by the complexity of the sendmail configuration file. The use of the m4 macro processor makes generation of the sendmail.cf configuration file significantly easier, but understanding all sendmail's options can be a daunting task. Sendmail has also has some security problems in the past making it imperative that the latest updates are applied."

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