[Dovecot] Dovecot Virtual Users with Sendmail

DormitionSkete@hotmail.com dormitionskete at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 1 06:53:05 EET 2013

Well our situation is kind of like this:

We've been using UW-Imap for 12-15 years, and have loved it.  It has a beauty and simplicity to it that is simply wonderful.  

We're located in a remote part of the Rocky Mountains, and the only internet connection we can get that's faster than a dial-up is a satellite.  Lousy upload speeds.  Can't host our own sites here.

We've been hosting our sites on one of our parishioner's servers for years; but through the years, that's become more and more problematic, and we'd like to do more with it than we currently can.

We'd like to set up our own server at our guest house in town.  I wanted to use OpenIndiana (Solaris) to take advantage of some of the really amazing features it has.  So, I set up UW-Imap on it.  Works great.  Glory be to our holy God.  The problem is, after I got all that working, I went to set up the users for it, and discovered the GUI for creating the users won't allow me to add any users with usernames longer than eight characters.

I'm not real dependent on GUI's, and a quick search on the net told me that I can easily add the users with the long user names from the command line.  

So, I asked on the UW-Imap and on the OpenIndiana list for people's experience about this.  Two people said they'd been using long user names on Solaris and BSD for years without any problems, while two others recommended changing to an IMAP server that supports virtual users.  One of those recommended Dovecot.  So I started looking at Dovecot.  

I'm not real keen on Sendmail, but to make matters worse, we host our own email on our server here in the mountains.  Since we can't get reverse DNS set up for our satellite connection, we have to relay our emails through our parishioner's server, which does have reverse DNS, or else most people's email servers reject them as spam.  We also need to be able to send and receive emails from multiple domains.  

So, I have to be able to figure out how to do both parts of the relay -- our part where we tell our MTA to relay it through the other host, and what will become the server at our guest house to accept those emails and relay them on to the recipients.  And the multiple domain issue.

I can do all this with UW-Imap and Sendmail, because we've already done all the fighting necessary to get it to work.  We've been doing it for years.  It just leaves us with the question of whether it's better to go with using UW-Imap on a system that's not designed to support long user names, and possibly getting bit by that, or whether it's better to fight it out trying to learn all this other stuff with a different IMAP server and MTA?


I could probably get Cyrus IMAP to work with Sendmail, because I tried it briefly years ago and already have gone through the grief of figuring that out.  But I didn't particularly care for it.  One of the things I like most about UW-Imap -- and Dovecot shares this -- is that it's easy to backup, restore inadvertently deleted directories, and to move emails from one server to another.  From what I remember, Cyrus wasn't so friendly about that.  And it was more difficult to administer than UW-Imap and Dovecot.

After reading the 13-page article Ken posted this afternoon, I started looking at Postfix.  My impression is, that maybe this might be a good route to try.  Dovecot - PostFix - and if I'm going to go through all that, I might as well go with Sieve, instead of Procmail, like we've been using for years.  I used Sieve briefly with Cyrus.  I've never been thrilled with Procmail.  

So, with all that background, if anyone would like to share any suggestions or advice, I would certainly appreciate it.


Peter, hieromonk

On Dec 31, 2012, at 8:34 PM, Noel Butler wrote:

> On Mon, 2012-12-31 at 16:52 -0700, DormitionSkete at hotmail.com wrote:
>> Thank you very much for the article.  It was quite interesting.  All thirteen pages!  
>> Unless somebody else posts that they've managed to get Sendmail to work with Dovecot virtual users, then I think your suggestion to look at a different MTA might just be the best route to take.
>> Thank you again.  I do appreciate it.
>> I hope you have a happy new year!  -- All year long!!
>> fp
> Hi,
> Years (well decade) ago we used Sendmail, then we started having more domains, it was getting very messy, the choice was move to Cyrus or change our MTA,Cyrus was a maze of bdb hell it was very picky, so it never made it off the dev box, moved to qmail with vpopmail , but then qmail was useless as a ..... on a bull, so we used sendmail up front redirecting to qmail, in 2008 we re structured and moved to postfix and dovecot and never looked back since.
> If you don't have a central portal, there is code out there to allow you and your domain managers and their users to manage their mail, postfixadmin (I never really liked) or  vmail manager  GRS from grsoft, wrote by Peter Gutwein which is what I use personally.
> I was a long time fan of sendmail, but I tried to get mysql options included to make virtual users easy, but it was decided that would not happen, and as I predicted, sendmails popularity would suffer because of it, since postfix w/mysql is a breeze.
> So learn from everyone else's lessons, and give very serious consideration to changing your  setup now, before you get too big an the change will become a nightmare <face-smile.png>

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