I  started patching turnkey-core-hardy to create a Qmail server variant.

Qmail is powering yahoo mail and a modified version is used on Gmail.

Initial prototype is ready :)

Jeremy Davis's picture

I think an alternative mail appliance (to Zimbra) would be great to have in the TKL appliance lineup.

One question though: Any reason why you're building a patch for TKL Hardy rather than TKL-Lucid though? Considering Lucid has newer packages and the next TKL release will be Lucid based anyway, I reckon that may be a better path. Just my 2c :)

Lucid is not mature now


In the case of Qmail no prebuild .deb files are available , I have to compile them from source . so in the absence of canonical supported binaries , using lucid may become  a head ache . so sticking to almost stable Hardy

Jeremy Davis's picture

Although AFAIK TKL Hardy based appliances will be depreciated when the next TKL release happens. Although perhaps the Devs will choose to keep some specific ones? I would anticipate that all appliances will be Lucid based (although perhaps some Debian Lenny based too?)

Perhaps if you wish to use a more mature base then the TKL Debian Core is a better fit? Seeing as Debian has significantly more packages available it may be packaged there? (Although will probably be quite an old version if it is).

I'd be interested to hear Liraz and/or Alon's (Devs) take on this.

Liraz Siri's picture

It's not Ubuntu's fault that Qmail isn't available as a package. It isn't available in Debian either. That's because of some nasty licensing restrictions that don't allow it to be distributed as a binary if any patches are applied and unfortunately patches are necessary for Qmail to work in 2010. The author hasn't maintained it in 13 years.

Unfortunately this means we wouldn't be able to distribute it in the TurnKey library either. Unless you get special permission from the author.

BTW if Gmail and Yahoo are using Qmail they're most likely using heavily customized versions of it, not the stock version. Qmail would have been a good starting point for writing a custom mail system because it's so simple.

Perhaps your energies would be better spent investigating one of the excellent alternatives to Qmail, such as Postfix. That's what we're running on our mail server. Very secure, very popular and there's a webmin module for it which is also nice. It's easy to integrate with anti-virus (e.g., ClamAV) and anti-spam software (e.g,. SpamAssassin).

Liraz Siri's picture

From this page: http://wiki.qmailtoaster.com/index.php/QMail-Toaster:About

The QmailToaster is distributed as source rpm's which require compiling on the host system before installation. This is done to meet licensing requirements set forth by the original creator of Qmail, D. J. Bernstein.

In other words, they get around the silly licensing by including the source code into the appliance and then building qmail as part of the installation. You could do this with TurnKey as well but that would require that we distribute the build toolchain with the appliance and some fancy scripting. It's not impossible, simply complex and inconvenient. If you insist on building a qmail appliance or you just like the challenge go ahead but if I were you, I would take a serious look at the alternatives (e.g., postfix).

In any case, I encourage you not to give up on your project. A TurnKey mail appliance in the Unix tradition is a great idea.

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