Linux Email systems


I am researching what are the most popular Linux and server based email systems out there. I want to use a company wide email server system but don't want to use Novell GroupWise, Microsoft Exchange, or Lotus Notes/Domino. Well, unless these systems are major players in the Linux market.

Anway, hopefull for a Linux guru this is an easy question. What are the top 2 or 3 Linux and server based email systems people are using, and which ones are becoming the Linux and market leader? Then, what email clients are people using for these email servers?

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Check out the following:

Qmail -
Postfix -
Sendmail -
Cyrus IMAP & POP server -

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jhiebAuthor Commented:
Thanks. What do you think about SUSE? Is Novell trying to get into the Linux email game and do you think Novell is still a viable option? Or does the market seem to be leaning towards the platforms you mentioned above?

Also, what about the emai clients? For Windows environments, it seems people are still using MS Outlook to connect to their Linux based email system. They just use IMAP. But, what about the client software on a Linux workstation?

Thanks again,

I don't think Novell is going to implement complicated email packages like GROUPWISE on Linux systems.     There's just not enough money in it for them......

For Linus systems, the most popular methods of email access from a SERVER perspective are basically POP and IMAP - on the assumption you plan on supporting remote clients on your network.       And from a POP/IMAP perdspective--  brettmjohnson already has posted what I agree is the definitive list for Linux systems.   qmail, postfix, sendmail, and cyrus.      You should read up on all of those, and see which suits your needs the best.

Yes, from Windows platforms, Outlook (express) is widely used, mostly because it ships with various Microsoft products.     But EUDORA ( is also widely used.

For an email client that's suitable to run on a Linux workstation itself, NETSCAPE works well (   Also, squirrelmail is gaining popularity (      Squirrelmail is cool, because it basically provides WEB ACCESS to your mailbox.    All the remote user(s) require is a web browser!
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Linux users are blessed with a selection of email client to choose from, nearly
all of them safer to use and more robust than Outlook and Outlook Express.

From the GUI client perspective, you have, Netscape Mail as mentioned above,
but there is also:

Mozilla Thunderbird:
KDE KMail:
Gnome Mail clients:

And there are the venerable Unix command line clients, pine, mail, mailx,
emacs mail, etc.
Caseybea, please don't talk about things you clearly have no knowledge of.

GroupWise IS available on Linux, and has been for YEARS. Look at --> 

According to, it is available on both SUSE and Red Hat Linux platforms.

It also runs on Solaris (not all Agents), NetWare and NT/2K.
Additionally, Novell NetMail ( runs on SUSE and Red Hat Linux (also on NetWare and NT/2K), but may not have the feature-set you're looking for. Its more for an ISP wanting to offer 100K+ accounts accessible just thru POP and IMAP, with no collaboration services.

GroupWise mailboxes are accessible from any IMAP v4- or POPv3-compliant client - PINE, Netscape, Eudora, Thunderbird, Lookout!...the GroupWise "fat" client can even act as an IMAP client.
Sorry for snapping, Caseybea, but its frustrating to see people spreading wrong info about Novell and/or its products. The M$-heads do it so much, and deliberately, that its frustrating to watch someone do it out of ignorance.

The Experts here could probably help you narrow the field if you took some to to elaborate on what services you wish to offer to you client population.

Just E-Mail? How about individual calendars? Group calendars? Distribution lists? A central address book? Access all of these services via a web browser? Integration with other systems? Are you leveraging an existing Directory Service (say, Novell eDirectory, or Sun ONE?)

The "correct" Answer to your Question depends a *lot* on precisely what services you want to deliver, how large a client population you plan to deliver those services to, and what existing environment, if any, you wish to integrate with.
jhiebAuthor Commented:
Primarily, I am interested in knowing what are the major email server based applications people are using. Groupware type products are helpful since being able to share calendars and sometimes documents is in high demand. I suspect that if the products listed above are major players then they will address the groupware demands of the market.

I will accept the first answer from brettmjohnson and also the assistance from PCICop. I just need to find out how to give additional points for an assisted answer.

Thanks for your help.


Whoops! Yes, I misread who was the Asker.

To split points, chose the Split Points option towards the bottom on the Question.
Sendmail, Q-Mail and Postfix are all Message Transfer Agents (MTAs) - these move E-mail from Server A to Server B, but do not necessarily delivery the mail to the user's mailbox, nor do they provide user access to a mailbox. The Cyrus products are mailbox access agents, they provide user access to existing mailboxes, but do not independently transport mail. NetMail is a package that includes both the MTA and the mailbox access agent, but does not include any MUAs (see below).

Eudora, Netscape, Pine, GNUMail, KMail, Thunderbird, LookOut! are all Mail User Agents (MUAs), they give a user an interface to their mailbox (via whatever is on the back-end) and provide mail management services.

Of the products mentioned, GroupWise is the only "groupware" package, and the only one to include all components.
Careful on the flaming, PsiCop.    Apology accepted; yes, I made a big mis-step on my Novell stamement (but I stand by the remainde rof my answer).    I need to stay away from this place in the wee hours of the morning :-) :-)

im currently looking into the open X change, which is basically the open exchange server suse released but for free!
It connects to linux and windows clients (outlook and evolution etc) It has webmail facility, The big bonus of shared calendar and contacts.

I would install it with fedora core 2 as there is a full howto on the site for fedora core 2
Im half way through setting this up now...

Main site

Fedora Core and RH howto

Other than that if you just want mali services use postfix or sendmali for smtp and imapd or dovecot for pop3
And tie in spamassasin and clam the ultimate stable mail server! there are plenty of howtos for this.

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