What is the difference between sendmail and postfix ?

Posted on 2008-06-19
Last Modified: 2013-12-17
What is the difference between sendmail and postfix ?
Is there anything popular other than these two?
I know these are smtp protocols
And i need to know is this specific to linux?
And need to know whether how check which smtp is my linux using ?

Question by:jaisonshereen
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LVL 14

Accepted Solution

kenfcamp earned 250 total points
ID: 21827615
You've asked a couple thorny questions so I'll answer them (the best I can) individually

1) [ What is the difference between sendmail and postfix ?]

Postfix was developed as an alternative to Sendmail. There are differences between the two, but mostly in how they handle received messages (I believe). This is a touchy topic for some. While some users say Sendmail is the way to go, others are right there to defend Postfix. IMO unless you have a specific need that Sendmail won't answer (I haven't come across any), you don't need to look at anything else.

2) [Is there anything popular other than these two?]

Yes, Exim and Qmail. Though I believe Qmail has fallen from favor

3) [And i need to know is this specific to linux?]

?? SMTP or Sendmail/Postfix ??

SMTP "IS NOT" Linux only as it is a protocol most servers support (yes even windows)
Sendmail, Postfix, Exim, and Qmail on the other hand are Unix, Linux, BSD only software(s)

4) [And need to know whether how check which smtp is my linux using ?]

It's more than likely Sendmail. but

ps ax | grep sendmail  
or ..
ps ax | grep postfix

should tell you what you need



Author Comment

ID: 21829173
Yes ,thanks for all the explanations.

I need to know much about the difference between postfix and sendmail.As per your comment it states some one uses sendmail and others postfix. But you didnt told where it is used and what is its uses. Also i need to know is this used only for sending mail and how does it work? If some one delete the file ,will it not send any mails or will it crash the entire system?

Thanks in advance.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 21829908
These are sounding allot like homework questions

Author Comment

ID: 21838308
reason? please explain if u know!
LVL 29

Assisted Solution

by:Jan Springer
Jan Springer earned 250 total points
ID: 21841433
Postfix and sendmail are MTAs (mail transfer agents).  They can be configured to both send and receive email.

The difference between postfix and sendmail lies with the configuration and queue files.

I prefer sendmail.  It integrates nicely with MailScanner (using Spamassassin and ClamAV for catching spam and viruses).

If you remove the pid files there shouldn't be any cause for concern except that you can't use the service or script to stop the process since it looks for the pid file and matching process ID to kill the service.

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