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What are recommended OS for exim mail server?

Posted on 2016-09-07
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I can not find in official Exim documentation - what are recommended OSes for it: CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Suse, Windows?
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Question by:Taras Shumylo
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by:SStory
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I don't know about recommended, but if you want dependability and a long term stable support in a server class then CentOS would be highly recommended.  You can just Google:
"how to install exim on centos 7" for several step by steps on the matter.  

I really wonder what Exim offers that Postfix doesn't? Of course I haven't used Exim, but Postfix works great. Of course I am not trying to start a flame war on EE over the matter...just curious.
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by:Taras Shumylo
ID: 41787963
I actually have the task to move existing exim installation. So porting configs to Postfix may be very challanging. Also it's very urgetn task.
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by:Taras Shumylo
ID: 41787965
But I do not understand why developers of exim do not recomend any OS? Why they do this?
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by:SStory
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Taras Shumylo: If it runs on multiple platforms, then why start a flame war over which OS is better?
They have created an email server to be used. The user should choose a platform OS based upon the things that are important to them.  I just checked Centos 7 and it is in the package system so it is supported. Centos is known to not be on the cutting edge--i.e. usually a little behind but more stable. This is generally best of servers.  Ubuntu is more cutting edge with features that some people just have to have. Desktop wise I may understand that, but I am currently dumping it from a desktop to go with something else because I don't like the direction they are taking.  At least there is a choice.  Fedora is a lot more bleeding edge.

So the question you must ask is this. Do I want my server to be supported for 10 years before making me upgrade (blow it away and migrate)?  Or do I want to do that every 3-5?  Or do I want to choose a distro where it is a continual upgrade--hoping it is always done well and nothing breaks--but where I probably have to compile everything? For me, for business stability on servers and long term support, Redhat or CentOS are obvious choices. You must decide what you value and how often you want to be redoing your mail server from scratch.
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by:SStory
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As to Exim vs Postfix, I understand....why are you leaving the OS it is currently on?  As you can see from above I'd recommend either Centos 7 or the newest Redhat (if you want to pay for their support).
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by:rindi
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I don't think it matters, which OS you use. I suggest the one you are most comfortable with, where you know where things are to be found etc. Or for which you get the best support.

Ubuntu Server isn't as "cutting edge" as Ubuntu desktop OS's are. It is more hardened and doesn't come with a GUI, so in terms of reliability it is just about on par with CentOS.
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So to recap, ask yourself this:
  • How long is it supported?
  • Do I feel comfortable with it?
  • Does it offer good support?
  • Do I want to pay for support or can I live with community "support"?
  • What happens at end of life for the product? Is it, wipe and rebuild? If so how often do I want to have to do this?

I have used CentOS, Mac, Windows, and Ubuntu...and even Knoppix a little. Each have strengths and weaknesses depending upon what you are doing. For a mail server, CentOS is very stable and offers long term support (10 years).  As rindi mentioned, which reiterates what I am saying again and again...it is really up to you as to which you use and the people who wrote Exim, don't really care which one you use.  So it offers maximum flexibility of choice to you and that is a good thing. Some people hate Ubuntu. Some may hate CentOS. Some want to compile everything and others just want to use it.  The great thing is choice to do whichever you want for your own reasons. I think I have given you a good list of questions to ask yourself.
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by:Taras Shumylo
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ID: 41788125
You didn't understand my point. I am asking for official system requirements for Exim. OS choice is part of system reuiqrements. There are dozens of Linux distributions and I am sure Exim behave differently on all of them. So my question was not "which OS is better?", but ruther "Which OS is officieally supported by Exim developers so that they garantee that Exim will be stable on it".

We are forced to move current Exim installation, because server that hold it must be put down in several days. So I am now choosing the best OS to install new exim version and move configs from old exim.
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by:SStory
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From the Exim wiki on github:
Binary packages are all built by third parties, and not the EximDevelopers. Packaging issues should be reported to the packagers. In general binary packages include the exiscan extensions, however the build configuration is a decision made by the packager.
https://github.com/Exim/exim/wiki/ObtainingExim

it appears that they tell you how to download the source and build it. Like most software developers, of Linux flavors other people build the binaries to work with their distro. There seems to be a binary for most of them. There definitely is for Redhat/Centos.  So from what it appears they don't choose one over the other, which I take to me functions well on any of them.
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by:Scott Silva
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ID: 41788356
Exim really doesn't run better or worse based on distro... Under the hood, all linux is basically the same... The difference is mostly in support levels and packaging systems...  

Use the linux distro you feel most comfortable with...  Personally I have the most experience with the Redhat based distros like Centos since that is what I have used the most over the last 20 years or so... But I still use others, usually because of canned virtual machines or available packaging of the app...
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