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Collecting copies of the files needed to run my email server on Linux (Mandrake 7.2), plus some other tidbits, which should probably be moved elsewhere.

See AboutThesePages.



For a log or diary of problems and notes after putting my email server into service, see EmailServerLog.


Mail Spools and Folders

Incoming Mail Spools

  • /var/spool/mail/dad
  • /var/spool/mail/rhkmail
  • /var/spool/mail/ruth
  • /var/spool/mail/alex


I'm still somewhat confused about the INBOX available in most mail clients. I've assumed it's something like a symbolic link to the incoming mail spool (above), but I'm not 100% certain about that.

Mail Directories

The "mail" directories were created by Pine. When I started accessing mail via IMAP, I just "pointed" to them. If the existing directories had been created by some other program, with some other name (Mail) I'm quite certain I could have pointed to, for example, ~/Mail instead of ~/mail. In the absence of having the directories created by a program like Pine, I'm not sure whether IMAP has a "preferred" working directory.

  • /home/dad/mail:
  • /home/rhkmail/mail:
  • /home/ruth/mail:
  • /home/alex/mail:

Miscellaneous Configuration Files

  • /etc/passwd
  • /etc/group
  • /etc/shadow
  • /etc/gshadow
  • /etc/passwd


  • /home/dad/.fetchmailrc


  • /etc/postfix/main.cf

Postfix Documentation

  • /usr/share/doc/postfix-19991231_pl08/sample


  • /home/dad/.procmailrc # A "standard" file location

  • /home/dad/Procmail/rc.testing # An arbitrary file location, "included" in .procmailrc -- I should consider breaking this file into more pieces for ease of maintenance (like newsgroups, family, spam, etc., but I'm a little worried about file opening overhead -- if each of these files has to be opened for each email checked, it seems like a lot of overhead -- I don't know whether that is the case or not.

  • /home/dad/Procmail/log # A standard file location

Similar files for user rhkmail:

  • /home/rhkmail/.procmailrc

  • /home/rhkmail/Procmail/rc.testing

  • /home/rhkmail/Procmail/log

xinetd.d and friends

xinetd detects attempts by clients on the LAN to connect to the server via IMAP or POP3 protocols and invokes the appropriate daemon. (Does xinetd have anything to do with invoking postfix -- I don't think so, but maybe it does when a client sends email to System8??)

  • /etc/xinetd.conf

  • /etc/xinetd.d/imap

  • /etc/xinetd.d/ipop3


  • crontab -e for user dad:

0-59/10 * * * * /home/dad/bin/ipr_getmail.scr


  • /home/dad/bin/ipr_getmail.scr: -rwxr--r-- dad dad

sendmail must run as root (IIRC), so I had to do this:

  • /bin/rhksendmailq: -rwsr--r-x root root (setuid -- use chmod 4745 for one) -- contains sendmail -q, called by ipr_getmail.scr

useful commands

I attempted to copy and paste all (or most) of the commands that I used while setting up the email server as a sort of reminder / quick reference. I ended up including a lot of commands that I used during that time for unrelated purposes. I've moved the list to LinuxCommands, and plan to expand it as I try or learn about other commands.


  • () RandyKramer - 06 Sep 2002
  • <If you edit this page: add your name here; move this to the next line; and include your comment marker (initials), if you have created one, in parenthesis before your WikiName.>


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Topic revision: r15 - 2003-12-04 - RandyKramer
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