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'[TECH] Seeking SMTP server recommendations'
2010\02\04@094101 by olin piclist

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My ancient mail server machine crapped out a few days ago.  I cobbled
together another machine from spare parts and the bone pile, which
included reformatting the existing disk and installing a fresh copy of
Windows 2000 (I've got lots of Win2000 licenses).

The SMTP server for receiving mail for the domain, associated POP3 server,
queuing system, and system that does some custom things including running
scripts triggered by certain mail messages is our own software and does
what we want.  What I'm looking for is a means of sending mail to external
addresses.  This software needs to contact a DNS server, do the MX lookup,
and send messages via SMTP to the various target systems.  The internal
interface to hand it mail messages can be just about anything, although
most likely that will be via SMTP also.  Free is fine, but I have no
problem paying for such software if it does what I want without problems.
However, any commercial software must have a trial period of at least 14
days because my experience is that there are a lot of gotchas and any
software needs to be proven to work.  If it works fine for 14 days I'm
happy to pay for it.

I've tried a few free programs already, but each has its problems.  One
(don't remember the name) worked great but was limited to 10 messages/day
although this was nowhere mentioned in the documentation.  That really
pissed me off, and I'd like to avoid that vendor.  I wasn't entirely happy
with the forwarding server in use before, so after 8 years or so it's time
to look around again and hopefully find something better.

To summarize, here are the requirements:

 *  Must run on Windows 2000.

 *  Must NOT establish a server on ports 25 or 110, or must be
    configurable to avoid those ports.

 *  Does not need security in accepting mail.  It will be behind a router
    that will not expose its ports externally.

 *  May be free or commercial.  If not free, must have at least 14 day
    free evaluation period.

 *  May use SMTP to receive mail to be forwarded, but may also require
    some alternate interface, like running a executable per message.

 *  Does not need a queuing system, POP3 server, etc.  Just needs to
    forward messages to MX machines of target domains.

Any suggestions?

********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\02\04@190212 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Wed, Feb 3, 2010 at 5:40 AM, lathrop" <spam_OUTolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamembedinc.com"olin> wrote:
> My ancient mail server machine crapped out a few days ago.

Not sure it is the problem with your mail server or the client. However,
the from field of your email now comes out in Gmail like this. You
may want to fix that.

from        lathrop" <.....olin_piclistKILLspamspam@spam@embedinc.com"olin>


--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2010\02\04@194842 by Gerhard Fiedler

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olin_piclist@embedinc.com"OlinLathrop" wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Have you tried the SMTP server that comes with Win2k? AFAIK fits all
your reqs, and it's already there.

There's also http://www.postcastserver.com/ (no experience, but looks
like it is what you want, if you can't get the Win2k server going).

Other than that, a search for "sendmail windows" gives a number of links
for Windows ports of the Unix sendmail program.

Gerhard

2010\02\05@075230 by olin piclist

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Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> Have you tried the SMTP server that comes with Win2k? AFAIK fits all
> your reqs, and it's already there.

I wasn't aware Windows 2000 came with a outgoing SMTP server.  I'll look
into that.  Would you happen to have pointers on where in the overwhelming
pile of Microsoft documentation to start looking?

> There's also http://www.postcastserver.com/ (no experience, but looks
> like it is what you want, if you can't get the Win2k server going).

That is one of the ones I tried and gave up on.  It's a mess.  The interface
is fine and it supposedly does what I want, but it just doesn't quite work
right.  It's very slow and eats up a lot of CPU for no apparent reason,
can't deliver some messages for no apparent reason, and there wasn't a
obvious way to have it give up on messages after a certain number of tries,
clear them out of the queue, and send a error reply.

I have meanwhile found something called QK SMTP server.  It is supposedly
configurable to do exactly what I want.  It even has the additional nice
feature that after a configurable number of failed attempts to send a
message directly it can fall back on delivering it to other outgoing SMTP
servers.  That's what I have installed at this point.  The current problem
with it is that although the GUI interface has a checkbox for "Run at
Windows startup", it doesn't, or perhaps it tries and then craps out for
some reason without leaving any trace.  It seems to work well when I run it
manually after logging in to Windows, but that's no good long term.

> Other than that, a search for "sendmail windows" gives a number of links
> for Windows ports of the Unix sendmail program.

Ah, good point.  I had been using search strings containing "SMTP" and
didn't think of sendmail.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\02\05@092448 by sergio masci

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face


On Thu, 4 Feb 2010, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Oh no, anything but sendmail!

I used to use sendmail years ago on a linux box. Very hard to configure
even with The book of words. Tons and tons of options, setting AND
LOOPHOLES!!!!

Moved to Postfix and haven't regretted it once. Ok I haven't found a
windows port for you but if you ever decide to use a dedicated box (or
even a virtual one inside your real windows one) then you should
seriously consider Postfix. BTW you don't need a big machine running the
latest release of Linux to use postfix, you can comfortably use an old
resource limited PC running FreeBSD without big fancy graphics (this goes
for a virtual box as well!!!)

Regards
Sergio Masci

2010\02\05@092822 by M. Adam Davis

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On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 7:48 PM, Gerhard Fiedler
<.....listsKILLspamspam.....connectionbrazil.com> wrote:
> Have you tried the SMTP server that comes with Win2k? AFAIK fits all
> your reqs, and it's already there.

That is available in both Professional and Server editions of Windows 2000:

----------
The Internet Information Server (IIS) software that ships with Windows
Server includes a basic SMTP engine that will do what you're looking
for. You can install this through the "Add/Remove Programs" section of
the Control Panel. Go into the Windows Components, then into the
details for IIS and find the SMTP Service.

Once installed, it can be configured to accept connections on any
IP/port combination on the server. You can send messages through via
SMTP or writing a MSG file to the pickup folder if desired. It will
handle external delivery from there.

Of course you will need to also ensure that the usual e-mail rules are
followed such as having a proper reverse DNS entry on the IP you're
sending from, etc.
----------

I posted Olin's requirements to a server forum I infrequent, and that
was the only useful response I got.

But if he's running Windows 2000 Professional, there are some
limitations to IIS, and the limitations that affect the mail server
are not clear:

http://www.iisfaq.com/Default.aspx?tabid=2596

But it's worth a try - it could be that the SMTP server is
full-featured on both editions, or that the limitations won't impact
Olin's particular use.

-Adam

2010\02\05@113030 by Info2004

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face
Try http://www.mailtraq.com/

I used it about 2003/4. Did a good job for me.

...Andy
EraseMEolin_piclistspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTembedinc.com"Olin Lathrop" wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2010\02\05@223842 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
I totally agree with Sergio, sandmail is not for human, it needs at
least two cylons to operate. There are many other easier MTA out
there, some of them with anti spam and malware plugins.

For example for the Postfix that Sergio mentioned:

http://advosys.ca/papers/email/53-postfix-filtering.html

Also, Windows is for GUI, but on server side I would not recommend
that. With a Linux once it is configured you only have to shut it down
when the hardware gives it up or you want to hover the dust out of the
box. The only danger is that you forget the root password after a year
or so :-)

Tamas



On Fri, Feb 5, 2010 at 6:06 PM, sergio masci <smplxspamspam_OUTallotrope.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2010\02\06@055354 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
olin_piclist@embedinc.com"OlinLathrop" wrote:

> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> Have you tried the SMTP server that comes with Win2k? AFAIK fits all
>> your reqs, and it's already there.
>
> I wasn't aware Windows 2000 came with a outgoing SMTP server.  I'll
> look into that.  Would you happen to have pointers on where in the
> overwhelming pile of Microsoft documentation to start looking?

See Adam's message; this should you get started. Then go to Control
Panel > Administrative Tools > Internet Information Services, where you
might have an FTP server, a web server and an SMTP server. Stop the ones
you don't want; right-click on the ones you want to configure and check
out their Properties dialogs.

Help is available for most dialogs; this should get you somewhere. If
not, searching for specific terms usually helps me. This is a standard
tool, out there for a long time.


{Quote hidden}

Wow... I wonder why somebody bothers to publish something like this.

{Quote hidden}

There are tools to run normal applications as Windows services. If their
built-in mechanism doesn't work, you could try this.

Gerhard

2010\02\06@095743 by olin piclist

flavicon
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> That is one of the ones I tried and gave up on.  It's a mess.  The
>> interface is fine and it supposedly does what I want, but it just
>> doesn't quite work right.  It's very slow and eats up a lot of CPU
>> for no apparent reason, can't deliver some messages for no apparent
>> reason, and there wasn't a obvious way to have it give up on messages
>> after a certain number of tries, clear them out of the queue, and
>> send a error reply.
>
> Wow... I wonder why somebody bothers to publish something like this.

Because 98% of software is crap I guess.  The common "wisdom" is to not
reinvent the wheel, but in my experience that is way overrated.  The people
espousing this wisdom rarely take into account the trouble of finding the
right wheel, then getting it to do exactly what you want.  I've been burned
by this a number of times, but of course each one is a independent
occurrance so you can't extrapolate from one to the other much.

In this case I just wanted to get outgoing mail working.  I thought that
would be relatively simple.  In hindsight, I'd be well ahead right now if
I'd just added MX lookup to my existing software.  It can't be *that* hard,
right?  Some reading of RFCs and a little coding, certainly not more than a
day worth, probably less.  At the time, plunking in a off the shelf solution
sounded like a hour or two.  Now that things are mostly working, it feels
like finishing going down the current path will be quicker than writing my
own MX lookup.  I may be wrong, however, but there isn't a good way to tell
now.

> There are tools to run normal applications as Windows services. If
> their built-in mechanism doesn't work, you could try this.

Yes, I know about SRVANY.  That's how I'm launching QKSMTP now.  It seems
that under some circumstances not yet fully understood, it forgets it's
supposed to automatically launch its server when the program is started.  It
worked over a automatic reboot overnight and a manual reboot just now, but
it failed the previous day.  Still work in progress.  I may have to make a
fresh copy of the .ini file before each time the program is launched.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\02\06@112451 by Manu Abraham

picon face
On Sat, Feb 6, 2010 at 6:57 PM, lathrop" <KILLspamolin_piclistKILLspamspamembedinc.com"olin> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Have you tried hmailserver ?

http://www.hmailserver.com

2010\02\06@125921 by olin piclist

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Manu Abraham wrote:
> Have you tried hmailserver ?
>
> http://www.hmailserver.com

Thanks, first I heard about that one.  From a quick look it is fairly
heavyweight and probably a good solution to the whole problem as apposed to
just forwarding outgoing mail.  I'll try it if it give up on QKSMTP.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\02\06@130744 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Manu Abraham wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 6, 2010 at 6:57 PM, lathrop"
> <RemoveMEolin_piclistTakeThisOuTspamembedinc.com"olin> wrote:
>> In this case I just wanted to get outgoing mail working.  I thought
>> that would be relatively simple.

It probably is, using the right tools :)

I really think that the Win2k SMTP server is the quickest route. Rather
than spending time fixing odd startup problems, I'd spend it setting
that server up. It's used a lot, and probably quite stable. It's a
somewhat restricted version (numbers of concurrent connections etc.) of
the one that comes with Win2k Server.

Gerhard

2010\02\06@131458 by Marechiare

picon face
>  What I'm looking for is a means of sending mail to
> external addresses.

Why not using some trusted web host's SMTP server?  Privacy could be
of some concern, of course, but, frankly, do you really beleive you
would be able to maintan your SMTP server 100% secure?

With DiscountASP.NET you could not only use their SMTP server, but
also schedule a software on their side to handle the mail and alerts
you.

MS .NET based code to handle a SMTP server is very easy, for example:
www.4guysfromrolla.com/articles/072606-1.aspx
http://www.4guysfromrolla.com/articles/080206-1.aspx

Their .NET Dev Tools are either free for use or are priced resonably low.

2010\02\06@154835 by cdb

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face


:: It worked over a automatic reboot overnight and a manual reboot ::
just now, but it failed the previous day.

Would scheduling a Windows Task forcing the program/service to be
started at boot time solve the problem of it occasionally not
starting?  Running  a SysInternals  task utility might show why it is
sometimes not starting at boot time.

Colin
--
cdb, spamBeGonecolinspamBeGonespambtech-online.co.uk on 2/7/2010

Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

Hosted by:  http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=7988359







2010\02\07@232633 by Manu Abraham

picon face
On Sat, Feb 6, 2010 at 9:59 PM, lathrop" <TakeThisOuTolin_piclistEraseMEspamspam_OUTembedinc.com"olin> wrote:
> Manu Abraham wrote:
>> Have you tried hmailserver ?
>>
>> http://www.hmailserver.com
>
> Thanks, first I heard about that one.  From a quick look it is fairly
> heavyweight and probably a good solution to the whole problem as apposed to
> just forwarding outgoing mail.  I'll try it if it give up on QKSMTP.

email relay seems to be a bit more light weight and is open source as well.
http://emailrelay.sourceforge.net/

2010\02\16@094106 by Nicola Perotto

picon face

On 02/02/2010 22.40, RemoveMEolin_piclistspamTakeThisOuTembedinc.com"Olin Lathrop" wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I use MDaemon:
www.altn.com/Products/MDaemon-Email-Server-Windows/MDaemon-Features-Comparison/
or
http://www.mdaemon.com
Offers a lot of options but you can use only that you need, simple to
configure and very reliable.


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