Mailing List SIMS@mail.stalker.com Message #11757
From: Bill Cole <listbill@scconsult.com>
Subject: Re: Simple Question: multiple domains?
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 19:49:53 -0400
To: SIMS Discussions <SIMS@mail.stalker.com>
At 1:29 PM -0700 9/9/02, Geoff Canyon  imposed structure on a stream of electrons, yielding:
I think I already know the answer to this, but I want to confirm it,
and find out why this is so.

I want to be able to handle mail for several different domains,
hopefully from a single server running SIMS. My understanding is
that this isn't really possible with SIMS (or any mail server?). I
can fake it in various ways, but all of them involve some sort of
limitation: no two accounts in different domains can have the exact
same account name -- or workarounds: aliasing mail accounts, which
still shows up on the POP side of things.

Roughly, yes, but it's not a serious limitation. With the mapping of different domains to patterned account names, you are just doing what any POP3 (or IMAP) server has to do to serve multiple, but more manually and in a less structured way. SIMS does not provide a strict framework for multiple domains that maps an SMTP address namespace directly to a POP3 account namespace, and does not support accounts with @ in their names to define domains or map POP3 user logins through the router so that users can log in with their email addresses. It does not have a segmented message store where accounts exist in compartmentalized domains. This is in fact much the same as how most other integrated mail servers operate, although some of them mask the details from users and admins.

For comparison: I have MacHTTP installed on a computer. Several
domains are pointed at the server. MacHTTP is smart enough to note
the domain name of an incoming request, and serve the resulting page
from the folder designated for that site.

Probably only because the client programs (i.e. browsers) support a version of HTTP which includes the use of the 'Host' header that lets them tell the server what name they want. Note that in the early days of the web before the Host header was a part of the standard, the only workable method for hosting multiple  domains on one machine was to have multiple instances of a web server, each listening on a different IP address, because there was not originally any way for a client to tell the server which domain name related to the requested (relative) URL.

Is a simple setup like that possible with an SMTP/POP server?

Yes and no. All SMTP mail should be arriving aimed at a fully qualified address: "user@domain", not just "user" and SIMS expects that (maybe even requires it, I'm not certain.) On the POP3 side, SOME servers support or require that the account name for login be of the same user@domain format, and that is identical to the 'real' address of the account. SIMS doesn't work that way.

The account mapping really isn't a big deal. I get the sense that people who see it in the docs before actually running a system with it are more annoyed than the people doing it.

Is it
possible with SIMS? What's the best way to go for this.

If you are looking for a simpler setup process for multiple domains, you likely will not find it in any free product.  If you feel the need to have a simpler process, you may want to rethink whether you want to be running a mail server at all, since it is an inherently complex matter.

--
Bill Cole
bill@scconsult.com

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