Mailing List Message #15486
From: Bill Cole <>
Subject: Re: Alternatives to CGate Pro? (was Re: end of an era)
Date: Tue, 8 May 2007 10:07:17 -0400
To: SIMS Discussions <>
At 1:38 AM -0600 5/8/07, Lewis Butler  imposed structure on a stream of electrons, yielding:
On 7-May-2007, at 16:26, Elliot Wilen wrote:
Essentially, I need a modern mail server to host about 100-150 accounts. Price is far less of a consideration than functionality and ease of use in these areas:

Well, to be clear, with a OS X or *nix solution, each of these things is usually a separate program.  For example, I use postfix for handling incoming and outgoing mail; uw-imap for some IMAP access and Courier for the rest; anti-Spam comes from SpamAssassin, kept up to date; web-mail is provided by SquirrelMail and Roundcube; SMTP Auth is provided as a 'back end' service via pop-before-smtp; multiple domains are handled by postfixadmin; mailing lists by mailman, and forwarding is also provided by postfixadmin.

I don't provide a vacation service because they are nearly always abused.

The major reasons for providing 'vacation' services are:

1. You want local correspondents to have that sort of notice, i.e. in a business environment.
2. You want to avoid having users set up their own (usually very broken) autoresponders instead.

* Integration with single-sign-on solutions--CGate works with Kerberos (which also gives me Active Directory as option) as well as external helper scripts supporting LDAP, PAM, and RADIUS.

Does it makes any sort of sense to have a single sign-on for a IMAP connection and a webmail conenction?  What do you mean by single sign-on?

It makes a lot of sense in a business environment where mail is just part of the    picture.

And in fact the capability to work with a rich collection of authentication mechanisms has become pretty much the norm for mail tools in the free software world. The difference between CGP and Postfix+Dovecot for authentication is not so much what is possible but rather how deep an understanding of the SASL/GSSAPI/Kerberos/AD technology tangle one has to have to make it work.

* Palm Treo support

If the treo supports IMAP then I support the Treo.

Yeah, that's pretty much an unanswerable. Different versions of the Treo ship with different OS's and mail clients (for example, the Verizon mail client for PalmOS is a featureless piece of garbage, but the ChatterMail client recently acquired by Palm is very slick... ) I cannot speak to the Windows Mobile versions, but anyone with a PalmOS Treo either already has or easily can get a mail client that will do POP3 and IMAP. Quality and user experience varies a great deal, but that's mostly a client-side problem.

* simplicity and ease of configuring accounts and performing maintenance tasks; I really need to be able to delegate functions to staff who may be less familiar with the system than I will be, not to mention times when I'm away.

Well, as far as maintenance there is none.  Each domain is administered vi postfixadmin, where they can add or remove accounts or aliases at will.  I don't do any of that, generally.

You're talking about an ISP environment, I get the sense that Elliot is talking about a business environment. Very different cases.

Can anyone speak to the capabilities of the alternatives in these areas? The last three are really essential. Also, the ability of CGate to function in place of an Exchange server could be a considerable benefit in the next year or so. So if that capability is available with any of the alternatives, it would good to know.

I don't think there are any alternatives to CGate that are nearly as easy to use and setup.  You will be spending a lot more time keeping software up to date, patching security holes, and probably a good couple of months in run-up time just getting it all working the first time.

If you want CGate Pro, then pay for CGate Pro.

Absolutely. There is no better choice for a mail system that just works. MacOS X Server may come close, but it does not really beat CGP and some people don't like being tied so tightly to Apple.

Bill Cole                        

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