Learning Guide: Enterprise-ready Linux e-mail

Souped-up applications for Linux offer viable alternatives to Microsoft's hacker-friendly mail server and client. This learning guide can help you decide if your organization is ready to exchange your e-mail woes and get a bright new outlook.


Souped-up applications for Linux now offer viable alternatives to Microsoft's hacker-friendly mail server and client. This learning guide can help you decide if your organization is ready to exchange your e-mail woes and get a bright new outlook. Drop us an e-mail to let us know what other learning guides you'd like to see on SearchEnterpriseLinux.com.


   Why choose Linux-based e-mail?
   Mail clients: General
   Mail clients: Mozilla Thunderbird
   Mail clients: Novell Evolution
   Mail servers
   Management and administration




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Why choose Linux-based e-mail

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  • Expert advice:  What are the arguments in favor of Linux messaging in enterprises?
  • Article: On dumping MS Exchange, Outlook and IE
    Yes, there are good reasons to move from Microsoft Exchange, Outlook and IE to Linux-friendly alternatives. But there are bad ways to go about it.

  • Expert advice: Why dump Exchange and keep Outlook?
    Find out why some companies keep the Microsoft Outlook e-mail client even though they've replaced the Microsoft Exchange mail server with a Linux-based alternative.

  • Opinion: We need open source e-mail (eWeek)
    For Linux to truly take more ground in the desktop war, a truly powerful open source e-mail client must make an impact against Microsoft Outlook.

  • Expert advice:  Is there a Linux collaboration tool that integrates well with Microsoft Active Directory?
    This tip discusses the evaluation needs and advantages of migrating from Microsoft Active Directory to OpenLDAP.


Mail clients: General

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  • Manual: E-mail clients in Red Hat Linux (Red Hat)
    Get information here about Red Hat Linux's offering of several e-mail clients.

  • Expert advice: What's up with the Chandler e-mail client? (SearchEnterpriseLinux.com)
    A site expert describes the upcoming open source e-mail product called Chandler.

  • Product information: What's compelling about Chandler? (OSAF)
    Here's more information about Chandler, which is intended to be an open source personal information manager for e-mail, calendars, contacts, tasks and general information management, as well as a platform for developing information-management applications. It is currently under development and will run on Windows, Mac and Linux-based PCs.

  • Review: KMail in depth (LinuxPlanet)
    Find out why KMail is this IT pro's Linux e-mail client of choice. Then, follow him as he gets into migrating to KMail from other e-mail clients, encrypting messages and key signing and configuring multiple accounts and identities.

  • Review: About Opera Mail (About.com)
    Get the basic info about the Opera e-mail client in this review.

  • Review: About Pine (About.com)
    Get the basic info about Pine 4.60, a command-line e-mail client that work with IMAP accounts, in this review.

  • Expert advice: Alternatives to Lotus mail and IM
    Expert Julie Hanna Farris responds to an IT manager's questions about alternatives on Linux to the Lotus Domino e-mail client and Lotus Sametime IM.

  • FAQ:  Chandler (OSAF)

  • Product information: KMail (KDE.org)
    KMail is an application in the K Desktop Environment. It supports IMAP, POP3, multiple accounts, powerful filters, PGP/GnuPG privacy, inline attachments and more.

  • Open source mail clients in Java (Java-Source.net)
    A listing of Java-based open source e-mail clients, including Columba, Grendel and Pooka.


Mail clients: Mozilla Thunderbird

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  • Product information: Thunderbird (Mozilla.org)
    Here's the page for the Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client open source project.

  • Article: Mozilla Thunderbird issues (Mozillazine)
    A collection of articles offering advice to users who have had problems with Thunderbird, such as getting and sending e-mail; importing and migrating e-mail, message displays and more.

  • Article: Mozilla capitalizes on Firefox with Thunderbird e-mail (Boston.com)
    Mozilla, which recently introduced an e-mail program called Thunderbird, is working to combine it with the foundation's Sunbird calendar application in a project, code-named Lightning, that could compete with Microsoft's ubiquitous Outlook program.

  • Expert advice: Would Thunderbird be a good replacement for Outlook? (SearchEnterpriseLinux.com)
    Get the scoop on the pros and cons of replacing Microsoft Outlook with Thunderbird.


Mail clients: Novell Evolution

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  • Home page: Novell Evolution
    Novell Evolution, a groupware client for Linux, is part of Novell Linux Desktop. Features include e-mail, calendaring and contact management.

  • Reference: An overview of Novell Evolution (wikipedia)
    Wikipedia offers an overview of Novell Evolution's history and features, as well as posting regular news about updates.


Mail servers

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  • Interview:  Novell wise to users' Linux messaging needs
    Find out why offerings from Novell, in the form of GroupWise, are becoming a viable alternative to Microsoft Exchange.

  • Home page: The Cyrus IMAP Server (Carnegie Mellon Computing Services)
    The Cyrus IMAP server differs from other IMAP server implementations in that it is generally intended to be run on sealed servers, where normal users are not permitted to log in. The mailbox database is stored in parts of the filesystem that are private to the Cyrus IMAP system. All user access to mail is through the IMAP, POP3, or KPOP protocols.

  • Home page: Open source sendmail (sendmail.org)
    This is the open source project site for sendmail, a mail server. You'll find more information about open source sendmail and commercial Sendmail in the Mail Server section of this guide.
  • Resource: Open source sendmail FAQ (sendmail.org)
    This FAQ answers general questions about sendmail and technical questions about using and administering sendmail.

  • Interview: When to use commercial Sendmail
    Open source Sendmail isn't always the right choice for companies. Here, a Sendmail Inc. exec explains when the time is right to bring in the commercial version of the product.

  • Interview: An Oracle Collaboration Suite preview
    Oracle exec Rob Koplowitz says the next version of Oracle Collaboration Suite -- due out this summer -- will feature major file management and real time workspace enhancements.

  • Product information: Oracle Collaboration Suite: The direction for Oracle EMail 10g (Oracle.com)
    Oracle describes its plans for and the features of Oracle Email 10g in this Dec., 2004 report.

  • Tip: Hacking sendmail
    While it's true that messing with kernel modules isn't trivial, there's a higher peak: hacking sendmail's configuration file. This tip shows you how to ruin your mail system with ease.

  • Product information: FYI: All-inclusive messaging with Gordano
    The messaging server from U.K.-based Gordano Ltd., called GMS v.10, plays with proprietary and open source operating systems alike. Windows, Linux, Unix, AIX, it doesn't matter -- Gordano is platform independent.

  • Expert advice: Tools for migrating from MS Exchange to Linux
    Find out why expert Mark Hinkle would choose Open-Xchange and Versora tools to migrate from Exchange to a Linux-based mail server.

  • Expert advice: Does open source sendmail have the same capabilities as Microsoft Exchange?
    Find out why Exchange and sendmail are different animals.

  • Expert advice: Can open source sendmail scale for a growing company?
    Site expert Julie Hanna Farris answers this question with another question: "Should you be using a full-functioned mail server instead of an MTA?" Then she offers several suggestions for enterprise-level mail servers.

  • Opinion: Scalix possibly a serious contender to Exchange (ZDNet)
    This columnist believes that Scalix, if it continues on its current path, should make "Microsoft management quake in their boots." Find out why. He also praises Scalix Web Access, the company's Webmail product.

  • Article: New Linux e-mail platform connects the missing link
    The newest version of Scalix's e-mail package offers calendaring and scheduling functionality, features that are often missing from the Linux scene.

  • Sample chapter: Novell Open Enterprise Server and open source in the real world
    This article describes the the NOS package, which includes open source messaging servers Postfix and Sendmail, as well as Webmail.



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  • Article: Webmail seen as cure for troublesome e-mail clients
    As IT users move toward an always-connected existence, the usage of anytime-anywhere, browser-based e-mail is going to become much more pervasive, experts say.

  • Reference: Opera Web Mail (Opera.com)
    This is your entryway into Opera Software's Webmail support documentation.

  • Article:  Linux, Webmail are killer apps
    Adoption of Web-based messaging, or Webmail, is increasing, says this expert. In fact, companies are starting to explore the option of using Webmail instead of e-mail clients.

  • Home page: Open WebMail Project
    Open WebMail is designed to manage very large mail folder files in a memory-efficient way. It also provides a range of features to help users migrate smoothly from Microsoft Outlook to Open WebMail.

  • Case study: Making Open WebMail work (Linux.com)
    This case study examines a Web-based e-mail project at a medical center.

  • Home page: SquirrelMail
    SquirrelMail is a standards-based Webmail package written in PHP4.

  • IMP Webmail client (Horde)
    IMP is the internet messaging program associated with the Horde project. It is written in PHP and provides Webmail access to IMAP and POP3 accounts.


Management and administration

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  • Article: Spam is out, what's in? (SearchSecurity.com)
    What messaging threats have replaced spam? IT managers weigh in.

  • Tip: Reducing e-mail risks with Linux
    Expert Paul Murphy explains why putting e-mail on Linux reduces security risks.

  • Resource:  SearchSecurity.com's e-mail threats library (SearchSecurity.com)
    Here's a portal to many articles about e-mail security threats.

  • Tip: E-mail firewalls (SearchSecurity.com)
    The exponential rise in spam and e-mail-borne viruses has pushed must-have network security layers beyond traditional firewalls and intrusion-detection appliances. E-mail firewalls have emerged as a complementary appliance for detecting and protecting against threats in the inbound e-mail stream.

  • Interview: Security, quarantining tips for commercial Sendmail
    This Q&A introduces the aspects of commercial Sendmail that could make security maintenance easier.

  • White paper: Novell Certificate Server 2.0 Public Key Infrastructure (Novell.com)
    Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is becoming an important security component for e-mail, providing digital key and certificate management that enables security between parties. Find out about Novell's second generation PKI and how to use it in this white paper.

  • Book excerpt: Encrypting e-mail in Linux, BSD, and other Unices (Seifried.org)
    This chapter from Cryptographic software solutions and how to use them discusses the two main issues with e-mail encryption: digitally signing e-mail and encrypting e-mail.

  • Expert advice: Is it safe to put e-mail outside the company firewall?
    Expert Julie Hanna Farris answers this question and offers security tips.

  • Home page: Enhancing e-mail security with Procmail E-mail Sanitizer
    This is the home page for Sanitizer, a tool for preventing attacks on e-mail. Follow the site's links to info about the types of e-mail attacks you might face and ways to prevent them.

  • White paper: Security report: Windows vs. Linux (The Register)
    Is Linux less at risk from e-mail viruses than Windows is? This in-depth report seeks to answer that question.

  • Opinion: Linux vs. Windows viruses (The Register)
    Are predictions that virus attacks against Linux will equal attacks against Windows true? This expert thinks not. He lists the reasons why Linux and Mac OS are and will continue to be more secure e-mail platforms than Microsoft Windows.

  • Article: Protect your firm against the newest e-mail threats (HNS)
    This article describes new tactics taken by spammers and other e-mail hackers.

  • White paper: A brief comparison of e-mail encryption protocols (Arraydev.com)
    This is an overview of five major e-mail encryption protocols: Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), PGP/MIME, MIME Object Security Services, Message Security Protocol and S/MIME. Each is analyzed according to cryptographic soundness, implementation issues, ease of integration with e-mail, support for multimedia and Web data types and backwards compatibility.


Management and administration

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  • Q&A:  Dos and don'ts for e-mail and IM policy review
    Cyber lawyer Scott Nathan and The ePolicy Institute have some advice on putting together a company e-mail and IM policy

  • How-to: Setting up a Linux e-mail server in an NT domain
    This IT pro walks us through his setup of an Linux e-mail server that gets user information from a Windows NT server. His goal was to get rid of Microsoft Exchange.

  • Reference: Hints for e-mail configuration (Sendmail.org)
    A collection of how-tos on configuring sendmail.

  • Project page: Sendmail::Milter (Sourceforge.net)
    Here's information about Sendmail::Milter, a Perl module that enables the writing of mail filters for sendmail.

  • How-to: Configuring Mozilla Thunderbird to send plain ASCII text (Blogzilla)
    Here are the instructions to turn off HTML/MIME in Mozilla Thunderbird 0.5.

  • Article: E-legal and IMbarassing – CIOs must help tame e-mail beast (SearchCIO.com)
    Attorney Scott Nathan explains why managing e-mail and its IM cousin is a must if firms want to avoid embarrassment at best; the wrath of the law at worst.

  • Article: Why businesses need to manage and monitor employees' e-mail usage (HNS)
    Viruses and spam are not a company's only e-mail security concerns. This article discusses the potential threats that loom in corporate e-mail.

  • Expert advice: Sending scheduled alerts to users
    Can you have an agent push out a form to a small group of users at a specific time? Get the answer and some tips for scheduling alerts.


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