How does mail work?

Discussion in 'Server Operation' started by bswinnerton, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. bswinnerton

    bswinnerton New Member

    Hey everyone,

    I was wondering if someone could be kind enough to explain to me how mail works on a ISPConfig setup.

    There are many programs such as postfix, dovecot etc, and I was just wondering how they all work together to deliver mail. And I'd also like to know how it works when sending, for example what programs they go to and what they do.

  2. falko

    falko Super Moderator ISPConfig Developer

    Postfix (MTA = mail transport agent) is used for processing emails (i.e., sending and receiving mails). If it receives a mail, it puts it into the user's mailbox (can be Maildir or mbox format) or passes it on to an MDA (mail delivery agent) such as procmail which processes further tasks on the mail and then finally puts it into the mail account.

    Then you have POP3/IMAP daemons such as Courier and Dovecot which you use to simply fetch the emails from the mailbox.
  3. bswinnerton

    bswinnerton New Member

    Thank you Falko =) That was just the explanation I was looking for!

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