What linux distro should I use to replace an old Exchange server?
April 7, 2006 1:51 AM   Subscribe

What Linux distro should i use to replace an old exchange 5.5 sever and just provide pop3/smtp services

All i need to do is host some mailboxes for pop3 access now, nothing special. I certainly dont need another exchange server, got loads of them. I have an old-ish but powerful Dell workstation (dual xeon, 2GB RAM, loads of disk) that runs Unbuntu (so I know linux is ok on it). I'm more concerned with having a relatively simple pop3 config as that's the bit new to me.
posted by daveyt to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
if it's not handling much traffic and you're not hosting anything business related I'd probably just leave Ubuntu on, even though I personally hate it.
posted by cellphone at 2:14 AM on April 7, 2006

thats the problem. I didnt realise that ubuntu didnt use inetd - I cant configure the pop3 app I have (qpopper) to work on it. I dont mind ubuntu, its ok, I come from an old school NCR SVR4 background, all these new fangled versions scare me a little....!
posted by daveyt at 2:17 AM on April 7, 2006

There's a MEPIS SoHo server live CD (website, ISO, review) - just download it, boot off it and it will run you through a typical server setup wizard (mail, web, samba etc.) If everything works OK, then you can install it with a single-click. I used it last week to turn a desktop into a temporary server and it worked perfectly.
posted by blag at 4:02 AM on April 7, 2006

ClarConnect may have what you want. It is a specialized distro with many server functions bult in designed to be run on a headless machine. You can turn off the pieces you don't need.
posted by Tallguy at 5:31 AM on April 7, 2006

Ubuntu doesn't have inetd installed by default, but you can certainly install it, if that's your only obstacle.

# apt-cache search inetd

(pick one)

# apt-get install xinetd or whatever you pick
posted by jellicle at 5:58 AM on April 7, 2006

I always like Slackware for situations that don't require PAM or Kerberos. It is possible to use it in these cases, but recompiling all the necessary programs is time consuming and annoying.
posted by Loto at 7:06 AM on April 7, 2006

I agree with cellphone. It's not an ideal distro for a server, but if Ubuntu's already installed, just leave it. You can use a good package manager (like aptitude, or KDE package manager) to trim away stuff you don't need. Either way, it doesn't look like performance will be an issue -- POP3/SMTP should be a joke for a dual xeon with 2 gigs of RAM.
posted by ori at 9:23 AM on April 7, 2006

I have an old Dell PowerEdge (single 500mhz processor, forget how much RAM) running Slackware. It works fine. Your newer, faster server will work even better. Slackware goes for "stable and tested" over "newest kernel". In the last 4 years my Slack box hasn't been a problem.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:36 AM on April 7, 2006

Second slackware...
posted by Arthur Dent at 12:50 PM on April 7, 2006

you can always ditch qpopper and consider the courier pop/imap package (you can skip their MTA if you don't want it) - I'm not even sure if qpopper is being supported anymore.
There's also the uw-imap/pop package. pop3 is pretty simple.

For SMTP? Consider Postfix. Fairly easy to get going, and there's now several books covering setup & configuration. Having Postfix deal with Exchange is also documented in the books. (Ignore the book by Blum, tho, as it's way out of date)

Since you already have Ubuntu installed and working and you're ok with it, it might be in your best interest to just leave it there. besides, apt-get makes it pretty easy to keep current. As much as I know people love Slackware, switching distros from what you have now might simply cause more problems in the end. Ubuntu gets pretty high marks from the linux community.

Personally, I'm more comfortable with Gentoo Linux. But you're kind of making it sound like this isn't going to be a permanent solution, so in that case, I vote for "leave Ubuntu there."
posted by drstein at 2:10 PM on April 7, 2006

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