Sending mail from Linux to Exchange
April 18, 2007 6:29 AM   Subscribe

I have a Linux box (Ubuntu Edgy) that I would like to be able to send mail to an Exchange server. It also needs to send/receive locally. Which MTA will actually allow me to do this and are directions for configuring it available? I've found lots of vague references but very little "program X will do this and here's how" kind of stuff.
posted by tommasz to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Any mail transport agent (MTA) will do that: Sendmail, Postfix, Exim, qmail. For ease of configuration I recommend Postfix or Exim, both of which are configured in something approximating English. Both are extensively documented and have helpful mailing lists.

I believe Exim is the standard MTA in Ubuntu (it is in Debian, at least) so that might be a good reason to choose Exim.

(I personally use Postfix, having abandoned qmail, but where I could give great reasons to avoid qmail and sendmail, I couldn't think of anything to specifically warn you away from Exim.)
posted by mendel at 6:43 AM on April 18, 2007

If your Exchange server accepts mail via SMTP, then your MTA or user agent won't matter. If you can only connect to an Exchange server using the proprietary Exchange protocol, your best bet will be Evolution, the Gnome groupware application developed by Novell (after their acquisition of Ximian). It has support for connecting to exchange servers built in.
posted by lodev at 7:11 AM on April 18, 2007

I adore Exim myself and support a configuration that does exactly as you describe, but the Debian package is pretty broken -- it insists on imposing the packager's seriously ugly, under-documented, templated configuration by default. It can be worked around (there's a note about this in /usr/share/doc/exim somewhere) but it still leaves a tremendous amount of baffling cruft in /etc/exim.

I don't know if Ubuntu is repackaging the Debian Exim but if it is, I'd personally suggest building and deploying Exim from source in order to avoid the poorly thought-out Debianizing of the package. You would then have the advantage of using the package in a configuration that is much more similar to other Exim deployments out there, not having to expend time and effort reverse-engineering the Debian packager's headache-inducing configuration scheme, and be better able to make use of configuration ideas you get from plugging "exim ldap exchange" into Google.
posted by majick at 7:19 AM on April 18, 2007

Using Evolution isn't really an option since this is a server setup and I'm looking to enable daemons sending mail out. I'll have to check to see if the Exchange server here allows SMTP connections. As far as I am aware, we allow Outlook and OWA (via IE), not sure about anything else.
posted by tommasz at 7:22 AM on April 18, 2007

Kerio does this with ease. It's not free.

Postfix can do it, if you know how to configure it for LDAP.
posted by four panels at 7:35 AM on April 18, 2007

Evolution doesnt do MAPI. It uses webdav to connect to exchange. Webdav will have to be enabled explicitly on Exchange.

Of course, chances are if its a mail server its running smtp (can you telnet to port 25 of the mail server?) and any MTA will work.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:53 AM on April 18, 2007

Exchange is 99% guaranteed to be running SMTP nowadays, unless the people on that server only send mail internally and not to/from the internet. Seconding Exim or Postfix (Exim is easier to set up, but I prefer Postfix for complex setups).
posted by chundo at 8:00 AM on April 18, 2007

My Exchange server is running SMTP but won't allow me to send:

454 5.7.3 Client does not have permission to submit mail to this server.

Given the byzantine layers of management and approvals necessary, I'm beginning to think I should quit while I'm ahead. Thanks for the assistance.
posted by tommasz at 8:14 AM on April 18, 2007

That error message makes it sound like the issue is with your Exchange server's configuration, not with your MTA. (I say this knowing nothing about Exchange servers, though.)

Administering an MTA (such that it both does what you want it to do and doesn't do what you don't want it to do) is hard, and doesn't lend itself to be part of any quick and dirty solution.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 10:12 AM on April 19, 2007

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