[Dovecot] Mutually exclusive Exim setup instructions

Curtis Maloney cmaloney at cardgate.net
Wed Apr 23 02:01:33 EEST 2008

Karl Schmidt wrote:
> After much googling, it appears that one can use either exim or dovecot 
> as the LDA - the trade offs are not clear.
> It seems that the amount of mass mails all needing to get indexed at the 
> same time would make dovecot as the LDA create a higher server peak, -- 
> I think the inbox is only indexed in the case of exim as the LDA when 
> users check their mail - thus spreading the load. On the other hand, I 
> don't see where the advantage of using dovecot as the LDA is documented. 
> It could be important for indexing, caching.

My understanding of the advantages are as follows:

1) Index updates

No other LDA knows how to update Dovecot's indices.  Many people found that 
without their indices being updated on deliver, there was an "unacceptable" 
delay when opening their inbox.

2) Same config

The dovecot LDA uses the same configuration as the imap/pop servers, so 
they're all looking in the same places for the same mailbox types.  If you 
changes the config, they're all in sync.

3) Options

Dovecot's LDA supports all the mailbox formats, user databases, and config 
sources of Dovecot.  This seems obvious when you say it, but it is quite a 
suite of features.  Just ask the next sendmail admin you see how easy it is 
for them to deliver to LDAP based virtual mailboxes in Maildir format...

4) Consistency

If Timo ever took on the onerous task of writing a MTA, I'd certainly give 
it a look in.  Then my mail server could be Dovecot all the way.  (Until 
then, I'll stick with Postfix - thanks Wietse:)

As it is, having one consistent code base and config scheme covering all 
your local mail handling can keep your system admin workload down.

I'm sure other people will contribute more or clearer reasons, but this is 
what comes to mind this Wednesday morning before my first coffee...

Curtis Maloney
cmaloney at cardgate.net

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