Wietse's VMailer Postfix Project


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Late news: the Postfix release is scheduled for December 11th from www.ibm.com/alphaworks/.

Late news: extensive documentation is now available

It's surprisingly hard to build a mail system that does not screw up your machine.
First of all, thank you for your interest in my project.

Postfix is the freeware project that I started during my sabattical year in the USA while visiting IBM T.J. Watson Research. I am grateful to IBM for the opportunity to write this software and for their permission to give it away.

What is Postfix? It is my attempt to provide an alternative to the widely-used Sendmail program. Sendmail is responsible for 70% of all e-mail delivered on the Internet. With an estimated 100 million users, that's an estimated 10 billion (10^10) messages daily. A stunning number.

Postfix attempts to be fast, easy to administer, and hopefully secure, while at the same time being sendmail compatible enough to not upset your users.

In December 1997 I turned off sendmail, forever, on all my machines. Alpha tests are in progress since January, 1998. This is software that I depend on myself for all my mail, including some mailing lists that I run from my own Internet domain. The alpha test is closed. The beta release will be public.

When will this public beta release be? With the release in sight, IBM's lawyers found that VMailer was too similar to an existing trade mark. So, the program will go through its life as Postfix instead. Changing the name means changing and proofreading lots of text. Because of this, and because of time commitments already made, the release is scheduled for December 11th from www.ibm.com/alphaworks/.

My plan is to guide the development of this software for a few releases, and then to pass on maintenance to a group of people that I trust. I do not expect to have the resources to keep implementing the latest RFC features for the rest of my life.

DISCLAIMER: Some pages contain comparisons with qmail by Dan Bernstein. The reason for the comparisons is that qmail is, in my opinion, the only serious competitor with my work. That's competitor, not enemy.


Table of Contents | Next: Postfix Goals and Features