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Review: SuSE Linux eMail Server III - page 4

Introducing SuSE Linux eMail Server III

  • March 28, 2002
  • By Dee-Ann LeBlanc

Why burden the mail server itself when you can configure it from any web browser? I hopped onto another of my Linux machines and followed the instructions, pointing a web browser to the mail server's IP address, and soon reached the configuration program (Figure 1). I'll of course start configuring the server itself, so I log in (as instructed by the manual) to the user cyrus with the administrative password I set during the installation process--not the same as the root password.

After clicking the Configure button I find myself to the welcome screen (Figure 2). The manual suggests to start by creating user accounts, but that's not my natural inclination. First I want to set up my virtual mail domains. I start by clicking the Virtual Users tab to go to the appropriate section (Figure 3), and then I click the Virt. Domains tab. After creating a few domains I export the data to the DNS server with the click of a button and then go on my merry way.

Now I want to create some user accounts. I click the User tab to go to the account management section (Figure 3), and then New to open the account creation section (Figure 4). Once there I explore and fill out the form, which has some handy checkboxes for items such as creating an automatic mail alias in the format firstname.lastname, setting whether I want the user to be able to add to the global address books, selecting the proper domain from a dropdown list box, and setting the type of password encryption I want (CRYPT for 8 characters or SMD5 for 255). I have to type the default password in through plain text though, I find myself wondering if that password is sent over the network by plain text or encrypted before it's sent to the mail server.

I'm not into anything really fancy here, I don't feel a need to set up mail user groups or special folders, so instead I explore the other configuration options. SuSE Linux eMail Server III has quite a number of settings available, if you purchase this product be sure to take the time to really go through both the interface and the manual and become familiar with what levels of control you have over its various functions. You can use the GUI to configure Postfix, Fetchmail, IMAP, ensure that people connecting to the web interface are doing so through SSL.

You can also use the GUI to work with your mail queue, set user and administrator information, create virtual hosts, send mail to your entire user base, create company resources to schedule through calendaring such as conference rooms and laptop video projectors, and group the resources if necessary.

Now I go to peek at the user side of things. I log into the web inteface using a newly created mail account and click Webmail (Figure 6), which turns out to be an incredibly feature-rich mail and scheduling client! You can even toggle mail headers if you want to see the full headers, and there are levels of address books from the access-controlled to personal.

After surfing around the Webmail section for a while I log in again as the user but click Configuration. Here I can set up my account information, LDAP data, change that default password, work with mail folders (though I'd rather work with the folders in Webmail, which I can do too), create mail filters, set vacation messages, create scripts for handling mail automatically, and once again access Webmail. However, they seem to have forgotten to include a back navigation button, so if you do much in your Webmail session you may have to log out and back in if you want to use the Configuration section again.


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