Mail server install questions

Bill Cole macportsusers-20171215 at
Sat Sep 7 21:43:16 UTC 2019

On 7 Sep 2019, at 7:48, Gerben Wierda wrote:

> So, I’m back to my (slow) migration of an existing macOS High Sierra 
> + Apple-’supported’ mail server to one based on macOS 
> Mojave + + macports. is running. DNS is running. 
> Users are in OpenDirectory. Their backup home directories (synced with 
> clients) are available. Now it’s time to migrate the mail server. 
> That is (as on High Sierra): postfix + dovecot + spamassasin + clamav 
> + greylisting. But while I’m at it I’d like to enable DMARC at 
> least. I’m used to managing the configuration by editing files (such 
> as and, whitelists, etc.) at the unix level. A 
> user-friendly way to manage sieve filtering by end-users would be nice 
> (I had roundcube once, have been editing the sieve file by hand since 
> then on the server).

I am unaware of any end-user-friendly Sieve management tool other than 
the feature in RoundCube. If you find one you like, please consider 
making a port for it.

> I have a few questions that arose during preparation (mostly because I 
> was unable to find documentation for the port):
> I was looking at available documentation. There is a mail-server 
> ‘aggregate’, but it wants X11. Why?

Generic answer: because developers have a weak sense of what system 
administration is.

Specific answer: mail-server->gmime->vala->graphviz->X11 (and general 
dependency Hell)

I have no idea why mail-server needs gmime. Steven Smith should know, as 
it's a direct dependency.

Also, if you want to avoid pulling in the core Haskell "stack" as a 
result of how Open-Xchange has chosen to regenerate a handful of 
Markdown files in very uncommon circumstances that never include 
MacPorts builds, see the patch in

> How do I find out what variants I need.

A port should specify any required variants of its dependencies which 
are not defaults.

> Definitely pure,

??? Is that a typo?

> but for instance do I need a variant that can use the local Open 
> Directory for authentication (postfix and dovecot) and if so, how do I 
> find out?

As Steven has said, that's not an option because OD support in Dovecot 
(which provides auth service for Postfix) was an Apple customization. 
Their custom code should be in their OSS repository (if it still exists) 
and be backportable, if you're into doing such things.

It should be possible to use the LDAP server component of OD as a userdb 
and passdb backend for Dovecot. See

> Why would I add lucene etc. if all searching and indexing happens on 
> the client side (, spotlight)?

That's a big "if."

Some clients use server-side IMAP search, some use their own search 
facilities and/or those provided by their OS (e.g. Spotlight.) If you 
know that all IMAP clients used by your users only use client-side 
search, you do not get anything from any of the server-side search 
options of Dovecot. If clients DO use servber-siode search, it helps a 
great deal to have a server-side index (i.e. Solr.)

> I looked at installs for postfix and I noticed in the last year it has 
> been installed only once. Is that right? dovecot2 has 2. dovecot2 has 
> no maintainer. I find wiki pages, but then they are often 
> unfinished/incomplete. Makes me wonder: is there any volume in this 
> community or will I be effectively be the only one?

Postfix is typically very stable, getting a major update annually and 
patches in-between only for major bugs & security issues. The MacPorts 
port has had 6 updates in 2019, skipping the 3.4.2-3 patchelevels which 
came unusually fast. See 
for details.

The dovecot2 port does have less active maintenance than it should, but 
the broader (predominantly Linux) community is huge, the official wiki 
( is reasonably complete and up-to-date, and 
development is robustly led by a going commercial entity: Open-Xchange. 
The port needs a maintainer, but the software is far from dead.

Bill Cole
bill at or billcole at
(AKA @grumpybozo and many * addresses)

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