Getting started

Craig Ringer craig at
Wed Feb 25 12:07:58 EST 2004

On Wed, 2004-02-25 at 23:41, Patrick Welche wrote:

> I chose an sql backend (postgresql, but the principle is the same)
> because exim (and other mailers) can lookup sql databases => the
> list of valid local usernames can be the same as the list of
> usernames associated with passwords in the imap server.
> Presumably the smtp server can also be told to look up valid
> local usernames in an ldap server, so you get the same benefit?

Indeed; and in fact I always understood LDAP as the /normal/ way of
achieving that - ever since it was "detached" from the need for an X500
backend. I was wondering if there was any particular advantage to using
an RDBMS that I wasn't aware of, or if it was just a personal
preference, familiarity or documentation issue. It sounds like the
latter set - yes? Or is there something I'm missing out on?

I've found some MTAs _awful_ when it comes to getting them to look up
users in an LDAP directory. I suspect they're much the same with other
user lookup methods, though.

I chose LDAP because it was clearly specifically designed to store the
sort of data I wanted to store, was flexible and capable of hierarchal
data storage (nice in future I suspect), fitted well with other
applications like MUAs, and had wonderful replication abilities. The
fact that I was already authenticating users against it for other things
just confirmed the decision.

BTW, Linux Journal recently ran some articles on setting up Cyrus IMAPd
with LDAP authentication. If they publish them on the web later, I think
it'd be worth linking to from the wiki, as they were fairly well
written. I think more overview/how-to documentation is needed to help
users deploy Cyrus IMAPd in common configurations, without having to
initially plumb the depths of the rather intricately layered
authentication - and the unusual mail store - used. The LJ articles fit
the bill very well - and as this sort of documentation is hard to do
well (and it's hard to find people with the time, knowledge, and writing
skill) it'd be great to be able to at least link to it. I'd volunteer,
but going by the difficulty I've had writing up even vaguely decent
scratched-together info about our setup here, writing that sort of thing
is presently rather beyond me.

Craig Ringer

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