From rick Thu Jul 3 16:44:53 2003
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2003 16:44:53 -0700
Subject: Re: Exchange Replacement using RedHat
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.4i

Quoting Wylie Edwards

> I was wondering if anyone has had experience with replacing MS
> Exchange with anything other than Suse Open-Exchange?


Discussions about MS-Exchange replacements are complicated by the fact that different people will accept different things as "replacements":

In short, what you choose depends on lots of factors:

For sites that really, really like MS-Outlook, there's really nothing like Exchange Server, to give real-time access and maximal integration.

I have more information filed away at:
...including links to everything mentioned above.

Cheers, find / -user your -name base -print | xargs chown us:us
Rick Moen

[The e-mail below has been re-edited in this Web archive to update and extend the information within it.]

Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 03:24:39 -0800
From: Rick Moen
Subject: Re: Lotus Notes Client

My impression is that businesses are so eager for software that handles scheduling, e-mail, and group discussion fora ("shared folders") that they tend to jump into them uncritically.

I haven't really taken the time to survey all the primary options, but here are some notes I've accumulated on the ones I know of:

Cheers, "Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?"
Rick Moen -- Steven Wright

Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 05:45:22 -0800
From: Rick Moen
Subject: Re: Groupware Systems (Was: Re: Lotus Notes Client)

Quoting LapTop006 (

> Ximian Evolution can connect directly to Exchange, although I don't
> know how well it works.

(1) You need to purchase the proprietary Ximian Connector add-on. Just Ximian Evolution doesn't suffice. (2) The Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 server must have Outlook Web Access enabled (for WebDAV access, which many Exchange Server admins refuse to allow, citing security concerns). It seems likely that all Ximian Connector does is screen-scrape the Outlook Web Access HTML screens — and reportedly works only with Exchange Server 2000 (in Web mode), and also doesn't give access to all Outlook/Exchange functionality.

(KDE's korganizer/kontact can talk to Exchange Server for schedule inforamtion using the same Outlook Web Access / WebDAV mechanism.)

> One you missed was First Class:
> Somewhat like notes, however very nice on the client end.
> Server origionally only avaliable for Windows & MacOS, now
> avaliable for (In addition): Solaris, Linux, MacOS X and more.

Well, I still have a difficult time taking First Class seriously, as it originated as a MacOS-based BBS package with a proprietary graphical client. I may eventually get around to checking out the claimed current functionality, but the contrast back around 1998 (when I was last coaxed into using it, for a consulting firm I then did work for) between its grandiose claims and its rather pathetic state at the time has somewhat prejudiced me.

If you consider a glorified BBS to be a candidate Exchange-equivalent, then at least consider Citadel/UX,, which at least has a distinguished history; supports Web and telnet access, plus IMAP/POP3/SMTP, plus dedicated graphical and console Citadel clients; and is open source.

Cheers, kill -9 them all.
Rick Moen Let init sort it out.

From rick Fri Oct 11 10:38:14 2002
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2002 10:38:14 -0700
Subject: Re: [buug] Migrating from Exchange 5.5 to Linux
User-Agent: Mutt/1.4i

Quoting HD (

> Could someone recommend some sites with appropriate information and/or
> even suggest some mail servers to use?

Have a look at [1]

It's actually just a bunch of standard, good open-source components (Postfix, Apache, Cyrus IMAP, OpenLDAP, OpenSSL) preconfigured to work well with one another, plus a couple of proprietary components: YaST2 for graphical administration, and SkyrixGreen[2] for integrated scheduling and group discussions.

Usually, when you're trying to convince pointy-hairs to use a Unix mail solution, they instead drag you onto Exchange Server to get its scheduling, group discussions, and perceived "integration". The SUSE bundle seems designed to overcome the management-moron syndrome.

And you should point out that, unlike Exchange Server, the SuSE Linux eMail Server (which is what they call it) [1] won't corrupt its message store a couple of times a year.[3]

Cheers, Long ago, there lived a creature with a
Rick Moen voice like a vacuum cleaner. We know little about it, but we do know that it ate cats.

[1] Both the URL and the name have now changed. See below.

[2] More recently replaced by a JSP/Perl concoction called .comFire.

[3] This notorious autocorruption problem seems very likely to have been caused by the use of Microsoft's "Jet" database, i.e., the engine behind MS-Access, as Exchange Server's datastore. As of Exchange Server 2000 (and thus also the later Exchange Server 2003), this was eliminated in favour of MS-SQL Server. At the same time, MS-Exchange Server required setting up Active Directory. Prior to that, it required that users exist in Microsoft domains (thus necessitating separate primary and backup domain controller machines). Thus, for any version of Exchange Server, it's best to plan on devoting three entire beefy machines to the project, since it's best to server AD or Microsoft domain information from a machine different from the Exchange host (which otherwise would be excessively bogged down), and a second such machine is needed for data/service redundancy.

From rick Tue Oct 15 07:42:41 2002
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2002 07:42:41 -0700
Subject: Re: [buug] RE: Buug digest, Vol 1 #388 - 8 msgs

Quoting Todd Lee (

> I was wondering the same thing. I have used many mailers, as far as
> MTAs go, Exchange is easily beaten, but the main selling point of
> Exchange is its groupware ability i.e. the sharing of public folders.
> I've also looked at and a few other suites like oracle's
> communicator, these all have the same licensing constraints although,
> they will run on many flavors of *nix. I was wondering if there was a
> GPLed version out there that I never heard of?

*ix guys will tell you that point'n'drool groupware isn't difficult to find. There are all sorts of Webified things like wiki software, for example. (Twiki is GPLed, for example, and there is similar stuff made using Zope.) If *ix guys want a group discussion for themselves, they'll have a mailing list — or, better yet, a newsgroup.

The executives who insist on Exchange Server don't just want group discussion, and they don't just want GUIfied group discussion. They want "integration". They want the same client software (e.g., MS-Outlook) to do everything and anything, without their feeble little minds having to grasp the distinctions among e-mail, group discussion, and scheduling.

When you include that in the set of specifications to a *ix author who publishes tools for people under an open-source or viewable-source licence, he'll probably say "That level of integration is a bad idea. Not only does it lock you in to a proprietary, single-source architecture, but also it prevents you from using best-of-breed for each. And the whole hairball becomes a single point of failure liability. And for what?"

If you tell him the executive staff want it anyway, he'll say "OK, since your executive staff want something really rather stupid, I'm going to have to spend a lot of time doing dumb, pointless work to put it together, so for that and to compensate me for what will probably be a significant support burden, I'm going to charge you a bunch of money and use proprietary licensing."

And so here we are.

Cheers, "That article and its poster have been cancelled."
Rick Moen -- David B. O'Donnel, sysadmin for America Online

From: Rick Moen
Subject: Re: [plug] Linux Exchange-like
User-Agent: Mutt/1.4i

Quoting vince cagud (

> no flames. but those you've mentioned are just MTAs...they dont do
> groupware...task scheduling, document sharing, IMAP/POP retrieval (dunno
> abt smail), even webmail.

"CYWare" mentioned SUSE's Linux OpenExchange suite. Or you might like Bynari's Insight Server suite. Here are some webmail components:

Originally, I held back from answering your query because my first instinct was to say "What specific functionality did you want?" Which I was afraid would sound confrontational.

Generally speaking, the tradition in the Unix world is to construct tools that do specific jobs. If you need to do a number of specific tasks, you find the best individual tools, and use them in combination in the way that suits you best. In contrast, Microsoft Exchange does only one set of things it was built to do, in one specific way (whose design and operation I happen to think is an engineering disaster). Microsoft Corporation markets this as a virtue and calls it "integration".

> i dont think they're comparable at all. like jun, i've done my own
> search for the Exchange replacement and all i found were not as
> feature-rich as Exchange.

But that's like looking at a carburetor and saying "But I don't know how to drive this." ;-> But since you're looking for a "suite" and don't want to assemble the pieces yourself from most-suitable-for-your-purposes pieces, you're going to end up examining things SUSE Linux OpenExchange Server (formerly called SuSE Linux eMail Server,, Bynari Insight Server (, and Samsung Contact (formerly called HP Openmail,

> hmmmmm...openmail by hp is not open-source either and they've stopped
> supporting the product.

But Samsung is supporting it.

SUSE Linux OpenExchange Server, and very likely the other two as well, includes quite a lot of open-source components. If you want a "suite" comprising 100% open source, you'll probably have to construct it yourself from components that best suit your needs.

"Is it not the beauty of an asynchronous form of discussion that one can go and
make cups of tea, floss the cat, fluff the geraniums, open the kitchen window
and scream out it with operatic force, volume, and decorum, and then return to
the vexed glowing letters calmer of mind and soul?" -- The Cube,

From: Mark
Subject: Re: Groupware Systems (Was: Re: Lotus Notes Client)
X-Mailer: Ximian Evolution 1.0.8-3mdk
Date: 27 Jan 2003 10:09:22 +1100

Hi All,

Quite a good one that I have seen is Twiggi I think it's the winner to what i have seen.. very easy to set up groups, and share tasks and strong and sable (this is what I have seen).. about the next best, would be the stuff out of the Horde Project, it's Webmail package "IMP" is about best Webmail client I have see.. the next would be Phpgroupware, for features it has the most, but found it a touch unstable, but that's probably fixed now..

The commercial groupware packages, I really haven't seen one that I like.. There seems to be a nice solution from a company called Bynari that uses Outlook for the Groupware client, and a standard IMAP server, it's about the best solution I have seen in the commercial area.. The others solutions that have been talked about under thread, I haven't seen much advantage with the commercial offerings, may be someone could tell what their advantages really are?

May be an alternative solution could be better solution than the Lotus Notes solution... Just ideas...


Sherpath, a high level groupware:

Sharing and managing information with Sherpath:

Security using Sherpath:

Useful Web pages on the subject: (very old)