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Linux Email: Set up and Run a Small Office Email Server by Patrick Ben Koetter, Magnus Back, Alistair McDonald, Carl Taylor, David Rusenko

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Main E-Mail Protocols—SMTP, POP, and IMAP

Why are we discussing basic network communication protocols in this book? Are we not running advanced software? Indeed we are, but knowing one's way around the protocols can not only assist debugging a possibly non-working system but also increase the understanding of a mail system's behavior. We will start with a rather non-technical bird's-eye view of the protocols, after which we will dwell upon the protocol details.

Overview

In the UNIX environment, traditional mail applications have not used any network protocol at all. They have instead accessed the locally stored mailbox files directly through the file system. Typically, the inbox of each user is stored in a single file in either the /var/mail or ...

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