Best solution for mail server?

Bill Davidsen davidsen at
Sat Feb 23 00:17:43 UTC 2008

Tim wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-02-20 at 13:12 +0100, Henning Larsen wrote:
>> I have .fetchmailrc for all users in /root, and get the message that
>> fetchmail should not be run as root. Where should I put .fetchmailrc
>> and how should I start it, from rc.local? or as a service. 
> In my rc.local files I have lines like the following (below).  And each
> user has their ~/.fetchmailrc file set for whatever servers their
> accounts will poll.
> su tim -c "/usr/bin/fetchmail -d 900"
> su john -c "/usr/bin/fetchmail -d 1200"
> su jane -c "/usr/bin/fetchmail -d 1500"
> I picked different polling periods so that mail runs will not run at the
> same time as each other (spreading the workload around).  Any user can
> stop their own automatic poll, and restart it, if they want to.
Why would you not just have a single cron job which runs fetchmail 
without the -d? I used to just kick off the "poll all" script every 12 

Ideally you would have all mail for all of your users put to a single 
mail account, poll that, and let local mail delivery hand it out. 
Clearly that takes cooperation from the server you're polling.

> I only roughly picked different time periods, if I really wanted to
> ensure that they hardly ever ran at the same time, I'd have used prime
> numbers.  But I'm too lazy to bother to work out large prime numbers,
> and I don't think it's that important for me.  It'd be different if you
> had a large number of users, then it might be quite beneficial.

Bill Davidsen <davidsen at>
   "We have more to fear from the bungling of the incompetent than from
the machinations of the wicked."  - from Slashdot

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