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Developer(s) Ronald S. Karr, Landon Curt Noll, and many others; currently maintained by Greg Woods
Stable release / November 2, 2005
Operating system Unix-like
Platform Cross-platform
Type Mail transfer agent
License GNU General Public License

Smail-3 is a mail transfer agent (MTA) used on Unix-like operating systems. It is freely available under the GNU GPL and it aims to be a general and flexible mailer with extensive facilities for checking incoming e-mail. It is still in use on the Internet, but it has been mostly superseded by Exim (which was originally based on Smail).[1]

Smail-3 still follows the Sendmail design model, where a single binary controls all the facilities of the MTA. This monolithic design is generally considered to be inherently less secure, largely due to the lack of separation between the individual components of the system. Nevertheless, Smail's security record has been fairly clean, and has only been the subject of one BUGTRAQ advisory.[2]


  1. Philip Hazel's original thoughts on implementing a future MTA based on Smail

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