Merak E-mail server   

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Overview - How Merak Mail Server works

Services - How they work

Merak Mail server consists of three services and the configuration program. There are also a few tools like DNS Query Tool, Users Command Line Tool, WebAdmin, Control Panel applet, and Mail Notification. Services are programs that run in the background of Windows and do the work for you.

SMTP service handles the mail delivery, forwarding the mail, disk space monitor and all account options. This service handles the most work of the mail server and should always run.

POP3/IMAP4 service handles the message sending to the mail clients when users want to get new mail from the server. This service also handles the Remote Accounts and the Antivirus System. This service should be always run as well.

Control service handles the DialUp connections, Remote Administration, Web Administration, and the Watchdog option. If you do not need any of these you do not have to run this service.

Files & Directories

In the Merak directory there are all the executable, help, readme files, and the default.ini. In the HTML directory, there are files for the Web Administration. The CONFIG directory contains all configuration and settings. The LOG directory contains all logs.

SMTP, POP3/IMAP4 and Control logs can be switched on individually. Error logs are always made when errors occur. The log structure:

[IP Address] [Thread ID] [Date Time] [Action]


SYSTEM [00000000] Fri, 19 Jan 2001 11:36:54 +0100 SMTP Service started

In the MAIL directory, there are domain directories and the FORWARD directory. In the forward directory is the queue for outgoing mail. All mail has extension .tmp. When mail is being transmitted its extension changes to .tm$. In the domain directories there are mailbox directories for the received mail.

In the TEMP directory, files are being currently received. After they have been received they are copied to the mailbox(es) and then deleted.

Mail Sending & Receiving

There is no difference between local and Internet mail receiving. Therefore if you can receive your local mail you can also receive Internet mail. If mail is not being delivered from the Internet it is likely that security options set are preventing this, or the DNS MX records on the domain has been entered incorrectly.

Sending the mail follows a different path. When mail is being sent to a local account it is immediately delivered to the local mailbox and the mail does not go to the Internet. Mail server recognizes that according to the configured domains in the Config program. When there is a recipient with the local domain, it is delivered to the local domain. When it finds out it is an external recipient (domain) it places the mail in the FORWARD directory (outgoing queue) and tries immediately to deliver the message. This is all done in separate threads (processes). Merak is a full multi threaded multiple CPU support server.

The greatest advantage of Merak it its safety and security. All of the services run the TLS/SSL support (Secure Socket Layer) and you can set your mail clients to support and use this option. In such case all message transmission to and from server will be totally secured. Merak goes beyond this and when found a remote mail server supporting this feature too (another Merak) the whole TCP/IP communication is secured in the same manner. Therefor a network of Merak mail servers would totally put hackers out of their business.

System Overview

This is the first tab of the config applet, and shows an overview of what is happening as well as the rudimentary settings.

The panel at the bottom shows what is happening to Merak in real-time. Current connections and data transferred to date are shown.

By default the control panel applet connects to the localhost. If you wish to connect to a remote Merak server use the Connect button, then enter the hostname, port, admin user and admin password.

The admin user can be any user account which has the Administrator privilege.

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Copyright © 2002 Øyvind Haugland
Sist endret:  13 januar 2019

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