The Internet has become an essential part of everyday life, as ISPs have sprung up all over the United States and in much of the world. Online services, such as AOL and Microsoft's MSN, now offer Internet mail and Web browsing, bringing even more people to the Internet. Because of its support for TCP/IP networking-the universal language of the Internet-a Linux PC is an ideal Internet host. This chapter describes the email service and shows you how to configure the sendmail server on a Red Hat Linux PC.

By reading this chapter, you learned the following:

  • Email is one of the important services available on Internet hosts. This chapter describes email service available on a Red Hat Linux PC.

  • Email software comes in two parts: a mail-transport agent (MTA), which physically sends and receives mail messages; and a mail-user agent (MUA), which reads messages and prepares new messages.

  • The companion CD-ROMs contain several mail-transfer agents and mail-user agents. This chapter describes how to use sendmail as a mail-transport agent.

  • The sendmail configuration is complex, but you can get going with the configuration file that comes with Red Hat Linux. All you may need to do is set your Red Hat Linux PC's hostname properly.

  • To read email, you can use mail or Ximian Evolution. Mozilla also includes a mail reader you can use.

  • You can automatically forward messages to another address by placing a .forward file in your home directory. The .forward file should contain a comma-separated list of email addresses.

  • You can run the procmail mailer by invoking it from the .forward file. The typical use of procmail is to delete unwanted messages automatically and to sort messages into different files.

  • You can set up a mailing list by using the /etc/aliases file, which stores aliases for sendmail.