Guide to Unix/Explanations/Mail Server Overview/Incoming mail

Incoming mail is held in mailboxes hosted by various providers edit

Incoming Mail is delivered to mailboxes held by various service providers.

Collection edit

The mailserver will periodically run a mail retrieval agent that uses post office protocol to collect the mail messages from the users' mailboxes.

Transportation edit

The mail retrieval agent passes the mail to a spam filtering program.

Spam Filtering edit

The spam filtering program marks junk mail as spam.

Delivery edit

The filtered mail is forwarded to the mail delivery agent, either directly, or via a mail transport agent (depending on the capabilities of the mail retrieval agent). The mail delivery agent delivers the mail to either the spam box or the inbox the users maildir directory depending on whether or not the mail is marked as spam.

The IMAP server edit

The messages are now made visible to users via the imap server.