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Message delivery agent

A message delivery agent ( MDA), or mail delivery agent, is a computer component that is responsible for the delivery of messages to a local recipient's ., Internet Mail Architecture, D. Crocker (July 2009) It is also called a local delivery agent ( LDA).

Within the architecture, local message delivery is achieved through a process of handling messages from the message transfer agent, and storing mail into the recipient's environment (typically a ).

Many mail handling software products bundle multiple message delivery agents with the message transfer agent component, providing for site customization of the specifics of mail delivery to a user.

On systems, and are the most popular MDAs. The Local Mail Transfer Protocol (LMTP) is a protocol that is frequently implemented by network-aware MDAs.

The mail delivery agent is generally not started from the command line, but is usually invoked by mail delivery subsystems, such as a mail transport agent, or a mail retrieval agent.

List of MDA software for Unix-like platforms
  • Cyrus IMAP - A mail server suite that includes a mail delivery agent
  • dovecot - A mail server suite that includes a mail delivery agent
  • - Primarily a Mail retrieval agent (MRA)
  • - simpler, more secure, modern alternative
  • fdm — modern replacement for both and from the author of
  • or courier-maildrop - traditional procmail replacement, part of Courier Mail Server, but can also be used with other mail servers
  • - old, but still used
  • bin/mail, the MDA part of - Sendmail is one of the oldest email packages
  • Sieve mail filtering language - a standardised mail filtering language; also, a modern replacement for procmail from the package

See also
  • Message transfer agent (MTA)
  • Mail retrieval agent (MRA)
  • Message submission agent (MSA)
  • Message user agent (MUA) a.k.a. email client
  • E-mail agent (infrastructure) (MxA)

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