Frequently Asked Questions - General

General questions and answers.

MIMEDefang is a framework for filtering e-mail. It uses Sendmail's "Milter" API, some C glue code, and some Perl code to let you write high-performance mail filters in Perl.

People use MIMEDefang to:

  • Block viruses
  • Block or tag spam
  • Remove HTML mail parts
  • Add boilerplate disclaimers to outgoing mail
  • Remove or alter attachments
  • Replace attachments with URL's
  • Implement sophisticated access controls.

You're limited only by your imagination. If you can think of it and code it in Perl, you can do it with MIMEDefang.

The following software is required for MIMEDefang:

  • A UNIX or UNIX-like operating system. MIMEDefang is known to run on Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, HP-UX, Tru64 UNIX, and AIX.
  • Sendmail 8.12 or newer with Milter support.
  • Perl 5.8.9 or newer.
  • The following Perl modules:
    • MIME::tools 5.420 or higher
    • IO::Stringy 1.212 or higher
    • MIME::Base64 2.11 or higher
    • MailTools 1.1401 or higher
    • Digest::SHA1 2.00 or higher
  • (Optional) Other Perl modules like Mail::SpamAssassin
  • A C compiler and C development environment

First, download MIMEDefang from the download page.

Next, unpack the MIMEDefang tar file and follow the instructions in the README file. Depending on how your Sendmail binary was compiled, you may need to recompile it to add Milter support. Note that modern systems Milter support included in their versions of Sendmail.

Please note that you need a UNIX or UNIX-like system with Perl and a C development environment to install MIMEDefang from source.

The MIMEDefang system consists of three main programs:

  • mimedefang is a C "Milter" program. It talks directly to Sendmail using the multi-threaded Milter library.
  • mimedefang-multiplexor is a C program that accepts requests from mimedefang and forwards them to one of a pool of slave Perl processes.
  • mimedefang.pl is a Perl program that does the actual mail filtering. The multiplexor manages a pool of these processes, forwarding idle processes work and reading the results.

A complete description of the architecture may be found in the PDF presentation slides.