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Update: If you work for Maindec, go away and research this yourself.  My previous manager was certain that you already knew how and didn't want my help before I resigned yet I'm getting repeated hits from your domain, so obviously what was meant was 'you know how to use a search engine'.

Someone hit this site with a referrer searching for how to convert from MDaemon to Exchange - something I'm casually thinking about every time I have to change something user related on our MDaemon server at work.  MDaemon is technically fine at handling lots of users (although a bit slow without referential storage).  But the user interface isn't suited to more than 500 users.

It's either Exchange or Exim and Courier-IMAP - which is a nice quick migration if you use Maildir's.  (HINT: To convert from MDaemon's mail format to Maildir you simply need to copy the messages into the new folder of each maildir, then convert them to have unix carriage returns - you can do this easily with a three line shell script in bash on Linux)

With converting to Exchange, I think you would have to use the exchange migration tool that comes with Exchange 2003.  This will allow you to connect over IMAP and fetch the messages.  This will take a CONSIDERABLE time, but I haven't looked into exchanges API - it is likely fairly easy to bulk import the mail much quicker than via IMAP.  I'll investigate this when I get a chance!

The easiest path to take is this:

  • Set up the Exchange server, with all users, etc.
  • Configure the Exchange server to recieve all mail
  • Rename the MDaemon servers domain to be something else
  • Notify all users to use the Exchange server and configure the machines/accounts/profiles of all users to use the new exchange server
  • Tell the users they can access their old mail and send fine from the MDaemon system - but will only recieve mail on exchange.
  • Migrate anyone that complains, and if you have lots of time free (cpu wise) try to migrate everything.

This will get your Exchange system up and running as quickly as possible - and fielding the queries from people will take less time than migrating the data in cases where there's considerable data in place.  You'll be surprised that only a few people will want all their old mail in the same place as their new mail - mail is time dependant and eventually it will cycle over.

This does require that you leave the MDaemon system running for a year or so - but use of the system will decrease as time passes by, and when it reaches zero in a month you can back up the data and reuse the physical hardware.

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