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qmail is a mail transfer agent that runs on Unix. It was written, starting December 1995, by Daniel J. Bernstein as a more secure replacement for the popular Sendmail program. When first published, qmail was the first security-aware mail transport agent; since then, other security-aware MTA's have been published. Sendmail was not designed with security as a goal, and as a result has been a perennial target for attackers.
Sendmail configuration had been notoriously complex, in contrast, qmail was configured using a series of small flat files. For common configurations, in many circumstances, qmail is significantly easier to configure and deploy.