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Mail delivery agent

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Title: Mail delivery agent  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Push email, Mail delivery agents, Procmail, Comparison of mail servers, List of mail server software
Collection: Mail Delivery Agents
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Mail delivery agent

A mail delivery agent or message delivery agent (MDA) is a computer software component that is responsible for the delivery of e-mail messages to a local recipient's mailbox.[1] Also called an LDA, or local delivery agent.[2]

Within the Internet mail 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 mailbox).


  • Implementation 1
    • Unix 1.1
      • Invocation 1.1.1
      • List of message delivery agent software for Unix-like platforms 1.1.2
  • See also 2
  • References 3


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 Unix-like systems, procmail and maildrop 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 message delivery agent software for Unix-like platforms

See also


  1. ^ RFC 5598, Internet Mail Architecture, D. Crocker (July 2009)
  2. ^ Dovecot (software)
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