Open source mail archiving software compared

Locked Away


Piler leaves users with an impression that the programmers have done their homework; the project is well maintained and comes with competitive documentation (Table 2). The integration options support operation in many environments. If the convoluted setup does not bother you, and you do not need better support, Piler will give you a comprehensive and lean system that meets most of the central requirements for mail archiving.

Table 2


Manufacturer Piler (
Price Free
Technical data
Verdict (max. 10 points)
Installation overhead 2
Feature scope 8
User-friendliness 7
Integration options 7
Documentation 5
Overall rating 5.8

Before using Piler in heavy load situations with many users, it makes sense to perform a proof of concept, including appropriate load and stability tests.

Benno MailArchiv

Following the general trend, Benno is available as the free Community Edition Open Benno MailArchiv [4] and as the commercially licensed Benno MailArchiv [5]. The two versions are fortunately compatible in terms of data. Benno was created in Germany and is primarily intended for a German audience, but it provides an optional English user interface. The community edition does not advertise official support for legally compliant archiving, although the commercial version does support the GDPdU German guidelines. Vendor support, software maintenance, and accompanying services are only available for the commercial variant.

Complete Package for Archiving

The vendor, LWsystems, presents Benno as a complete package that propagates open standards. Popular standards such as SMTP, POP3, and IMAP are support for collecting email, so integration with any well-known mail server is possible. Existing or legacy mail collections can be imported directly using the Maildir format, for example. Benno organizes mail data in containers directly on the filesystem. The stored files are safeguarded by checksums and interlinked. Administrators can specify the breakdown of archive containers by year, domain, or other criteria. Data encryption is not intended; however, the vendor points to the option of using an encrypted filesystem.

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