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Message 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. It is also called a local delivery agent (LDA).
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).
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 MDA software for Unix-like platforms
- ^ RFC 5598, Internet Mail Architecture, D. Crocker (July 2009)