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Communications Software IT Linux

So You Want To Host Your Own Linux Mail Server ... 28

Jeff writes "Recently, I moved my personal mail from a hosted Windows 2003 application to my own virtual Linux server. I now have nearly unlimited storage, full control over my e-mail and it's less than $10/month. Here's why I did it and here's how I did it. And I'm not a Linux geek."
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So You Want To Host Your Own Linux Mail Server ...

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  • by Max von H. ( 19283 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @08:01AM (#10549723)
    It's just an ad for some virtual host that looks like a howto.

    Bleh.
  • So simple! (Score:3, Funny)

    by samael ( 12612 ) <Andrew@Ducker.org.uk> on Sunday October 17, 2004 @08:30AM (#10549805) Homepage
    I bet even my grandmother could follow those instructions!
  • Not a linux geek? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Blackknight ( 25168 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @08:33AM (#10549808) Homepage
    How many non-geeks know how to install Debian and configure mail services?

    For normal users the best solution is to either get a hosting account somewhere that supports webmail, or open a gmail account. They configure everything for you so all you have to do is login and read your mail.
    • by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @10:19AM (#10550182)
      How many non-geeks know how to install Debian and configure mail services?

      Dude, what the hell's wrong with you?

      All you have to do is download and burn a Debian .iso, install, configure your firewall, set up DNS, install a mail server, configure the rules for handling your domain and any appropriate aliases and relaying settings, set up IMAP with SSL and any auth schemes you want, test for adequate security and that you aren't an open relay, then keep up with software updates and security bulletins and make sure your system is adequately backed up and stable (including power and network glitches) for adequate availability. Oh yeah, you'll also need to find a domain name that is both available and doesn't suck, and register and administer it as well.

      Piece of cake. I don't see what you're complaining about, but whatever. Go back to using the 1 of 5 free e-mail addresses that came with the ISP you have to have anyway, and use "Outlook" or "Mail.app" or "Evolution" or whatever easy-to-use program your OS comes with. Pshaw.
      • Go back to using the 1 of 5 free e-mail addresses that came with the ISP you have to have anyway, and use "Outlook" or "Mail.app" or "Evolution" or whatever easy-to-use program your OS comes with. Pshaw.

        You mean mail(1) [freebsd.org]?
  • WOW. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 17, 2004 @08:38AM (#10549823)
    Amazing. The guy actually learned to set up Debian, and Courier, and SquirrelMail!

    Holy shit!

    This is sort of a blind-leading-the-blind situation, with little reference made to the official docs for any of these packages. And I'm sorry, I don't have time to read some fellow's long, hard journey to understanding Debian apt-get. Or better yet, screwing up the relationship between sudo and visudo and negelecting the latter entirely.

    I also love how 2 gigs is seen as "unlimited" space. Sure, it's a lot more than you'll get from a free webmail account, even gmail, but that's the reason to roll your own server, not buy time on a virtual server and stumble around learning what you shouldn't do with linux.

    Bleh. Don't waste you time.
  • by servicepack158 ( 678320 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @09:19AM (#10549956) Homepage
    you have to provide at least two layers of spam filtering + antivirus filtering. otherwise you're asking for it. Setting up a linux box to host email is asked to be used as a relay.
    • by sfjoe ( 470510 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @11:05AM (#10550412)
      Setting up a linux box to host email is asked to be used as a relay.

      No, it really isn't. I've been hosting email for a handful of domains for a few years now. No relaying, no intrusions, no problems. Spam filtering is done with a few RBLs and relaying is prohibited.

    • > you have to provide at least two layers of spam filtering + antivirus filtering

      Postfix is really good at dealing with spam, you can compile it with PERL-Compatible Regular Expression support and set up your first strong protective layer right out of the box. In fact, my mail server is only using regular expressions to catch spam and worms and it has been quite effective over time. Evem if for some reason you don't like PCRE, you can always use POSIX regular expressions for filtering.

      > Setting u
  • . . . but when the man wants your mail, all he has to do is get the directories from your vhost. If you host your own, he has to serve a no-knock warrant, and can seize your encrypted drive.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What's with running sudo before every command? Just "sudo su -" and be done with it already.
  • Domains.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by maskedbishounen ( 772174 ) on Sunday October 17, 2004 @12:32PM (#10550819)
    If you do this, just remember to keep your ISP address around (and check it). Why?

    I have a cousin who seemingly does this who forgot to renew his domain. So when e-mails start bouncing because my mother can't send mail to her relatives, who gets called in? Me. Although the errors clearly mention it's a problem on their end .. but since when did average users start reading their past the "Mail Returned" header?

    To summarize: do it right (ie, have a backup plan), or not at all.
    • Bad form. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by adolf ( 21054 )
      Registering a domain (or anything else, really) to an ISP email account is a bad idea.

      So your forgetful cousin switches from SBC DSL to Roadrunner. He'll still miss his renewal reminders.

      Case in point: There's a salesman where I work who used to use his personal DSL account to conduct business. That DSL pipe never really worked very well, but for the longest time it was all he could get. Sometime later, he switched to cable. But he's still paying Way Too Much for a DSL account that isn't connected to
  • Sounds expensive (Score:3, Informative)

    by booch ( 4157 ) <slashdot2010@@@craigbuchek...com> on Sunday October 17, 2004 @05:29PM (#10552438) Homepage
    Why would I want to spend $10/month and have to run it myself, when for less than $20/year I can have someone else do all the work for me? Since the article seems to be a case of free advertising, I'll point out that Slashmail [slashmail.org] will host your email for $13.95 a year. They allow unlimited email storage space, spam and virus filters, and secure access via various means (HTTPS webmail, IMAPS). Oh, and they use all Open Source [slashmail.org].
  • You are in denial (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Monday October 18, 2004 @01:03AM (#10554358) Homepage Journal
    And I'm not a Linux geek.

    Let's see.

    • In response to the questions during the install, I chose the following. In almost every case I selected the default options:


    • ? Choose daemon since redwood virtual has a network connection
      ? Select the default URL
      ? Select yes to notify
      ? Select Internet Site when asked for configuration
      ? Select postmaster as the root account
      ? Select default mydomain.org
      ? Select defaults for mail routing etc...

      Be sure to remember to add a user account for the postmaster later. I?ll come back to this shortly.


    If you know enough to alias postmaster to root, set your default domain and set up mail routing you sir are too a linux geek.

    LK
  • And I *am* a Linux geek (RHCE).
  • From the website of the virtual hosting company:

    "We are currently at full capacity. We will have more virtual servers available soon. Please check back in a few days..."

    It seems that /. have a very powerful promotional effect... hummm....

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