Recommended Email Server For Beginner

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EverydayDiesel
Posts: 51
Joined: 2013/08/11 15:51:42

Recommended Email Server For Beginner

Post by EverydayDiesel » 2014/11/05 19:40:05

I was wanting to ask the experts what email demon you recommend for a newbie trying to host his own email server.

I would basically like to be able to host email and check it on my android phone. Calendar and all that extra would be a bonus but not really needed.

What services and are there any good howto' s on how to get this up and running?

Thanks in advance

gerald_clark
Posts: 10642
Joined: 2005/08/05 15:19:54
Location: Northern Illinois, USA

Re: Recommended Email Server For Beginner

Post by gerald_clark » 2014/11/05 19:42:04

Just use google's mail server.
Running mailservers is not for the inexperienced, and most ISPs will block it anyway.

iwishitwouldwork
Posts: 68
Joined: 2014/02/08 14:56:39

Re: Recommended Email Server For Beginner

Post by iwishitwouldwork » 2014/11/05 20:20:07

If you're going to learn an email server, learn postfix.
1. it's very good
2. the config files are MUCH easier to deal with than sendmail.

gerald_clark is absolutely right, however: Your ISP will probably block it.
Where probably means "almost certainly".

But if you're after something you can do in your sandbox, sure, go ahead.
And gerald_clark is right when he says smtp servers are not easy.
Most support forums will assume that even a noob is not completely a noob,
and the terminology contains many terms used multiple ways.
Having said all that, postfix.

I was the mail admin at my job, and I would use postfix at home for mail between
machines at home. I've never tried to send mail outside my house using my own servers --
I have no desire to do that.

EverydayDiesel
Posts: 51
Joined: 2013/08/11 15:51:42

Re: Recommended Email Server For Beginner

Post by EverydayDiesel » 2014/11/05 20:35:10

Thanks for the response. Can I ask why you have no desire sending emails to the outside world? This is something that I would like to learn and apparently this is going to be pretty difficult :(

In due time I may learn it

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avij
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Re: Recommended Email Server For Beginner

Post by avij » 2014/11/06 01:54:05

I switched to postfix with my own server a while ago. I have been happy with it, and the documentation is fairly good. There's also some documentation in the CentOS wiki, although it's for CentOS 5.

A word of caution -- if this is your first email server setup, please be prepared to read that fine documentation. I'm also told that there are web search engines which may help finding helpful pages in case you run into problems. Some of us are unwilling to help newbies if the said newbies don't even try to find a solution to their problem themselves. Some understanding of the related protocols (SMTP primarily) would also be useful. You will also need to know some basics about domain name system (DNS). You will need to have your own domain, and you'll need to know how to set that up. Using your ISP's or registrar's name servers is usually the easiest choice here.

Postfix takes care of sending and receiving email to/from other mail servers. For reading the emails with your preferred email client, you will (in the most common situation) also need an IMAP server. Dovecot is a common choice for this task.

The point where things usually become rather difficult for beginners is when a need arises to set up something to combat spam (blacklists, greylist, content-based scanning by spamassassin) and viruses (amavisd-new, clamav).

In addition, as was commented earlier in this topic, doing this on a residential connection will probably end up in tears for two reasons. First, you will (practically) need to have a static IP address. Most residential net connections use dynamic IP addresses. Second, ISPs tend to block in/outbound SMTP for security/antispam reasons.

If you have a virtual machine from some ISP, those can usually be used for email servers. When in doubt, ask your ISP.

If you want to do this for learning stuff, sure, go ahead. If you'd really rather not worry about your emails too much, use some other provider's email.

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