At some point I got so fed up by futile qtruby deployment attempts, I thought I’d get some air and set up a private SMTP server. Aside of the fun of it, I was further motivated by my ever-increasing disgust of just how much Google is a part of my internet activity. This is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a while. Who needs Gmail, when you can roll your own IMAP4-supporting, virus-scanning and spam-filtering SMTP server?
On my Debian Lenny, I used Postfix for the front-end to handle incoming SMTP requests, which also interacts with my database where the virtual domains and entries reside, should the destination not be found, the request is rejected. Postfix forwards the request to AMaVis (a Mail Virus scanner), which basically bridges between SpamAssassin and ClamAV, and should they pass the scans, they are redirected back to Postfix again. The TLS/SSL authentication is handled by Dovecot, which resides at the back-end. Dovecot also offers the actual IMAP service.
Regarding the interface, I checked out SquirrelMail which gave me the goose-bumps upon first sight, but then I found RoundCube, which instantly proved a delight to use. But I think I’m going to finally try out Mail and Thunderbird for my IMAP account, I’ve heard they’re quite good at what they do. Besides, I can also track RSS feeds in the same space as my mail, which is rather handy.
A final note: none of this would’ve been possible for me to setup given my almost non-existent SMTP experience if not for this remarkable guide by Christoph Haas. The guide is rather comprehensive, all you need is some decent UNIX administration skills, and you can actually set up a solid, flexible SMTP server.
Now now, time to play with my very own, truly personal email. Ciao!Tagged as: linux imap mda