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Old 06-05-2004, 03:44 PM   #1
Worstje
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What mailserver for personal usage?


Hello everyone,

I have done some reading up on mailservers, and I know slackware comes with sendmail. But I heard that qmail is far more secure. After a few hours of reading, I am still not certain about the features of the things that are possible with both. While reading I also got confused as to the difference between the users sending email (which I probably will not need), and users having mailboxes.

I guess it would be handiest if I said what I am looking to do..

I want my server to take mail from several pop3 servers, and merge it into a mailbox of my user. Then I want to set up an IMAP server to retrieve the emails and store them in different boxes. This way, I should to be able to download my email on my server, and have just one login after which I will immediately be able to see all new emails I have received. Also I would have the advantage of pre-getting the emails when on my internal network, so no more waiting on those emails to come in. (The 'one' login would be great for when I am at vacation )

I think I am mixing a few things up, so I would really be grateful if anyone could tell me what software would be up to this job and what terms I should look for to accompish some of these things.

Thanks for reading
 
Old 06-05-2004, 03:46 PM   #2
esher2292
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I think qmail. The best website for qmail that comes with a package and install instructions is www.qmailrocks.org

If you want a good webmail system, then use UebiMiau (you can still install sqirrelmail tho) UebiMiau.org

esher2292
if you need more help just say so
 
Old 06-05-2004, 04:34 PM   #3
JimBass
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I think you are going to make things extremely tough on yourself for no good reason. You could just as easily set up any of the mail clients to work with all the mail servers you use right now.

Setting up an IMAP server won't make things any faster either - I am very unclear from your post, but it looks like you are trying to use your own mail server to condense all of your current pop3 accounts into 1 IMAP account. Your Pop3 accounts would then have to hand off the mail from themselves to your mail server, and that won't be any faster than just downloading it directly from the pop3 server. Say for example you have a pop3 account from your ISP, and 2 work accounts, also doing pop3. You'd have to either be the guy incharge of mail on all of those accounts, or get on the phone with them, and have them set special forwarding on your account. Just because you have a mail server doesn't mean you can get the email sent to it. If, for example, you want you@yourisp.com to be routed to your machine, it won't happen. The DNS recordes for yourisp.com send all the email to mail.yourisp.com, or wherever the mx record points it. They can't set things up so that they get 99.99% of the mail, but you@yourisp.com gets sent to your personal mail server.

Sorry if you already know all that, I just wanted to make sure you understood what you were trying to get yourself into here. Beyond all of that, you have several serious issues to resolve to set up a mail server. You pretty much need a static IP, and if you're running this out of your home, you probably don't have that. You can use a DHCP address from a cable modem or dsl company, but you'll have to be changing the DNS records everytime your IP gets changed, and you will lose email because it will be sent to your old address, and returned when your box is no longer at that address.

I would strongly suggest setting up a mail client with all of your pop3 accounts built into it, and then install VNC on the box with that mail client. That way if you're away from home, you just vnc into your box, (1 username and password), and start your client from your desktop. I have 6 different pop3 accoutns feeding into my machine at work, and when I want to check my mail remotely, that is exactly what I do.

Please post again if what we're suggesting is unclear in any way.

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 06-05-2004, 05:01 PM   #4
Worstje
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@ esher2292

I saw the qmailrocks site, but it is more practical oriented. I wasnt able to find a real feature list there. I will have a look into that unpronouncable webmail you talk about there.. Thanks

@ JimBass:

I know that what I want can also be done at the client level. My problem tho, is that I have accumulated to many email accounts over time, which I don't want installed everywhere I go, nor remember user/pass for each of them. The problem with clients is that they usually (unless you specifically turn it off) remove the stuff from the server, Even though it is a matter of just settings everything right, it would mean that one mistake could lead me into losing a part of my conversations. I want to keep these conversations at my own linuxbox no matter what so I have some kind of 'log' of what I do. Also I wouldn't run into the various size limits I have at all these boxes.

I know the whole static ip and email thing, but that is not my problem. I don't want to set up my own domain with mailserver and stuff(which is not the kind of mailserver I mean). What I am looking for, is really a solution to:

* Collect my emails from my various (pop3) accounts
* 'Publicize' them in different folders in an IMAP Server
* Anywhere I go, put my own imap server in configuration and have access to all my email accounts at once, WITHOUT setting all the different accounts there
* Possibly allow the use of Squirrelmail or another webclient to read the emails stored on my (IMAP) mail server.

I have no need for receiving direct yadayada@myowndomain.com, just for sending out to others (think of squirrelmail perhaps)...

I am sorry I am not so good at expressing what I want to do, I never can seem to do that right. It is just that I am too often at different computers to really be able and use a client for this. So I need to make my own server that performs the function of a client: making different mailboxes easy to use and keep my emails stored.

Sorry for the lengthy explanation

Thanks for all the help...
 
Old 06-05-2004, 05:43 PM   #5
JimBass
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Worstje,

I strongly suggest checking out evolution, the email client build into Gnome. It doesn't remove mail from servers at all, I haven't even found a way to remove mail from the server with it. Speaking of losing part of your conversations - that is even more of a risk with IMAP than it is with Pop3. If you use Pop3 and set your client to leave mail on the server, you can delete mail on your client, but it still exists on the server. IMAP is just the opposite. Your client mirrors the server. If you try and delete a piece of spam from your client and instead hit the email from your signifigant other, it is gone. Not just locally on your box, but the server as well. IMAP has some nice advantages, but saftey of email is not one of them.

You can also configure Evolution (and most all open source email clients I suspect) to keep all of your email in given directories under /home/account/.evolution or something similiar. I also keep my deleted mail in there, that way nothing is ever completely "gone".

These 2 statements pretty much contridict each other: "* Anywhere I go, put my own imap server in configuration and have access to all my email accounts at once, WITHOUT setting all the different accounts there" and "I don't want to set up my own domain with mailserver and stuff(which is not the kind of mailserver I mean)." You can identify your server by its current IP, it doesn't need an actual domain name, but without a registered domain name, there is no way for your pop3 accounts to forward it to you. You can't set an IMAP server to check your email for you and store it - that is a client job, not a server. Actually, everything you have described can be done with any client. You have no need for a server, or if you want a server, you should go all the way with it and make it a full named server, otherwise you'll have a very difficult time checking your mail remotely from it.

I do much email server configuration at work, so I'm just trying to share what I've learned on the job with you. Checking and storing mail is not a job for a server. You would still have to tell every one of your pop3 account providers to forward the mail from that acount to your server, and they have the possibility of simply telling you no. It isn't hard to do by any means, but they may not want to do that, as it could turn into a can of worms for them as more and more people ask to have mail forwarded to other accounts not run by them.

If you configure any client to leave mail on the server (forever or a fixed time, I like 14 days), you can then keep all mail on your machine. Set it so that when you delete mail, it isn't deleted in full, but it is moved to your deleted mail folder. The spam and things you really don't need can be "double deleted", but you'll have a safety net to catch your mistakes. Any client will hold as much mail as you have room for on your hard drive, and if you're super worried about a drive failure, you could put a second drive in, and mirror everything from the clients storage location to the second drive.

* Possibly allow the use of Squirrelmail or another webclient to read the emails stored on my (IMAP) mail server. - Squirrelmail is not a webclient, it is a mail server. It has a webclient, but that is one of the many server aspects it contains. We used squirrelmail for years at work, it behaves nicely. Again, you won't have access to your IMAP server remotely unless you name it through DNS records. You may get away with using the IP address alone, but if you're away from home and the ISP changes your IP, you're screwed. And none of your pop3 accounts will forward to your IMAP machine without a name. Most mail servers can forward accounts to other accounts, but they don't have the possibility of forwarding an accouny to any IP address, and certainly not to a dynamic one.

"It is just that I am too often at different computers to really be able and use a client for this." - That is why I suggested VNC. You run VNC server on your home machine, and you can connect to it from any other machine with internet connection. That way you have access to your client from anywhere, and don't have to configure anything. It is much like pcanywhere, you can run it through a browser as well. You won't be able to set up a client to get to your IMAP server without a name in any case.

Peace,
JimBass
 
Old 06-05-2004, 06:33 PM   #6
esher2292
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LOL,
I can't pronouce that webmail either. I found it from someone's website from knoppix.net 's forums. I know that qmailrocks.org doesn't have a feature list, but if you look at the chapters in the install guide, it will give you an idea.
Here is a list of the chapters:
Pre-Installation Checklist

Part 1 - Download All the Needed Items for the Qmail installation

Part 2 - Installing Qmail itself

Part 3- Installing EZmlm and EZmlm-idx

Part 4- Installing Autoresponder

Part 5- Installing Vpopmail

Part 6- Installing VQadmin

Part 7- Installing maildrop

Part 8- Installing QmailAdmin

Part 9- Uninstalling Sendmail

Part 10 - Finalizing the Qmail installation and testing it!

Part 11 - Installing Courier-imap/imaps with Courierpassd

Part 12 - Installation of the Squirrelmail web mail program

Part 13 - Clam Anti Virus & SpamAssassin

Part 14 - Installing qmail-scanner w/qms-analog

Part 15 - Installing Qmailanalog & Qlogtools

Part 16 - Installing Qtrap

Part 17 - Maintaining your qmail server

Part 18 - Mail client configuration

Part 19 - Feedback

That should give you an idea.
 
Old 06-05-2004, 07:46 PM   #7
Worstje
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Thanks for the help again, both

@ JimBass

I know everything you are telling me. I was thinking more like the way clients handle it: polling a pop server every few minutes would be good enough for me.
And I cant everywhere use linux, so Evolution is not a good solution.

I am well aware of the things concerning IMAP, I read some articles about it... I am just not able to explain what I want to have done in my setup..

VNC is not an option, it requires an installation where I don't always have rights to if you get the idea...

I didn't know about squirrelmail: i thought it was just a webinterface that used the standard mail spool...

@ esher2292

I saw the list thanks

Both of you thanks for your help...
 
Old 06-05-2004, 07:58 PM   #8
JimBass
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First off, you're entirely welcome for the help.

Secondly, an IMAP server will NOT poll a seperate pop server every few minutes. Servers don't so that, asaik. A client could be configured to do that, but not a server.

You don't need to have linux everywhere to use evolution - that was the purpose of VNC. You could put VNC and evolution on your box at home, set up all the accounts you have on it, and then use VNC to connect to it through a browser from any other machine that is connected to the internet. Doesn't matter if it is windows, mac, unix, etc. You'd open a browser, put in your ipaddres:5801, and you'd be given a username/password prompt, and you would be on a virtual desktop of your machine at home. You could put it on any machine you want, if you don't have root access at work/school, you could set it up at home, if you don't have it at home, then you're in trouble.

You could (though I STRONGLY disagree with it) put all your pop accounts into outlook express on a windoze box, and vnc or pcanywhere to it, and check your mail that way.

As far as squirrelmail goes, there may be a web only version of it, I have only played with the full server version.

Peace,
JimBass
 
  


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