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Old 08-11-2005, 03:19 PM   #1
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Email Server Setup

Hi All,
I recently took a job interning at a small company, the sysadmin left one week later...(he only did the sysadmin stuff on the side, he was mainly a web design guy at the comany). They hired me part time to keep the workstations and 2 servers working smoothly. I ran into a problem when I ran updates on the email server software (MDaemon running on Win2000). Turns out the previous sysadmin had installed pirate software. I have 16 days left to drop $2500 for licenses or to come up with another solution...This is when I thought Linux. I would like to install a Linux mail server. Although I have used linux as a user for about 2 years, I never really looked into server uses.
I am going to use debian as the base system because of it's stability. But beyond that I don't know where to turn. Are there any good tutorials/books/websites that can help guide me through the setup of an email server. We host about 30 websites here and all the email for them goes to this server so it needs to be able to support email for multiple domains. I am also going to configure a web client such as squirrel mail, after I get the server setup. I don't know much about what prrograms to use for the mail server, I have seen things like sendmail, qmail. Don't know what can meet my needs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Old 08-11-2005, 03:33 PM   #2
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For the scale you are implying, a standard stmp MTA and imap4 / pop3 interface should be wholly adequate, and are generally a doddle to set up. I would personally recommend postfix (this week..) but others rave about qmail, and i used to use exim with good success too. These MTA's are all mopre than capable of anythign you're likely to require, multiple domains etc... they just handle them differently.

Personally i would suggest NOT using debian... if it's a server, use an OS that's geared for server usage, e.g. Redhat or for free... CentOS, which, if you're not already aware, is a free clone of Redhat (They take the offical Redhat CD's and totally legally remove the Redhat logos and copyrighted artwork and such, and rebrand it.) using CentOS you can install a set of Postfix RPMS (already on the CD) which are virtually totally configured for what you'll want. As for books... i'd just head towards "<Your MTA here> in a Nutshell" from O'Reilly.... can't go far wrong really. Also an RPM based distro is substantially friendly to less experienced users, and if you're not that comfortable and you're the one building it... how is someone in the future going to handle it? If you're going to do scary things to a company using "Hacker" operating systems, i'd say you'd want to make them easier, more user friendly ones that have books written about them.

So that's how your company gets the mail, you just need a way to get it back out again, so grab a combined imap4 / pop3 server and run it on the same machine. I use Courier-IMAP to provide this functionality, with it interacting with Maildir mailfolders containing email placed it in by postfix via procmail.

You might be cautious about doing an "Email server" but remeber that an "Email server" doesn't really exist round these parts: it's just a varying number of small components that happily fit togehter to provide a suitable service. As such keep the big picture in mind, but concentrate on each part seperately... so get an SMTP server running (postfix etc...) and just try to get to a point where you can send and email from the internet and have it be recieved by that box and stuck somewhere on the server. Next, look at geting that mail infront of someone who cares about it. piece by piece, you'll do fine i'm sure. Even if you do use debian and become a hippy.

Last edited by acid_kewpie; 08-11-2005 at 03:36 PM.


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