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Old 01-10-2008, 03:08 PM   #1
edan
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Building an e-mail appliance.


So I am tired of all the junk e-mail I have been receiving, and also want to be able to remotely check my e-mail without having to run Outlook through Remote Desktop.

I built a linux based e-mail server (CentOS 5.1), which supports IMAP (so I can use whatever client I want, including web-based clients), but since my ISP blocks tcp/25, I can't rely on regular SMTP to get my e-mail delivered to the IMAP server. I guess I have to use something like fetchmail to download the e-mail from my ISP's pop server, and move it to my IMAP server.

I decided to check out Dovecot, and it seems to work really well. I just can't figure out how to get fetchmail to dump the e-mail into the right format (mbox vs maildir I assume?). The dovecot configuration is pretty much the default one (I only enabled IMAP).

After doing some searching, it looks like dovecot and fetchmail can be a painful combination, so I am looking for tips on which components I should be using. I was planning on installing SpamAssassin and ClamAV for spam/virus control. If Dovecot is the better choice, then hopefully someone can tell me how I can get my pop based e-mail into my IMAP server. Thanks!
 
Old 01-10-2008, 03:19 PM   #2
acid_kewpie
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fetchmail should be irrelevant to the imap server, the two don't interact at all. fetchmail will pass email onto your smtp service, and it's that which needs to create mail formats suitable for dovecot. with maildir as the format, i'd really recommend dovecot with postfix, it's awesome.
 
Old 01-11-2008, 07:15 AM   #3
edan
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Ah, that's the missing link, the SMTP part. I do prefer postfix as well, so I will give that a shot. I assume I still can use ClamAV/SpamAssassin when using fetchmail->postfix->dovecot ?
 
Old 01-11-2008, 07:40 AM   #4
acid_kewpie
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yes you can, i'm pretty sure that fetchmail can loop through SA, but i'd personally suggest that postfix does it. the quicker you can get emails back into a "conventional" architecture and out of fetchmails hands the better I'd say...
 
Old 01-14-2008, 06:50 AM   #5
edan
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Well I got most of it working. I am running Dovecot+fetchmail+MailScanner+SpamAssassin+IlohaMail (webbased interface which doesn't require MYSQL) all in a virtual machine which is running on my desktop, and it is running great! I'll end up moving the virtual machine to one of my windows servers, but it's so nice having e-mail being so responsive. The only thing left to do is figure out how to get MailDrop to work so I can do some filtering/sorting based on rules (so I don't have to rely on my client to filter it).

edit: I also want to rebuild the appliance with bare minimum stuff installed, so if anyone has any tips on what stuff I can strip that would save a lot of resources, feel free to let me know.

Last edited by edan; 01-14-2008 at 06:51 AM.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 03:38 AM   #6
billymayday
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Have you seen http://www.postfix.org/MAILDROP_README.html?

Note, if you only want maildrop for one or two accounts at the very end of this is a suggestion to invoke maildrop from the user's .forward file. I use the mailbox_command_maps route myself
 
Old 01-17-2008, 06:44 AM   #7
edan
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Yep, that's what I ended up doing (using .forward), but I had issues getting it to work (figured I could use maildrop without creating a .mailfilter file first, so I can test this before writing rules, but I was wrong).

Everything is working great, including my LearnHam/LearnSpam folders which are checked every hour so SpamAssassin can learn them. The only thing to do is try a better front end (e.g., RoundCube) since IlohaMail seems to be written without security in mind. IlohaMail does work well, and it's nice not having to depend on a MySQL db.

Last step now is to create a stripped down version of CentOS 5.1. I wish there was a way of finding out what RPMs have been used in the last x days. Once I finished this step, I will try to document nicely how to build one of these appliances yourself.

Thanks for the tip tho, it will save other people some time as well!
 
  


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