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piglingz 03-13-2003 09:10 AM

E-MAIL server for RedHat 8 linux
HI Gurus

I'm looking into hosting my own email server. I've already got a domain name. Now, is there any free Mail servers out there for RH8? I would like it to be a fully functional email (sending, receiving from mail-clients) . Thank you much.


TechBrat 03-13-2003 09:17 AM

Erm...quick reply...very tired... |/

RH8 comes with sendmail, qmail and postfix - all free mail servers. By default sendmail is installed.

RH8 also comes with cyrus (I believe) which is the POP3/IMAP component allowing you to connect an Outlook (eg) style client to the server to get and send email.

Pine can be used from the console as the email client.

For webmail, you'll most likely need apache, php and something like squirrelmail.

Have you read the install documentation of RH8 or even stepped through the install process as I would have thought that it would be quite clear during the installation process that it can function as a fully capable mail server?

TechBrat Out.

Pcghost 03-13-2003 01:17 PM

First get a copy of the O'Rielly book "Sendmail". Then begin pulling hair from your head. Once you reach the last hair, your mail server will be up and running..:-)

SchoolITguy 03-13-2003 09:36 PM

I wouldn't use send mail, we are using it now and have a lot of problems with it. Not very secure. We have a test server running postfix and ipop3 (I think) for the pop server. It is working great!

TechBrat 03-14-2003 12:04 AM


Totally agree. We're running a few domains with approximately 1000 users on one and sendmail is a dog for management and configuration!

I'm also using PostFix (with mysql virtual mail integration) and it has been unbelievably easy to manage and customise. It's also damn fast and can use mail directories rather than mail files. When using IMAP, mail folders (separate files for each email) is considerably faster than the single mailbox file used by sendmail.

TechBrat Out.

jamrock 03-14-2003 05:40 AM

Qmail is an option.


Gahan 03-14-2003 06:55 AM

Hi, like others here I would suggest Postfix to use. Secure and fairly easy to configure. There are no known security issues with Postfix.

For IMAP/POP3 you can use UW IMAP/POP3 which are on the RH8.0 cd's, they are sufficient, but maybe Cyrus is good too (have no experience with Cyrus). Squirrelmail is good voor webmail!

fsbooks 03-14-2003 07:34 AM

Personally I find sendmail is fine and very easy to use. Just keep it updated. It is true that redhat, for all I admire them, has broken sendmail. Please see the sendmail FAQ concerning Redhat. Nothing that is not easily fixed however with the default rpm.

Other than that, it is a matter of setting up a few files in /etc/mail of which the most important for me are access, local-host-names, and relay-domains. Note of course that the names and location could differ, but are specified in, which is an ascii file and thus easily editable with vi or your favourite editor (although I believe these are the default names with at least RH7.3).

Von Paulus 04-03-2003 12:07 PM

So am I right in thinking that postfix needs thys cyrus add-on in order to allow pop3 clients (such as outlook/express) to access local mail?

What do I need to tell my ISP with regards to redirecting my emails to a local server (in my home/office) .

Will Postfix then take e-mails created on said clients, and then fire them out to the world (or via my ISP?)

Can anyone point me to a HOWTO for any of this?

As you can see, i am keen to set-up a home e-mail server with multiple clien access (we have a combination of Linux & Windows ethernet & wireless).

Gahan 04-03-2003 01:00 PM


Originally posted by Von Paulus
[B]So am I right in thinking that postfix needs thys cyrus add-on in order to allow pop3 clients (such as outlook/express) to access local mail?
You can have the IMAP/POP3 functionality with Cyrus but there alternatives too like UW-IMAP and probably others.


What do I need to tell my ISP with regards to redirecting my emails to a local server (in my home/office) .
It is very crucial that your ISP, at least for full mailserver functionality can deliver mail to you by SMTP (instead of pop3). Ask your provider. If possible your provider should mailkick your mail to your IP adres so your mailserver can receive it on port 25 (this is for SMTP). If that's not possible (which could be likely if you have a somewhat standard ISP), maybe you could use fetchmail to get your mail with POP3.


Will Postfix then take e-mails created on said clients, and then fire them out to the world (or via my ISP?)
If configured correctly: Yes!


Can anyone point me to a HOWTO for any of this?
Use Google and read in on MTA, MDA, MUA, SMTP, POP3, networking and Postfix. AFAIK there's no HOWTO that covers it all from scratch, unless you're willing to plough through the various RFC's on these subjects.

Von Paulus 04-04-2003 05:05 AM


Thank you, that was a very comprehensive answer.

Do you have preferences between cyrus & UW-IMAP?


fsbooks 04-04-2003 08:15 AM

Do you just have a domain name or is this associated with an IP. What does nslookup -querytype=MX show you? If your domain name is associated with an internet IP and that IP is assigned to your computer you should not even have to involve your ISP. A direct connection should be made.

EXAMPLE: I have a domain name assigned through This is updated whenever my assigned IP is changed by my ISP. Mail to this domain name is sent directly to me. If my computer is not online, the mail is queued by the sender, and then sent when I am back up and the DNS for my domain name is updated (which occurs automatically). The only potential problem would be if for some chance there is another linux box running a mailserver accepting connections from the outside world which happens to be assigned my last registered IP. My ISP is small with few if any linux users so this has not been a problem (yet). Ah, and some broken systems do not always properly queue mail if the host cannot be reached, notably, which can result in the mail being returned to sender.

This strategy of course requires an ISP that provides full internet capabilities, and which does not filter incoming traffic (i can provide my own security, thank-you very much). One reason I am still on dialup is that all the inexpensive broadband packages in my neighborhood provide a modem/router that assign local IP addresses (i.e. in the 192.168 range) which do not allow a person to get here from there, not ready to spring for the $120/month speakeasy package.

Von Paulus 04-05-2003 10:54 AM

This is what I got from dig. As you can see, I am using dyndns custom service to name server my own domain
I have not done anything on dyndns ith regards to the MX record yet (there is an option to add a record with the MX type, but I am not sure what it does).
Does this mean that anything sent to will be redirected to my routers IP address? If so, is all I need to do is make sure my router re-directs port 25 to my Linux box running postfix? I suspect that it cannot be that easy!

I have just done a little test on my linux box, and it seems to send out mail magically. I simply did "mail" and hey presto the mail arrived!!
I guess this was using sendmail. Can I get and send via a local mail client (POP3) to sendmail?

Regards & thanks for this great info thread

[pvallack@mandrake pvallack]$ dig MX

; <<>> DiG 9.2.1 <<>> MX
;; global options: printcmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 26004
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0


;; AUTHORITY SECTION: 1688 IN SOA 2002121707 10800 1800 604800 1800

;; Query time: 2 msec
;; WHEN: Sat Apr 5 17:46:27 2003
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 99

fsbooks 04-05-2003 04:54 PM

No, you don't really need an MX record, without it mail is simply delivered to the IP itself. has a reasonable discussion of what an MX record does and when it is useful.

I wish I could help with w/the router configuration, but I can't. As I said, I've kept on my full service yet slow dialup internet service in part because my computer is thus assigned the outside IP address without messing with DHCP. It is the router for the rest of my computers. That said, I do suspect the ease and even the ability to modify router behaviour is system dependent. DSL is my town is provided by QWEST often from MSN and they supply broken routers which are basically non-configurable. . not interested. Being curious I discover that port forwarding on a "real" fully functional router is probably as easy as it is on this linux box when I forward certain ports internally to computers on my home LAN. I hope you have one of those routers, and that they don't filter packets further on down the line at your ISP. A traceroute to your IP, which could just mean your computer is not on line or could be filtering. For the sake of it I also sent test mail to you (root@) just in case your router blindly forwards everything to a potential open port, but for now it sits in my queue.

Anyway, the takehome message of this verbose messages is to investigate your router next. Good Luck!!

Gahan 04-08-2003 09:14 AM


Originally posted by Von Paulus

Do you have preferences between cyrus & UW-IMAP?


Nope, UW-IMAP came pre-installed with my RH 7.3 setup so I went with that. Haven't compared them I'm afraid...

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