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    How to build your own email server


    Hello! I was hopeful that someone can help me get starting in builing an email server.

    I use 3rd party software to email my staff and because the software is old, I need an email server that doesn't require SMTP authentication. My current source for this will be migrating to a server that requires authentication and I can't find another source, even though I've spent lots of time looking.

    Rather then upgrade my 3rd party software at a cost of 7 or 8 thousand dollars, I might be better off hosting my own email. Can anyone point me in the right direction on how to do this.

    I'm no expert, by any means, but I've done all the IT stuff at my company, including building windows computers and the network they're on. So, anything in plain english would be very appreciated. Thanks very much!
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    Welcome to Dev Shed.

    First thing you need to decide is what OS you want to use for an email server. All the advice I give is based on linux, as I would recommend linux over other OS's.

    After selecting an OS, you would then select a mail server. With linux, the 3 main ones are Sendmail (my choice), Qmail, and Postfix. (Not listed in any particular order)

    Also you would want to decide whether or not you would be hosting your own domain and such. Are you just wanting an email server out of this? If not, what all do you want this server to be used for: FTP, SSH, Web, Email, etc.

    Once you have selected an OS and a mail server, we can assist more with particulars dealing with that mail server.

    You would need to have a DNS server point to your server, so you'd probably want to configure and run BIND as well.

    Hope this gets you started... This is more a Mail Server question, so I'll ask a mod to move it over there.
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    Thanks for the answer. I had to re-register because I couldn't log back in with the mistaken user name I had...it being an email address, I guess.

    Yes, this is the proper forum it seems. I'd prefer to use XP as an operating system, since I'm familiar with that and I would use the server only for email, and only for one email account.

    Any directions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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    I'm with hiker, I'd use linux. Most linux distributions include most everything you need to easily set up a secure mail server, I'm using Postfix/Dovecot on Fedora.

    If you must, there are quite a few mail server applications that will run on XP, some free. I don't recall any names but google should turn up some possibilities.
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    Thanks. What kind of hardware do I need to buy? Also, if I used XP, which I think I'll have to, because I don't have time for the learning curve of any other OS, can anyone guess how much money this would cost? Thanks!!!
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    Originally Posted by SteveHarris
    I would use the server only for email, and only for one email account.
    All the more reason to use Linux. If you're not doing anything other than setting it up as an email server, and using it only for that, then Linux would probably be better.... More secure and stable.

    However, if you're using a machine that you use for personal reasons as well, then it may be understandable for you to want to use XP because you're familiar with it. In that case, I've heard of Mercury Mail a lot lately... (I offer no recommendations on this or any of the following, as I've never used them).

    A couple of others I've heard of are:
    hMailServer
    IMail Server
    MDaemon

    If you do decide to go with Linux and one of their mail servers, then I can probably help you get it setup. I would also recommend Fedora Core as the flavor of choice for someone just getting into it.
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    Opps, our posts just crossed, the one above asks about the cost involved etc. If anyone can help with that, great, and thanks very much for the help so far!
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    Originally Posted by SteveHarris
    Thanks. What kind of hardware do I need to buy? Also, if I used XP, which I think I'll have to, because I don't have time for the learning curve of any other OS, can anyone guess how much money this would cost? Thanks!!!
    Hardware isn't really that important if you're not using it for anything but email. I personally have an old AMD K6-2 as my server, and have been using this for years... It runs DNS, Web, Email, FTP, SSH, etc.. only problem I've had is the power supply went out about a week or so ago... I've been using this as a server for about 4 or 5 years now.

    Definitely check out the recommended specs for what Windows XP Pro recommends and then the mail server itself shouldn't require anything more than that.

    How much money would what cost? A machine, Win XP Pro, or an email server?
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    Hey, thanks Hiker. Mercury Mail looks good. So does this mean that I can download the mercury software onto an existing machine that I already have on the network? Such as the computer I'm typing on right now? That would be very attractive...thanks!
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    I would imagine so... as I had mentioned, I don't have experience with Mercury Mail.... You should be able to use it on your machine.
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    Very good recomendation! Mercury has a support group, so I think you've sent me off in a great direction. Thanks for saving me lots of time!

    I'll check it out and post back if I can make this thread educational for someone else
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    also needing a mail server


    Hello Hiker, I also would like to build a mail server. I already have a machine running Linux. I started a wireless internet service 2 years ago. I have lots of customers who want an @ourcompany.com email address. I built the entire system myself in the evenings. We have grown to 5 towers and 50 users. My LINUX desktop is a 2.0 processor with 1 gig memory and a 40 and 80 gig hard drive. LINUX Ubuntu has been running on it for a year now as a learning experience. I am a one man operation with a full time job as well. I have several questions about how the users on our wireless network will have access to the server to retrieve mail and such. I have tried to pay people to just build it for me, but no one seems to know how to get-r-done! Help a hillbilly today. THANKX
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    The popular Web site QmailRocks.com has instructions for building a Qmail based mail server "toaster".

    If you want an secure alternative to sendmail, this is it. Follow the instructions, and you will have a working email server.
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    As a note from above, Mercury Mail isn't hard to use.

    Mail servers are not difficult to set up. You don't need anything more than a platform (Linux or Unix, preferred) with a mail server application. It does everything for you. You can even run a mail server side-by-side with your web server. (Apache especially co-exists quite nicely with just about anything.)

    Daniele Mazzocchio wrote a really great guide for setting up a very secure mail server on OpenBSD with SquirrelMail. As a bonus, it includes authenticated SMTP and content filtering (AV/spam filtering).
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    Originally Posted by Nilpo
    Mail servers are not difficult to set up. You don't need anything more than a platform (Linux or Unix, preferred) with a mail server application.
    Well... For me at least, it was a little more involved. Setting up Qmail itself and associated patches, vpopmail for virtual domains, a nice web app to manage vpopmain, Courier-imap, Clam Anti Virus & SpamAssassin, various other mail management tools. And of course a Web mail app like Squirrelmail...

    But it's not hard to do.
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