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Setting aside a bunch of false starts, here is the page that I'm going to use to document my implementation of an email server on my home LAN.

With this much recorded here (see below), I'm going to start a page named EmailPostfixConfiguration to discuss the configuration of postfix for my situation.

See AboutThesePages.


The Plan

Implement an email server for sending and receiving email in accordance with sketches 1 and 3 on EmailServerSketches.

The Sequence

Basically, toughest (or most uncertain) things first:

  1. Implement postfix as shown on sketch 3 to send mail from the Linux box to the Internet.
  2. Implement a popserver to allow mail received from the Internet to be retrieved from the Linux box by a POP3/SMTP mail client on the LAN. For testing, I will have to generate some fake mail, some local mail, or briefly run fetchmail to retrieve some real mail without removing it from the server.
  3. Confirm that email sent from a Pop3/SMTP mail client on the LAN to port 25 on the Linux box is forwarded to the Internet properly (or to local clients, as the case may be).
  4. Implement procmail filtering rules to separate, for example, User01 <user@isp.domain> from User02 <user@isp.domain>. (Develop list of additional filtering desired -- include HTML mail and any mail that tries to connect to the Internet to suck addtional stuff down.)
  5. Implement fetchmail on a cron job to fetch mail to the Linux box -- the cron job to limit retrieval to something like 7:00 am until 11:00 pm so I am not dialing (and paying for calls) all night.
  6. Change the pop3 and smtp server addresses on the local clients from the ISP servers to the Linux box servers.
  7. Set up a local DNS ;-), or more likely, add appropriate things to the hosts file of clients on the LAN.
  8. Consider whether I need to do something to only send mail when the connection to my ISP is up. (Surely not strictly necessary as postfix can deal with "delayed" mail, but maybe helpful for some reasons (to avoid some mail getting sent out of serial order)?
  9. Future: set up an imap server.
  10. Future: set up a local caching DNS with the stuff needed for the mail server


Postfix MTA

I seem to be struggling the most with an MTA (postfix), but, as somebody pointed out, most modern Linux distributions (of the RedHat, Mandrake, SuSe ilk) come with a functioning MTA installed and substantially set up -- I only have to tweak a few things to match my circumstances.

Now that I have a handle on the popserver, the MTA is still the toughest nut to crack.

Addresses, etc.

It's going to be important that I know what addresses I want to set up.

I'm going to call my local domain Home (I might have to change it to homed.z, but currently, System8.Home is the machine and domain for the Linux server I plan to use. (My newer Linux system is something like system5.homed.z, the Windows boxes are in workgroup home, but not sure they have a domain designation.)

The email addresses on the LAN will be:

Will the upper case / mixed case cause any problems? Is there an easy / nonconfusing way to change these local addresses to be of the form, for example, dad@Home (to avoid changes if I change out the mailserver machine)?

Incoming mail addressed as follows will be routed to:

Procmail will be able to handle that quite well, IIUC. (There are other variations of addresses that will be routed similarly.)

Mail going out to my ISP must look like it's coming from rhkramer@fastPLEASENOSPAM.net, either on the envelope, in the headers, or both.

I guess my ISP must think my domain is fast.net?? (So it will relay my mail without being an open relay.)

I guess the addresses of the pop3 and smtp servers will change as follows. (I'm really not sure of either the server names or the domain names -- oops, wait -- now I think I see, pop and relay are the names of two boxes at fast.net (or perhaps aliases for some boxes) -- thus I've revised the following.)

  • pop3 server from pop.fast.net to System8.Home (not pop.System8.Home).
  • smtp server from relay.fast.net to System8.Home (not relay.System8.Home).

I either need a local dns or entries in the local hosts file for each client on the LAN that resolve System8.Home to (:25 and :110?? -- I don't think so).


  • RandyKramer - 28 Feb 2002
  • <If you edit this page, add your name here, move this to the next line>

Rants (Ignore)

See MyRantings.

Why is this all so confusing -- why doesn't everybody use terminology that fits my perspective, yada, yada, yada.

Page Ratings

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Topic revision: r3 - 2002-04-02 - RandyKramer
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