Barebones postfix install overview

This article describes how to install a postfix mail server with no extras or optimization. It's intended only for users who are experienced administrators or who just want a basic mail server installed for a single purpose like sending email alerts from another service.


Barebones postfix install for Fedora

This article describes how to install a postfix mail server with no extras or optimization. It's intended only for users who are experienced administrators or who just want a basic mail server installed for a single purpose like sending email alerts from another service.


Barebones postfix install for RHEL

This article describes how to install a postfix mail server with no extras or optimization. It's intended only for users who are experienced administrators or who just want a basic mail server installed for a single purpose like sending email alerts from another service.


Barebones postfix install for Debian

This article describes how to install a postfix mail server with no extras or optimization. It's intended only for users who are experienced administrators or who just want a basic mail server installed for a single purpose like sending email alerts from another service.


Barebones postfix install for CentOS

This article describes how to install a postfix mail server with no extras or optimization. It's intended only for users who are experienced administrators or who just want a basic mail server installed for a single purpose like sending email alerts from another service.


Barebones postfix install for Ubuntu

This article describes how to install a postfix mail server with no extras or optimization. It's intended only for users who are experienced administrators or who just want a basic mail server installed for a single purpose like sending email alerts from another service.


Removing a mail server from the Spamhaus PBL

If you run a mail server on your slice and find that email sent from your server is being rejected as potential spam, your slice may be on the Spamhaus PBL. Don't be alarmed — that's actually pretty normal. This article will tell you how to get off the PBL quickly and easily.


Creating MX records for Rackspace Email & Apps

You have now worked your way through the signup process and should have access to your account, and the ability to create mailboxes as needed.

Once you've created mailboxes for your domain, the last step is to setup the Mail Exchange (MX) records to route incoming email to your new Rackspace Email accounts.

For further help with account setup prior to this step, please refer to Rackspace Email & Apps official documentation.


Rackspace Email & Apps - Initial Signup Process

Email is a vital part of any online business. However, a mail server can be one of the most challenging and frustrating aspects to configure.

We are pleased to announce that we have simplified the process by introducing Rackspace Email and Apps for Slicehost customers.

This article will walk you through the basic steps of the signup process to ensure that adding email to your slice is as smooth as possible.


CentOS - Mail Server - Adding Domains and Users

Following from the previous article, we should have our firewall properly configured to allow the correct ports for our mail server.

Now we can start adding domains and users to our Postfix installation.


CentOS - Mail Server - Opening Ports in the Firewall

In the previous article, we installed and configured Dovecot to accept our incoming connections to the mail server. Now we need to open the ports in our firewall so we can access those services.


CentOS - Mail Server - Dovecot Installation

Following from the previous article, we have installed Postfix and setup a basic configuration with a secure connection to our mail server. As such, we can move on to installing Dovecot which will allow us to access the mail server with POP and IMAP access (as well as secure POP and IMAP).


CentOS - Mail Server - Secure Connection, Configuring Postfix

Now that we've created our self-signed certificate (see the previous article) we can go ahead and configure Postfix to use it.


CentOS - Mail Server - Secure Connection, Creating the SSL Certificate

The previous article looked at Saslauthd. Now let's concentrate on the SSL certificate we'll use for secure connections to our mail server.

The principles involved are the same ones we employed when setting up a secure website (HTTPS). The first step is the creation of a new SSL certificate.


CentOS - Mail Server - Basic Settings in main.cf

Following from the Postfix installation article, we can now look at the main.cf file and see what the settings are and what they mean.

Note that these settings are intended for a multiple domain configuration of your mail server.


CentOS - Mail Server - Secure Connection, Configuring Saslauthd

Following from the previous article, we can begin configuring our mail server for secure connections. The first step is to setup Saslauthd.


CentOS - Mail Server- Installation

The base package for all of the mail articles will be Postfix. There are, of course, alternatives to Postfix, each with advantages and disadvantages and, without going into the differences, I have chosen Postfix due its relative ease of configuration.

As many of the future articles will concentrate on administrative issues and assume Postfix is already installed, let's go ahead and install it.


CentOS - Email - Preparing the Slice

Beginning a series of articles on many aspects of email (sending, receiving, configuring, etc), we need to start with the very basics by preparing the Slice.

This article looks at the hostname and reverse DNS (RDNS) settings on the Slice.


Mail server - adding domains and users to MySQL

Following from the previous article, we now have our firewall opening the correct ports.

Now we can start adding domains and users to the MySQL 'mail' database.


Mail server - Courier installation

Following from the previous article, we have the base Postfix and MySQL installed. As such, we can move on to installing Courier which will allow us to access the mail server with pop and imap access (as well as secure pop and imap).


Mail server - secure connection, configuring Saslauthd

Following from the previous article we can begin creating creating the means to use secure connections with our mail server. We do this by using saslauthd.


Mail server - Configuring Postfix to use MySQL - part 2

Now we have created the external files Postfix will use when connecting to the 'mail' database (see the previous article for details), we can carry on and edit the main Postfix configuration file.


Mail server - secure connection, creating the SSL cert

The previous article looked at saslauthd. Now we need to concentrate on the certificate the connection will use when retrieving our mail.

This is completed using the same principles as when using a secure port (HTTPS) on a website. Let's start the process by creating a new SSL certificate.


Mail server - secure connection, configuring Postfix

Now we've created our self-signed certificate (see the previous article) we can go ahead and configure Postfix to use it.


Mail server - Opening ports in the firewall

In the previous article, we installed and configure the basics of courier. Now we need to open the ports in our firewall so we can access those services.


Mail server - overview

The next few articles are aimed at showing you how to install a mail server that has the ability to utilise multiple domains and multiple users.

However, to start with, let's take an overview of the installation and install some basic packages.


Mail server - Slice setup

Following from the Mail server overview, we can start creating our mail server by preparing the Slice and setting the hostname and RDNS.


Mail server - vmail user and mailboxes

Following from the previous article where we looked at setting up the Slice, we can move onto an important aspect of creating a mail server: configuring where the mail will be physically located on the Slice.

The easiest way is to create a 'vmail' user and assign specific IDs to that user.


Mail server - Postfix and MySQL installation

Now we've configured the base Slice details and added the vmail user, we are ready to install Postfix and MySQL.

Remember, we will be using MySQL to control the domains and user details for our mail server.


Mail server - creating the MySQL database

Now we have Postfix and MySQL installed (see the previous article), we need to create the database to hold the domain and user details.


Mail server - Configuring Postfix to use MySQL - part 1

Now the MySQL database has been created, we need to move into configuring Postfix to access and use the details.


Email - setting a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record

Spam. No one likes it. No one wants it. No one needs it. However, it is there and is likely to be there for the foreseeable future.

All we can do as responsible mail server administrators is to ensure we are not part of the problem by not running an open relay and locking down our services as much as possible.

One tool that can help our legitimate email not being classed as spam is to set a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record in our domain's DNS zone.


Postfix - checking for an open relay

Open relays are a bad thing - they allow anyone to send email from your mail server: it doesn't check that it is authorised to send mail from the mail address on the third party email.

In plain English that means that anyone can send email via your Slice IP from any mail address. This tends to annoy people and your IP will end up on blocklists and your legitimate email will be banned.


Postfix - using Telnet to test postfix

So far, we have sent test emails using the command line.

However, there is no real feedback from these clients as to how our mail server responded - did it respond with the correct details? Note that it is possible to send/receive mail with details that are not 100% correct - leading to issues down the line.

Let's look at telnet to check the server responses to mail requests.


Postfix - MX records and receiving emails

So far, we have prepared the Slice, installed postfix and had a quick look at the postfix main.cf file.

From that solid base, we can send mail and we know it all works according to plan. Now we can move onto receiving emails. To do that, we need to create the correct MX records and open port 25 in our iptables firewall.


Postfix - basic settings in main.cf

Following from the postfix installation article, we can now look at the main.cf file and see what the settings are and what they mean.

Note that at this stage we are dealing with a single domain for our email needs. Later articles will look at multiple domains and virtual users.


Postfix - installation

The base package for all the mail articles will be postfix. There are, of course, alternatives to postfix, each with advantages and disadvantages and, without going into the differences, I have chosen postfix due its relative ease of configuration.

As many of the future articles will concentrate on administrative issues and assume postfix is already installed, let's go ahead and install it.


Email - preparing the Slice

Beginning a series of articles on many aspects of email (sending, receiving, configuring, etc), we need to start with the very basics by preparing the Slice.

This article looks at the hostname and reverse DNS (RDNS) settings on the Slice.