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Author Topic: Making My Own E-Mail Domain
LinuxPhreak
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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2006 18:27      Profile for LinuxPhreak   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am stupid when it comes to the internet. But I use it all the time.

So this is my next project. I want to have an E-Mail account with my own domain name. I also have eaght other people who want an E-Mail account. So Where on earth would I start?

Oh and I also want to give a big thanx to DragonMaster for helping me with building my own Linux distro. LFS was perfect.

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I am not important. No one is. To be important you need to make history your word must be important. Your inventions must be as equally important.

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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2006 18:34            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You could start by giving us some sort of a bloody clue what you're talking about :P

Am I to believe you're running your own Web server from a Linux box off domestic broadband, and want to know how to configure a mail server?

It's probably not a good idea, since the degree to which home computers become infected and send out spam means that some mail administrators reject all mail coming from an IP address that indicates it's a domestic account. Generally people at home have no business running a mail server so the odds are good that any mail from a consumer IP is spam sent from an infected Windows box.

You're welcome to try, I had a mail server on my Mac OS 9 box for a while, and mail mostly seemed to get through. (I ran SIMS, by Stalker, probably a good choice for me ;) Xanthine will slap me at this point)

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LinuxPhreak
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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2006 18:43      Profile for LinuxPhreak   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to not give all the information. I have a server that I built. It is running Red Hat Linux Fedora Core 5. I need to have 6 accounts with a specific domain name.

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I am not important. No one is. To be important you need to make history your word must be important. Your inventions must be as equally important.

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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2006 18:45            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
OK ... But do you want to offer POP3 (users can send via their ISP's SMTP server) or IMAP/Web-based mail? (you may get more reliable delivery proxying it via your ISP's SMTP server)

Any choice/preference of POP3/IMAP/SMTP server and Web mail package?

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2006 19:11      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"DragonMaster" or me?

Anyway, I'm a mail administrator for a pretty substantial system, and I have to agree with uilleann that home users generally shouldn't be managing mail servers in this day and age. (I know some people will disagree, but this is my opinion.) I used to run my own server ages ago, before my ISP blocked port 25 for everyone in the wake of mass mailing virii. Yes, it's a nice thing to do, and I'm a fan of postfix/exim + mutt. However, spam is a big problem these days, and systems being abused for all sorts of reasons makes e-mail administration a tricky matter. If you intend to use this domain for anything more than a toy, you really should get it hosted - 1and1.com is quite cheap for such purposes. Also, there's ackoo.com and dreamhost.com - I'd recommend nearlyfreespeech.net, but they're just for web publishing.

Mind you, if you host your mail elsewhere, you can still play with configuration stuff, and optionally choose what webmail/IMAP/POP system you use, and all sorts of good bits. However, it is probably desirable to avoid networking issues surrouding attacks, and all sort of fun. Many home ISP addresses are on blacklists, and will be completely ignored. Spam has changed the messaging world for the worse, I'm afraid.

Hell, I'd love to really try blocking some of this spam myself through various means, but I just don't have the time to keep up with it...I'd need a whole crew of support staff to help me with other bits of administration. Therefore, I use a nice Linux appliance and commercial support for spam definitions - this is clearly suboptimal (paying for protection from spam!), but it's the only practical way I can turn away a quarter of a million spam attempts a day.

/me thinks fondly of the 'good old days' around the turn of the century when I used to run my own mail server...

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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LinuxPhreak
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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2006 19:50      Profile for LinuxPhreak   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well if I'm hearing this from a mail admin. Then I would have to follow your advise. I just thought it would have been cool project.

Well I'm kind of out of cool ideas to work on. So maybe someone can give me a spark.

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I am not important. No one is. To be important you need to make history your word must be important. Your inventions must be as equally important.

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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2006 20:11            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, you keep refusing to tell us what you have in mind! See my previous post. Sheesh.

But yes, dragonman makes a good point, I'd forgotten about the need to watch out for spam. One of the most interesting anti-spam measures (which I learnt about while on the SIMS mailing list) is Spamhaus's DNSRBL (realtime blackhole list). The Spamhaus list contains the IP addresses of known spam-generating machines; your mail server sends a DNS query of the source IP address (A.B.C.D) of an incoming mail something like: D.B.C.A.dnsrbl.spamhaus.org, and the IP returned indicates the spammer status of that machine.

That is what my Web host, ICDSoft, is using and it seems to work quite well. I cannot say for sure as I have no idea how much spam I'd be getting otherwise, but I don't get a lot.

But this only applies if your machine hosts the SMTP server, your users could use their ISPs' SMTP servers for more reliable delivery.

I am not trying to discourage a fun project, just trying to be realstic. But you do need to decide what you want to offer them ... I am quite glad I have IMAP with my Web host, though [Smile]

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2006 20:26      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
While some people are not fans of RBLs, as there can occasionally be innocent bystanders, I can't imagine life without Spamhaus and Spamcop. They block a *LOT* of spam for me.

One thing I left out of my last message for the sake of brevity is: the Spam-L mailing list. 'Tis a fantastic resource on figuring out how to thwart the latest tactics of spammers...except that I'd need to devote half my day to reading it. This is why I simply must offload the burden of this task to a device and third-party classifications. I just play with thresholds and other fun...but it's nearly impossible for a single person to tackle all this.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Doco

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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2006 21:03      Profile for Doco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Speaking of email and spam blocking --- I'm searching for a new hosting company right now because of it.

I agree - because of spam you probably don't want to do your own email hosting.

My current host (micfo) uses spamcop.net's black list to block incoming spam email at the SMTP level. Only problem is that this list seems to be blocking a lot of legitmate sites. I have had to reactivate my yahoo groups email more times lately. Then there was the email coming from my church (through their well run ISP) that was blocked on and off for days.

I much prefer someone who gives me the email and maybe runs it through spamassassin to flag it. I want to make the decision to throw it away or not. I much prefer see a few extra spam message than to have any of my legitimate email bounced. I understand the need to block some at the SMTP level - but its got to lean towards allowing email rather than disallowing it.

So dman - any insights if any/all of those you suggested are good about not blocking too much email.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2006 21:40      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dreamhost interests me the most, as it appears you can set up your own stuff via SSH. So if one were so inclined, he or she can set up a SpamAssassin instance in their shared space (using a procmailrc or .forward it seems). One can even set up RoundCube or another funky webmail system. It's my quick assessment that Dreamhost offers some of the most customizable services for the best value.

This is not a direct plug...I do not have a Dreamhost account - I'm only considering getting hosting with them someday. The only hosting I have now is with NearlyFreeSpeech.net, as the price can't be beat, and I barely use it for now. But...they don't do e-mail.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Alan!
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Icon 12 posted August 26, 2006 02:07      Profile for Alan!     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I recommend gmail for domains, its working well for me.

Others may have issues with google's privacy policies/evilness.

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Alan!

Two rabbis, a priest, and an awkward silence after there's no intelligible punch line to this joke, walk into a bar.

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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted August 26, 2006 13:59      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I used to run some mail servers in my basement. They were both on static IP addresses, and I never had problems with RBL blockage. I was able to do things like provide everyone in my extended family with addresses like [email protected] and have them forward to whatever their real mailbox was. I also ran a few mailing lists for various organizations I work with. I provided POP mailboxes for my immediate family.

There are five HUGE drawbacks to this.
1. It seems that everytime I went away for a vacation, there would be a power outage and the mail server would not reboot. Then no one in my family would get mail for a week.
2. My poor mail server spent nearly every cycle running spamassassin.
5. If I got hit by a bus, my family would never figure out how to fix it.

So, in early July I abandoned the whole thing. I moved the mailing lists to google groups.
I have been using interland as a web host for years, so I just switched my MX records to them, and put all the virtual hosting there.
I forward my personal mail to my gmail account and let them do the spam filtering. Interland hosts the POP accounts as well, so I don't have the storage problem.

In the long run, it just was not worth it. I was only doing it for a matter of pride. Most importantly, and it's taken me about 25 years of professional experience to learn, you should never have operational systems where a single human is the point of failure. If you run a mail server for your friends, they are suddenly your customers.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted August 26, 2006 15:35      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Most importantly, and it's taken me about 25 years of professional experience to learn, you should never have operational systems where a single human is the point of failure."

So very true. Thankfully, I believe I've learned that lesson in a bit less time. [Razz]

[rest of post elided on second thought]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted August 26, 2006 15:43      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by quantumfluff:
Most importantly, and it's taken me about 25 years of professional experience to learn, you should never have operational systems where a single human is the point of failure.

Slow learner [Wink]

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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Jace Raven

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Icon 1 posted August 26, 2006 16:00      Profile for Jace Raven         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It took me one, "The red light was blinking so I thought I'd unplug the [ethernet] cable and plug it back in to see if the green light would come back on. That didn't work so I tried restarting all the services but SMTP just would start so I rebooted the server." Which one was it? "Uh... I think it was ACEMNFN05E." The E is for Exchange in our naming conventions.
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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted August 26, 2006 19:18      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Slow learner [Wink]

I prefer to think of it as eternal optimist.
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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted August 27, 2006 17:49      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
While some people are not fans of RBLs, as there can occasionally be innocent bystanders, I can't imagine life without Spamhaus and Spamcop. They block a *LOT* of spam for me.

My mailservers let little to almost *no* spam whatsoever through.

All with the help of some RBLs, some other checks, and spamassassin.

Here's how I'm configured:

Default spamassassin installation plus some rules_du_jour rulesets. (Specifically, TRIPWIRE ANTIDRUG EVILNUMBERS RANDOMVAL SARE_ADULT SARE_FRAUD SARE_BML SARE_RATWARE SARE_SPOOF SARE_BAYES_POISON_NXM SARE_OEM SARE_RANDOM and SARE_CODING_HTML)

Plus, a score of 4.0 added for messages with a uri inside them that's contained in surbl

Then, I use exim to do a spamcop check of the incoming IP, and if it's listed on spamcop, it only adds a header to the email: X-Listed-Spamcop: YES. If spamassassin finds this, it adds 2.5 to the score.

I also use exim to do a sender verification callout, and similarily, add 2.5 after adding a X-Callout-Failed header to the message.

(Don't worry, my mailserver removes the existence of those headers on incoming messages before performing these checks, so if for some stupid reason, someone chucked those headers in an e-mail to me, they'd be pulled before the message was checked.)

Then, I reduced the automatic whitelist's negative score to -.5.

Also, I enabled bayesian filtering systemwide with autolearning.

My mailserver flat out refuses to take the message if it scores > 10. If it scores less than 10, but higher than the user's configured spamlevel (they can set it), then it will put it in an IMAP junk folder which they can access using either IMAP or their webmail.

Also, we use clamav and throw away any message received that's deemed to be infected.

Also, if the user configures it as such, they can receive a daily digest of their spam containing the score, from address, and subject of all of the new messages in their spam box.

Also, the junk folders are pruned every 5 days, and any messages remaining in the JUNK folder are auto trained to spamassassin as spam. Similarily, if a user gets a false positive in their junk folder, they can click on 'this isnt spam' in their webmail, and it will train it to spamassassin as ham. At the same time, if a message gets to their inbox and is spam, if they put it in their JUNK folder themselves, then it will be autotaught and deleted immediately as spam.

(We do the 5 day check by adding a X-Saved: header with the unixtime in it for any message placed in the junk folder, since spam is known to have an invalid date in the Date: header. If the message doesn't have an X-Saved header, then it wasn't automatically put there by our mailsystem, and it's presumed to be definitive spam placed there by the user, its sent to the bayesian filter, and deleted.

We've received nothing but praise from our customers for it, and I've personally not have a single false positive, and probably get 1 false negative a day (out of ~200 spam).

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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted August 27, 2006 17:52            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Almost no mail whatsoever? I see... really useful then! :)
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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted August 28, 2006 14:47      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We forgot one of the most important reasons for not running a mail server at home. Many ISP's simply block port 25 for you. Cablevision/optimum online seems to. I just re-discovered that today. I've been running my mail server on a DSL line that is not blocked in any way. On Friday a lightening strike fried the router on the DSL line. No problem! I just routed traffic from my mail server out the cable modem. It was only today that I realized I was not making any outbound connections to deliver mail. Slaps head.
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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted August 28, 2006 15:41      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by quantumfluff:
We forgot one of the most important reasons for not running a mail server at home. Many ISP's simply block port 25 for you. Cablevision/optimum online seems to. I just re-discovered that today. I've been running my mail server on a DSL line that is not blocked in any way.

We did? In my first reply, I said:

I used to run my own server ages ago, before my ISP blocked port 25 for everyone in the wake of mass mailing virii.
(BTW, that ISP was OptOnline. ;P Mind you for awhile, I set my server to relay mail through mail.optonline.net and I believe it worked.)

P.S. Maybe all these outages disabled your PM notification... [Wink]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged


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