Setting up a mail server the easy way
For past few years, I have been managing the whole server at GLUG-NITH. I installed various servers on that machine since it was the first server I got my hands to. I tried whole lot of stuff until one day the SAN space crashed and we had to start from scratch again. We also had a mail server and it was very urgent to up this since leaving the mail server in that inconsistent state would mean a lot bounced mails.
We had full fledged mail server previous time consisting of postfix and dovecot. I used a roundcubemail as frontend as it had a nice UI. But there was a major security concern with this, the sysadmin having root access can always see the emails of the members who are given the email address associated with the server. This time, I thought of taking care of this major security concern and scrap the whole idea of storing mails on the server. Instead, we can just use postfix to receive the mail and forward it to the alias that the user provides. Eg: if you are sending email to email@example.com, and the alias for abc is set to firstname.lastname@example.org, then as soon as someone sends an email to abc, it will be forwarded to email@example.com whenever it arrives on the server.
This also means that we don’t have to install dovecot this time, so one more less software to configure while still providing email functionality to the users. Postfix use virtual file in /etc/postfix/ to set aliases for various users. If you want to create someone’s account on the server, you just need to set the alias in this file and then run :
sudo postmap /etc/postfix/virtual
This will create a new binary file virtual.db which will be used as a lookup table whenever someone sends an email to the server to look if the recipient has an account on the server or not.
So far, its going good but I think it probably needs more configuration and some measures to prevent it from detected as spam in major mail service providers.
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