running my own mail server again

Many years ago, I ran my own mail server for my domains. I eventually stopped, mostly because I wasn’t happy with the amount of effort it required. I also wasn’t happy with the mail user agents that would easily work with it at the time in a secure manner.

Last week I decided I wanted to set up mail service again, mostly because I missed having explicit control and ownership of my mail. So I configured sendmail once again ay my mail transfer agent, and for IMAP I’m using dovecot. I’m using a chain of procmail and dovecot’s deliver as my sendmail local delivery agent, to drop my mail in Maildir format. I’m not switching over to it just yet, but it appears to all be working after many days of configuring and tweaking. I won’t say this is easy; getting it all working after years of not doing any mail administration involved a fair amount of trial and error.

The good news is that I will soon be reachable via a new, shorter email address and will in all likelihood switch to using it as my primary address. Now that I have OS X as my desktop and an iPhone as my smart phone, I have no MUA issues. I don’t need a web browser interface to my mail, though I may install SquirrelMail at some point just to test it.

One of the issues I ran into while doing this… dovecot wanted some newer versions of libraries I already had installed. Those libraries were dependencies of a LOT of software I had already installed from the FreeBSD ports tree. Hence the whole process took me much longer than expected, with a lot of midnight oil burned when portupgrade failed to do what I needed.

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