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Thread: Creating an email server

  1. #1
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    Creating an email server

    I have a site on a Ubuntu server and I need to incorporate email. I looked into adding the cPanel to make that process easier, but the cPanel is only available on a CentOS server. I have a few questions. First, is it worth the effort of setting up an email server on my own or would I be better served by changing to a CentOS server? Second, where can I find detailed information about setting up an email server if I decide not to change the OS. There are plenty of tutorials online that gloss over the process, but like most of the content on the web, they only scratch the surface. From what I have found online, it appears that there is a significant amount of maintenance involved in operating an email server. How much time should I plan to devote to maintaining the server. Finally, do I need a separate server for the email and the site or can they both occupy the same space?

  2. #2
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    If you are serving up from your home, you are asking for trouble, for the sake of paying a web host a small fee per year, you can get all the toys in the box if you do your homework.

    Running servers on a home connection is not practical, as is the same for webserving and you will find that it goes against your ISP's AUP, unless you have bought a business line, you will run in to problems with your ISP.

    You will need to seek help in the Ubuntu forums if you are really fixed on setting up your system as a service.
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  3. #3
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    I am not running a server from home. I have a dedicated server with a web hosting service.

  4. #4
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    I would like opinions about changing from the current Ubuntu server to a CentOS server. If I make that change then I do not need to create an email server, I can just add cPanel and get email along with a few other goodies. What (if any) are are the advantages of creating my own email server?

  5. #5
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    You have to have the email server installed and started, cPanel provides a way of generating email addresses or setting your preferred settings for your hosting.

    If you google for the subject, you will find plenty of information on installing a control panel on Ubuntu, the only query is this, are you running Ubuntu as a Desktop or as a server?
    --> JavaScript Frameworks like JQuery, Angular, Node <--
    ... and please remember to wrap code with forum BBCode tags:-

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    If you can't think outside the box, you will be trapped forever with no escape...

  6. #6
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    I am not running this as a desktop. As state before, I am leasing the server from a hosting provider.

  7. #7
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    Then if you are buying hosting, you have a control panel of some sort or your host has given you in all the documentation the information you need to access the services you have paid for.

    So you will have access to email, especially if you are using a linux hosting plan, you get all the toys in the box to play with.

    So go over your hosts documentation, as well as online documentation, your answer will be in their documentation.
    --> JavaScript Frameworks like JQuery, Angular, Node <--
    ... and please remember to wrap code with forum BBCode tags:-

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    If you can't think outside the box, you will be trapped forever with no escape...

  8. #8
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    As I mentioned in the original post, they do offer email if the cPanel is added an additional fee. But, the cPanel is only available if I switch to a CentOS server. I do not have an issue switching to CentOS. I wanted to know if anyone here has a suggestion for setting up the email server if I stay with Ubuntu and just how much maintenance is required.

    "So go over your hosts documentation, as well as online documentation, your answer will be in their documentation."

    I have reviewed their documentation, the only mention of email is when adding the cPanel

  9. #9
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    UPDATE:

    I spoke with the web host today, none of their dedicated servers have an email server. Can someone please direct me to thorough resources for creating an email server? The site is running on an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS server.

  10. #10
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    Your host does not provide email?!?!?! I suggest you change hosts all together.

    My web host (I have used for a good 10 years now) gives unlimited bandwidth, traffic, databases, email addresses, web space, ssh, ftp, https, bells and whistles and all for 30 a year with a web hosting company that is large enough ( as in many server farms ) to be able to park my server 1/2 km away from my location.

    If your host is not providing you with a basic service that gives you all the tools needed and imposes limits and caps on you, then you really are better off moving host completely and tell them why you are moving.

    A simple search for web hosting in your area is as easy as a search engine search.

    Buy services local to you so that you have your consumer rights in tact, buying from a company operating in a different country means that you rely on them actually honouring what they claim to provide...
    --> JavaScript Frameworks like JQuery, Angular, Node <--
    ... and please remember to wrap code with forum BBCode tags:-

    [CODE]...[/CODE] [HTML]...[/HTML] [PHP]...[/PHP]

    If you can't think outside the box, you will be trapped forever with no escape...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by \\.\ View Post
    If your host is not providing you with a basic service that gives you all the tools needed and imposes limits and caps on you, then you really are better off moving host completely and tell them why you are moving.
    That is what I am planning at the moment. From my initial search, there are several dedicated servers that do not provide email.

  12. #12
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    Try searching using filters to filter your results, once you have eliminated the usual suspects like godaddy, fasthosts, 1&1 and co. you will start to find hosts that specialize in areas like providing the services you want, you may only want an email server and people can buy just email only access, some do bullet proof hosting... You just need to spend more time searching for your next host.

    It took me 3 bad hosts to settle on the one I use, so its a question of getting your feet wet from time to time.

    I tried a simple search using this web hosts USA dedicated hosting unlimited service and one of the web hosts states
    Unlimited Domains, Transfer, Email, Disk Space & No Setup Fee! Get Hosting Now
    24/7 Support Onsite Support Easily Scalable Quality Hardware Free Website Migration
    Features: Unlimited Storage, Unlimited Transfer, Unlimited Email, Free SSL Certificates
    So play with the search terms, if you use google search, you can filter results using google hacking to carve out the results you don't want or want...
    --> JavaScript Frameworks like JQuery, Angular, Node <--
    ... and please remember to wrap code with forum BBCode tags:-

    [CODE]...[/CODE] [HTML]...[/HTML] [PHP]...[/PHP]

    If you can't think outside the box, you will be trapped forever with no escape...

  13. #13
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    Thank you for your suggestion and assistance. I will keep you posted.

  14. #14
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    If you have dedicated server which you have lease and want to setup email server on it then you will need to go with control panel like cPanel, plesk etc, you will need to pay for it.

    If you just want email server and nothing else like hosting domains + database then go with opensource application iredmail, this is really simple to setup and you can add your domains and then email accounts on it. It comes with good spam protection as well..

  15. #15
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    Hi Doghouse,

    If you Google "squirrel mail and postfix" or "squirrel mail and dovecot", you should find some guides that can walk you through setting this up yourself.

    Squirrel mail is like an online email client where you read your email, like Gmail.

    Postfix/dovecot are the bits that actually send and receive mail in the background.

    I've done this before though and it was SUCH a pain. It takes ages to set up. You have to be very careful to secure it properly. You need to configure *several* anti-spam measures (like postgrey) and setup your domain with DKIM and SPF. And most people you send email to will *block you outright* at first. You literally have to write an email to someone at Microsoft to manually whitelist your server's IP address before anyone with outlook will receive your mail. Until then, email won't at least even get sent to their spam folder - it'll never even get that far!

    These days I flat out refuse to go through all that!

    I set up my clients with Google's "G Suite" a.k.a "Google Apps for Work" a.k.a. "Gmail for your domain". Its a low monthly cost per user. Everyone is used to Gmail and sharing documents and calendars within an organisation is super nice. (If you're interested, send me a forum PM and I might be able to get you a discount on it as well if you're in the UK)

    That all said, Squirrel Mail is quite nice for *internal* organisation email.

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