configure mail server on VPS

I would like to use VPS running debian to send and receive all my emails. This might be called mail server or message transfer agent. Some software is Postfix, Exim4, Sendmail. These are hard to configure. Any more software suggestions? I am not familiar with this technical subject. Anyone willing to help configure? This project is just to get the job done. I am not interested in learning all the academics. However, I do want a detailed log so I can reproduce the work.

Hi Userme5,

Welcome to our forums.

Setting up a fully functional mail server from scratch is indeed an advanced topic. On the software side you can do it for example with postfix, dovecot, and maybe mysql as a backend, all packed into a single VPS (for small traffic). Or you could use a “pre-packaged” solution like Zimbra. But there are many other steps needed for the mail server to be actually functional nowdays, and by that I mean steps that are needed for other mailing systems to accept your mail. You need to own a valid Internet domain, and set various records in DNS. You would also need to set up spam filtering or you would soon be flooded with unwanted junk mail. You also need to secure and harden the VPS to protect it from any external threats, and this means an ongoing work that is never done - such a server needs to be patched on a regular basis, and I would recommend frequent scans on it for any suspicious access attempts. Administrative and client access should be locked down and secured to prevent attacks to the VPS itself. Mail traffic and resource usage should also be monitored closely.

My point is, this isn’t a “fire and forget” type of project, and can also be really time-consuming to my knowledge.

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You make it sound like a fun project. Not commercial, just for me. It does look like this is an advanced topic, because I can not find anyone to help with it. You seem to know something about it. Can you help? I would like a good reliable advisor before I start. Tell me the code to insert into terminal. Am I allowed to discuss reimbursement in this forum? Software is a good place to start. I would like to use only packages from main debian repository. There are several packages to choose from, I hear the best choice is the one that is most familiar to the programmer.

I also wanted this and also found it to be challenging. One good book I’ve found on the subject is The Exim SMTP mail server.

Part of the reason this is harder than you think is because there are so many ways to do it, and there are quite a few security steps that need to be dealt with.

If you’re looking for something simple, I recommend you hire a hosting company which can provide you with an easy solution running on their server, but with your domain name.