I was wondering how practical it would be to run my own email server at home, I’ve set up servers before and know how to forward ports and such. Would it be possible to do it on an rpi 4 and do you guys have recommendations on any free software for setting up an email server. Thanks!
Privacy has become a very important issue in modern society, with companies and governments constantly abusing their power, more and more people are waking up to the importance of digital privacy.
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Thanks everybody for the help, I’ll continue to look into it.
I set it up with Postfix and it’s running rock solid for a year now. But as a newbie to email hosting, it took me months to configure DMARC, DKIM, rDNS and all that stuff. I am actually running it on a dynamic IP and relaying outgoing mails through my domain provider to avoid blacklists. Works very well for me!
If you have a dedicated rpi4 for this, maybe you want to have a look at mail-in-a-box?
I haven’t tried it myself, but it uses almost the same components that I individually set up for my own server…
Here’s an all-in-one mail server: https://maddy.email/
Maddy looks like an interesting approach (Caddy for email) but seems pretty new and in development still
https://mailcow.email/ looks like a solid choice for the OP.
I host mine on a VPS, I love having endless aliases to use.
You need to pay for a static IP address and the ISP company must configure the reverse zone to point to your domain.
If you don’t do that, most main email servers could ban you. For an email server, it is preferable to pay a colocation of your server in a datacenter or a VPS/Dedicated server which allow you to configure reverse zone for the fixed IP.
Yeah, I was investigating about it and afaik in my country having a static IP is 50€/month. I personally dislike a lot the idea of hosting it somewhere else… But I’m not rich lmao. Any good privacy friendly host?
But someone said it in the comments, you can store your email locally and also save space in the cloud, and if you use gpg all is more or less okey.
Yes, fine for a rpi 4 (There’s a Yunohost for that btw After a successful Yunohost install you have a bare boned but working mail and XMPP server, after which you can add apps like Rainloop or Roundcube for webmail if you like).
Technically it’s going to work, but practically it will be unusable in the real world because major E-Mail providers block residential IPs. I have mailcow running on a VPS and it’s great. I’m planning to set it up at home one day and then let it use the VPS IP over Wireguard, but I don’t have a proper homeserver yet :/
most of the time, a simple 5$ VPS on digital-ocean with a docker image of https://poste.io running will be less hassle to setup and maintain. you dont have to continuously keep emails on the server either – save local copies for search and archival purposes, and make backups.
Note however that even hosting on a VPS is likely going to land you on spam filter lists, as the IP ranges from cheap VPS hosters are typically also listed.
Edit: a static IP isn’t really needed, but you need a unique public IP in general. Not all ISP provide that anymore due to CG-NAT, but some still enable it if you ask nicely.
Sadly not very practical due to excessive spam filtering by gmail & outlook etc.
Setting on up is possible if your ISP does not block the ports (not uncommon as spam prevention), but you will likely not be able to set up rDNS and some other things that are needed to prevent other email servers from flagging messages as spam.
Setting up your own email server is a great way to learn how to manage an email server, but it’s also a pain and with most isps you can’t use port 25 for outbound traffic. Sendmail is good to look at for your smtp server and postfix but it’s been years since I’ve used them. Played around with Citadel but never got too far with it as I was trying to setup an internal email server for a company a few years back but they ended up changing their mind and wanting to go with an exchange server instead.
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