getting mail to work

Jeffrey Goldberg jeffrey at
Sun Mar 11 22:28:27 UTC 2007

[mailed and posted]

On Mar 11, 2007, at 10:45 AM, Ed Zwart wrote:

> I own  I've paid a hoster for the last couple years,
> but that's ending in a week or so.  Meanwhile, I've used dyndns to
> point to my IP.

I am going to add my voice to those suggesting that you use your  
ISP's mail server for outgoing mail.

There are a number of reasons.  First of all, if you are on a dynamic  
IP, it is very likely that your ISP blocks outgoing STMP traffic that  
doesn't go via their own mail server.  That is, they won't allow  
"direct to MX" mailing from dynamic addresses.

Another reason is that it just isn't a good idea to run your own  
direct to MX mail system, unless you have some real expertise in how  
mail transport works.  Professionally, I set up mail servers for  
small and medium sized businesses, and in more and more cases, I  
actually suggest that they use outside mail servers for their out  
going mail.  (Generally, I think that ISPs tend to do really poor  
jobs with email and that it is best to avoid being locked into your  
ISP for much, so I recommend services like

Let me also add, that while I do set up and manage mail servers for  
others, I don't do direct to MX from home myself.  (Well, I do for a  
mailing list server I run, but not for my normal everyday mailing.)   
So even with the expertise needed, I don't really recommend running  
your own MX (incoming) or own Direct to MX (outgoing) servers unless  
you have a specific need to fill.


With postfix you just need to specify




and then run

  # postfix reload

Then just send a test, eg

$  mail -s test your at external-email-addres < /dev/null

to see what happens.

If your ISP wants authentication for handling your outgoing mail,  
look at

which describes how to configure postfix for that on Mac OS X.  For  
FreeBSD just replace


in all of the paths mentioned with


Jeffrey Goldberg              

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