Best mail setup for home server?

Matthew Seaman matthew at
Sat May 5 17:17:30 UTC 2012

On 05/05/2012 16:21, Joshua Isom wrote:
> I currently use my FreeBSD system as my generic unix server and some
> coding, along with occasional multimedia.  I'd installed postfix years
> ago and kept using it.  Right now, I use getmail with cron, dspam, and
> dovecot to handle my gmail account.  I've never set up outgoing mail
> which makes changing email clients, or devices, annoying.  Currently
> postfix is set to use dovecot's deliver command so that dovecot can sort
> and handle it.  Before I deal with setting postfix to relay the mail,
> dealing with firewalls and other possible issues, is there a better
> alternative?  I'd prefer that local mail "just works" even if I lose
> internet, and any email that gets as far as my server will at least
> eventually mail.  The archlinux wiki seems to suggest ssmtp doesn't work
> properly with attachments.  Instead it recommends msmtp, which requires
> an active internet connection to use.  Dragonfly's dma is local only to
> the computer and not the LAN.  Are the only options configuring sendmail
> or configuring postfix?

Local mail will just work with postfix, but general mail may not work
with the simpler servers like ssmtp or msmtp or dma.  Given you've
already got postfix installed and presumably have gained some
familiarity with it over the time you've been using it, I can't see a
good reason to switch to anything else.

Any e-mail system will have problems if you lose internet connectivity:
e-mail is critically dependent on the DNS, and if your MTA cannot lookup
the data it needs, it is not going to get very far.  Ideally it should
just queue the mail to be dealt with as soon as connectivity improves --
a good MTA like postfix should do this as standard, although you might
find it a good idea to run an instance of named as a local recursive

There are some alternative MTAs to postfix (such as sendmail or exim),
but given this is for personal use and presumably won't be handling all
that much e-mail in any case, any of them would do the job admirably,
and you main criterion for choosing which to use should be which one you
know best.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.

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