best options for a *WORKING* MTA

AnthonyL myawaddy at
Tue Jun 2 01:20:56 UTC 2015

On Mon, 01 Jun 2015 12:48:46 -0400, Aryeh Friedman wrote:

> I have tried every which way I can find in the handbook and/or on the
> net to get a working mail server and the best I can do get the default
> sendmail to answer on localhost only (postfix seems to be completely
> broken).

It's not simple. I've always found online blogger's tutorials to be a 
waste of my time. You should be reading only the documentation provided 
by itself and also your distribution's Postfix specific 
documentation; FreeBSD, Debian etc. Read both, and make sure you are 
reading the documentation for the correct versions of both your distro 
and Postfix.

For me, there really were many hours of frustration caused by overlooking 
the simple gotchas written in bold print in both Postfix's and my 
distro's documentation. These are often missing from the blogger's 
tutorials you will find by querying the search engines for "Postfix 
Configuration How To."

Don't try to do it all at once with TLS/Cryus-sasl/Spamassasin/Dovecot on 
your first attempt. I've always succeeded taking it one step at a time 
and testing each config change with either telnet or "openssl s_client," 
before adding more changes. When testing I send test messages to instead of a real email address to avoid being blacklisted 
for sending too many test messages.

Make one configuration change, then test that it works, then back it up. 
This way you can rollback to a working configuration if the next change 
fails. Take baby steps; Is the port open? Is it firewalled? Is anybody 
listening on that port? Is Postfix even running?

I've found the simplest way by far to set up a working mailserver is to 
read the fine manual [RTFM]. Postfix's documentation is excellent.

I could kick myself in the head for each time I've goggled for a quick 
and easy "how to" tutorial instead of reading the manuals.

The tutorials never tell you to trun off your partially tested mailserver 
when you are not actually testing it. Spammers found one of my partially 
configured Postfix mailservers that I left running overnight on a VPS and 
sent out 40k plus messages before my VPS was banned/closed and my IP was 
blacklisted. Ha!

Good luck.

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