Chapter 25. Running a Mail Server


  • Internet e-mail's inner workings

  • About the system and the software used

  • Preparing your system

  • Installing and configuring the mail server software

  • Testing and troubleshooting

  • Configuring mail clients

  • Securing communications with SSL/TLS

Electronic mail hardly requires an introduction. Communications made through the original forms of e-mail helped shape the Internet. Widespread availability of access to e-mail and enhancements such as MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, which allow for inclusion of attachments and alternate message formats) have helped to make e-mail the most popular application on the Internet.

With a Linux system and a suitable Internet connection, you can easily set up your own mail server for personal or business use. This chapter includes a description of how Internet mail works at the protocol level, and then guides you through the process of setting up a mail server, complete with spam and virus filtering. In the final section, you learn how to secure network communications between clients and your mail server through the use of SSL/TLS (Secure Sockets Layer and Transport Layer Security) protocols.

The examples in this chapter are based on a Debian GNU/Linux system. (See Chapter 9 for more information about Debian.) However, much of the knowledge you gain from setting up a mail server in Debian applies to other Linux systems as well.

Internet E-Mail's Inner Workings

E-mail messages are generated either by an automated ...

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