Tips on running a good email server

We all know 37signals for their products like Basecamp, Highrise and others but also their advise on building web apps and running a company like ReWork.

They are very public on how they do things and they have published a blogpost on how they run their mail servers. It’s a very good read with lots of tips and links to services and solutions that if you run your own mail server are very useful. Things like having reverse DNS entries (a must), domain keys and more are explained. Follow their advice if you want your mail server to actually deliver most of it’s email.

New structure, basics done

Here is another update, later then I hoped but still before Lion is released. I wanted to finish the basics on the new installation structure before Lion is released so that I could use them on Lion.

It’s still not complete as there is much ground to cover to get it all done and a personal life that has a tendency to interfere with my ambitions ;-)

As told earlier the new structure means installing everything in “/usr/local/” so that security and regular updates won’t interfere and we can upgrade without worrying if everything will still work afterwards.

Under the skin I’ve also started re-arranging the pages so that there is a more logical structure. You will notice that in the URL’s. You can find the updated documentation here:

I’ve read the recommendations on Lion and it looks like it will be 64 bits from Lion onwards. This means that I can skip the 32 bit instructions which is very welcome as it means less testing.

Last week I also renewed my contract with Macminicolo and added another 2 years hosting with them. Their service during the last 3 years is excellent and I’ve asked them to find me a newer second hand Mac mini to be able to upgrade to Lion on my production server. I’m currently running a CoreDuo mini at their datacenter which in not capable of running Lion. That is the only reason to get a newer mini. In my experience they are almost bullet proof. I still have one of the first G4 mini’s (from 2005) here at home running 24/7 as a test server for Leopard. The only problem I had with it is the hard disk which I had to replace in 2009.

Updating amavisd-new

For those of you who decided to install the ClamAV virus scanner and SpamAssassin system on their mail servers, there is an update to the amavsd-new daemon that glues the whole setup together.

The instructions for the update are available here Updating amavisd-new.

There is no reconfiguring necessary, as this is a bugfix update.

Someone else’s backup plan

As a follow up to an earlier blog post on backup and recovery strategies I read the article on MacWorld today from Lex Friedman detailing his backup strategy. I thought it was nice enough to share the article here.

In short his strategy comes down to Time Machine, plus a bootable clone via SuperDuper (or CarbonCopyCloner), plus offsite backup with CrashPlan, plus Dropbox, plus Google Docs. Please add a pinch of hysteria…

The mailserver in 64 bits on Snow Leopard

Allright, a bit later than I had anticipated and planned. But that’s what you get if Apple starts releasing stuff earlier then expected. It screws with your planning. But the instructions for installing the basic mailserver in 64 bits are finished and tested on my MacBook Pro. This new machine is a god send and worth every penny up to now.

Please note that these are my initial instructions using an upgraded machine. Next up I need to test the instructions on a clean install of Snow Leopard. When that’s done I will upgrade my Core Duo mini to Snow Leopard and see how the 32 bits version will work out.

Happy reading: The mailserver on Snow Leopard

Good luck and can you please let me know if it worked for you?

Next Page »