[TUHS] Who is running their own mail server and what do you run?

Michael Parson mparson at bl.org
Thu Sep 21 09:26:26 AEST 2017

On Wed, 20 Sep 2017, Ian Zimmerman wrote:
> On 2017-09-20 09:25, Larry McVoy wrote:
>> I tried running my own server on mcvoy.com but eventually gave up, the
>> spam filtering was a non-ending task.
> exim on a VPS.  Currently it is a linode running debian but I will have
> to find an outlet that supports BSD before systemd becomes unavoidable
> on debian, which I'm afraid is only a matter of time.

I run NetBSD on my Linode hosted VPS.  It took a little work, but it
does work.

I also use sendmail + 5s greet pause + greylisting + regex milter +
spamassassin.  I also don't accept mail from IPs that don't resolve.  I
have also wholesale blocked several IP blocks from China and Korea via
ipf that have been problematic.

Before taking those measures 12-15 years ago, spam was eating my inbox,
since then, my spam volume has been quite low, but I do see some IPs
connect and never say anything, probably scripts hung up on the greet
pause?  Dunno.  If I'm watching the logs while one of those is going on,
I'll just 'sudo route add -host badip gw' and forget about

The stuff that makes it through all gets delivered through procmail
which sorts list mail into folders, stuff marked as spam into a spam
folder, and everything else gets delivered to my inbox and forwarded
to a second account which I point my phone at for reading inbox stuff,
generally, maybe 10-15 messages a day wind up in my inbox.  Spam mail
varies from day to day.  Some days it seems like I get tons, other days
it's just a few.

Mail is read either via alpine directly on the host, via roundcube
webmail on the host, or from my Android phone using the K-9 mail app.
All connect over imap/s provided by dovecot and Let's Encrypt SSL certs.

> spam is a problem but also a challenge ;-)
> I'll never switch to gmail as my primary address.  The day when it's the
> only way is the day the Net dies, as I see it, and the day when I look
> for a different line of work (which maybe I should have done a while ago).

Yeah, I thought about switching to google-hosted email, and I do have a
gmail account (more than one, actually), but those are not what I give
out as 'my' email address.  One is my 'android' account that is the
default account for my phone, one is used for signing up on websites
and other stuff I care less about.  Any real communication with me will
probably come through this address (mparson at bl.org).

I just don't like the idea of google reading my email, which is why I
don't even use their mail app on my phone, even to read mail sent to the
gmail accounts.  I do use their web interface for the gmail accounts,
but I also have alpine pointed at them, which is how I read most of my

Michael Parson
Pflugerville, TX

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