Running my own mail server.

I’ve switched to running my own mail server for this domain (and the others for which I am responsible). This should end a period of failed deliveries and asssorted mail problems. DNS settings have been changed and should have propagated by now. However, the old mail server stopped relaying any of the mail for my domain as soon as I changed the DNS records in the web control panel. Any hosts with a cached DNS lookup got bounce messages until their lookup expired, which happened with our LUG mailing list.

Readers of this blog may remember that I moved registrars a while ago to Freeparking (a paid-for service, not free as the name suggests), on recommendation from a friend. As part of the registration, DNS and web service they also offer a mail forwarding and redirection service. This mail service doesn’t seem to be all that reliable and it also has some fairly harsh spam filtering on it. Sadly this can’t be removed on a per-account basis, and it seems that a few servers were having difficulty getting their mail to me through the filters. I agree with others when they say service providers shouldn’t filter my mail for me. It should at least be optional.

Anyway, the upshot of all that is that I’ve opened up my mail server to receive incoming mail for my domains, and set up a backup MX elsewhere on the ‘net. When setting up Exim to receive and sort mail for multiple domains to different accounts, this article from Debian Administration was invaluable. So far everything seems to be working OK although it seems I’ve been dropped from at least one mailing list because of these delivery problems. I’m enjoying getting mail seconds after it was sent; my posts to the fabulous new lug.org.uk server arrive back almost as soon as I’ve sent them. I can add in additional spam filtering if I feel the need later, although I’m happy to let Thunderbird’s spam filters take care of it for now. Part of me regrets not doing this sooner.

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