I have spent most of the day, trying to get a very rudimentary mail server setup working, using a number of wikis, guides and tutorials. Some work better than others. What they all get wrong is in ignoring the users need to see something, anything working before having sunk a day into the project. Ars Technica even drags the bloody thing out over a month. A month! All in the name of ‘doing it the right way’. I don’t know about you but I think people are better served doing it ‘the wrong way’ (i.e. messily, hackily, unsecurely) at first and see – lo and behold – that they’ve got something that actually works! Messily! Hackily! Unsecurely! And then get to work on fixing the mess that they have made.
I got dovecot, postfix and postfixadmin up and running (and frankly think that ther should be a way to do away with that last one) before sending an email from the outside to a hastily created account on postfixadmin. Then I waited. Then – using cat and ls – I noted that the email had been delivered safely to the email folder. That instant of jubilation arrived after some four or five hours. Had I been following the Ars way, I wouldn’t have ventured that far before making sure that my certificates were approved and spam filters bolted down. What a way to kill enthusiasm.