Not a fan of qmail Fri, Jul 13, 2007

After many hours of hand wringing and tooth gnashing I finally managed to cobble together some form of a working mail server. It should be mostly working now. Receiving messages should most definitely be working. Sending might be a little hairy and scary right now.

The problem all started yesterday morning while trying to upgrade the spam filtering system on our Virtual Private Server. It was already a bit of a hack - qmail, spamhaus rbl, and spamassassin. Somewhere along the way stopping spam stopped stopping, so I had the bright idea “Hey, just upgrade everything” as if that would fix it all. bzzzzzzt wrong answer. Ended up making things way worse. So bad in fact qmail would no longer give any helpful error messages. Since being on the VPS I haven’t been a huge fan of qmail. Too many pieces. Too many things to break. Too hard to track down. So I ended up installing my old standby Postfix. There’s something to that name.

The installation went smooth enough. A few minor problems dealing with all of my virtual domains and users, but nothing a little google help and a whole lot of trial and error couldn’t figure out. The biggest problem with smtp has always been authenticated relaying of email. So that people at Cryogas can freely send email through my server to anywhere and still not open it up so spammers can blast their warez out to the universe. In the end I was able to get dovecot and it’s SASL implementation working. It’s a bit of bubble gum and bailing wire right now, but that will improve shortly.

If people are having any problems whatsoever with their email - and they are hosted on this server - get in touch with me through appropriate means. Sorry for the headaches. That’s why we love technology. Right?