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Old Nov 3, 2009, 10:18 PM   #1
nullx86
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How do I setup a mail server on Mac OS X Server? (NO TROLLING, Criticism, etc)

Ok, I am totally lost here. I got it partially working in linux, but I know nothing about OS X Server. I am trying to set up a mail server on one of my home macs because my mail provider sucks and limits the crap out of me, and their so called spam catcher doesnt work. So I'm experementing. So I got a copy of Mac OSX Server 10.5.4 and installed it on my MBP and have it running, but nothing configured. So how do I get a mail server set up? I have a domain name and all, I just dont know how to get it set up. Thanks. criticism
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Last edited by nullx86; Nov 5, 2009 at 04:28 PM.
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Old Nov 4, 2009, 05:47 AM   #2
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You're going to run this on a MBP? It doesn't sound like you know what you're getting into. It's not that you can't do it, but running a Mail server requires it to be available (running, connected to the internet at the same address) nearly 100% of the time.
Also, most ISP's block the ports necessary to run a mail server.. mostly for your own good.. so that spammers can't use your computer as easily. You can get around this by using forwarding services from companies like DynDns.org. But running a mail server is not like running a file server.
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Old Nov 4, 2009, 05:50 AM   #3
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If your mail provider "sucks" get another one.

Running your own mail server is not the way to go at all.
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Old Nov 4, 2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by nullx86 View Post
Ok, I am totally lost here. I got it partially working in linux, but I know nothing about OS X Server. I am trying to set up a mail server on one of my home macs because my mail provider sucks and limits the crap out of me, and their so called spam catcher doesnt work. So I'm experementing. So I got a copy of Mac OSX Server 10.5.4 and installed it on my MBP and have it running, but nothing configured. So how do I get a mail server set up? I have a domain name and all, I just dont know how to get it set up. Thanks.
If you have your own domain, do you have your own hosting? if you do and you do not want the email setup for that domain with the host than you can edit the MX Records and make the necessary changes. If your domains hosted and thats what your going to use for the email address than just let the host worry about security and virus protection and leave you hassle free.

If your ISP for home service catches you hosting or running services that your not supposed to they could shut your service off until you straighten matters out with them.
Its been done in my area to numerous people trying to save a buck and end up getting disconnected by RR or DSL provider.

Just my .25cents
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Old Nov 4, 2009, 03:34 PM   #5
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I've been running Kerio on my linux server for about 2 years with no issues. I have backup MX's and backup the drive every night so im good!
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Old Nov 4, 2009, 11:08 PM   #6
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Wow, you know if i wanted to be told what to do and what not to do, i would have asked for that. I am assuming no one one here knows who to set up a mail server on Mac OS X then? I know the risks, and my ISP is probably the most naive of them all. Also, they arent restrictive as to what I can and cant do online (like verizon and RoadRunner is).

@phineas, yeah my domain is hosted and i can edit all of my zone records and all, so just set my MX records to my IP (or my dyndns) right?

@edesignuk, you know for someone with V as their Av and in their sig, you should know something about "The Man" and sticking it to him. Also this: "If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself".

@brett_x I know what I am getting into (and yes I know that a file server and mail server is different, trust me, i know what the difference is between SMB, AFP, NFS and IMAP,POP3, SMTP are.), I just dont know how to get it set up on Mac OS X server. I had it working in Linux, but all the home computers are Macs now, so I fgured to use OS X Server instead of linux (AFP on linux doesnt play too nicely sometimes). I have the nessecary ports routed via Port Fordwarding to the server only, and like i said, I know the risks. If something happens, its my own fault.

Now, how exactly do I set up a mail server in Mac OS X Server??
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Old Nov 5, 2009, 04:24 AM   #7
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Mmm, maybe you should should have forked out a few bucks for a few OSX Server books (from Apple for example) or online training courses (from lynda.com for example), before forking out all that money for Mac OSX 10.5 Server, just to see if it suits your needs.

You can even download all the <a href="http://support.apple.com/manuals/#serversandenterprisesoftware">OSX 10.5 Server documentation</a> from Apple, that will show you exactly what to do.

I'll come and set it up for you. Costs start at around $1800/day, plus any sales tax.
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Old Nov 5, 2009, 04:31 AM   #8
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Mmm, maybe you should should have forked out a few bucks for a few OSX Server books (from Apple for example) or online training courses (from lynda.com for example), before forking out all that money for Mac OSX 10.5 Server, just to see if it suits your needs.
I may be wrong, but I read "I got a copy of Mac OSX Server 10.5.4 and installed it on my MBP" as "I downloaded/acquired a copy".

nullx86, no need to be rude. People are simply pointing out that because you're not happy with your current provider doesn't mean the next logical step is to set up your own.
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Old Nov 5, 2009, 05:48 AM   #9
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I may be wrong, but I read "I got a copy of Mac OSX Server 10.5.4 and installed it on my MBP" as "I downloaded/acquired a copy".
Well some don't like to be accused of being pirates. Maybe he's s lazy spoilt rich kid (no offence meant) who's purchased it from Apple. There's some posts for help here and on Apple Discussions - new Mac, usually laptop, with no original discs or sales receipt, no charger, and they're forgotten their account password. Just screams STOLEN, but we just can't accuse them. I'm not implying in any way that there has been any theft in this case.
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Old Nov 5, 2009, 04:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edesignuk View Post
I may be wrong, but I read "I got a copy of Mac OSX Server 10.5.4 and installed it on my MBP" as "I downloaded/acquired a copy".

nullx86, no need to be rude. People are simply pointing out that because you're not happy with your current provider doesn't mean the next logical step is to set up your own.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BertyBoy View Post
Well some don't like to be accused of being pirates. Maybe he's s lazy spoilt rich kid (no offence meant) who's purchased it from Apple. There's some posts for help here and on Apple Discussions - new Mac, usually laptop, with no original discs or sales receipt, no charger, and they're forgotten their account password. Just screams STOLEN, but we just can't accuse them. I'm not implying in any way that there has been any theft in this case.
Ok, edesignuk, you wouldnt like it if I accused you of pirating would you? Please dont do it to me. Also, I have tried many different mail providers, and like i said above, I know the risks of setting my own mail server up. I dont want people telling me what I should or shouldn't do; I am quite capable of making those decisions on my own. What I want (and the whole point of this thread is) is to get some info on how to set up the mail server on Mac OS X Server.

BertyBoy, thanks. I actually got the 10.5.4 from a friend who was working in IT, and I got a trial copy of Snow Leopard Server directly from Apple. So, I guess i will rely on Apple's documentation rather then the people here, who most only seems to be able to troll and yell "Piracy!".
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Old Nov 5, 2009, 06:40 PM   #11
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Again, you will need to make sure that the OSX 10.5.4 Server is legit, with a serial not in use by any other client. Anyone who's finished with Leopard Server, having moved already to Snow Leopard Server (which is how I presume you have access to the original install media and licence key), will almost certainly have an "up-to-date" licence, meaning (strictly speaking) that their OSX 10.5.4 Server licence is not available for use by you. You just need to make sure.

Anyway, the documentation is a big read, and it's not due to a lack of knowledge, or an unwillingness to help from users here that's the cause of the lack of response, setting up a mail server is no easy feat - well it wasn't in 10.3 Server, and when I read the 10.4 manuals it didn't seem any easier. Basically someone would be posting the full contents of the manual here to get you through the setup. Even then it would have to assume that the installation and setup was completed correctly - the software installs easily, it's the initial setup that still frightens me. i've heard it's a lot better in 10.5 and 10.6.
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Old Nov 5, 2009, 06:50 PM   #12
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Server Preferences -> Turn Mail Service On.
Server Admin -> Mail Section configure host and domain name.
Open up ports in router and forward to your server.
Point DNS entries and MX records.

not much harder than that. Tons of other settings though. And I'm joining the chorus on this one. Apple made this one particularly easy, if you couldnt figure the basics out on your own I really dont think this is the best choice for you.

And to echo another point that was made, if you laptop isnt hooked up and left on all the time you WILL miss email. You NEED a dedicated server for this type of thing.
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Old Nov 5, 2009, 08:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by BertyBoy View Post
Anyway, the documentation is a big read, and it's not due to a lack of knowledge, or an unwillingness to help from users here that's the cause of the lack of response, setting up a mail server is no easy feat - well it wasn't in 10.3 Server, and when I read the 10.4 manuals it didn't seem any easier. Basically someone would be posting the full contents of the manual here to get you through the setup. Even then it would have to assume that the installation and setup was completed correctly - the software installs easily, it's the initial setup that still frightens me. i've heard it's a lot better in 10.5 and 10.6.
10.5 is easier. 10.6 is a doddle. If you can buy yourself a copy of 10.6 server, use that because it's a piece of cake.


I'd recommend for 10.5 Server over anything else (including Apple's documentation), the Lynda.com training. Yes, that's 11 hours of video, but it sets you right up for everything. You can dip in to the sections you need, but I'd completely recommend starting at the beginning and working your way through. This way you'll understand the importance of DNS working correctly on the system (if you don't get it right first time you can be looking - potentially - at a complete reinstall of the OS).

Just as Ballmer said "Developers! Developers! Developers!", I - and Lynda.com, the manuals and all the OS X pros I know - say "DNS! DNS! DNS!".



Alternatively, look at 10.6. I'm evaluating the upgrade path for our couple of racks of Xserves, and have been hugely impressed by how simple the setup can be. It's just in a different league from anything else on the market, but the proper config ability is still there for the admins who need the raw customisation.

All in all, what you get back from OS X Server is what you put in. While it sounds like people are fobbing you off, they're really not. You can't do a thorough job without going through documentation (and/or something like the Lynda.com training) - and the posters above are right - if we listed what exactly to do, we'd end up quoting the manuals.


Best of luck with your quest for Mail, and if you do have any issues with specific parts of the configuration, I know we'll be happy to help.
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Old Nov 6, 2009, 01:40 AM   #14
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Old Nov 6, 2009, 06:38 AM   #15
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And to echo another point that was made, if you laptop isnt hooked up and left on all the time you WILL miss email. You NEED a dedicated server for this type of thing.
That depends on how often it is down. Mail usually will get held for around 3 days before it is removed from the queue.
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Old Nov 6, 2009, 08:49 AM   #16
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Hi Nullx86, I don't know if this is of any help and I realise that it may be a little off topic. Rather than try to figure out how to setup OS X server, have you looked at surgemail? It's free for 5 users or less and has some antispam features. I have it up and running on a macmini and I'm not too technical but it was easy to configure, just a single screen. It will even do pop call out if required.

http://www.netwinsite.com/surgemail/
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Old Nov 7, 2009, 12:21 AM   #17
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Another option is:

http://www.google.com/a/cpanel/domain/new

I have used this service and it is excellent.

For your reading pleasure:
http://images.apple.com/server/macos...dmin_v10.6.pdf
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Old Nov 24, 2009, 01:59 PM   #18
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Nobody knows how

Reading the answers here it is apparent that nobody can tell you how to set up a mail server. I found the question because I am in the same boat. I have run my own servers for years using RR business class service and decided to buy a mini server because the price is right! The main reason is I hope to shut down two old g4 servers and a windows machine running my mail server. This alone will save me over $100.00 a month on my electric bill. So far the conversion to the web server has been flawless and as easy as it can get. The mail server is being a real pain in the ass. I can't seem to get the accounts to work as I think they should. I will prevail though.
Those of you saying how hard it is to run a mail server have obviously bought into the hype of how hard it is. This is so untrue it's not funny. My business requires the transfer of very large graphic and photo files via email. A commercial service has way to many restrictions. Running my own allows me to send and receive what I want, when I want to. I have run world client server which has web based mail as well as regular mail service for going on 8 years now. It could not be easier. The SL server I think will do what I want it to do and if it does I will be able to cut my 3 server system down to 1 mac mini server. Power consumption will go from 1100+ watts of power to around 12 watts. 100 times LESS! Now that is the real beauty of the mini.
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Old Nov 24, 2009, 02:58 PM   #19
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Reading the answers here it is apparent that nobody can tell you how to set up a mail server. I found the question because I am in the same boat. I have run my own servers for years using RR business class service and decided to buy a mini server because the price is right! The main reason is I hope to shut down two old g4 servers and a windows machine running my mail server. This alone will save me over $100.00 a month on my electric bill. So far the conversion to the web server has been flawless and as easy as it can get. The mail server is being a real pain in the ass. I can't seem to get the accounts to work as I think they should. I will prevail though.
Those of you saying how hard it is to run a mail server have obviously bought into the hype of how hard it is. This is so untrue it's not funny. My business requires the transfer of very large graphic and photo files via email. A commercial service has way to many restrictions. Running my own allows me to send and receive what I want, when I want to. I have run world client server which has web based mail as well as regular mail service for going on 8 years now. It could not be easier. The SL server I think will do what I want it to do and if it does I will be able to cut my 3 server system down to 1 mac mini server. Power consumption will go from 1100+ watts of power to around 12 watts. 100 times LESS! Now that is the real beauty of the mini.
I don't think 3 machines are pulling 1.1 kW. That's a bit extreme.

Running an email server is not hard, but you have to be careful how you set it up, or you can get yourself blacklisted. I've run email services for myself and businesses for some years, so yes, there are people who know how to do it.
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Old Nov 25, 2009, 01:42 AM   #20
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I never set up an Mac OSX mail server but I did want to chime in and say +1 for Lynda.com. That site is the ****.
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