help with mail server

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by teamplay, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. teamplay macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2010
    Hello everyone,

    I need some expert help!

    I am trying to setup a mail server for a small company with the new Mac Mini Server Snow Leopard 10.6.5 to replace our existing linux setup. The networking guy left and the current setup has stability problems. The other services offered by Snow Leopard Server were also very promising.

    My problem is that I am stuck trying to make this work and it is no plug and play task! I know you're all laughing . I've tried to go to the documentation, but it's not specific enough for me. I did manage to mirror the two drives though.

    So far I just want to see mail server work locally (no internet). we have our own DNS server. I believe it is probably configured on the Mac, but I don't think we need it for an intranet email test.

    1. So in workgroups I don't understand whether I need accounts in:
    Authenticated as admin to local directory: /Local/Default
    Authenticated as diradmin to directory: /LDAPv3/127.0.01

    In Server Admin:
    domain name:
    host name:

    I have two accounts in each directory. How can I send an email from outlook to one account and see that it came into the Mac Mail Server?

    Can someone give me a rough outline what to do for local setup or even WAN? I don't mind.

    I thank you all in advance! Very desperate at the moment!
  2. jerry333 macrumors regular


    Nov 4, 2005
    You're going to need to configure the outlook client to look at your MTA so you can see what's going on.

    You can see where the e-mail was sent from and what route it took by looking at the full headers. They are a bit confusing at first, but they eventually become familiar:

    1. The oldest header is at the bottom.

    2. The only headers you can trust are above the one showing where your MTA receives the email. (Sometimes spammers fake headers).

    Use command line tools such as "scutil --dns" and "scutil --get HostName" to make sure that everything is configured correctly.

    You're also going to have to make sure that the Mac's DNS points to your official DNS.

    My recommendation is that you pay an Apple consulting firm to set it up for you. This will be the quickest way to get it functional.
  3. teamplay thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2010
    Thank you for your reply.

    can you explain me the difference between the two workgroup directories? which one is the working directory?
  4. jerry333 macrumors regular


    Nov 4, 2005
    What I think they are is that one is for users configured with Open Directory and the other is one for users not configured with Open Directory. I could be mistaken on this because I'm not using Open Directory.

    My setup is somewhat different. I keep all the mail on the server and access it only through IMAP over SSL. This allows me to access mail regardless of what computer I'm on and also simplifies security because there is only one thing to keep secure. I also use rather than outlook, but that shouldn't make a big difference.

    So in the General Settings (in Server Admin) I have:

    Enable SMTP
    Allow incoming mail
    Enable IMAP with maximum of XXX connections

    Nothing else is checked.

    In the Advanced section I have:

    CRAM-MD5 only checked.
    You might also want to have Kerberos checked if you're using Open Directory.

    In the Relay section I have a number of hosts and networks blocked to drop spammers at SMTP time. This saves load on the server. I also use sbl and I've found the other block too many places that I need to receive mail from and missing an e-mail is not acceptable.

    Understand that there are many ways to set up a mail server. Mine works for me, but it probably won't work for you because an e-mail system has many conflicting requirements (which is why you need someone to come in and individualize your setup).

    OS X Server is not really plug-and-play the way OS X Desktop is. OS X Server does two things:

    1. It provides a GUI interface.

    2. It provides a suite of compatible services that are automatically updated through Software Update.

    You could download the various services and run them on OS X Desktop, but then you would have to keep up with each service's upgrades and do them yourself. You would also have to configure them to work together. OS X Server reduces this part of system administration work. It doesn't really reduce the initial setup work (other than the getting them to work together part) and really requires a qualified administrator to set it up. Once set up the GUI makes it fairly easy to maintain.

    Note that you will also need the services of an administrator when you upgrade major versions (Tigre to Leopard, Leopard to Snow Leopard etc.). The upgrade process often doesn't go well. Upgrading to point releases (e.g. 10.6.3 to 10.6.4) works well.

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