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Subject: Re: Mail Server Inquiry
From: "N.J. Thomas" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Platform Independent Linux List! <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 28 Feb 2018 17:23:09 -0800
Content-Type:text/plain
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* Nick Strickland <[log in to unmask]> [2018-02-28 03:22:52+0000]:
> Running CentOS 7 w/ postfix, dovecot, and a mariadb setup
[...]
> but I've gotten just about nowhere.

hi Nick,

Your email is missing many technical details about the exact problems
you are facing -- but you did mention elsewhere in the thread that you
are new and doing this for your own personal interest, to learn, so
that's okay (for now).

Postfix, Dovecot, MariaDB, all running on a CentOS box is a pretty tall
order, especially for someone new. You should break it down into pieces.
If I were you, I wouldn't worry about Dovecot and MariaDB for the
moment. Make sure your box is setup properly, and then get a basic
Postfix instance running. Once you have a basic mail server setup, you
can then add to it as you go along.

Some questions:

    - Is your CentOS box setup properly? Does it have a static IP? Is
      DNS working correctly -- especially for the domain you want to use for
      mail?  Is your reverse IP setup?

    - Is your box hardened properly? Have you locked it down to SSH only
      access? Do you have a firewall running? There's some Linux
      hardening checklists floating around on the web that you can look
      at.

    - The questions I am asking are not exhaustive by any means. If you
      are not sure about any of the above, grab a good Linux Book and
      learn. There's lot's of online resources too.

    - If you are confident that your box is setup properly, then move on
      to Postfix.

    - The most important Postfix command for you to know right now is this
      one: "postconf -n". That will show you all the values of the
      Postfix configuration parameters that are non-standard. Run that,
      and paste your output here, and we can help debug your mail issues
      further.

    - Off the top of my head, the postfix parameters that are probably
      most important are:

	inet_interfaces
	inet_protocols
	mydestination
	mydomain
	myhostname
	mynetworks
	mynetworks_style
	myorigin
	relay_domains
	virtual_alias_domains
	virtual_alias_maps~

      These are the ones that determine how and for whom you accept
      mail. Post what you have and we can take a look.

    - The other nice thing about Postfix is that IT WRITES REALLY GOOD
      LOGS. Anytime you are dealing with a mail issue, the answer is
      almost always in the logs. You will be checking the logs to debug
      any mail issues.


It's frustrating to run into a wall, we've all been there. The key here
is to take it one step at a time. In a world where many people who
should know better are giving all their mail over to the likes of
Google, I commend you for what you're doing.

Keep us posted on your progress.

hth,
Thomas

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