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What would you like to do?
hosting one's own email

I want to get off Gmail for two reasons:

  1. my own * address
  2. to get my email under my own control so I can write scripts to process/analyze it

I've asked on Twitter what software should I use.
Here are the aggregated suggestions.


  • postfix (unanimous)

@beanieboi says: you want maildir not mbox


  • dovecot (almost unanimous)
  • Courier

spam protection

(not in any particular order)


I don't need webmail for myself, but here's what was suggested:

address book

give up everything and use Google Apps

Couple of people suggested this. Yes, it's the easiest solution, but the whole point of my question was getting off someone else's servers and onto mine.

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I just came across ClearOS which may be worth looking at as it includes many of these components and hopefully is already configured correctly to help prevent outgoing spam. I haven't used it personally, but it does look interesting.

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I know you want to get off of google, but your two primary reasons can be accomplished with google apps.

1. my own * address

In your control panel on google apps, you can configure a "Catch-all address" which is where messages go if they don't match any specific address within the domain

2. to get my email under my own control so I can write scripts to process/analyze it

If you enable imap or pop, you can pull down your messages with fetchmail and filter/process them with procmail or any other tools you may want.

The main reason to keep things with google is that they do a damn fine job with spam filtering, and babysitting any of the opensource alternatives can become a huge PITA over time. If you're dead-set on doing it yourself, you can look into postini for spam filtering -- which is a google service and costs $12/user/year.

You also get the benefit of a pretty good webmail interface, and two factor authentication if you want it.

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For additional email security, you can trivially setup DKIM and (though it's always trivial) SPF.

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