Help with setting up small email server

Frank Shute frank at
Thu May 22 20:45:12 BST 2003

On Thu, May 22, 2003 at 02:50:28PM +0000, Lou Kamenov wrote:
> In some email I received from "Daniel Finnimore"
> <dan at> on Thu, 22 May 2003 14:27:13 +0100, wrote:
> > I would like to set up an email server for 20 users each having a
> > pop3 mailbox. To keep network trafic to a minimun I wish to dial
> > the ISP every 15 minutes from 7am to 9pm Monday to Saturday. The
> > mailserver will then fetch the mail and distribute same. 
> > 
> > At the moment I am struggling with setting up dns to get sendmail
> > working. I cannot even mail myself it just gets deferred. 
> I'm doing something similar using qmail and getmail.
> Getmail downloads all the emails and stores them into qmail's Maildir.
> qmail -> 
> qmail-howto ->
> getmail -> /usr/ports/mail/getmail

This is the same set up as I use. Lou didn't mention that qmail also
comes with a pop3 daemon: qmail-pop3d which I've used before with good
results. Each of your users will need an account on your FreeBSD box
to fetch their mail if you use pop3 to distribute it, although you can
set up methods of authentication other than user passwords. 

I'd also recommend reading:

which gives a good overview of qmail 


You will also need serialmail (link at above site or in ports) to set
up an outgoing mail queue for a dial-up. Documentation is a bit sparse
for using qmail with dial-up connections so give us a shout if you get

I wrote a really rotten perl script (it's rotten but it works!) to
deal with queued mail on a qmail dial-up installation:

BTW, in case you didn't know, some ISPs will give you your own domain
so that you can have some_user at which allows you to
have any number of users at that domain, other ISPs won't & you get
just one email address. Similarly, some ISPs can shunt your mail to
you via SMTP or you can fetch it with getmail/fetchmail (I prefer
getmail: configuration is easier & more sensible IMHO) via pop3. 

My ISPs SMTP service seemed a bit flaky so I now fetch it via pop3.

Another alternative is to register a domain name with a hosting
service & then pick up all your mail from there, at least you then
have a domain name of your choice. Then just use your ISPs mailserver
for outgoing.

As for clients posting to your mail server....we'll worry about that
when you get that far....but qmail authenticates clients via name
service normally but my personal preference is to avoid bind the same
as sendmail - I'm too idle to spend time rebuilding/patching software



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