This long post contains a recipe for building a reasonably secure Ubuntu 14.04 mailserver, using Postfix, Dovecot, and MySQL, with anti-spam packages in the form of amavisd-new, Clam AntiVirus, SpamAssassin, and Postgrey. Local users are virtual rather than being system users. Administration of users and domains is achieved through the Postfix Admin web interface.

This is an updated version of an earlier Ubuntu 12.04 mailserver recipe. A number of people graciously helped to fix bugs and make improvements in the original, so should you find a blocking issue here please do let me know.

  1. Introduction

Building a Linux mailserver from scratch to your own liking is a painful process unless you happen to be one of the few folk who do that day in and day out – there is no way around that fact. A mailserver generally consists of a range of different packages that separately handle SMTP, POP/IMAP, local storage of mail, and spam-related tasks: they must all talk to one another correctly, all have small novels in place of configuration documentation, and there is no one obvious best practice for how users are managed, how to store user data, or how to glue the various different components together. There are any number of different viable setups for moving mail between Postfix and Dovecot, for example. Further, the whole assembly tends to be unforgiving on matters such as file ownership and permissions, choice of users for specific processes, and tiny errors in esoteric configuration files. Unless you know what you are doing the end result will likely be either insecure or otherwise subtly non-functional. Merely not working is perhaps the best of bad outcomes.

There are a number of fairly up to date recipes for creating mailservers out there; one of the better ones is an Ubuntu recipe by Ivar Abrahamsen, which gives you Postfix for SMTP, Courier for IMAP/POP, MySQL to store account information, virtual user mail directories, and an array of anti-spam tools that are highly effective when working in concert. It’s a good set of documents, as the author places an emphasis on producing a secure mailserver as the end result. In the past I have made good use of Abrahamsen’s guide as a basis for my mail servers, and recommend it.

There are also a great many partial recipes and out of date guides that are frankly more of a hindrance than a help – especially when it comes to Dovecot, which has changed greatly between its 1.* and 2.* versions. The configuration is completely different, and so are many of the administrative and tool binaries. When I chose to migrate my servers from Courier to Dovecot it was a challenge to find a good all-in-one-place guide, and hence the existence of this document.

You should at least skim the whole of this post before setting forth to follow its recipe. That should help to avoid unpleasant surprises, and there are some notes at the end on alternative options and additions that are worth reading before you get started.

  1. Outlining the Goal

The end result of following this guide will be a secure mail server for your domain equipped with the following software packages:

Postfix: sends and receives mail via the SMTP protocol. It will only relay mail on to other mailservers if the mail is sent by an authenticated user, but anyone can send mail to this server for local delivery.
Dovecot: a POP and IMAP server that manages local mail directories and allows users to log in and download their mail. It also handles user authentication.
Postgrey: greylists incoming mail, requiring unfamiliar deliverers to wait for a while and then resend. This is one of the better tools for cutting down on spam.
amavisd-new: a manager for organizing various antivirus and spam checking content filters.
Clam AntiVirus: a virus detection suite.
SpamAssassin: for sniffing out spam in emails.
Postfix Admin: a web front end for administering mail users and domains.
Roundcube: a webmail interface for users.
The server will accept plain text or encrypted SMTP and POP/IMAP connections at the standard ports, but will not allow user authentication without encryption. It will pass through a minimal set of mail headers for mail sent by local users, removing identifying information from the original sender’s mail software.

  1. Use of and

Throughout the instructions in this post is used as the domain, and the mail server for this domain has the hostname So wherever you see these items be sure to replace them with your chosen domain and mail server hostname.

  1. Some Basic Configuration

The baseline Ubuntu instance is lacking in near every package you might need, so you are building from fairly close to scratch. You’ll log in as the “ubuntu” user and then switch to the root user via the traditional “sudo su” command; most of what you need to do requires root access:

sudo su

You must set up an Elastic IP to give your server a permanent IP address. By default, an AWS instance will have its own strange-looking hostname, so changing to the domain the server will have is the first item on the list.


Now set the contents of /etc/hostname to be the hostname:

echo "" > /etc/hostname And add your hostname to the first line of /etc/hosts: localhost # There will be IPv6 configuration below the first line, but leave that alone. ...

Now you will want to regenerate the server’s default self-signed SSL certificate so that it matches the domain name. You may have purchased an SSL certificate for your mail server, but it is perfectly possible and completely secure to run a mail server using a self-signed certificate. The only consequences will be warning screens when using webmail hosted on the server and warnings from Microsoft Outlook when connecting via POP, IMAP, or SMTP.

apt-get install --assume-yes ssl-cert make-ssl-cert generate-default-snakeoil --force-overwrite

  1. Now Build a LAMP Web Server

The list of goals here includes webmail and a web-based administrative interface for managing users, so as a starting point you will need to set up a LAMP web server, which stands for Linux as the operating system, Apache as the webserver, MySQL as the database, and PHP as the scripting language. Fortunately there is a shortcut to install all of the basic LAMP packages, so start by updating the repository data and installing those packages. Notice the “^” character at the end of the command below, as it is necessary:

apt-get update apt-get upgrade --assume-yes apt-get install --assume-yes lamp-server^

During this installation process you will be asked to enter and confirm a password for the MySQL root user. Choose something sensible and wait for the remaining installations to complete. Then you can move on to adding an array of must-have additional packages for PHP, such as APC bytecode caching, Mcrypt support, Memcache support, cURL, an XML parser, and GD image processing support. You may also choose to add more to suite your own taste and any other applications you might want to support on this server.

apt-get install --assume-yes \ php-apc \ php5-mcrypt \ php5-memcache \ php5-curl \ php5-gd \ php-xml-parser

You’ll find that php5-memcrypt isn’t enabled by default, where “enabled” here means a symlink is created under /etc/php5/apache2/conf.d to point to the module configuration file in /etc/php5/mods-available. You’ll notice its absence when webmail fails to work later on. The following command fixes that issue by enabling the module:

php5enmod mcrypt

  1. Configure PHP

The default configuration settings for PHP and the additional packages mentioned above are sufficient for most casual usage. So unless you have something complicated or high-powered in mind, you should probably only change the expose_php setting in /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini. Set it to “Off”:

; Decides whether PHP may expose the fact that it is installed on the server ; (e.g. by adding its signature to the Web server header). It is no security ; threat in any way, but it makes it possible to determine whether you use PHP ; on your server or not. ; expose_php = Off

  1. Use OpenSSL to Create a Unique Diffie-Helman Group

Security is becoming ever harder these days. One of the more recent attacks on SSL is known as Logjam, and defending against it requires what is presently a non-standard addition to your SSL configuration in applications using it. Creating your own Diffie-Helman groups and saving them to configuration files is the first step:

openssl dhparam -out /etc/ssl/private/dhparams.pem 2048 chmod 600 /etc/ssl/private/dhparams.pem

  1. Configure Apache

The expected end result for the Apache webserver is that it will serve a single site with a couple of running web applications: (a) Roundcube for webmail, and (b) Postfix Admin hidden away in a subdirectory. All HTTP requests will be redirected to use HTTPS, as there is no good reason to allow non-secure access to any of applications that will reside on the server.

Firstly configure the following lines in /etc/apache2/conf-enabled/security.conf to minimize the information that Apache gives out in its response headers:

# ServerTokens # This directive configures what you return as the Server HTTP response # Header. The default is 'Full' which sends information about the OS-Type # and compiled in modules. # Set to one of: Full | OS | Minimal | Minor | Major | Prod # where Full conveys the most information, and Prod the least. # ServerTokens Prod # # Optionally add a line containing the server version and virtual host # name to server-generated pages (internal error documents, FTP directory # listings, mod_status and mod_info output etc., but not CGI generated # documents or custom error documents). # Set to "EMail" to also include a mailto: link to the ServerAdmin. # Set to one of: On | Off | EMail # ServerSignature Off

Make sure that mod_rewrite, mod_ssl, and the default SSL virtual host is enabled – you’ll need these line items to be able to force visitors to use HTTPS.

a2enmod rewrite ssl a2ensite default-ssl

Edit these lines in /etc/apache2/mods-available/ssl.conf to ensure that protocols that are no longer secure are not used:

Aiming for perfect forward secrecy where possible, and protecting against # attacks such as Logjam. See: # # SSLCipherSuite ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:DHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:DHE-DSS-AES128-GCM-SHA256:kEDH+AESGCM:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA256:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-SHA256:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-SHA:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA384:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-SHA:DHE-RSA-AES128-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES128-SHA:DHE-DSS-AES128-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA256:DHE-DSS-AES256-SHA:DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA:AES128-GCM-SHA256:AES256-GCM-SHA384:AES128-SHA256:AES256-SHA256:AES128-SHA:AES256-SHA:AES:CAMELLIA:DES-CBC3-SHA:!aNULL:!eNULL:!EXPORT:!DES:!RC4:!MD5:!PSK:!aECDH:!EDH-DSS-DES-CBC3-SHA:!EDH-RSA-DES-CBC3-SHA:!KRB5-DES-CBC3-SHA SSLHonorCipherOrder on # The protocols to enable. # Available values: all, SSLv3, TLSv1, TLSv1.1, TLSv1.2 # SSL v2 is no longer supported SSLProtocol all -SSLv2 -SSLv3

The default site configuration in /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf can be edited to look something like this for the sake of simplicity:

<VirtualHost *:80> ServerAdmin [email protected] DocumentRoot /var/www/html <Directory "/var/www/html"> Options FollowSymLinks AllowOverride All ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log # Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit, # alert, emerg. LogLevel warn CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

But of course your taste and needs may vary. Keeping the same simple approach, the upper portion of the SSL configuration in /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl.conf can be set up as follows:

ServerAdmin [email protected] DocumentRoot /var/www/html <Directory "/var/www/html"> Options FollowSymLinks AllowOverride All ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log # Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit, # alert, emerg. LogLevel warn CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ssl_access.log combined # SSL Engine Switch: # Enable/Disable SSL for this virtual host. SSLEngine on # # ... more default SSL configuration ... # You will probably need to change this next Directory directive as well # in order to match the earlier one. <Directory "/var/www/html"> SSLOptions +StdEnvVars # ... yet more default SSL configuration ...

If you are using a purchased rather than self-signed SSL certificate, then you probably also have a CA certificate bundle from the issuer. You may have a wildcard certificate for *, a less costly certificate covering several subdomains such as and, or you may have separate certificates for the subdomains that you care about. Place the relevant certificate, private key, and CA certificate bundle in the following locations:

The key must not be password protected, and it must be locked down such that only the root user can read it:

chmod 600 /etc/ssl/private/

Now change these lines in /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/default-ssl.conf:

A self-signed (snakeoil) certificate can be created by installing # the ssl-cert package. See # /usr/share/doc/apache2/README.Debian.gz for more info. # If both key and certificate are stored in the same file, only the # SSLCertificateFile directive is needed. SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/certs/ SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/ # Server Certificate Chain: # Point SSLCertificateChainFile at a file containing the # concatenation of PEM encoded CA certificates which form the # certificate chain for the server certificate. Alternatively # the referenced file can be the same as SSLCertificateFile # when the CA certificates are directly appended to the server # certificate for convinience. SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/ssl/certs/ca-bundle.crt

To push visitors to HTTPS, put something similar to the following snippet into /var/www/html/.htaccess:

RewriteEngine On # Redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS. RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on RewriteRule ^/?(.*) https://%{SERVER_NAME}/$1 [R,L]

  1. Make Use of that Diffie-Helman Group

What to do with the Diffie-Helman group in /etc/ssl/private/dhparams.pem depends on the version of Apache. You can find your version by running:

apachectl -V

If you are running 2.4.8 or later, then add or edit this line in /etc/apache2/mods-available/ssl.conf:

SSLOpenSSLConfCmd DHParameters "/etc/ssl/private/dhparams.pem"

If using an earlier version, then append the contents of /etc/ssl/private/dhparams.pem to your certificate file. For example:

cat /etc/ssl/private/dhparams.pem >> /etc/ssl/certs/

Now restart Apache to pick up the changes, after which you should be able to load the default Apache homepage and see that you are automatically redirected to HTTPS.

service apache2 restart

  1. Install and Configure Memcached

You will need to install Memcached to support the webmail applications intended to run on this server:

apt-get install --assume-yes memcached

The default configuration file at /etc/memcached.conf is good enough for a small server: it locks down access to localhost and provides generally sensible configuration parameter values. If you are building a larger machine for heavy usage, you will probably want to bump the memory allocation to be higher than the default of 64M:

Start with a cap of 64 megs of memory. It's reasonable, and the daemon default # Note that the daemon will grow to this size, but does not start out holding this much # memory -m 64

  1. Install the Mailserver Packages

Now we’re ready to start in on the harder stuff. As for the LAMP server, there is a shortcut for installing the basic packages for a mail server. Again, note the “^” at the end of the command:

apt-get install --assume-yes mail-server^

When Postfix installs, you will be asked to choose a general type of mail configuration. At this point select “Internet site”. You will be asked for the system mail name, which is the hostname of your mailserver, e.g. When Dovecot installs you will be asked whether you want to create an SSL certificate. Here answer “no”, as you will be adjusting the Dovecot configuration later to point to either your default snakeoil certificate or, ideally, your purchased SSL certificate.

What this set of packages provides to you is pretty much just the bare bones, aimed at setting up a mailserver that manages its users as straightforward Unix users and doesn’t use a SQL database to store data. That is not the goal here, so we need the rest of the cast, such as MySQL support for Postfix and Dovecot, and a coterie of spam-mashing packages:

apt-get install --assume-yes \ postfix-mysql \ dovecot-mysql \ postgrey \ amavis \ clamav \ clamav-daemon \ spamassassin \ php5-imap

The php5-imap package actually provides support for POP3 as well as the IMAP protocol, and will be needed by Postfix Admin and most of the possible options for PHP webmail applications. It isn’t automatically enabled, however. You must run this command to ensure that it is:

php5enmod imap

You will want to restart Apache at this point to have php5-imap running and ready:

service apache2 restart

Next you’ll want to install a few optional packages that extend the abilities of the spam and virus detection packages by allowing greater inspection of attached files:

apt-get install --assume-yes \ pyzor \ razor \ arj \ cabextract \ lzop \ nomarch \ p7zip-full \ ripole \ rpm2cpio \ tnef \ unzip \ unrar-free \ zip \ zoo

  1. Create a Mail Database and User in MySQL

Log in to MySQL as the root user, entering the password you set earlier:

mysql -uroot -p

Now set up a database and user for the mail software. This database will store information on user accounts and mail domains, using schema set up by the Postfix Admin package. You will want to pick a better password than the example used below, but note that it will be entered into numerous configuration files. If an attacker gains shell access to the server, it doesn’t matter how good the password is. Protection from unauthorized access to the database is largely provided by the fact that access to MySQL is restricted by the firewall, but it never hurts to have good passwords in place regardless: to put in place multiple layers of defense is always a good strategy.

create database mail; grant all on mail.* to 'mail'@'localhost' identified by 'mailpassword';

  1. Install Postfix Admin 2.3.7 and the MySQL Schema

Postfix Admin is installed as follows. To start things off, download the package from Sourceforge, unpack it, move it into a subdirectory of your webroot, and change ownership to the www-data user:

wget tar -xf postfixadmin-2.3.7.tar.gz rm -f postfixadmin-2.3.7.tar.gz mv postfixadmin-2.3.7 /var/www/html/postfixadmin chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/postfixadmin

Note that we are using version 2.3.7 rather than the later updates released in 2014. You may run into issues if using the later versions with this recipe.

Next up is an interesting sort of a two-phase setup process. Firstly alter the following lines in /var/www/html/postfixadmin/

/***************************************************************** * !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! * You have to set $CONF['configured'] = true; before the * application will run! * Doing this implies you have changed this file as required. * i.e. configuring database etc; specifying setup.php password etc. */ $CONF['configured'] = true;

// Postfix Admin Path // Set the location of your Postfix Admin installation here. // YOU MUST ENTER THE COMPLETE URL e.g. http://domain.tld/postfixadmin $CONF['postfix_admin_url'] = '';

// Database Config // mysql = MySQL 3.23 and 4.0, 4.1 or 5 // mysqli = MySQL 4.1+ // pgsql = PostgreSQL $CONF['database_type'] = 'mysql'; $CONF['database_host'] = 'localhost'; $CONF['database_user'] = 'mail'; $CONF['database_password'] = 'mailpassword'; $CONF['database_name'] = 'mail';

// Site Admin // Define the Site Admins email address below. // This will be used to send emails from to create mailboxes. $CONF['admin_email'] = '[email protected]'; // Mail Server // Hostname (FQDN) of your mail server. // This is used to send email to Postfix in order to create mailboxes. // // Set this to localhost for now, but change it later. $CONF['smtp_server'] = 'localhost'; $CONF['smtp_port'] = '25';

// Encrypt // In what way do you want the passwords to be crypted? // md5crypt = internal postfix admin md5 // md5 = md5 sum of the password // system = whatever you have set as your PHP system default // cleartext = clear text passwords (ouch!) // mysql_encrypt = useful for PAM integration // authlib = support for courier-authlib style passwords // dovecot:CRYPT-METHOD = use dovecotpw -s 'CRYPT-METHOD'. Example: dovecot:CRAM-MD5 $CONF['encrypt'] = 'md5crypt';

// Default Aliases // The default aliases that need to be created for all domains. $CONF['default_aliases'] = array ( 'abuse' => '[email protected]', 'hostmaster' => '[email protected]', 'postmaster' => '[email protected]', 'webmaster' => 'adm[email protected]' );

// link to display under 'Main' menu when logged in as a user. $CONF['user_footer_link'] = ""; // Footer // Below information will be on all pages. // If you don't want the footer information to appear set this to 'NO'. $CONF['show_footer_text'] = 'YES'; $CONF['footer_text'] = 'Return to'; $CONF['footer_link'] = '';

// Mailboxes // If you want to store the mailboxes per domain set this to 'YES'. // Examples: // YES: /usr/local/virtual/domain.tld/[email protected] // NO: /usr/local/virtual/[email protected] $CONF['domain_path'] = 'NO'; // If you don't want to have the domain in your mailbox set this to 'NO'. // Examples: // YES: /usr/local/virtual/domain.tld/[email protected] // NO: /usr/local/virtual/domain.tld/username // Note: If $CONF['domain_path'] is set to NO, this setting will be forced to YES. $CONF['domain_in_mailbox'] = 'YES';

Note that the last items above are only for the purposes of defining how Postfix Admin stores its data – they don’t set system paths for mailboxes. The actual system paths to virtual mailbox directories are defined in the Dovecot configuration outlined in a later section of this post.

Next open up a web browser and visit your mail server at:
Follow the instructions on that page to choose a setup password and generate a hash of that password. Add that hash to the configuration file /var/www/html/postfixadmin/ and save it:

// In order to setup Postfixadmin, you MUST specify a hashed password here. // To create the hash, visit setup.php in a browser and type a password into the field, // on submission it will be echoed out to you as a hashed value. $CONF['setup_password'] = '...a long hash string...';

Then return to the setup page. You can now use the password you selected in order to create an initial administrator account. Postfix Admin will also automatically create its database schema at this point.

You should close off access to after having used it. Create a file /var/www/html/postfixadmin/.htaccess and put the following instructions into it:

<Files "setup.php"> deny from all

  1. Create the Domain and Accounts in Postfix Admin

Now navigate to the main Postfix Admin login page:
Log in as the newly created administrator account, and then choose the “Domain List” -> “New Domain” option in order to create the domain. Make sure that you check “Add default mail aliases” and note that you will probably want to change the default limits to allow yourself unlimited mailboxes and aliases. Next navigate to “Domain List” -> “Domain List” and click on the name of your domain to view it. From that page you can then add mail users (“Add mailbox”) and aliases (“Add alias”). This will populate the schema, but it won’t do anything else at this point as none of the other mail server components are yet configured to use the database.

Make sure that you create a mailbox for [email protected] since your default aliases are redirecting to that address. While the alias addresses do tend to receive spam, it is a very good idea to pay attention to legitimate mail arriving at these addresses, as it can alert you to problems. This is less important for a personal mail server, but very important if you are in the business of sending mail and want to maintain good deliverability.

Postfix Admin does have another useful function during this long setup process: it allows you to send mail to local users through the web interface, which is helpful when testing your configuration and chasing down errors.

  1. Create a User to Handle Virtual Mail Directories

Virtual mail users are those that do not exist as Unix system users. They thus don’t use the standard Unix methods of authentication or mail delivery and don’t have home directories. That is how we are managing things here: mail users are defined in the database created by Postfix Admin rather than existing as system users. Mail will be kept in subfolders per domain and account under /var/vmail – e.g. [email protected] will have a mail directory of /var/vmail/ All of these mail directories will be owned by a single user called vmail, and Dovecot will use the vmail user in order to create and update mail files.

useradd -r -u 150 -g mail -d /var/vmail -s /sbin/nologin -c "Virtual maildir handler" vmail mkdir /var/vmail chmod 770 /var/vmail chown vmail:mail /var/vmail

Note that the user and virtual mail directory folder are using the “mail” group, thus allowing other system users in that group to modify the contents.

  1. Configure Dovecot

Dovecot will manage IMAP and POP3 connections, local mail directories, and receive incoming mail that is handed off from Postfix. It will also manage authentication for SMTP connections as there is no point in having two separate authentication systems when Dovecot can handle both cases. Configuration is spread across a number of files in /etc/dovecot and subfolders thereof, and while it might at first seem intimidating, it is all laid out fairly logically. The first thing to do is ensure that Dovecot is looking for user data in the database created by Postfix Admin, so you will want to edit these lines in /etc/dovecot/dovecot-sql.conf.ext such that it uses the MySQL database created by Postfix Admin:

Database driver: mysql, pgsql, sqlite driver = mysql

Examples: # connect = host= dbname=users # connect = dbname=virtual user=virtual password=blarg # connect = /etc/dovecot/authdb.sqlite # connect = host=localhost dbname=mail user=mail password=mailpassword

Default password scheme. # # List of supported schemes is in # # default_pass_scheme = MD5-CRYPT

Define the query to obtain a user password. # # Note that uid 150 is the "vmail" user and gid 8 is the "mail" group. # password_query = \ SELECT username as user, password, '/var/vmail/%d/%n' as userdb_home, \ 'maildir:/var/vmail/%d/%n' as userdb_mail, 150 as userdb_uid, 8 as userdb_gid \ FROM mailbox WHERE username = '%u' AND active = '1'

Define the query to obtain user information. # # Note that uid 150 is the "vmail" user and gid 8 is the "mail" group. # user_query = \ SELECT '/var/vmail/%d/%n' as home, 'maildir:/var/vmail/%d/%n' as mail, \ 150 AS uid, 8 AS gid, concat('dirsize:storage=', quota) AS quota \ FROM mailbox WHERE username = '%u' AND active = '1'

Then change the controlling definitions in /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-auth.conf such that Dovecot will read the SQL configuration files. While you are there, you should also make sure that plaintext authentication is disabled unless the connection is encrypted or local:

Disable LOGIN command and all other plaintext authentications unless # SSL/TLS is used (LOGINDISABLED capability). Note that if the remote IP # matches the local IP (ie. you're connecting from the same computer), the # connection is considered secure and plaintext authentication is allowed. disable_plaintext_auth = yes

Space separated list of wanted authentication mechanisms: # plain login digest-md5 cram-md5 ntlm rpa apop anonymous gssapi otp skey # gss-spnego # NOTE: See also disable_plaintext_auth setting. auth_mechanisms = plain login

## Password and user databases ## # # Password database is used to verify user's password (and nothing more). # You can have multiple passdbs and userdbs. This is useful if you want to # allow both system users (/etc/passwd) and virtual users to login without # duplicating the system users into virtual database. # # <doc/wiki/PasswordDatabase.txt> # # User database specifies where mails are located and what user/group IDs # own them. For single-UID configuration use "static" userdb. # # <doc/wiki/UserDatabase.txt> #!include auth-deny.conf.ext #!include auth-master.conf.ext #!include auth-system.conf.ext # Use the SQL database configuration for authentication rather than # any of these others. !include auth-sql.conf.ext #!include auth-ldap.conf.ext #!include auth-passwdfile.conf.ext #!include auth-checkpassword.conf.ext #!include auth-vpopmail.conf.ext #!include auth-static.conf.ext

Next up, you must tell Dovecot where to put the virtual user mail directories. That requires the following changes in /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-mail.conf:

Location for users' mailboxes. The default is empty, which means that Dovecot # tries to find the mailboxes automatically. This won't work if the user # doesn't yet have any mail, so you should explicitly tell Dovecot the full # location. # # If you're using mbox, giving a path to the INBOX file (eg. /var/mail/%u) # isn't enough. You'll also need to tell Dovecot where the other mailboxes are # kept. This is called the "root mail directory", and it must be the first # path given in the mail_location setting. # # There are a few special variables you can use, eg.: # # %u - username # %n - user part in [email protected], same as %u if there's no domain # %d - domain part in [email protected], empty if there's no domain # %h - home directory # # See doc/wiki/Variables.txt for full list. Some examples: # # mail_location = maildir:~/Maildir # mail_location = mbox:~/mail:INBOX=/var/mail/%u # mail_location = mbox:/var/mail/%d/%1n/%n:INDEX=/var/indexes/%d/%1n/%n # # <doc/wiki/MailLocation.txt> # mail_location = maildir:/var/vmail/%d/%n

System user and group used to access mails. If you use multiple, userdb # can override these by returning uid or gid fields. You can use either numbers # or names. <doc/wiki/UserIds.txt> mail_uid = vmail mail_gid = mail

Valid UID range for users, defaults to 500 and above. This is mostly # to make sure that users can't log in as daemons or other system users. # Note that denying root logins is hardcoded to dovecot binary and can't # be done even if first_valid_uid is set to 0. # # Use the vmail user uid here. first_valid_uid = 150 last_valid_uid = 150

Let Dovecot know about either your snakeoil or purchased certificate by editing these lines in /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-ssl.conf. Remember to include your CA certificate bundle if provided with one by the certificate issuer:

SSL/TLS support: yes, no, required. <doc/wiki/SSL.txt> ssl = yes # PEM encoded X.509 SSL/TLS certificate and private key. They're opened before # dropping root privileges, so keep the key file unreadable by anyone but # root. Included doc/ can be used to easily generate self-signed # certificate, just make sure to update the domains in dovecot-openssl.cnf # # The generated snakeoil certificate: #ssl_cert = </etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem #ssl_key = </etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key # Purchased certificate: ssl_cert = </etc/ssl/certs/ ssl_key = </etc/ssl/private/ # If key file is password protected, give the password here. Alternatively # give it when starting dovecot with -p parameter. Since this file is often # world-readable, you may want to place this setting instead to a different # root owned 0600 file by using ssl_key_password = <path. #ssl_key_password = # PEM encoded trusted certificate authority. Set this only if you intend to use # ssl_verify_client_cert=yes. The file should contain the CA certificate(s) # followed by the matching CRL(s). (e.g. ssl_ca = </etc/ssl/certs/ca.pem) ssl_ca = </etc/ssl/certs/ca-bundle.crt

You must also update the following lines in /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-ssl.conf to ensure that some SSL protocols that are no longer secure are not used:

DH parameters length to use. In light of Logjam, has to be 2048 or more. # See: ssl_dh_parameters_length = 2048 # SSL protocols to use. Don't use the no-longer secure protocols. ssl_protocols = !SSLv2 !SSLv3 # SSL ciphers to use. See: # # ssl_cipher_list = ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384:DHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256:DHE-DSS-AES128-GCM-SHA256:kEDH+AESGCM:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA256:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-SHA256:ECDHE-RSA-AES128-SHA:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES128-SHA:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA384:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-SHA384:ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA:ECDHE-ECDSA-AES256-SHA:DHE-RSA-AES128-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES128-SHA:DHE-DSS-AES128-SHA256:DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA256:DHE-DSS-AES256-SHA:DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA:AES128-GCM-SHA256:AES256-GCM-SHA384:AES128-SHA256:AES256-SHA256:AES128-SHA:AES256-SHA:AES:CAMELLIA:DES-CBC3-SHA:!aNULL:!eNULL:!EXPORT:!DES:!RC4:!MD5:!PSK:!aECDH:!EDH-DSS-DES-CBC3-SHA:!EDH-RSA-DES-CBC3-SHA:!KRB5-DES-CBC3-SHA # Prefer the server's order of ciphers over client's. ssl_prefer_server_ciphers = yes

Next, edit these lines in /etc/dovecot/conf.d/10-master.conf to add the Postfix option:

service auth { # auth_socket_path points to this userdb socket by default. It's typically # used by dovecot-lda, doveadm, possibly imap process, etc. Users that have # full permissions to this socket are able to get a list of all usernames and # get the results of everyone's userdb lookups. # # The default 0666 mode allows anyone to connect to the socket, but the # userdb lookups will succeed only if the userdb returns an "uid" field that # matches the caller process's UID. Also if caller's uid or gid matches the # socket's uid or gid the lookup succeeds. Anything else causes a failure. # # To give the caller full permissions to lookup all users, set the mode to # something else than 0666 and Dovecot lets the kernel enforce the # permissions (e.g. 0777 allows everyone full permissions). unix_listener auth-userdb { mode = 0666 user = vmail group = mail } unix_listener /var/spool/postfix/private/auth { mode = 0666 # Assuming the default Postfix user and group user = postfix group = postfix }

You may have to explicitly set a postmaster address in /etc/dovecot/conf.d/15-lda.conf; if you see “Invalid settings: postmaster_address setting not given” showing up in the mail log, then this is the fix for that. Make sure that a suitable alias or mailbox exists for your chosen postmaster address:

Address to use when sending rejection mails. # Default is [email protected]. postmaster_address = [email protected]

You must now ensure that the Dovecot configuration is accessible to both dovecot and vmail users:

chown -R vmail:dovecot /etc/dovecot chmod -R o-rwx /etc/dovecot

A final note on Dovecot: it only creates a user’s mail directory when mail is first delivered to that virtual user. So creating a user in Postfix Admin will not result in the immediate creation of a mail directory under /var/vmail, and that’s just fine.

  1. Configure Amavis, ClamAV, and SpamAssassin

Before configuring Postfix, we may as well take a short detour into configuring the spam and virus tools. Their default configuration is close to what most people will need, and tools like SpamAssassin auto-detect many of the optional additional packages you may have installed. If you have specialist needs or greater knowledge, you can of course spend a fair amount of time here crafting intricate rules. For the casual user, this is a quick and straightforward process, however. Note that here we are putting off the portions relating to integration with Postfix – e.g. additions to the /etc/postfix/ file – into the Postfix section of this post.

First add Amavis and ClamAV users to one another’s groups to enable them to collaborate:

adduser clamav amavis adduser amavis clamav

Then turn on Amavis by editing /etc/amavis/conf.d/15-content_filter_mode. The software is disabled by default, so uncomment the @bypass… lines:

use strict; # You can modify this file to re-enable SPAM checking through spamassassin # and to re-enable antivirus checking. # # Default antivirus checking mode # Please note, that anti-virus checking is DISABLED by # default. # If You wish to enable it, please uncomment the following lines: @bypass_virus_checks_maps = ( %bypass_virus_checks, @bypass_virus_checks_acl, $bypass_virus_checks_re); # # Default SPAM checking mode # Please note, that anti-spam checking is DISABLED by # default. # If You wish to enable it, please uncomment the following lines: @bypass_spam_checks_maps = ( %bypass_spam_checks, @bypass_spam_checks_acl, $bypass_spam_checks_re); 1; # ensure a defined return

Now enable SpamAssassin by editing these lines in /etc/default/spamassassin:

Change to one to enable spamd ENABLED=1

Cronjob # Set to anything but 0 to enable the cron job to automatically update # spamassassin's rules on a nightly basis CRON=1

SpamAssassin under Amavis will only check mail that’s determined to be arriving for local delivery. There are a couple of ways to tell Amavis which mails are for local delivery, but here we’ll set it up to check the database set up by Postfix Admin. Edit /etc/amavis/conf.d/50-user to look like this:

use strict; # # Place your configuration directives here. They will override those in # earlier files. # # See /usr/share/doc/amavisd-new/ for documentation and examples of # the directives you can use in this file # # Three concurrent processes. This should fit into the RAM available on an # AWS micro instance. This has to match the number of processes specified # for Amavis in /etc/postfix/ $max_servers = 3; # Add spam info headers if at or above that level - this ensures they # are always added. $sa_tag_level_deflt = -9999; # Check the database to see if mail is for local delivery, and thus # should be spam checked. @lookup_sql_dsn = ( ['DBI:mysql:database=mail;host=;port=3306', 'mail', 'mailpassword']); $sql_select_policy = 'SELECT domain from domain WHERE CONCAT("@",domain) IN (%k)'; # Uncomment to bump up the log level when testing. # $log_level = 2; #------------ Do not modify anything below this line ------------- 1; # ensure a defined return

Next make sure the ClamAV database is up to date by running freshclam. It should be:


You will have to restart these processes to pick up the new configuration:

service clamav-daemon restart service amavis restart service spamassassin restart

  1. Configure Postfix

Postfix handles incoming mail via the SMTP protocol, and its configuration files have be set up to allow it to integrate with the various other packages we have installed so far. At a high level, we want Postfix to hand off incoming mail to the spam and virus checkers before passing it on to Dovecot for delivery, and to communicate with Dovecot in order to authenticate virtual users who are connecting over SMTP in order to to send mail.

Firstly you must create a set of files that describe for Postfix where to find information on users and domains. Note that the “hosts” directive in these files must be exactly the same as the “bind-address” in /etc/mysql/my.cnf. If one side says “localhost” and the other side says “” then you may find that Postfix cannot connect to MySQL – strange but true. Here are the needed Postfix files:


user = mail password = mailpassword hosts = dbname = mail query = SELECT goto FROM alias,alias_domain WHERE alias_domain.alias_domain = '%d' AND alias.address=concat('%u', '@', alias_domain.target_domain) AND = 1


user = mail password = mailpassword hosts = dbname = mail table = alias select_field = goto where_field = address additional_conditions = and active = '1'


user = mail password = mailpassword hosts = dbname = mail table = domain select_field = domain where_field = domain additional_conditions = and backupmx = '0' and active = '1'


user = mail password = mailpassword hosts = dbname = mail query = SELECT maildir FROM mailbox, alias_domain WHERE alias_domain.alias_domain = '%d' AND mailbox.username=concat('%u', '@', alias_domain.target_domain ) AND = 1


user = mail password = mailpassword hosts = dbname = mail table = mailbox select_field = CONCAT(domain, '/', local_part) where_field = username additional_conditions = and active = '1'

Now create the file /etc/postfix/header_checks, which will contain some directives to remove certain headers when relaying mail. This improves privacy for the sending users by such things as stripping the original IP address and mail software identifiers, for example. This file will be referenced in the main Postfix configuration:

/^Received:/ IGNORE /^User-Agent:/ IGNORE /^X-Mailer:/ IGNORE /^X-Originating-IP:/ IGNORE /^x-cr-[a-z]*:/ IGNORE /^Thread-Index:/ IGNORE

The following is the complete main Postfix configuration file at /etc/postfix/, which contains a fair number of complex choices and options on how mail is relayed and how SMTP behaves. It is far beyond the scope of this post to explain each and every choice of best practice or configuration parameter in detail. I strongly suggest that you spend some time reading up on Postfix configuration, as this is where it is easy to fall down and produce a suboptimal or faulty mailserver.

See /usr/share/postfix/ for a commented, more complete version # The first text sent to a connecting process. smtpd_banner = $myhostname ESMTP $mail_name biff = no # appending .domain is the MUA's job. append_dot_mydomain = no readme_directory = no # --------------------------------- # SASL parameters # --------------------------------- # Use Dovecot to authenticate. smtpd_sasl_type = dovecot # Referring to /var/spool/postfix/private/auth smtpd_sasl_path = private/auth smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes broken_sasl_auth_clients = yes smtpd_sasl_security_options = noanonymous smtpd_sasl_local_domain = smtpd_sasl_authenticated_header = yes # --------------------------------- # TLS parameters # --------------------------------- # The default snakeoil certificate. Comment if using a purchased # SSL certificate. smtpd_tls_cert_file=/etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem smtpd_tls_key_file=/etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key # Uncomment if using a purchased SSL certificate. # smtpd_tls_cert_file=/etc/ssl/certs/ # smtpd_tls_key_file=/etc/ssl/private/ # The snakeoil self-signed certificate has no need for a CA file. But # if you are using your own SSL certificate, then you probably have # a CA certificate bundle from your provider. The path to that goes # here. # smtpd_tls_CAfile=/etc/ssl/certs/ca-bundle.crt # Ensure we're not using no-longer-secure protocols. smtpd_tls_mandatory_protocols=!SSLv2,!SSLv3 smtp_tls_note_starttls_offer = yes smtpd_tls_loglevel = 1 smtpd_tls_received_header = yes smtpd_tls_session_cache_timeout = 3600s tls_random_source = dev:/dev/urandom #smtpd_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${data_directory}/smtpd_scache #smtp_tls_session_cache_database = btree:${data_directory}/smtp_scache # Note that forcing use of TLS is going to cause breakage - most mail servers # don't offer it and so delivery will fail, both incoming and outgoing. This is # unfortunate given what various governmental agencies are up to these days. # # Enable (but don't force) all incoming smtp connections to use TLS. smtpd_tls_security_level = may # Enable (but don't force) all outgoing smtp connections to use TLS. smtp_tls_security_level = may # See /usr/share/doc/postfix/TLS_README.gz in the postfix-doc package for # information on enabling SSL in the smtp client. # --------------------------------- # TLS Updates relating to Logjam SSL attacks. # See: # --------------------------------- smtpd_tls_exclude_ciphers = aNULL, eNULL, EXPORT, DES, RC4, MD5, PSK, aECDH, EDH-DSS-DES-CBC3-SHA, EDH-RSA-DES-CDC3-SHA, KRB5-DE5, CBC3-SHA smtpd_tls_dh1024_param_file = /etc/ssl/private/dhparams.pem # --------------------------------- # SMTPD parameters # --------------------------------- # Uncomment the next line to generate "delayed mail" warnings #delay_warning_time = 4h # will it be a permanent error or temporary unknown_local_recipient_reject_code = 450 # how long to keep message on queue before return as failed. # some have 3 days, I have 16 days as I am backup server for some people # whom go on holiday with their server switched off. maximal_queue_lifetime = 7d # max and min time in seconds between retries if connection failed minimal_backoff_time = 1000s maximal_backoff_time = 8000s # how long to wait when servers connect before receiving rest of data smtp_helo_timeout = 60s # how many address can be used in one message. # effective stopper to mass spammers, accidental copy in whole address list # but may restrict intentional mail shots. smtpd_recipient_limit = 16 # how many error before back off. smtpd_soft_error_limit = 3 # how many max errors before blocking it. smtpd_hard_error_limit = 12 # This next set are important for determining who can send mail and relay mail # to other servers. It is very important to get this right - accidentally producing # an open relay that allows unauthenticated sending of mail is a Very Bad Thing. # # You are encouraged to read up on what exactly each of these options accomplish. # Requirements for the HELO statement smtpd_helo_restrictions = permit_mynetworks, warn_if_reject reject_non_fqdn_hostname, reject_invalid_hostname, permit # Requirements for the sender details smtpd_sender_restrictions = permit_sasl_authenticated, permit_mynetworks, warn_if_reject reject_non_fqdn_sender, reject_unknown_sender_domain, reject_unauth_pipelining, permit # Requirements for the connecting server smtpd_client_restrictions = reject_rbl_client, reject_rbl_client # Requirement for the recipient address. Note that the entry for # "check_policy_service inet:" enables Postgrey. smtpd_recipient_restrictions = reject_unauth_pipelining, permit_mynetworks, permit_sasl_authenticated, reject_non_fqdn_recipient, reject_unknown_recipient_domain, reject_unauth_destination, check_policy_service inet:, permit smtpd_data_restrictions = reject_unauth_pipelining # This is a new option as of Postfix 2.10, and is required in addition to # smtpd_recipient_restrictions for things to work properly in this setup. smtpd_relay_restrictions = reject_unauth_pipelining, permit_mynetworks, permit_sasl_authenticated, reject_non_fqdn_recipient, reject_unknown_recipient_domain, reject_unauth_destination, check_policy_service inet:, permit # require proper helo at connections smtpd_helo_required = yes # waste spammers time before rejecting them smtpd_delay_reject = yes disable_vrfy_command = yes # --------------------------------- # General host and delivery info # ---------------------------------- myhostname = myorigin = /etc/hostname # Some people see issues when setting mydestination explicitly to the server # subdomain, while leaving it empty generally doesn't hurt. So it is left empty here. # mydestination =, localhost mydestination = # If you have a separate web server that sends outgoing mail through this # mailserver, you may want to add its IP address to the space-delimited list in # mynetworks, e.g. as mynetworks = [::ffff:]/104 [::1]/128 mailbox_size_limit = 0 recipient_delimiter = + inet_interfaces = all mynetworks_style = host # This specifies where the virtual mailbox folders will be located. virtual_mailbox_base = /var/vmail # This is for the mailbox location for each user. The domainaliases # map allows us to make use of Postfix Admin's domain alias feature. virtual_mailbox_maps = mysql:/etc/postfix/, mysql:/etc/postfix/ # and their user id virtual_uid_maps = static:150 # and group id virtual_gid_maps = static:8 # This is for aliases. The domainaliases map allows us to make # use of Postfix Admin's domain alias feature. virtual_alias_maps = mysql:/etc/postfix/, mysql:/etc/postfix/ # This is for domain lookups. virtual_mailbox_domains = mysql:/etc/postfix/ # --------------------------------- # Integration with other packages # --------------------------------------- # Tell postfix to hand off mail to the definition for dovecot in virtual_transport = dovecot dovecot_destination_recipient_limit = 1 # Use amavis for virus and spam scanning content_filter = amavis:[]:10024 # --------------------------------- # Header manipulation # -------------------------------------- # Getting rid of unwanted headers. See: header_checks = regexp:/etc/postfix/header_checks # getting rid of x-original-to enable_original_recipient = no

To be clear, if you are using a purchased SSL certificate – and have a CA certificate bundle from the issuer – then you will have to alter these lines in /etc/postfix/

The default snakeoil certificate. Comment if using a purchased # SSL certificate. # smtpd_tls_cert_file=/etc/ssl/certs/ssl-cert-snakeoil.pem # smtpd_tls_key_file=/etc/ssl/private/ssl-cert-snakeoil.key # Uncomment if using a purchased SSL certificate. smtpd_tls_cert_file=/etc/ssl/certs/ smtpd_tls_key_file=/etc/ssl/private/ # The snakeoil self-signed certificate has no need for a CA file. But # if you are using your own SSL certificate, then you probably have # a CA certificate bundle from your provider. The path to that goes # here. smtpd_tls_CAfile=/etc/ssl/certs/ca-bundle.crt

You must also expand /etc/postfix/, and here is the entire file for clarity. This includes much of the default material from the package install, such as commented options:

# Postfix master process configuration file. For details on the format # of the file, see the master(5) manual page (command: "man 5 master"). # # Do not forget to execute "postfix reload" after editing this file. # # ========================================================================== # service type private unpriv chroot wakeup maxproc command + args # (yes) (yes) (yes) (never) (100) # ========================================================================== # SMTP on port 25, unencrypted. smtp inet n - - - - smtpd #smtp inet n - - - 1 postscreen #smtpd pass - - - - - smtpd #dnsblog unix - - - - 0 dnsblog #tlsproxy unix - - - - 0 tlsproxy # SMTP with TLS on port 587. Currently commented. #submission inet n - - - - smtpd # -o syslog_name=postfix/submission # -o smtpd_tls_security_level=encrypt # -o smtpd_sasl_auth_enable=yes # -o smtpd_enforce_tls=yes # -o smtpd_client_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject_unauth_destination,reject # -o smtpd_sasl_tls_security_options=noanonymous # SMTP over SSL on port 465. smtps inet n - - - - smtpd -o syslog_name=postfix/smtps -o smtpd_tls_wrappermode=yes -o smtpd_sasl_auth_enable=yes -o smtpd_tls_auth_only=yes -o smtpd_client_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject_unauth_destination,reject -o smtpd_sasl_security_options=noanonymous,noplaintext -o smtpd_sasl_tls_security_options=noanonymous #628 inet n - - - - qmqpd pickup fifo n - - 60 1 pickup -o content_filter= -o receive_override_options=no_header_body_checks cleanup unix n - - - 0 cleanup qmgr fifo n - n 300 1 qmgr #qmgr fifo n - n 300 1 oqmgr tlsmgr unix - - - 1000? 1 tlsmgr rewrite unix - - - - - trivial-rewrite bounce unix - - - - 0 bounce defer unix - - - - 0 bounce trace unix - - - - 0 bounce verify unix - - - - 1 verify flush unix n - - 1000? 0 flush proxymap unix - - n - - proxymap proxywrite unix - - n - 1 proxymap smtp unix - - - - - smtp relay unix - - - - - smtp # -o smtp_helo_timeout=5 -o smtp_connect_timeout=5 showq unix n - - - - showq error unix - - - - - error retry unix - - - - - error discard unix - - - - - discard local unix - n n - - local virtual unix - n n - - virtual lmtp unix - - - - - lmtp anvil unix - - - - 1 anvil scache unix - - - - 1 scache # # ==================================================================== # Interfaces to non-Postfix software. Be sure to examine the manual # pages of the non-Postfix software to find out what options it wants. # # Many of the following services use the Postfix pipe(8) delivery # agent. See the pipe(8) man page for information about ${recipient} # and other message envelope options. # ==================================================================== # # maildrop. See the Postfix MAILDROP_README file for details. # Also specify in maildrop_destination_recipient_limit=1 # maildrop unix - n n - - pipe flags=DRhu user=vmail argv=/usr/bin/maildrop -d ${recipient} # # ==================================================================== # # Recent Cyrus versions can use the existing "lmtp" entry. # # Specify in cyrus.conf: # lmtp cmd="lmtpd -a" listen="localhost:lmtp" proto=tcp4 # # Specify in one or more of the following: # mailbox_transport = lmtp:inet:localhost # virtual_transport = lmtp:inet:localhost # # ==================================================================== # # Cyrus 2.1.5 (Amos Gouaux) # Also specify in cyrus_destination_recipient_limit=1 # #cyrus unix - n n - - pipe # user=cyrus argv=/cyrus/bin/deliver -e -r ${sender} -m ${extension} ${user} # # ==================================================================== # Old example of delivery via Cyrus. # #old-cyrus unix - n n - - pipe # flags=R user=cyrus argv=/cyrus/bin/deliver -e -m ${extension} ${user} # # ==================================================================== # # See the Postfix UUCP_README file for configuration details. # uucp unix - n n - - pipe flags=Fqhu user=uucp argv=uux -r -n -z -a$sender - $nexthop!rmail ($recipient) # # Other external delivery methods. # ifmail unix - n n - - pipe flags=F user=ftn argv=/usr/lib/ifmail/ifmail -r $nexthop ($recipient) bsmtp unix - n n - - pipe flags=Fq. user=bsmtp argv=/usr/lib/bsmtp/bsmtp -t$nexthop -f$sender $recipient scalemail-backend unix - n n - 2 pipe flags=R user=scalemail argv=/usr/lib/scalemail/bin/scalemail-store ${nexthop} ${user} ${extension} mailman unix - n n - - pipe flags=FR user=list argv=/usr/lib/mailman/bin/ ${nexthop} ${user} # The next two entries integrate with Amavis for anti-virus/spam checks. amavis unix - - - - 3 smtp -o smtp_data_done_timeout=1200 -o smtp_send_xforward_command=yes -o disable_dns_lookups=yes -o max_use=20 inet n - - - - smtpd -o content_filter= -o local_recipient_maps= -o relay_recipient_maps= -o smtpd_restriction_classes= -o smtpd_delay_reject=no -o smtpd_client_restrictions=permit_mynetworks,reject -o smtpd_helo_restrictions= -o smtpd_sender_restrictions= -o smtpd_recipient_restrictions=permit_mynetworks,reject -o smtpd_data_restrictions=reject_unauth_pipelining -o smtpd_end_of_data_restrictions= -o mynetworks= -o smtpd_error_sleep_time=0 -o smtpd_soft_error_limit=1001 -o smtpd_hard_error_limit=1000 -o smtpd_client_connection_count_limit=0 -o smtpd_client_connection_rate_limit=0 -o receive_override_options=no_header_body_checks,no_unknown_recipient_checks # Integration with Dovecot - hand mail over to it for local delivery, and # run the process under the vmail user and mail group. dovecot unix - n n - - pipe flags=DRhu user=vmail:mail argv=/usr/lib/dovecot/dovecot-lda -d $(recipient)

Note that Amavis is restricted to three processes, which should be fine for most casual to moderate use. The processes are memory-heavy, so start low and add more only if you need to due to volume of mail – see the notes in this guide for pointers on how to do that.

  1. Restart Everything, and Test the Server

Restart all the necessary processes to pick up configuration changes:

service postfix restart service spamassassin restart service clamav-daemon restart service amavis restart service dovecot restart

Now start testing! Keep an eye on /var/log/mail.err and /var/log/mail.log for error messages and while you log in to POP and IMAP, send mail to an account created on the server, and send mail from the server. Don’t forget to open up the firewall to allow global access to the relevant ports before doing this. If you find issues, then Google is your friend when it comes to searching on specific error messages in order to identify the cause of any specific problem.