(K)buntu mail server

David Fletcher dave at thefletchers.net
Sat Mar 15 00:06:17 UTC 2014

On Thu, 2014-03-13 at 18:57 +0100, Nils Kassube wrote:

> I'm not sure if you have an idea what 3.5W is. Many USB TV or WLAN 

I have an engineering degree, so yes, I know exactly what 3.5W is :-)

> sticks need the max. power provided by USB which is 2.5W and those parts 
> don't even have the option to use a fan. So 3.5W without a fan for a 
> board which is considerably bigger than e.g. a USB WLAN stick shouldn't 
> be a problem.

I just took a look at the Pi specifications, and I have to disagree with
you. I would never consider it suitable for a mail server. I tried
setting up a flash drive for a friend with Ubuntu installed on it, for
her to try out Linux. It was useless. Hopelessly slow and after a couple
of months of little use, failed. So, for me, it's a hard drive every

Does the Pi have a SATA connection? The Wikipedia article doesn't
mention one. In any case, you have to provide two power supply voltages
for a hard drive so that's an immediate increase in complication and
expense. With a proper mini ITX board, you just give it 12V and it
provides the rest. Simple and cheap.

IMHO if you're going to do a job, damn well do it properly. Anybody who
goes to the trouble of setting up a mail server is going to become
dependant on it so start out with proper hardware that's going to be
reliable. By that I mean it needs to work 24/7 for some years, and it
needs enough USB ports available because you WILL be wanting it to
communicate with the Uninterruptible Power Supply so that it operates
through power failures and shuts itself down and reboots during any long
power failure when you're 2000 miles away on a ski holiday, or whatever.

Using only 3.5W doesn't make a Pi suitable. Everything else you need to
add will take a lot more so it's not very significant. I have a plug in
power meter which I don't suppose is as accurate as a professional unit,
but according to it my complete server takes about 30W. That's less than
a low power, old fashioned tungsten light bulb and I'm perfectly happy
with that.

> Well, it needs 12V, but the power supply mentioned at the link you 
> provided, delivers 60W which is an order of magnitude more that the 3.5W 
> of a Raspberry Pi. Sorry I didn't see the actual power requirement of 
> the board itself for a better comparison. But if the board really needs 
> something near those 60W, it is of course useful or maybe even necessary 
> to have a fan.

I don't use the mentioned power supply. I like to build stuff properly
so mine has an IEC mains inlet on the server case with an open frame 40W
switcher inside.

> Granted, if you want to do more things than just a mail server, your 
> board may be better suited.

I think I've shown that it is.

> Nils


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