Home IMAP server

Jeffrey F. Bloss jbloss at tampabay.rr.com
Fri Dec 29 18:25:50 UTC 2006

Avi Schwartz wrote:

> Jeffrey F. Bloss wrote:
> > Colin Brace wrote:
> >
> >   
> >> On 12/28/06, Jeffrey F. Bloss <jbloss at tampabay.rr.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>     
> >>> I wouldn't want my home mail server to be my primary mail server
> >>> either
> >>>       
> >> Just curious: why not? Reliability?
> >>     
> > Even with a good quality UPS and an end user feed that's been solid
> > for over a year, I feel a little timid about using my "home owner"
> > setup full time. If the power goes out for more than about 15
> > minutes or a neighbor decides it's a good idea to run his lawn
> > mower into the switch box that sits in his front yard I'm sunk. And
> > I'd have nobody to comaplin to. ;) At least with a "real" server I
> > can zip over to the library and still do my thing.
> >   
> Actually you are not sunk unless you need your email urgently.  Since
> a legit mail server will retry delivery up to 5 days, the only thing
> you are going to miss is spam.  After all that is how greylisting
> works.

Greylisting usually delays mail for single digit numbers of minutes, not
hours or days.

A "legit" mail server will attempt to redeliver mail for as long as the
admin decides it should. There's multitudes of servers out there
running on a three day rule. And I've seen some quit trying in one. If
you're depending on admins to blindly accept the default setting of one
piece of software you *will* be sunk.

Even if every mail server on the planet tried to deliver for 5 days it
wouldn't help the poor slob who called his provider and was told it
would be a week before someone could come out and take care of his
problem. There's no guarantee residential service outages won't cause
lost mail even with a 5 day grace period. At least not at any service
provider I've ever dealt with. 

All that aside, there's a whole slew of other reasons you don't want to
run a "home server" as a primary mail transport. There's all manner and
form of craziness out there perpetrated in the name of "the war on
spam" for instance. There's a considerable number of servers which in
effect flatly refuse to accept any mail at all from any IP that it
decides isn't in a block that would house a "real" mail server. RBL's
are another such problem. If someone in your IP block gets infected
with some mass mailer worm they'll list the whole block. That's a real
common occurrence that most people don't see because they *don't* try
to run mail servers from their kitchen table.

A home mail server is a marvelous way to both filter and sort your mail
the way you want, and have normal access to your mail from across the
street or across the continent (not some nasty web mail crapola
interface), but as a primary method of transport it doesn't work on a
number of levels. You'll either relay through a "real" host or you'll
have problems sooner or later. And some of those problems will be
unresolvable. Trust me, that's experience speaking. ;)

     _?_      Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
    (o o)         Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
-oOO-(_)--OOo-------------------------------[ Groucho Marx ]--
    grok!              Registered Linux user #402208
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