FreeBSD as Mail Server

Hi all,

I have been using FreeBSD for the last couple of years for web hosting but is a novice at using it day to day. I have found some tutorials to setup a ISP style mail server but was more geared to someone who knows a lot more than I know about UNIX. I am able to setup a webserver with Apache and MySQL with PHP. Even with a management site. The real struggle is getting a mail server up and running and I want to learn how to setup so I know how to work with it. The other issue I have I am not around people who use UNIX to be able to ask my rookie questions. I have been managing web servers with Microsoft and virtualization but my UNIX experience is limited due to not being around the right people.
I would suggest mail/exim or mail/postfix. Both are popular mail servers so there are plenty of tutorials to be found. Most of them will be based on Linux but this shouldn't be an issue, the actual configuration is mostly the same.
I used to run email back in the day and used exim. I'm thinking about doing it again... Do you know if OpenSMTPD can support a mailing list like mailman? I remember the integration between Mailman and exim was pretty involved.
defiant1970, I second gpatrick's suggestion.

I've been using OpenSMTPD since 2014, and I like it. It's the only mail server program other than Sendmail that I've seriously tried to use, and what a difference! It seems to have been designed for normal Unix folk, who aren't and don't intend to become really strong with e-mail software. That Sendmail book that's half a foot thick in a box somewhere can now continue to collect dust while I spend my time on things that are more fun for me than studying e-mail software.

Practically speaking, other prerequisites to running your own mail server are a static IP address, and both primary and secondary DNS servers for your zone. If you personally host your DNS servers also, this means having a grand total of two static IP addresses, unless you feel like trying to "fake out" the DNS domain registration process by trying to enter in a phony and/or duplicate IP for your secondary DNS. I did this for years, but it was really funky.

Having well-configured, reliable DNS is key. For instance, I've heard that when your mail server's down, remote mail servers will keep trying to deliver mail to you for a long time--but only so long as they can still resolve the DNS records associated with your zone. If you host both your mail server and a single DNS server on the same computer, and that computer goes down, and there's no working secondary DNS server for your zone, remote mail servers start giving up right away. So you could lose out on getting some e-mails, if the people who originally sent them don't understand or do anything about the delivery-failed type notification they get from their own mail server.
Cool that you just brought this up.

Like you, I have been a (home) linux/unix (now just FreeBSD) user for many years.

I also had no real problem setting up a web server with Apache (still the way to go, IMO) with MySQL and PHP.

When I tried to set up email, my god. Its not so easy anymore. There is no such thing as a "easy" DIY email server thesedays. Eventually I did get a VERY basic server going with postfix and dovecot and ssl and all. Roundcube worked fine, but any client I used simply couldn't send mail. I went over and over and over the config files and worked myself into a migraine headache.

But that is when I found iRedMail. Check them out. Works with fbsd 10,11. It just gets the job DONE. At the end you have a functioning email server with the latest postfix, dovecot, amavisd, clamav, and spam-assassin, etc.

All I wanted was a personal server for me and my family so we could get away from the big box email companies for privacy reasons, but I wouldn't hesitate to use it for a customer, either.