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Old 10-11-2012, 04:14 PM
Scott Lawrence
 
Default Suggestions for email for a paranoid Archer

On Thu, 11 Oct 2012, Menachem Moystoviz wrote:


Recently, my paranoia levels have been ratcheted up by reading about
companies' treatment of their users, along with an increasing awareness
of my powerlessness with respect to most content providers.
I therefore curbed most online activity and have attempted to host those
services I used on my own server, in most cases living without when
I didn't succeed.

Two months ago, I attempted to install postfix and dovecot on my Arch box
in order to be able to host my own mail. Naively I thought that all I needed
was the right software and a dynamic DNS address. In other words,
I thought it would be as simple as setting up a web server.

Naturally, I found out that most anti-spam software is leery of mail from
dynamic DNS hosts who do not have rDNS and PTR records set up,
that they preferred DKIM mail, etc.

Seeing as these involve even more effort, I thought to ask the enlightened
members of the Arch community which solution they would suggest me to use,
because I trust you to have made intelligent decisions in this matter and
believe you understand this outlook. Also, I've seen many users with email
addresses issued by their own domain, which leads me to believe some of
you may have gone through this before.

The alternatives I'm aware of are:
1) Do what most people do, and just sign up for webmail, paranoia demanding
me to download all email every day. Possibly alias the domain by routing
everything through postfix first.
2) Host my own server, paranoia demanding multiple redundant backups.
3) No email - Knuth style

Pros:
1) Very reliable, better support, and non-crazy
2) Gain vast amounts of power over my email
3) Less distraction, no effort at all

Cons:
1) Less control, more black box. Is aliasing even possible? Too many providers -
which to choose?
2) Hard to maintain, can crash at any moment, will drive me to early grave
3) Harder to keep in touch with people this way, harder to check what's going on

Which do you suggest? Do you have an alternative?

Thanks in advance,

Gesh


I took the fourth way - I gave up. Acclimated myself to the idea that no, all
of my email won't be reliably archived, and it will be neither private nor
particularly reliable, and stuck with acme webmail. (Gmail in this case, as
you can see.) It's still preferable to no email whatsoever, and I fetch email
with fetchmail, read it with alpine, and save those bits that I know need
saving.


Barring that, I found this to be a good guide:
http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2010/04/so-youd-like-to-send-some-email-through-code.html,
although it's obviously targeted towards those automating the sending of
massive volumes of email.


--
Scott Lawrence

Linux jagadai 3.5.4-1-ARCH #1 SMP PREEMPT Sat Sep 15 08:12:04 CEST 2012 x86_64 GNU/Linux
 
Old 10-11-2012, 04:18 PM
Menachem Moystoviz
 
Default Suggestions for email for a paranoid Archer

Basically, the suggestion I'm seeing here is: go, work, get a VPS -
can probably get one for cheap - and setup Arch on it.
Sounds good. Will only have to figure out how to get money...

Gesh
 
Old 10-11-2012, 04:29 PM
phanisvara
 
Default Suggestions for email for a paranoid Archer

On Thursday 11 Oct 2012 18:18:10 Menachem Moystoviz wrote:
> Basically, the suggestion I'm seeing here is: go, work, get a VPS -
> can probably get one for cheap - and setup Arch on it.
> Sounds good. Will only have to figure out how to get money...

seen this on G+ today. no idea if it can help you, but it might, depending on
many different things...

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Money-Fast

--
phani.
 
Old 10-11-2012, 04:39 PM
Menachem Moystoviz
 
Default Suggestions for email for a paranoid Archer

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 6:29 PM, phanisvara <listmail@phanisvara.com> wrote:
> On Thursday 11 Oct 2012 18:18:10 Menachem Moystoviz wrote:
>> Basically, the suggestion I'm seeing here is: go, work, get a VPS -
>> can probably get one for cheap - and setup Arch on it.
>> Sounds good. Will only have to figure out how to get money...
>
> seen this on G+ today. no idea if it can help you, but it might, depending on
> many different things...
>
> http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Money-Fast
>
> --
> phani.

:-S I will try other methods, plus I'm looking for something on the
order of at least
a year's worth of VPS.
Thank you in any case.

Gesh
 
Old 10-11-2012, 04:41 PM
Vesa Muhonen
 
Default Suggestions for email for a paranoid Archer

On Thursday 11 October 2012 13:23:32 Menachem Moystoviz wrote:
> The alternatives I'm aware of are:
> 2) Host my own server, paranoia demanding multiple redundant backups.
>
> Pros:
> 2) Gain vast amounts of power over my email
>
> Cons:
> 2) Hard to maintain, can crash at any moment, will drive me to early grave
>
> Which do you suggest? Do you have an alternative?

Not sure about my level of enlightenment, but here's my solution that has
worked well for a year now. I wouldn't say that is's very hard to maintain
once you get it running, which was the part that took by far most of the time.

I have a VPS running on Linode [www.linode.com], but naturally any VPS
provider will do as long as you get full access to the machine. Then I have a
.eu domain to have a name for the server. As for the OS the server is running
Debian stable.

Debian was the choice because there is a very through guide on setting up
your own email server at:
http://workaround.org/ispmail/squeeze
That is a long document, but very good reading. If you end up going this path
do read the whole thing first to get an idea what you're about to do.

Of course running your own service needs backing up. Linode provides quite a
cheap backup service of their own, which propably would be the easiest.
However, as I'm already using SpiderOak [www.spideroak.com] for whom security
and privacy are main selling points, with a little bit of scripting, I simply
started using their service on my server as well.

Anyways, that's the outline of my currrent setup that has been reliable for
a year now. I did not have previous experience on setting up mail servers, so
it took some time to set it up, but was all in all a good learning
experience...and most definitely fun.
--
Vesa Muhonen <vesa.muhonen@iki.fi>
 
Old 10-11-2012, 04:47 PM
Kevin Chadwick
 
Default Suggestions for email for a paranoid Archer

> Use cheap vps with static ip, it will be much easier. I doubt anyone
> keeps their mail server in home with dynamic ip.

Why should you doubt that, I've read many a blog where that is the case.

A few also block any dsl ip even though there are far better ways of
detecting spamming viruses which often connect from corporate networks
anyway.

If your provider blocks for this reason, they don't know what they are
doing and you should change.

Still, you can't fix the world in a day. Has your ISP refused a static
IP?

--
__________________________________________________ _____________________

'Write programs that do one thing and do it well. Write programs to work
together. Write programs to handle text streams, because that is a
universal interface'

(Doug McIlroy)
__________________________________________________ _____________________
 
Old 10-11-2012, 04:54 PM
Kevin Chadwick
 
Default Suggestions for email for a paranoid Archer

> Aye, but I have the following concerns regarding hosting the server myself:
> - Only have one server - no redundancy or reliability
> - No source of income -> no possibility of VPS AFAIK
> - DKIM, PTR, SPF, rDNS all require money and static IP (more money)
>

Easydns is cheap for spf but charges per year and offer email
redundancy when down. I'm not sure DKIM and SPF will help as those
that block dsl connections are unlikely to be that savvy and likely
drop the connection at the ip layer. I'd be interested in
evidence/references to the contrary though.

The RFCs say as long as your connection is down for less than 4
hours any mail shall be queued, though hotmail only waits an hour!!.


In any case, any important mail will usually (some automated mail may be
an exception?) be phoned through or resent due to failure notices.


--
__________________________________________________ _____________________

'Write programs that do one thing and do it well. Write programs to work
together. Write programs to handle text streams, because that is a
universal interface'

(Doug McIlroy)
__________________________________________________ _____________________
 
Old 10-11-2012, 05:00 PM
David Rosenstrauch
 
Default Suggestions for email for a paranoid Archer

On 10/11/2012 11:50 AM, Menachem Moystoviz wrote:

Aye, but I have the following concerns regarding hosting the server myself:
- Only have one server - no redundancy or reliability


This was a big concern for me. It's nice that when my server is down
emails just collect over at Dreamhost until the server comes back up.


One other big concern for me that led me to choose not to run my own POP
server was worrying about having to keep my server configured properly
so that a) it wouldn't get tricked into doing spam relaying, and b) so
that it would properly reject incoming invalid/spam emails (e.g.,
invalid return domain, etc.) I'm much more comfortable having someone
else's mail server do both of those for me.


DR
 
Old 10-11-2012, 06:13 PM
Dave Reisner
 
Default Suggestions for email for a paranoid Archer

On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 06:18:10PM +0200, Menachem Moystoviz wrote:
> Basically, the suggestion I'm seeing here is: go, work, get a VPS -
> can probably get one for cheap - and setup Arch on it.
> Sounds good. Will only have to figure out how to get money...
>
> Gesh

Yes, and then spend the rest of your nights worrying about the security
and stability of your own server. Seems like a lovely waste of time and
money for someone who, by their own word, has little of each to spend.

Really, just add two-factor auth to a gmail account and be done with it.
Google has no interest in singular people. Moreover, Googlers who take
an interest in data or logs belonging to singular people find themselves
no longer working at Google.

d
 
Old 10-11-2012, 07:24 PM
Leonid Isaev
 
Default Suggestions for email for a paranoid Archer

On Thu, 11 Oct 2012 18:39:17 +0200
Menachem Moystoviz <moystovi@g.jct.ac.il> wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 6:29 PM, phanisvara <listmail@phanisvara.com> wrote:
> > On Thursday 11 Oct 2012 18:18:10 Menachem Moystoviz wrote:
> >> Basically, the suggestion I'm seeing here is: go, work, get a VPS -
> >> can probably get one for cheap - and setup Arch on it.
> >> Sounds good. Will only have to figure out how to get money...
> >
> > seen this on G+ today. no idea if it can help you, but it might, depending
> > on many different things...
> >
> > http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Money-Fast
> >
> > --
> > phani.
>
> :-S I will try other methods, plus I'm looking for something on the
> order of at least
> a year's worth of VPS.
> Thank you in any case.
>
> Gesh

I think you are confusing 3 things: privacy of your communications, security
of your email account, and reliability of the storage. None of the proposed
solutions properly address these issues.

(1) Privacy
Even if you did all things properly, your email will have to be read by
someone. Do you trust their system/email provider? If yes, use GPG and/or
certificates to fully encrypt a message. This is the only solution which
ensures complete privacy. If no, don't send anything private.

(2) Security
Use strong passwords and ideally never enter them. If you are really paranoid,
avoid using smartphones and other systems you don't control. Do not use web
interface, but a mail client which stores password encrypted.

(3) Reliability
Fetch mail from an imap server to an external HDD or cloud like dropbox/ubuntu
one. Nothing special here.

Regarding (2) and (3) and public email like gmail/hotmail/yahoo, remember that
Google, Microsoft and Yahoo actually maintain quite a robust infrastructure
with lots of redundancy. It is highly unlikely that you'll do better than them
with your home server. Doing so is a waste of resources unless you have very
specific requirements. You may find instructive that most universities, at
least in the US, do not maintain their own email servers any more, but switch
to gmail.com/outlook.com for their official email accounts.

HTH,
--
Leonid Isaev
GnuPG key: 0x164B5A6D
Fingerprint: C0DF 20D0 C075 C3F1 E1BE 775A A7AE F6CB 164B 5A6D
 

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