In the realm of email delivery, having control over your own SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) server can offer numerous advantages, from enhanced deliverability to increased customization. Postal is an open-source mail server that simplifies the process of building and managing your SMTP infrastructure. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up a SMTP server using Postal.

Step 1: Server Requirements

Before diving into the installation, ensure that your server meets the following requirements:
  • A Linux-based server (Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is commonly used).
  • At least 2GB of RAM.
  • A domain name with valid DNS records.

Step 2: Update and Upgrade

Log in to your server and run the following commands to ensure that your system is up to date:
bash
sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade

Step 3: Install Dependencies

Install the necessary dependencies, including Redis and PostgreSQL:
bash
sudo apt install -y redis postgresql

Step 4: Install Postal

Clone the Postal repository from GitHub and navigate to the project directory:
bash
git clone https://github.com/atech/postal.git cd postal
Run the installer script to set up Postal:
bash
sudo bin/postal install

Step 5: Configure Postal

Edit the configuration file to specify your domain and database connection details:
bash
nano /opt/postal/app/config/postal.yml
Update the following fields:
yaml
default: default_mailer: 'smtp' smtp: host: '127.0.0.1' port: 25 user: 'postal' pass: 'your_password'

Step 6: Create Database and Migrate

Initialize the database and run the migrations:
bash
sudo postal initialize sudo postal migrate

Step 7: Start Postal Services

Start the Postal services and enable them to start on boot:
bash
sudo systemctl start postal sudo systemctl enable postal

Step 8: Configure DNS Records

Update your DNS records to point to your server’s IP address. Add an MX record for your domain pointing to your server.

Step 9: Test Your SMTP Server

Send a test email to verify that your SMTP server is functioning correctly:
bash
sudo postal test

Step 10: Monitor and Maintain

Keep an eye on the server logs and regularly update Postal to benefit from the latest features and security patches.

Conclusion:

Setting up your SMTP server using Postal gives you control over your email infrastructure, leading to improved deliverability and customization options. By following this step-by-step guide, you can create a robust and reliable SMTP server tailored to your specific needs. Remember to stay informed about updates and best practices to ensure the ongoing success of your self-hosted email delivery system.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a SMTP Server with Postal

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