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:
sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade

Step 3: Install Dependencies

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

Step 4: Install Postal

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

Step 5: Configure Postal

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

Step 6: Create Database and Migrate

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

Step 7: Start Postal Services

Start the Postal services and enable them to start on boot:
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:
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.


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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