snork.ca ... making kittens cry since 2001
homeabouttoscanaryrssmansvalidatecontact

hMailServer Eh 2014-02-08


I would love to dump my Windows based OS at Snorkuserve. Windows, and Microsoft's corporate policies, grind my gears. I'm not a fan of Apple crap, so the logical answer would be a Linux based PC. But I can't find an appropriate email server solution for Linux. There are tons of tutorials on setting up a Linux based email server but they're fucking brutal. Not that they don't work… some of them probably do. The problem is that making a Linux based email server means independently getting and configuring a half dozen different applications so that they all work together for the same purpose (mail). Each application will have its own configuration files and each one will have its own standardized syntax for settings, which of course may be different than the syntax used by the other apps. Some of the applications will require an independent user login to "run as" and each application will require some memory and disk. I simply haven't seen anything for Linux that acts as a full mail server application with all of the features that I would expect are essential for a mail server. I have tried to make the switch but keep coming back to Windows because of hMailServer.

Kind of recently I saw a post in the hMailServer forums asking if it would be possible to remove the originating IP address from email headers. Basically what this is about is privacy… emails have a bunch of information in them called "headers" which are lines of text describing the email. The headers will have some info that you often see (such as who it is from, who it is to, and the date and time) as well as some information you don't usually see, such as the email servers it has passed through along the way. This person was concerned about the privacy of his email users and thought that it would be nice if the users could send email without disclosing their IP address (which in turn kind of discloses their general location as well). A few people replied to him and it seemed that most people thought of this request as somewhat useless.

Now I have also been wanting this feature but never got excited enough to ask them for it. When I saw this post I figured it was as good a time as any to make my thoughts known. I posted a reply with a few examples of times when someone might like that kind of privacy. One of the examples was pretty nasty, and in fact illegal… one example was a realistic business scenario, and the last example was just someone who likes privacy. One of the forums most active members, and an active developer of hMailServer "Bill48105" replied to us and said that he would make a patch allowing us to mask the sender's IP address for privacy. Within hours of my request, Bill had provided a patch that allowed me to mask both the IP address and hostname of the originating IP in the headers. Now it was rather fortunate that Bill had been awake and online at the time, and I can't guarantee that everyone's requests would be handled so quickly and completely… but I gotta say that this kind of thing makes it pretty hard to leave my Windows OS behind for Linux.

Thanks Bill… Here's a digital beer for ya! :-)

shawshank_beer Have a beer fellahs.

Made using Notepad++ & FastStone. Hosted on Debian with nginx & php. Powered by North Korean mushrooms.