Configure internal server for email.

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Homegrownandy
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Configure internal server for email.

Post by Homegrownandy » 2019-11-01 16:01

I work for a company who are looking to bring emails in house due to a rise in cost. Internally we do have technical knowledge with general ICT /Networking so I believe once we understand the requirements this should be no issue.

Im struggeling to find a clear route for whats needed. Could anyone recommend some documentation I can read to setup Hmail (and whatever else is required) on a windows based system?

We will be purchasing a server dedicated to handling the emails. Any comments/ideas/recomended documentation is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Andy.

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katip
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by katip » 2019-11-01 16:09

greetings.
a good starting point is the official documentation : https://www.hmailserver.com/documentati ... e=overview
no need to say this forum is very helpful too.
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by palinka » 2019-11-01 17:45

Homegrownandy wrote:
2019-11-01 16:01
I work for a company who are looking to bring emails in house due to a rise in cost. Internally we do have technical knowledge with general ICT /Networking so I believe once we understand the requirements this should be no issue.

Im struggeling to find a clear route for whats needed. Could anyone recommend some documentation I can read to setup Hmail (and whatever else is required) on a windows based system?

We will be purchasing a server dedicated to handling the emails. Any comments/ideas/recomended documentation is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Andy.
The bare bones basics are a PC with a database installed.

What are you trying to achieve? Meaning, why type of email services are you planning to offer? IMAP only? POP3? These are built in. Webmail? Need a webserver. Some kind of push email like activesync? Groupmail? This is more complicated and only uses hmailserver as the backend.

How many users?

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by Dravion » 2019-11-02 00:21

Don't underestimmate this task!

First and for all, you need to Setup and Configure
a Local Area Network and a local DNS-Server and hMailServer and all Email sending and receiving Users needs to be in the same Subnet, if you use IPv4.

This will only allow sending and receiving Emails in your Local Area Network of your Company but NOT communicating and exchanging Emails with the public Internet. To make it possible you need to setup hMailServers Relay Feature or your Local Area Network Subnet and all its IPs needs to be a official, public Internet visible Subnet (this means contacting your coorperate Broadband Provider and ordering a Public Internet Static ip address subnet) In this case your DNS-Server needs to be also visible and accessible to the public Internet. This on the other side requires setting up atleast 2x DNS-Servers like BIND9 which needs to be setup as Master Slave Replication (this is a a mandatory requirement before your
Domain Provider is allowed to transfer DNS Zone Authority to your own DNS-Servers. Of cause you need a SSL-Certificate which needs to be renewed from tine to time so your Email Users dont get Security and fraud Warnings by your Thunderbird/Outlook or Webmail Email Client programs.

However, this is the bare minimum, but you need a few things more, like a Firewall (or more than one) to protect your new Network. I cannot recommend to do all the involved work allone on basis on Windows because the Windows Firewall sucks for such tasks. You can buy a expansive CISCO PIX Hardware Firewall and Router or a Checkpoint Software Firewall but i recommend two Linux or OpenBSD UNIX boxes to make your DNS Setups more secure and reliable and costs doesn't get out of control.

PS: hMailServer doesn't supports Email Lists like for example on Linux with the Postfix or Exim Emailserver in addition with GNU Mailman or Majordomus. If you want Mailing lists, just forgeh hMailServer. It also isn't a Groupware Server, has no Calenders or Global Address book.It has only shared Imap Inboxes which can raise all sort of crappy UID Errors which can make Outlook or hMailServer crash regulary.

PS2:
All the above is describing the effort requiring 1x hMailServer, running your coorporate and public Email
tasks. But there is no Backup or failsafe mechanism right know. If something bad is happening to your hMailServer
you will face a total and complete outage of all things Email in your Company and your Boss will be pissed and mad as
Hell. There is also no Revision safe Emailsystem required by some Country laws.

I think the easiest way would be for you, to buy a Office365 Exchange Online plan or a Google Gmail for Business Cloud Plan to get what you want or running hMailServer on a Dedicated Windows Root Server at some Hosting Company with proper backup capabilities.

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by jimimaseye » 2019-11-02 01:04

Dravion wrote:
2019-11-02 00:21
I think the easiest way would be for you, to buy a Office365 Exchange Online plan or a Google Gmail for Business Cloud Plan to get what you want or running hMailServer on a Dedicated Windows Root Server at some Hosting Company with proper backup capabilities.
Remind me not to ask you to sell my services or products.

For people with knowledge it isn't as difficult as you make out out to be. I knew diddley squat about mail servers when i started but had an I.T mind and understanding and did very well serving the company. And didn't have no where near a complicated setup as you describe.

Give people credit or trust.

[Entered by mobile. Excuse my spelling.]
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by Dravion » 2019-11-02 01:51

jimimaseye wrote:
2019-11-02 01:04
Dravion wrote:
2019-11-02 00:21
I think the easiest way would be for you, to buy a Office365 Exchange Online plan or a Google Gmail for Business Cloud Plan to get what you want or running hMailServer on a Dedicated Windows Root Server at some Hosting Company with proper backup capabilities.
Remind me not to ask you to sell my services or products.

For people with knowledge it isn't as difficult as you make out out to be. I knew diddley squat about mail servers when i started but had an I.T mind and understanding and did very well serving the company. And didn't have no where near a complicated setup as you describe.

Give people credit or trust.

[Entered by mobile. Excuse my spelling.]
Iam curious how manged to make hMailServer work in your own corporate Network without your own DNS-Server?
Did you say to your Users "please insert the ip address joe@192.168.100.x"" or local Email will not work?

Maybe you noticed that SMTP and DNS are companions and you can't get it work if one thing is missing in real world scenarios (you know, mx and a records ect),

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by mattg » 2019-11-02 04:06

hmailserver works well without a DNS - you CERTAINLY don't need a DNS on your LAN

hMailserver uses whatever the DNS settings are in the network settings in Windows. If your computer can access the internet to browse the web, it can send mail.

Hosting my own DNS was not something I looked at until some of the DNSBL lookups started to reject from using my ISP's DNS (from overuse)

And I still set all of MX, spf , txt records an my domain name Supplier's online DNS portal
Just 'cause I link to a page and say little else doesn't mean I am not being nice.
https://www.hmailserver.com/documentation

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by palinka » 2019-11-02 04:18

Dravion wrote:
2019-11-02 01:51
Iam curious how manged to make hMailServer work in your own corporate Network without your own DNS-Server?
Did you say to your Users "please insert the ip address joe@192.168.100.x"" or local Email will not work?
My router handles dns in the simple way consumer routers do. I can call mydomain.tld from inside or outside my LAN. No other special setup required.

Anyway, the OP never said he doesn't already have a dns server. He didn't give much detail at all.

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by Dravion » 2019-11-02 04:46

You can query your consumer Router TLD from the public Internet so it is responsible for your public Domain MX entry? :)

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by mattg » 2019-11-02 06:46

Dravion wrote:
2019-11-02 04:46
You can query your consumer Router TLD from the public Internet so it is responsible for your public Domain MX entry? :)
Not at all

MX records are set using your Domain Name Registrars web portal
Local DNS (eg on router) just does lookup, no hosting of records
Just 'cause I link to a page and say little else doesn't mean I am not being nice.
https://www.hmailserver.com/documentation

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by Dravion » 2019-11-02 08:17

No.
MX Records are set by a DNS-Server (in most cases ISC BIND9, which is the defacto standard for DNS) and your Domainprovider has as best a simplified config page where you can set such entries but the underlying DNS-Server is still BIND9. In this case you use your Domain providers Hosted DNS-Server not your own DNS-Server.

However, running your own DNS-Server can be necessary if you need specific features like DNSSEC, DNSv6, DANE, SRV Records, IPv6 Dualstack MX-Records, DNS-Responserate limiting, certain DNS-Cache poisining mitigation, Reverse Zone entries and dozens of other features.

A hosted DNS-Server with a limited Web config page isn't exactly the same thing as running your own DNS-Server.

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by jimimaseye » 2019-11-02 10:39

Dravion wrote:
2019-11-02 00:21
Don't underestimmate this task!

First and for all, you need to Setup and Configure
a Local Area Network and a local DNS-Server and hMailServer and all Email sending and receiving Users needs to be in the same Subnet, if you use IPv4.
No. All senders can connect using FQDN - the server can be anywhere in the world as long as you have DNS and port passthrough set to it. Working on LAN is only a choice of preference (for isolation purposes). And DNS is (probably) hosted by domain hosting company in the internet (you only need access to configure you records). However your current DNS works now from your chosen windows server, that will be the same source.
This will only allow sending and receiving Emails in your Local Area Network of your Company but NOT communicating and exchanging Emails with the public Internet. To make it possible you need to setup hMailServers Relay Feature or your Local Area Network Subnet and all its IPs needs to be a official, public Internet visible Subnet (this means contacting your coorperate Broadband Provider and ordering a Public Internet Static ip address subnet).
Or to put it short: you need to be on a static IP address (business class usually).
In this case your DNS-Server needs to be also visible and accessible to the public Internet. This on the other side requires setting up atleast 2x DNS-Servers like BIND9 which needs to be setup as Master Slave Replication (this is a a mandatory requirement before your
Domain Provider is allowed to transfer DNS Zone Authority to your own DNS-Servers.
Nah. As long as you have a registered domain for your business you will probably also already have access to your DNS settings config page provided by your domain host. They handle the DNS propogation. Thats all you need.
Of cause you need a SSL-Certificate which needs to be renewed from tine to time so your Email Users dont get Security and fraud Warnings by your Thunderbird/Outlook or Webmail Email Client programs.
Again, no. You dont need them - it is a preference. For example, if you use Thunderbird, it will connect fine without warnings if that is what you have told it to do. If you tell HMS there is no certificate then it wont request or expect one. (But, of course, it would be better to have one - if you are connecting and receiving from the internet).
However, this is the bare minimum, but you need a few things more, like a Firewall (or more than one) to protect your new Network. I cannot recommend to do all the involved work allone on basis on Windows because the Windows Firewall sucks for such tasks.
My company operated HMS behind a standard router (with whatever the usual firewall protections that provides) and windows firewall - and worked PERFECTLY fine.

As for backups, housekeeping, precautions : standard. You are in IT and have to think about it and implement something. Its simple: no thought = no protection. Doing somthing = more protection. Everyone has different resources and ideas in this and will implement according to their own ideas. (This forum and users has some good ideas and start scripts and methods if you want them).
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by Dravion » 2019-11-02 12:11

jimimaseye wrote:
2019-11-02 10:39
My company operated HMS behind a standard router (with whatever the usual firewall protections that provides) and windows firewall - and worked PERFECTLY fine.
Something worked NOT perfectly because your boss decided to get rid of your hMailServer Installation and replaced it with
something else.

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by SorenR » 2019-11-02 12:48

Homegrownandy wrote:
2019-11-01 16:01
I work for a company who are looking to bring emails in house due to a rise in cost. Internally we do have technical knowledge with general ICT /Networking so I believe once we understand the requirements this should be no issue.

Im struggeling to find a clear route for whats needed. Could anyone recommend some documentation I can read to setup Hmail (and whatever else is required) on a windows based system?

We will be purchasing a server dedicated to handling the emails. Any comments/ideas/recomended documentation is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Andy.
Don't listen to them ;-)

I have regular subscriber broadband with Fixed IP.

I have my domain with ChangeIP, they do DDNS primarely but have a page where you enter records in BIND9 format.

I have a NAS with a caching DNS that hold a copy of my domain records with local IP's. So no dual/split horizon DNS!

My hMailserver is on a Server 2003R2 with MySQL serving IMAP and SMTP. ClamAV and SpamAssassin is used for antivirus and Anti-Spam.

NAS also hosts webserver with Roundcube webserver.

Thats the basics and it has now worked for over 12 years.

I like to keep things simple, does not break down so often ;-) Anyways ... I was first "online" back in the early 80's and have worked with IT on different levels, last as Solutions Architect in the international ISP/ITSP world. I know IT from before the RFC's were written and it's really not that difficult.

An open source project i participated in in school (uni) got hijaked by a Finn and is now known as IRC... Sh#t happens ;-)
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by jimimaseye » 2019-11-02 13:48

Dravion wrote:
2019-11-02 12:11
jimimaseye wrote:
2019-11-02 10:39
My company operated HMS behind a standard router (with whatever the usual firewall protections that provides) and windows firewall - and worked PERFECTLY fine.
Something worked NOT perfectly because your boss decided to get rid of your hMailServer Installation and replaced it with
something else.
With respect Dravion, you shouldnt make such comments without knowing the facts. They have not got rid of it, they have got rid of me in replacement for another company who they thought knew better. Turns out they dont and that other company struggles daily with running this system since migrating it to a new server. But as a mailserver it is still working fine. The company boss doesnt have a clue about their installation, the inherent IT company dont have clue about their installation and YOU dont have a clue about their installation. So best you leave your comments to relevant technical details only.
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by mattg » 2019-11-02 14:50

Dravion wrote:
2019-11-02 08:17
A hosted DNS-Server with a limited Web config page isn't exactly the same thing as running your own DNS-Server
Of course not

Earlier, you made the ascertation that...
Dravion wrote:
2019-11-02 01:51
Maybe you noticed that SMTP and DNS are companions and you can't get it work if one thing is missing in real world scenarios (you know, mx and a records ect),
And this is CLEARLY inaccurate
Dravion wrote:
2019-11-02 08:17
However, running your own DNS-Server can be necessary if you need specific features like DNSSEC, DNSv6, DANE, SRV Records, IPv6 Dualstack MX-Records, DNS-Responserate limiting, certain DNS-Cache poisining mitigation, Reverse Zone entries and dozens of other features.
For sure

But NONE of these are REQUIRED to run a mailserver, even a secure mailserver
Just 'cause I link to a page and say little else doesn't mean I am not being nice.
https://www.hmailserver.com/documentation

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by Dravion » 2019-11-02 15:31

mattg wrote:
2019-11-02 14:50
Dravion wrote:
2019-11-02 08:17
A hosted DNS-Server with a limited Web config page isn't exactly the same thing as running your own DNS-Server
But NONE of these are REQUIRED to run a mailserver, even a secure mailserver
False.
You should re-read what thread starter is trying to implement.
He wants to implement internal Email which has nothing to do with outside Webinterface Setups on some Domain hosts Domain settings.
For internal LAN (Local Area Network) you need a DNS-Server as well. It's clear to me, you like toys like a Consumer Routers to manage internal DNS-Zones
but it's far away from best practices or a recommended procedure. With such low DNS-Skills for Local Area Network Setups you would fail any Linux or Windows
Networking course. Even the bad Windows DNS-Server would be a better solution instead using a cheap Consumer Router toy designed for inexperienced
Private Home users.

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by jimimaseye » 2019-11-02 16:57

Dravion wrote:
2019-11-02 15:31

False.
You should re-read what thread starter is trying to implement.
He wants to implement internal Email which has nothing to do with outside Webinterface Setups on some Domain hosts Domain settings.
Where did he say he wants to implement internal email?? He said he wants to bring it in house:
...looking to bring emails in house
.... meaning hosting it on his own servers instead of paying for a host. You are making assumptions. (He might want to stick it in a shed at his house and provide email to external customers - that will still be 'in house' with no sign of 'internal email'.
For internal LAN (Local Area Network) you need a DNS-Server as well.
No you don't. Lan clients can be configured to connect by ip address or wins and hms will use the servers windows dns setup (often just the router). (Spamassassin is a different story).

[Entered by mobile. Excuse my spelling.]
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by katip » 2019-11-02 16:58

ehm, gentlemen, OP probably regrets to have posted i think...
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by jimimaseye » 2019-11-02 17:32

It's important to ensure the op gets the correct necessary advice.

[Entered by mobile. Excuse my spelling.]
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by katip » 2019-11-02 18:37

jimimaseye wrote:
2019-11-02 17:32
It's important to ensure the op gets the correct necessary advice.

[Entered by mobile. Excuse my spelling.]
OP was simply asking
Could anyone recommend some documentation I can read to setup Hmail (and whatever else is required) on a windows based system?
thread almost evolved into kinda "DNS - best practises".
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by jimimaseye » 2019-11-02 22:18

Yep. I agree. Your advice was sufficient. The rest was counteracting the unnecessary incorrect guide given by dravion. (We don't want to complicate things more than is necessary).

[Entered by mobile. Excuse my spelling.]
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by Dravion » 2019-11-02 22:33

Its not incorrect if someone gives you the correct solution.

You should be ashamed of your self putting people in harms way and recomend a crappy home router toy thingg as Solution for something like this.

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by jimimaseye » 2019-11-02 23:31

The point to the defense here, Dravion, was that the OP is asking for a starter suggestion to setup. A *starter* (basic) setup is something everyone must have to make it work and is documented as well as given by answer by many of us in the thread. Your answer, however, went on saying initially that he should have stuff that is way in advance of the basic necessaries and finished off with words to the effect of "you really should think of using another solution" or use a hosting company. The fact is many of us, including me, Mattg, Soren, Palinka all run mail servers in the basic form in house (just as the OP was asking) and without the advance config or suggestions you made. Our business ran the hmailserver for 8 years behind windows firewall and a Draytek router without any problems. Yet you fail to acknowledge this as a proof of concept and still insist that your advanced way is the correct way.

Windows machine + hmailserver + static internet IP address + Domain/DNS records + open port 25. That's it. If he has those then he has a mail server capable of working and doing what he needs. The advanced choices of hardware and security policies and supplementary software (spam fighting, packet inspection, AV, certificates, backup policy, DNS server hosting (if he really thinks he needs it), etc etc) is all extra after you have the basic setup up and working. As helpers, we can then offer guidance or recommendation, like we all do every day, on such advances (alternative/redirected ports, SA setup, AV integration, MX backup, backup policies, spam/botnet blocking etc etc) but he doesnt need them in answer to his initial question. And he certainly doesnt need "its difficult stuff - you are better off paying for O365"!
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by SorenR » 2019-11-02 23:45

Image

:mrgreen:
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by Homegrownandy » 2019-11-04 12:34

Sorry for the delayed response, interesting replies. Just to add more information, The server would be for around 50 people at a time. The setup and maintainence cost will be less than getting office 365 from what I understand, This is why we are looking into HMAIL. Ill do some reading and Probably be back with some questions.

Thanks for everyones input.

Andy.

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by Homegrownandy » 2019-11-04 12:38

palinka wrote:
2019-11-01 17:45


The bare bones basics are a PC with a database installed.

What are you trying to achieve? Meaning, why type of email services are you planning to offer? IMAP only? POP3? These are built in. Webmail? Need a webserver. Some kind of push email like activesync? Groupmail? This is more complicated and only uses hmailserver as the backend.

How many users?
Thanks, IMAP so people can access emails on multiple devices (work from home). So I think webmail is what we need (correct me if i say anything wrong).

activesync? Groupmail? - not a clue ill look into it

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by mattg » 2019-11-04 12:43

You don't need webmail if your ports are open to the internet

You CAN do webmail as well if you like
Just 'cause I link to a page and say little else doesn't mean I am not being nice.
https://www.hmailserver.com/documentation

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by Homegrownandy » 2019-11-04 13:07

jimimaseye wrote:
2019-11-02 23:31

Windows machine + hmailserver + static internet IP address + Domain/DNS records + open port 25.
jimimaseye, This is all im after now, thank you. If I can get a list of things I NEED then I can work through it. With little to no knowledge in this area I could easily spend hours looking into something I don't require.

Windows machine - done
hmailserver - done
static internet IP address - done
Domain/DNS records - We currently host a windows exchange server managed by an external company. My concern is changing the DNS will result in the current email system not working. Is it possible to set up hamil in parralell to the exiting system? eventually transfering data to hmail and running hmail alone?
(I can change the DNS settings I just want to avoid downtime/data loss)

open port 25. - Ill do some reading.

Homegrownandy
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by Homegrownandy » 2019-11-04 13:08

mattg wrote:
2019-11-04 12:43
You don't need webmail if your ports are open to the internet

You CAN do webmail as well if you like
If I dont need web mail to use email on mobile phones then thats fine.

Edit: yes was getting confused, webmail isnt required.

Just a very basic system using outlook to send recieve emails in the office, nothng fancy. Also the ability to send/recieve via mobile.

What may be a consideration is the sceduling.. we use outlook calender to organise our works. I imagine this will continue as normal after the switch but I thought I'd mention it.

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by palinka » 2019-11-04 14:49

There is no calendar/contact sync built into hMailServer. This means that - if using outlook as your mail client - all contact and calendars will be stored locally only. They will not be synced between devices (mobile, outlook, etc.). For this you will need some sort of groupware. I use Horde for this task, which in turn uses hMailServer as it's backend for email and authentication. It works great, but it is a YUUUGE pain in the ass to setup and there was (for me) a giant learning curve. However, once tuned its been running like a top ever since. It runs on PHP and you will need a web server with valid SSL certificate.

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by palinka » 2019-11-04 14:54

Homegrownandy wrote:
2019-11-04 13:07

Domain/DNS records - We currently host a windows exchange server managed by an external company. My concern is changing the DNS will result in the current email system not working. Is it possible to set up hamil in parralell to the exiting system? eventually transfering data to hmail and running hmail alone?
(I can change the DNS settings I just want to avoid downtime/data loss)
This can be done. I won't confuse you with the details now, but it definitely can be done.

How many users do you have?

Homegrownandy
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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by Homegrownandy » 2019-11-04 15:12

currently we have 20 users, but I expect this to increase to around 50 within a year or two. At the moment im setting up my SQL and hmail then ill go from there.

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by Homegrownandy » 2019-11-04 15:18

is Horde Groupware Webmail compatable with outlook calender? also can we migrate existing appointments to the new system?

Thanks.

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Re: Configure internal server for email.

Post by palinka » 2019-11-04 17:47

Homegrownandy wrote:
2019-11-04 15:18
is Horde Groupware Webmail compatable with outlook calender? also can we migrate existing appointments to the new system?

Thanks.
Yes. I connect outlook via activesync (a component in the horde framework). I think outlook can also connect via caldav, but activesync is a lot simpler with autodiscover and also pushes events: email, calendar, contact, tasks, etc.

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