In today’s interconnected world, having control over your email communications is essential for privacy, security, and branding purposes. Setting up your own email server with a custom domain on Ubuntu provides you with full control over your email infrastructure and enhances your professional image. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up an email server on Ubuntu, complete with a custom domain name.

Prerequisites

Before we dive into the setup process, make sure you have the following prerequisites:

  1. Ubuntu Server: Install Ubuntu Server on a dedicated machine or a virtual private server (VPS).
  2. Static IP Address: Obtain a static IP address from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to ensure reliable email delivery.
  3. Domain Name: Register a domain name for your email server, such as yourdomain.com, through a domain registrar like Namecheap or GoDaddy.

Step 1: Install Required Software

Begin by installing the necessary software packages on your Ubuntu server:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install postfix dovecot postfixadmin roundcube
  • Postfix: A popular Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) used for sending and receiving emails.
  • Dovecot: An IMAP and POP3 server for handling incoming email retrieval.
  • PostfixAdmin: A web-based interface for managing mailboxes and domains.
  • Roundcube: A webmail client for accessing email via a web browser.

Step 2: Configure Postfix

During the installation process, you’ll be prompted to configure Postfix. Select “Internet Site” and enter your domain name when prompted.

Next, edit the main Postfix configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/postfix/main.cf

Update the following parameters:

myhostname = mail.yourdomain.com
mydomain = yourdomain.com
myorigin = $mydomain
inet_interfaces = all
inet_protocols = all

Restart Postfix to apply the changes:

sudo systemctl restart postfix

Step 3: Configure Dovecot

Edit the Dovecot configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf

Make sure the following lines are uncommented or added:

protocols = imap pop3
listen = *

Restart Dovecot:

sudo systemctl restart dovecot

Step 4: Configure MySQL Database for PostfixAdmin

Create a MySQL database and user for PostfixAdmin:

sudo mysql
CREATE DATABASE postfixadmin;
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON postfixadmin.* TO 'postfixadmin'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your_password';
FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Import the initial database schema:

sudo mysql -u postfixadmin -p postfixadmin < /usr/share/postfixadmin/create_tables.mysql

Step 5: Configure PostfixAdmin

Edit the PostfixAdmin configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/postfixadmin/config.local.php

Update the database settings:

$CONF['configured'] = true;
$CONF['database_type'] = 'mysqli';
$CONF['database_host'] = 'localhost';
$CONF['database_user'] = 'postfixadmin';
$CONF['database_password'] = 'your_password';
$CONF['database_name'] = 'postfixadmin';

Restart Apache to apply the changes:

sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 6: Set Up Virtual Domains and Mailboxes

Access PostfixAdmin in your web browser by navigating to http://your_server_ip/postfixadmin. Log in using the default username (postfixadmin) and the password you specified earlier.

  • Create virtual domains and mailboxes using the PostfixAdmin web interface.

Step 7: Configure Roundcube Webmail

Edit the Roundcube configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/roundcube/config.inc.php

Update the following parameters:

$config['default_host'] = 'ssl://mail.yourdomain.com';
$config['default_port'] = 993;
$config['smtp_server'] = 'tls://mail.yourdomain.com';
$config['smtp_port'] = 587;
$config['smtp_user'] = '%u';
$config['smtp_pass'] = '%p';

Restart Apache to apply the changes:

sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 8: Configure DNS Records

Create the following DNS records for your domain:

  • MX Record: Point to your server’s static IP address.
  • A Record: Point mail.yourdomain.com to your server’s static IP address.
  • TXT Record: Add SPF and DKIM records for email authentication.

Step 9: Test Email Delivery

Send a test email to verify that your email server is set up correctly.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully set up your own email server with a custom domain on Ubuntu. Now you can enjoy full control over your email communications and ensure privacy and security for yourself and your users. Happy emailing!

By 9M2PJU

An amateur radio operator, Royal Signals veteran, jack of all trades and master of none.

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