Moving out of Google Suite (Workplace). Part 1: mail server.

TLDR: I chose Mail-In-A-Box, setup worked like a charm for me.

When Google announced moving of my family GSuite to a priced tier, I decided to take back control of my personal email.

Last time I was administering a mail server was in 2006, and spam-related stuff (gettingĀ  rid of spam and keeping myself out of DNS lists) was taking most of the time I was dedicating to mail then.

Another of my concerns for going self-hosted was the burden of setting up all the software (users, authentication, syncing together SMTP and IMAP parts).

I started reading a lot of reviews for software that might help to automate both setup and spam-related things and decided to give Mail-In-A-Box a try.

Reasons behind choosing Mail-In-A-Box were:

  • seemed to be a solid piece of software (and it proved to be!)
  • setup on a Linux box without having to deal with Docker (the simpler, the better)
  • support of calendar which is the second essential thing after mail for me
  • support of personal cloud (Nextcloud)
    • When sending invites, Nextcloud in MIAB setup does it via sendmail, so you will not see the invites in sent mail folder.
  • automatic backup to a selected media (local, S3, rsync, Backblaze B2)

So I purchased a VPS and went through the setup steps listed in the official guide.

I started with moving one of my secondary domain names mail to MIAB to ensure that the transfer of my main one will go smoothly.

The setup was the most friendly experience and Mail-In-A-Box also took care of hardening SSH security with fail2ban.

When my MIAB was running, the Status Checks page provided me with all the next steps to complete which did not take much time as well.

Don't forget these post-install steps:

  1. Create a catch-all alias on the MIAB domain to receive messages from cron jobs.
  2. Before you start using Nextcloud calendar, login to Nextcloud web UI as a user and add your name and email in the settings, this is required to support sending calendar invites.

My review for Mail-In-A-Box: 9/10.

The only reasons not to give 10 out of 10 is that MIAB does not have a daily calendar agenda (which I love in GSuite) and does not have self-service password change for my users.