I have just been given the task of setting up an email server for a new domain that we have. I've created the relevant A records and MX records for the domain which are all pointing in the right place. Now to roll the sleeves up and get stuck in. I'm thinking along the lines of using Dovecot and Squirrelmail which all seem pretty straighforward to set up and I've had a bit of a play on an old workstation and it all works quite nicely.
Some advice however about setting up the email accounts themselves. I want to be able to have my new domain set up as a virtual domain on the server with virtual users - probably using MySQL. I also have a requirement to create hundreds of accounts at once on this server (we are basically giving all our students an email address) from a csv file or something similar. I've had a look at various config tools etc. (vpopmail and ISPconfig for example) but none of them seem to really fulfil this requirement. I'd also like to be able to add another field to their virtual account so that I can mark their year of entry to the school so managing ex-students is easier.
Have you considered something like Zimbra? It's quite popular amongst several Edugeek members and we're also currently in the process of replacing our aging Linux mail server (with Squirrelmail front) with it.
If you go the other route, I don't know of any ready-made mail servers that will do what you need, so a few bash and/or perl scripts will be required to parse the CSV and carry out the required account operations.
Thanks for the suggestion. We had looked at this and we might look to this in the future if we actually manage to get decent broadband connectivity up here in the soggy North!
The server I have been given is hosted somewhere deep inside 1and1's data centre and is sitting there chugging away with a basic installation of Ubuntu.
I'm quite happy to script something to parse the csv file (have test server, have terrier-like mentality and some knowledge of C!!) - just wondered if the format of something like vpopmail with Postfix was going to be the easiest method of adding users (seems to be a matter of running vadduser <username> <password> for each user - can't be _that_ hard to script now can it!!)
Feeling silly now! Having read the blurb on Zimbra more carefully than when this project all started a while ago, I reckon we might just investigate this further. Now I trawl back through my memory, one thing that did put us off initially was that we were rather hoping to use this as a mail server and somewhere to pop an installation of Moodle and it seems that Zimbra likes to be the only application suite running on the server.