Matthew Kilgore

My personal site

Mailcow: Deploying a Mail Server Couldn’t be Easier

Recently I had the wonderful joy of re-deploying my home mail server, normally in the past, this was a painful task taking hours of setup time and another couple of hours of troubleshooting. Then I would have the pleasure of trying to set up my mail clients of which some of them would take a long time before allowing me to enter in custom settings to point to my mail server. However this time I decided to try something entirely new and I highly recommend that if you need to deploy your own mail server (regular email) that you take a look at this service.

Mailcow: The new Mail Server

My new email server is running on docker from Mailcow. The great thing about this setup is that in a little under 10 commands I was able to have a fully functional mail server. First, there’s the main admin dashboard which is very easy to use and understand. Then there’s the builtin powerful spam filter from RSPAMD, add in the fact that it uses SoGo for the webmail and you have a very powerful mail server.

It also has some other great features that I’ve never been able to do from any other software I’ve tried. Starting with the quarantine that puts dangerous messages in a locked location outside the user mailbox where it’s also very easy to delete and report as spam. Then there’s the “temp email” feature that is available from all user dashboards that allows for emails that last only an hour to four weeks which is very useful for those times when you need a one time use email. I also love that as the admin I can create an email address that sends emails received directly to the spam learning system. Great for those surveys that we all know send a crap ton of spam. Finally, there’s the big feature for me which is that it has a properly functioning autoconfig setup for mail clients that support it (Gmail, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.)

At some point I might write up a full list of features and an installation guide, but I installed the server last night so I’m still learning all the features and discovering all the new things.