Mail-in-a-Box alternatives and similar software solutions
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Mail-in-a-Box helps individuals take back control of their email by defining a one-click, easy-to-deploy SMTP+everything else server: a mail server in a box.
Please see https://mailinabox.email for the project's website and setup guide!
Our goals are to:
- Make deploying a good mail server easy.
- Promote decentralization, innovation, and privacy on the web.
- Have automated, auditable, and idempotent configuration.
- Not make a totally unhackable, NSA-proof server.
- Not make something customizable by power users.
Additionally, this project has a [Code of Conduct](CODE_OF_CONDUCT.md), which supersedes the goals above. Please review it when joining our community.
Mail-in-a-Box turns a fresh Ubuntu 18.04 LTS 64-bit machine into a working mail server by installing and configuring various components.
It is a one-click email appliance. There are no user-configurable setup options. It "just works".
The components installed are:
- SMTP (postfix), IMAP (dovecot), CardDAV/CalDAV (Nextcloud), and Exchange ActiveSync (z-push) servers
- Webmail (Roundcube), mail filter rules (also using dovecot), and email client autoconfig settings (served by nginx)
- Spam filtering (spamassassin) and greylisting (postgrey)
- DNS (nsd4) with SPF, DKIM (OpenDKIM), DMARC, DNSSEC, DANE TLSA, MTA-STS, and SSHFP policy records automatically set
- HTTPS TLS certificates are automatically provisioned using Let's Encrypt (needed for webmail, CardDAV/CalDAV, ActiveSync, MTA-STS policy, etc.).
- Backups (duplicity), firewall (ufw), intrusion protection (fail2ban), and basic system monitoring (munin)
It also includes system management tools:
- Comprehensive health monitoring that checks each day that services are running, ports are open, TLS certificates are valid, and DNS records are correct
- A control panel for adding/removing mail users, aliases, custom DNS records, configuring backups, etc.
- An API for all of the actions on the control panel
It also supports static website hosting since the box is serving HTTPS anyway.
For more information on how Mail-in-a-Box handles your privacy, see the [security details page](security.md).
See the setup guide for detailed, user-friendly instructions.
For experts, start with a completely fresh (really, I mean it) Ubuntu 18.04 LTS 64-bit machine. On the machine...
Clone this repository:
$ git clone https://github.com/mail-in-a-box/mailinabox $ cd mailinabox
Optional: Download Josh's PGP key and then verify that the sources were signed by him:
$ curl -s https://keybase.io/joshdata/key.asc | gpg --import gpg: key C10BDD81: public key "Joshua Tauberer <email@example.com>" imported $ git verify-tag v0.47 gpg: Signature made ..... using RSA key ID C10BDD81 gpg: Good signature from "Joshua Tauberer <firstname.lastname@example.org>" gpg: WARNING: This key is not certified with a trusted signature! gpg: There is no indication that the signature belongs to the owner. Primary key fingerprint: 5F4C 0E73 13CC D744 693B 2AEA B920 41F4 C10B DD81
You'll get a lot of warnings, but that's OK. Check that the primary key fingerprint matches the fingerprint in the key details at https://keybase.io/joshdata and on his personal homepage. (Of course, if this repository has been compromised you can't trust these instructions.)
Checkout the tag corresponding to the most recent release:
$ git checkout v0.47
Begin the installation.
$ sudo setup/start.sh
For help, DO NOT contact Josh directly --- I don't do tech support by email or tweet (no exceptions).
Post your question on the discussion forum instead, where maintainers and Mail-in-a-Box users may be able to help you.
Contributing and Development
Mail-in-a-Box is an open source project. Your contributions and pull requests are welcome. See [CONTRIBUTING](CONTRIBUTING.md) to get started.
- In 2007 I wrote a relatively popular Mozilla Thunderbird extension that added client-side SPF and DKIM checks to mail to warn users about possible phishing: add-on page, source.
- In August 2013 I began Mail-in-a-Box by combining my own mail server configuration with the setup in "NSA-proof your email in 2 hours" and making the setup steps reproducible with bash scripts.
- Mail-in-a-Box was a semifinalist in the 2014 Knight News Challenge, but it was not selected as a winner.
- Mail-in-a-Box hit the front page of Hacker News in April 2014, September 2014, May 2015, and November 2016.
- FastCompany mentioned Mail-in-a-Box a roundup of privacy projects on June 26, 2015.