Hosting mail-in-a-box offline?

Is it possible to host the mailinabox server offline? And how can I go about it?

By offline, do you mean you want to have a local network mail server?

You would have to try it out, but if you are only sending mail to other users on the MiaB server, I think it would work.

You will need hardware capable of installing Ubuntu server 18.04 to and a local router that can at least serve the hostname of the mail server.

Note that you will get a LOT of errors in the MiaB dashboard.

This post might be interesting. Particularly with regard to IP addresses and interfaces even if not trying to run on pi.

Hi, If by “offline” you mean limited to serving local LAN mail only, I haven’t tried but can’t think of any obvious reason why not. You’d have to tweak the delivery rules, and retweak them after every MIAB upgrade because upgrades overwrite lots of the existing setup.

BUT there are a couple of obvious issues for a completely disconnected-from-internet system:

  • Installs and updates - MIAB requires a connection for initial install. And for updates, which occur automatically in the middle of the night. Without updates you’d be running the initial version and have no Ubuntu updates.

  • Certificates for SSL come from and get replaced every couple of months. So you’ll need web access to keep the certificates current. These are needed more for delivery to external servers - you might get away without them.

  • DNS - MIAB includes a DNS server for it’s own domain, but normally relies on an external root level server. I was concerned that you’d need a separate root level DNS server, but you could use your MIAB box as the local DNS server - it will resolve requests for itself (get your DHCP server/modem to say that your MIAB is the DNS). That being the case, you’d need to manually manage the DNS entries for the other devices on your network on your (MIAB) root server. And using a local only DNS would mean no internet access for any local clients!

It sounds a bit messy but good luck and let us know what works :slight_smile:

Yes a local network mail server

I have followed the process but the extra dependencies like the SMTP server, IMAP server are not being installed

The initial installation will require the server to be connected to the Internet.

You likely can work with self-signed certs.

You will need to configure your local DNS server (usually also the DHCP server) to respond to the various different domain lookups and send them to the MiaB server.

You will forever have lots of errors and warnings reported by various MiaB status checks.

You should, from time to time, connect the server to the web and update system packages and MiaB version.

@openletter Yes the server has internet access and the script is running well but not installing all required dependencies

On MiaB, these would be postfix and dovecot. If these are not being installed, what is being installed? These are standard packages available for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. If they are not being installed, you have some other problem upstream of your server.

On running the script this is the output I get

What is the indication of the problem you are having? Is there something reported in the MiaB status page? Is there no dashboard? Something like this?

I expected the script to install the dependencies after updating system packages. Something likes this

Run service --status-all

You should see postfix, dovecot, nginx, etc.

I am working on this, but it is not something I would recommend for everyone.

I have a block of static IP’s from my ISP, I have domain names registered to use for email, and I use GoDaddy for DNS management.

If you don’t want to pay for hosting from one of the recommended providers (Virtual Machine with a Static IP hosted somewhere else), you can setup your own physical or virtual machine, and assign it a Public IP. I setup a Virtual Machine on my Windows Server, and the router maps the Public IP to the private IP assigned to the virtual machine.

Load Ubuntu 18 on the server you setup, do the update and upgrade, and load MIAB on it. I followed the install script and only changed what was necessary (IP addresses, etc.). I downloaded the Ubuntu 18 ISO and used that to do the install. You would need to burn it to a physical CD, if loading to a physical server. The virtual machine setup was able to read the ISO file from the Windows Server hard drive.

I will be re-installing it soon. I only set it up with a 127GB virtual hard disk. Ubuntu does a mirroring setup with the hard drive that only left 60GB of usable space. I expanded the hard drive size to 500GB, but will have to re-install to get it to recognize the new size.

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