ROSA Server Enterpise Linux-based mail server in minutes

  • Tutorial

This article is the continuation of a series of tutorials related to setting up ROSA Server. In a previous article, we described the deployment of a named server based on ROSA Enterprise Linux Server (hereinafter RELS) using the ROSA Directory Server tool.
Today I’ll show you how to quickly and easily deploy your own internal mail server, including with support for multiple mail domains.
Like last time, we assume that the OS is already installed. Just in case, let me remind you that if you install RELS from scratch, then when choosing packages in the "Servers" section, select the "ROSA Directory Server" item.
When deploying a server inside your company, you should use the details and names that are accepted from you.

I intentionally lowered the firewall setting, since there are so many manuals on this subject. I describe exactly what has not yet been published on the Web.

Preparing to start

Before starting the settings, make sure that the hostname -f command produces something like:
user @ rels ~ $ hostname -f

If, however, any error occurs during the execution of this command, then open the / etc / hosts file and write the FQDN name manually. Using our system as an example, this will look as follows: rosa

If you do not do this, during the installation of the necessary components, you may receive an error message due to the fact that ROSA Directory Server cannot find the FQDN name of the server. Because of this, further installation of the RDS components will be interrupted.

The first thing we do is launch the Deploy Component and Initial Configuration Wizard called ROSA Server Setup. The icon of this application is available directly on the desktop or in the main menu Options> ROSA Server Setup. You can also configure using the web interface by contacting at hostname:8000/.

One way or another, your browser will be launched, where such a window appears: You

must select the option "Go to ROSA Server Setup". In the next step, a warning appears that you need to add an exception to the Firefox browser to add a self-signed certificate to protect the connection to the server’s web console. You must click on the button “Add Exceptions”. Otherwise, we cannot configure the server.
If all the necessary actions are performed correctly, the window below should appear.

Root is used as login. The password is also from the root user. Then we will find ourselves in the main menu. To complete our tasks, you need to select the section on the left under the name "ROSA Directory Server". Then we press "Enter".

In this section, we select the modules we need to configure the mail server. List of the minimum services required to solve the problem:
  1. MDS core components
  2. Webmail with MDS Backend
  3. DNS server with MDS backend

Having selected the necessary modules, click on the “Install components” button. After that, those who wish can drink tea / coffee / juice, while all the necessary components for the future server are installed.

The success of the completed step at the very end will be indicated by the “Continue” button and the notification “Failed to complete the installation”, as shown below.

After clicking the “Continue” button, we proceed directly to the initial configuration of the mail server and DNS server. Our eyes should open a form that must be filled with the data we need.

A little bit about server settings:

  1. MDS domain name. Domain name. May match the FQDN domain name.
  2. MDS Password — The password for the Directory Server control panel.
  3. Password policy - if you enable it by default, then all created passwords should be of sufficient complexity. Otherwise, the password will not be accepted.
  4. The password to the SQL database. Since we are creating the very first database, a new password is required. The Current Password field is left blank.
  5. In the "DNS server with MDS backend" section, in the "my networks" field, specify the main subnet from where DNS will receive requests.
  6. “Mail server with MDS backend” - you must specify the FQDN name of the mail server. An example is shown in one of the screenshots below. Supported protocols include IMAPS and POP3S (protected versions of IMAP and POP3 protocols).
  7. “My networks” - responsible for which clients of which subnets can send mail through this server.
  8. “Web mail with MDS backend” - sets the password for the administrative record of the mail server database.

For greater clarity, I will add screenshots:

After filling out the form, click "Continue", thereby confirming the settings are correct. If any data was entered incorrectly during filling out the form, you can click the "Back" button and change the settings.
A big request is to pay attention to messages that appear during the next step of the setup wizard. You should write down or remember the addresses at which you can enter the server administration interface and the user names for login.
You should also read the messages related to the server settings. For example, notifications about the need for ports in the firewall, as well as some general information about the settings of the mail server. Just in case, I’ll remind you that the MDS password that you entered in the form above will be required to enter the ROSA Management Console (hereinafter - RMC).

Upon completion of the initial setup procedure, you must open a browser and enter the address specified in the server setup process: localhost / mmc . In the future, it will be possible to access the server settings panel from the local network using the IP address or the FQDN name of the server.
If everything is correct, then the RMC login page should open. To log in, you must use the root username and password specified in one of the previous steps. Optionally, you can select the RMC interface language.
The next step necessary to configure the construction of an internal corporate mail server is to configure a name server, without which the mail server simply will not function.
To configure DNS, go to the "Network" section in the main window and select "Add DNS zone". In the section that opens, you must specify the following parameters:

  • FQDN domain name. By this name, your server will be accessed from the network.
  • The name server name. You can leave it by default.
  • Server IP address. Indicate the one assigned to him on the local network, as well as his external address.
  • The range of your network in the "Network Address" and "Subnet Mask" fields are indicated without fail, otherwise the reverse zone service will not work. The same fields are necessary if you are going to configure the server of automatic distribution of IP addresses.

If all the settings were entered correctly, then after clicking the "Create" button, a corresponding confirmation will appear, which at the same time asks us to restart the DNS server daemon. What we will do by going to the "Managing Network Services" section. You can get more details by reading the previous article about the configuration of the DNS server.
After creating the DNS zone, you must add the mail domain. To carry out the appropriate procedure, you must go to the "Mail" section and select "Add Domain".

As already mentioned, the name of the mail domain can match the FQDN name of the domain we created. In the illustration above, the setting is made in this way. After creating the mail domain, be sure to restart the DNS server.
After creating a domain, you must create at least two users in order to verify the correct functioning of the mail system.
If you wish, you can specify the size of the quota for the mailboxes of users of the mail domain, by specifying a checkmark next to the corresponding item.
After creating, do not forget to restart the daemon responsible for the operation of DNS.
If you need multiple domains, just do the same procedure again.

We jump!

It is time to check our server in action. But before we do this, create a couple of test users on the server. So go to the "Users" section and look for the "Add" button there. A user profile form will open with a very large number of fields, of which we only need:
  • Login
  • Password
  • Name
  • Surname
  • Mailing address

Please note that the address is the future email address in the zone of the domain we created. An example of filling in the fields just in case was shown in the screenshot below.

After filling out the profile, scroll to the bottom and pay attention to the item “Access to mail”. If not, indicate. Otherwise, the user's mailbox will not be created.

Purely at your request, quotas, aliases and forwarding can be additionally indicated. Click “Confirm” and go check the mail.
Let's try to go into the mail through the web interface. Please note that to enter the mail you must specify the full username, including the part following the @ symbol. By default, the mail web interface is located at hostname / roundcubemail .

If you have successfully logged in to the webmail interface, everything should function correctly. :) To clear your conscience, you can write an e-mail to another e-mail address that was established during the process of adding users to the server. You can verify the success of mail delivery either by logging in through the web interface or by configuring the mail client. By the way, we’ll do the last thing now.

And we fly.

As an email client, I chose Mozilla Thunderbird, as it is cross-platform and equally configurable for any OS, be it Linux, MacOS or Windows. However, the use of any other email client is not prohibited. For example, I personally checked the work of even such an old mail client as Outlook Express 6. No problems were noticed.

Thunderbird independently and completely correctly defined the parameters of the mail server. Unless it was necessary to correct the server name by removing the point at the beginning. After you click Finish, a notification about a self-signed certificate pops up, the authenticity of which must be verified. After confirming the authenticity of the certificate, we will go to the main window of the mail client and see the contents of the user's mailbox wound up on the server (if there is one, of course).


As you can see, the process of setting up a mail server running ROSA Server is quite simple and not difficult. The ROSA Server Setup and ROSA Management Console tools allow you to deploy a server to even a completely novice system administrator in minutes.

Questions and reasonable criticism are welcome. Fishrequests too :)

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