Over the last few weeks, I’ve done a lot of blogging on my new provider, Slicehost, and the steps I’m taking to move away from Windows Server hosting to the Linux platform, at least for my personal sites and client development.  I still have to use some Microsoft technologies at my day job, but I am even in the queue to switch to Linux on my workstation at work too as new machines get ordered.  I plan on running XP in a VM for necessary things on the new workstation.

Well, so far with Slicehost, I’m now up to 3 Slices.  The 512mb one for the websites, a 256mb for development which will turn into another webserver once the 512 is “full”, and now a new 256mb one as a mail server.  I found a good tutorial on how to setup Postfix, Courier, MySQL & Squirrelmail with Spam Assassin and ClamAV in a multi-domain virtualized setup. (LINK)

This took a few hours to get working as intended, there were a few minor details missing, but I was able to track them down and get it working.  Most of it was just copying and pasting commands and changing a few details to my configuration.

The only part I really changed during this installation is NOT to use Spam Assassin and ClamAV, at least for the near term.  Both of these programs take up large amounts of RAM even with the base setup.  With the 256mb Slice, it was going into the swap memory as soon as I booted up and accessed anything.  Without these programs and with a bit of Apache tweaking, I got the memory down to around 116mb while idle.

Also, instead of SquirrelMail, which is “ugly” compared to modern web interfaces, I chose Roundcube, which has really gotten better over the last year.  It is still simplistic, but is very nice and functional.  With my setup, any email user just logs into the Roundcube interface with their email address and password.

Since all the usernames/passwords for this mail server are stored in the database, I was able to quickly write up a little PHP web interface to add/remove/modify email accounts and domains.  Once it is more stable to functional, I will release it here on this blog for others who have a similar setup.

As a test, I’ve been forwarding all my email on my primary account to a test account on this new server and every email has been received properly.  No problems whatsoever.

I plan on moving a few of my friends and family onto this to see how it works for them, if good, then all my customers will be migrated.