This weekend, after copious amounts of reading, preparing, rigorous testing, and plenty of cursing, I decided that I was prepared enough to replace the 75 lb steel server that was playing the role of my Exchange Server.
The new system (codenamed warhawk) is faster, smaller, and a whole lot quieter but above and beyond it’s also running on a completely different platform. Gone are the days of Exchange Server on Windows – this new system is running Debian Etch (now stable), Postfix, Cyrus IMAP with a dose of SpamAssassin and Razor for good measure.
All in all, I think it went pretty well. I did have a little problem migrating some of my mailboxes over to the new server, but once I found what the issue was it’s been smooth sailing ever since.
Two things saved my hide during the whole process. First off, The Book of Postfix is an invaluable resource for understanding everything that there is to know about Postfix. I don’t think I would have even attempted this project without this book at my side. The second thing is documentation; my own. During testing, I wrote down every little command that I ran to make the server run. Without this, things would have easily been hopeless.
I’m pretty happy with the end result. Postfix runs like a dream as an MTA and the multitude of anti-spam features are a breath of fresh air. I’m amazed at how much spam I stop at “SMTP time” without it ever hitting my inbox.
What spam does make it through gets whacked by the tag-team of SpamAssassin and Vipul’s Razor. SpamAssassin neatly appends the string “SPAM” to the existing subject line, wraps up the message in an attachment and then attaches it to a new report email detailing why it marked it as spam.