Fun with OSX 10.8 Mail Server
So I’ve been playing around with the idea of an in-house mail server for awhile. I have setup Microsoft SMTP service for outbound mail on one of the Windows servers in an effort to log outbound mail. After adding an additional MX record, mail is being received on outside domains (reverse DNS records were already in place). Our current mail host does not support SPF records, and they have a tendency to get their own SMTP severs blacklisted from time to time. I setup a VM image of Windows 2008 with Exchange Server. Installation took forever and a day, but implementation was far more intuitive than I expected. Still the cost and overhead makes it the wrong choice for us.
I’ve been a big fan of OSX for some time now. The more I learn about it, the better I like it.
There is, however, one aspect of Apple culture that is absolutely abysmal. Product documentation. What documentation can be found is virtually useless. Tier 1 technical support; also useless. At first glance, OSX 10.8 Server has a simple and elegant interface. After about five minutes, the glamor wears of and you realize that virtually everything you want to do has to be done from the command line. That would be fine if I didn’t come from 20 years of DOS and Wintel product experience.
So what I’ve learned to date is this: the 3rd party open source products built into OSX Server do not seem to be as customizable as one would hope. Tinker around with the settings of amavisd.conf too much and you won’t be getting any mail. Attempt to configure admin notification and spamassassin will no longer change subject line on processed spam. Mess with… get the picture? I’ve gone back and forth with this for a week now. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about the back end, and am growing increasingly proficient at linux/unix commands. (That should prove useful on my Ubuntu boxes…) Still, it would be nice to have a manual that documents which options you can change without breaking the system.