My apologies for the delay in publishing this next chapter in Charles Edge’s “Take Control of OS X Server” — Tonya and I were away on vacation. But now we’re back at our Macs and have Chapter 8, “Mail Services,” ready for you.
This was a tough chapter, not because enabling mail services in OS X Server is difficult, but because we strongly recommend that you don’t do it. That “we” encompasses both Charles, who steers his consulting clients away from OS X Server’s mail services, and me. I’ve run mail servers on the various tidbits.com platforms for many years, and the smartest thing I ever did was stop providing mail delivery for local users (all individual tidbits.com addresses now forward to some other email provider).
Why? Put simply, the email ecosystem is a battlefield, with ravening hordes of spammers constantly throwing everything they can at your server. Keeping a mail server running 24/7, which is what all users want, is a thankless job, and one better outsourced to a company with dedicated resources. You don’t want to be troubleshooting your mail server at 4 AM before you leave on vacation or worse, trying to fix it remotely while away. Even the nicest users get cranky when mail is down.
Nonetheless, Charles and I put in a bunch of work explaining what’s necessary if you do want to run your own mail server, and how to enable mail services in OS X Server. Particular attention is paid to explaining what the mail-related settings Server provides actually do. Even if you don’t end up using OS X Server’s mail services, I hope Charles’s chapter helps you understand what’s involved and why it’s a far more complex task than it may seem.
We encourage everyone to read the first two chapters of “Take Control of OS X Server” to see where the book is going — all subsequent chapters are available only to TidBITS members for now. If you have already joined the TidBITS membership program, log in to the TidBITS site using the email address from which you joined. The full ebook of “Take Control of OS X Server” will be available for purchase by everyone in PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle) formats once it’s complete. Published chapters include:
- Chapter 1: “Introducing OS X Server”
- Chapter 2: “Choosing Server Hardware”
- Chapter 3: “Preparation and Installation”
- Chapter 4: “Directory Services”
- Chapter 5: “DNS Service”
- Chapter 6: “File Sharing”
- Chapter 7: “Collaboration Services”
Publishing this book in its entirety for TidBITS members as it’s being written is just one of the ways we thank TidBITS members for their support. We hope it encourages those of you who have been reading TidBITS for free for years to help us continue to bring you more of the professionally written and edited articles you’ve become accustomed to each week. For more details on what the membership program means to us, see “Support TidBITS in 2014 via the TidBITS Membership Program” (9 December 2013).