Linux Mail Server

Install, Configure, Secure, and Deploy to Production

This article guides you through the steps of installing, performing basic configuration, and securing a Linux mail server on own — physical or virtual — server. The single software package required is the Axigen all-in-one Linux email platform.

At the end of the article you will have a fully functioning Axigen installation which you can use to evaluate the product. Should you choose to deploy it in production, we've also included links to some articles and documentation pages with guidance on how to implement best practices when it comes to self hosting your email domains.

The Linux Mail Servers ecosystem

The Linux ecosystem provides open source and free components for nearly all modules required by a complete Linux mail server (MTA, IMAP and POP3 servers, WebMail, WebAdmin, CalDAV and CardDAV). The internet also abounds in tutorials on how to mix and match these components.

For example, this tutorial provides a blueprint for installing and integrating Postfix (for SMTP), SpamAssassin, and Dovecot (for IMAP and POP3). It also instructs you on how to deploy Let's Encrypt certificates on your SMTP Postfix-based MTA. It stops here though. If you'd want to also install a WebMail interface (e.g. RoundCube or SquirrelMail), your internet search would have to continue.

There are also some already bundled packages that pre-integrate certain components (e.g. mailu, mailinabox, etc.). These clearly come with the convenience of shorter installation times and already available client management and access tools (WebAdmin and WebMail).

Axigen as a premium Linux Mail Server

Axigen does not mix and match any open sources components. All services and functionalities are built and developed by Axigen and integrated into a single process. This has the following advantages:

  • the tight integration greatly simplifies the installation, but also enhances the density of mailboxes supported on a certain "hardware unit"
  • single vendor support 24/7/365 Support - Customers and Partners can directly access tech support by email at any time.
  • Axigen is easy to setup & use, and we provide all the information you need, in a single place.

Axigen also features, as a WebMail-centric email platform, a single-page dynamic web interface for having access to your emails, calendars, contacts, tasks, notes, shared folders, shared calendars, shared contacts, or shared notes.

Install Axigen on Linux

Pre-flight checklist

  • You have your own domain
  • You have access to making DNS changes (add MX records)
  • You have a static IP address
  • You have already installed your OS — Axigen works on RedHat, CentOS, Ubuntu, SUSE, Debian, Oracle Linux.

If you want to kick start with VMWare / VirtualBox or Docker, then proceed to the respective links.

From now on, this tutorial will continue for the case of installing the Axigen kit on a minimal Linux install.

1. Download Axigen Linux Mail Server

In order to get the Axigen installation kit for RedHat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise, CentOS, Oracle Linux, or OpenSUSE, run the following command on your server:

wget https://www.axigen.com/mail-server/download/rpm/latest/axigen-10.2.2.x86_64.rpm.run

or, if you have a Debian-based system like Debian or Ubuntu Server, then run the following command:

wget https://www.axigen.com/mail-server/download/deb/latest/axigen-10.2.2.amd64.deb.run

2. Run the installer

After downloading the installation kit file, suffixed with the .run extension, you can start to install it by running, as root:

sh <file.run>

or by setting the executable bit and then running it directly:

chmod o+x <file.run>
./<file.run>

However, the installation instructions will further refer only to the first option presented above.

3. The installation is done

This installation covered all components required for a fully functioning Linux mail server:

  • MTA
  • IMAP and POP3
  • WebMail
  • WebAdmin
  • CalDAV
  • CardDAV
  • Mobile devices Exchange ActiveSync
  • Premium AntiVirus and AntiSpam engine

4. Get your License Key

Businesses

  • 100 mailboxes or domains (100 Premium users)
  • Personal organizer, Groupware, Outlook Connector
  • Axigen AntiVirus & AntiSpam powered by Cyren
  • Exchange ActiveSync
  • 24x7 technical support

Service Providers

  • 3000 mailboxes (1500 Premium users + 1500 Basic users)
  • Personal organizer, Groupware, Outlook Connector
  • Kaspersky AntiSpam and AntiVirus & Axigen AntiSpam and AntiVirus powered by Cyren
  • Exchange ActiveSync Add-on for 100 Premium Users
  • 24x7 technical support

Free Mail Server

  • 5 domains, 5 users, 5 groups
  • Personal organizer, Groupware, Outlook Connector
  • Basic Antivirus and AntiSpam
  • Online Support

5. How to access the Axigen WebAdmin and how to apply the License Key

Now that Axigen is running, you can access WebAdmin at the following link: http://<IP_OF_YOUR_SERVER>:9000/

You can login with the 'admin' user and the password that you configured during the installation wizard.

You can apply the license key from the Welcome screen after logging in the Axigen WebAdmin Interface, or by navigating to Global Settings → License Information.

6. Basic configurations (create a domain and an account)

The next steps would be to configure a Domain and an Account inside this domain.

Navigate in WebAdmin to Domains & Accounts → Manage Domains and create a domain. Remember the postmaster password. 

Then, navigate in WebAdmin to Domains & Accounts → Manage Accounts and create a user. Remember its password. 

Both the default postmaster account and the one you've created, can access the WebMail interface via http://<IP_OF_YOUR_SERVER>/ (unless you've reconfigure the WebMail Service to listen to a different port). After you'll configure the WebMail SSL Listener (see below), you'll also have the possibility to access the WebMail via HTTPS (SSL enabled HTTP port). 

7. Linux Mail Server configurations before going into production

Now a few settings are needed before we are ready to deploy this mail server in production: