MailServe for El Capitan

MailServe helps you set up a fully functional mail server on Mac OS X that can:

• send outgoing mail
• receive incoming mail
• fetch mail from an ISP mail server
• filter out spam
• store all these mail on the server & and allow them to be read them from any mail client
• allow mail to be organised into folders and sub-folders
• authenticate users before they are allowed to send mail through the server
• encrypt mail coming in and out of the server using SSL (including inserting Intermediate CA certs)

MailServe organises each of these tasks—from the simple to the complex—into discrete panels in its user interface. This allows the user to turn the mail services on one-by-one, and turn them off individually when they're not needed.

MailServe does a lot of complicated configuring of your server beneath its Mac-like user interface. It does this in a non-invasive manner, touching as little as possible of the original system files so as to leave your system in its pristine state. And you can remove all the files installed by the MailServe, at one go, using the De-Install option in MailServe's Help menu.

Upgrade Notes, if you’ve used MailServe before and didn’t do a clean install of El Capitan:

Once you have launched the latest version of MailServe, save the current config using the File->Save menu item, do a De-Install from the Help menu, which removes all the previous cruft, and then quit and come back to the app. You'll then get the config files, libraries and the other stuff that will work with El Capitan.

Installing a Mail Server on OS X - A Step by Step Guide

Step 1—Sending Mail to other Mail Servers, using the Outgoing Panel

Mail servers talk to each other via SMTP. There's an SMTP server, Postfix, built into every Leopard machine. But it needs to be turned on. So, start at this point—at MailServe's Outgoing panel—to turn on that SMTP server. Once it's on, you can use it to send mail to other mail servers, as well as from things like PHP scripts, running on your server. [Details]

Step 2—Receiving Mail from other Mail Servers

The Postfix SMTP server will also receive mail from other servers. But you need to first tell Postfix which domains to receive mail for. You set this up using the Mail Server panel, which also allows you to set up Postfix so it will relay mail for other machines on your network, as well as for remote machines which authenticate. [Details]

Step 3—Setting up POP3 and/or IMAP Servers using Dovecot

Once Mail has been delivered to the Postfix server, you need to have a mechanism whereby mail clients like Mail, Entourage or Thunderbird can access the stored mail. This service is provided by POP3 and IMAP server called Dovecot, not Postfix. IMAP servers have an additional functionality over POP3 servers—they allow the user to organise the messages into a folder/subfolder structure. [Details]

Step 4—Setting up Fetchmail

Fetchmail is useful for people who have many other POP or IMAP servers that they read mail from. Fetchmail can be set up to check these other POP or IMAP servers periodically and download all that mail, consolidating them into one single mailbox on the local server. [Details]

Step 5—Spam Filtering & Mail User Accounts Management

The Spam Panel includes controls for managing spam and setting up user accounts. MailServe uses procmail to integrate Postfix with Dovecot and SpamBayes to implement spam filtering. The mail administrator can set up custom procmail directives to be processed before or after spam processing. [Details]

The Mail Log

The Mail Log Panel provides access to the Postfix, Dovecot and Fetchmail logs as one merged stream. It also shows the current versions of Postfix, Dovecot and Fetchmail that's activated by MailServe.

If you Option-click the Postfix Log button, you can get a list of the currently active Postfix parameters.

The Mail Queue

Use this panel to monitor the mail queue. The Get button retrieves information about messages in the mail queue. You can flush the queue or choose a particular message to delete—useful for when there are messages stuck in the queue.

De-Installing MailServe

You can de-install MailServe by using the menu item, shown below, in the Help menu. It will shut down any mail-related service that is still running, and remove all files installed by MailServe.

MailServe works from its own folder in /usr/local/cutedge/postfix, in which are stuffed the, and other files used by Postfix. The original Postfix files in /etc/postfix are left un-touched and so MailServe leaves your system in its original state after de-installation.

Release Log

9.0 October 5th 2015. MailServe for El Capitan released.

9.0.1 October 15th 2015. Procmail is no longer found on El Capitan and Spambayes no longer works. I’m working on a fix for that. In the mean time, using a RBL (Realtime Black List) site helps.

9.0.2 October 17th 2015. This version includes procmail, so SpamBayes works again. But if you have to use RBL spam block lists, I’ve found these two sites work for me :, Enter that into the Real-time Black Lists (RBL) field in the Spam Panel and Restart Mail Server. Between using the RBL field and running SpamBayes, the volume of spam can be cut down to a really manageable level, without losing too much mail that you really want to receive.

9.0.3 October 17th 2015. Fixed the annoying “overriding earlier entry” messages. Also fixed a bug whereby if you’ve set Postfix up to use RBL sites, they block even an authenticated user from sending mail remotely.

9.0.4 October 18th 2015. Improved the user interface for starting, restarting and stopping the SpamBayes training job.

9.0.5 November 21st 2015. Dovecot Replication. MailServe has a new feature to turn on Dovecot’s excellent replication feature. Imagine running two mail servers, with one a complete replica of the other. If one fails, you’ve got all your users’ mail folders completely backed up on the other. And it runs automatically. When new mail comes, or when a user rerranges the contents of his mail folders, the backup mail server gets all the changes, within seconds. And it works in both directions. Make a change in one server – the change will automatically show up on the other. All the mail administrator has to do is : 1) enter the address of the replica server (that is also running Dovecot, as set up by MailServe), 2) enter a shared secret between the two servers, 3) turn the replication feature on, 4) Restart Mail Server. And you need to mirror the same steps on the replica server. That’s It.


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MailServe for El Capitan

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The latest MailServe for El Capitan version is 9.0.5

For more details, please check out the Release Log.

Bernard Teo