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· War Games coder
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1,927 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This couldn't have happened at a worse time... I'll start from the beginning.

On Saturday, I decided to migrate my desktop equipment to my server. This involved upgrading from an Athlon XP to a dual Athlon MP and doubling the RAM. Nothing more.

I run FreeBSD 5.4 on the server. Prior to the upgrade, I did a "make buildworld && make installworld," which worked fine.

After the upgrade, I re-compiled a new kernel with SMP support. Again, no issues.

Upon completion, I noted some issues with my e-mail. I had not received any e-mail since the night of the upgrade, though I could still check my e-mail with no problems. Initially, I forgot I did a "make installworld" to the machine and started tracking the problem with the assumption it had something to do with the hardware upgrade. Found a few more things to tweak in the kernel config after poring through the docs with a fine-tooth comb, and things did speed up a bit... but still no new e-mails.

Then I remembered that I did a "make installworld" and double checked my e-mail settings. Turned out that spam assassin had changed the location of its configuration files, and inserted some blank ones. Fixed that. Also, I had used a custom-built version of clamav, and it had gone out of date. Installed the port (it was current) so it will be synced also at the next world build. Still had e-mail problems.

Tried to telnet to port 25 from my server to see what was going on. Everything seemed to be working fine from that interface... I was able to spoof a test message to my e-mail account.

Then, ssh'ed to a friend's machine and tried to telnet to port 25 on my server from there... no response. Tried another friend's machine on another ISP. Again, no response. Tried this with 5 different accounts on 5 different ISPs with the same result. My ISP was the culprit.

Apparently, they had started blocking port 25 during the same time period I was doing my upgrades. Now, the user agreement clearly states that they do allow people to use home servers of any type (at least, that was the agreement I signed on to). However, they apparently have a policy change. They are blocking port 25 to prevent their customers from inadvertently spamming the crap out of the world. A noble cause.

So I think, OK, I'll compromise. I'll use your servers to send mail (spoofing my actual e-mail address) if you allow me to receive traffic on port 25 (receive only - no transmit). No go (they claimed that their firewalls were not complex enough to allow one-way communication, when clearly they are - they allow me to send to port 25 only to them). Well, then, I suppose I'll have to terminate service and find an alternative ISP. After 5 minutes of them frantically trying to find alternative solutions, they eventually gave up and we both agreed they would no longer work for me. I do have to admit they strained their indian brains hard to find creative alternatives, such as changing every server on the planet to use a different port to communicate with my e-mail server (that was my favorite).

Well, anyways, I was about to switch to another ISP that "claimed" to not be blocking anything when a friend offered to let me share his co-lo server... which solves the problem nicely. In the mean-time, I need to frantically set up the server on a Solaris 10 machine (of which I have no experience with thus far), then transfer all my current e-mail data over to it (thankfully, qmail is compatible with Solaris), and set up my DNS service to forward mail traffic to that server rather than warfaresdl.com... I hope to have it done by tomorrow night (preferably before all my mail from Saturday and afterwards starts bouncing).
 

· War Games coder
Joined
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1,927 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's just it - I'm setting up my server for private e-mail reception - that's all. I don't try transmitting jack over my e-mail server - in fact, my own firewall blocks any outgoing traffic on port 25. If outgoing traffic is being blocked, then it sure isn't spamming anyone.

At any rate, I think I'll just use the co-lo server and be done with it. I won't have LAN-speed access to my e-mail, but I'll learn to live with it. 6 Mbps should be fine.
 

· War Games coder
Joined
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1,927 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When retrieving e-mail, it's the download rate that matters. The other end is on a T3, so it's really my end that would bog down the connection... and my download speed is 6 Mb / s (mega-bits, not bytes).

For sending, it would be 512 Kb / s (kilo-bits again, not bytes).
 

· War Games coder
Joined
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1,927 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well... an update to this story.

It seems I successfully moved to the co-lo server. Took a tonne of time to set up - Solaris 10 is a very strange beast, when you're used to FreeBSD and Linux. I'm slowly capturing all my lost e-mail as servers hit their time limits and try one last time to re-send... and actually succeed.

It seems I still have to send my e-mail through bell south's e-mail servers, as they block all outgoing port-25 traffic except directly to them... but webmail still works (if I really want to by-pass bell south). Also, if I really wanted to, since I control both the client and the server, I could shift to whatever other port I want (either by firewall redirection or by simply listening on another port).

Unfortunately, though I am using the exact same e-mail system software (just compiled on another machine), I cannot seem to get spamassassin working - all the spam just gets right through to my inbox. It's like it isn't even trying to kick in. Luckily, the virus scanner works... so phishing messages never reach my inbox, but I'd rather also have spamassassin working.

If anyone has any experience using qmail (I seem to be the only idiot trying to get it running under Solaris), I'd appreciate some help... but I don't think this is the right board to have much of a chance there.
 
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