I'm a total novice when it comes to web and am trying to wrap my head around emailing. I'm currently messing with this tutorial on setting up a mail server. I've been working my head around a lot of stuff about authentication and security, and I have a vague, perhaps functional understanding of what's going on in this tutorial, except for two things which I will list here.

Firstly, at the end of the tutorial..

Congratulations. You have successfully configured your mail server and you may test your account using an email client:

  • Username: [email protected]
  • Password: email1's password
  • IMAP: example.com
  • SMTP: example.com Note: use port 993 for secure IMAP and port 587 or 25 for SMTP.

Does this mean that if I send an email using my personal email account on, say YahooMail or something, my dummy email account I created will be able to communicate with my personal email account's mail transfer agent (obeying rules given by SMTP or IMAP), which is then downloaded by a server that does stuff that obeys POP3 (hopefully this likely abuse of language is understood) to then put the email in the dummy email's inbox?

What exactly has been achieved here?

  • 1
    If you're asking if you should be able to send/receive emails, then yes. However, I don't see any reference to creating an MX record in your DNS server which will be required also.
    – Trebor
    Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 21:03

1 Answer 1


That tutorial works you through setting up a mail server for sending and receiving email. At the end of it you should have a working mail server (but as @Trebor comments there is more work to do before it works properly).

On completion of the tutorial you should be able to use an email client like Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook or equivalent to send email between users on the system, (ie from you to you) using the IMAP and SMTP protocols.

The bits that are missing to make this a fully functional server relate to DNS. As @Trebor said you need to set up an MX record in your DNS so that mail servers can find your mail server as a minimum working mail server. If you are doing this for something more then testing you will also want to set up an SPF record for your domain name, and work with your ISP to ensure that forward and reverse DNS match. You may also want to explore things like DKIM

  • Where would I get started on learning more about these things?
    – sangstar
    Commented Jan 12, 2021 at 14:47

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