OpenSMTPD for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Fresh x86_64 Debian Package build from Source

File Link
Download: opensmtpd_201602131907p1_amd64.deb
sha512sum: opensmtpd_201602131907p1_amd64.deb.sha
Source: opensmtpd-201602131907p1.tar.gz (external)

What (version) is this?

This is a modified version of the default debian package you get, if you try to install OpenSMTPD on Ubuntu 14.04 with no extra package sources enabled.

I rebuild OpenSMTPD from the projects original sources using no distribution related Patches.

The resulting package is a weird mixture of old stuff from the original package (postinstalltion slightly modified) and a fresh build which dates past version 5.7.3p2.

This leads to a few caveats:

  • it is linked against (and packaged with) libasr (github)
  • usernames and groups are OpenSMTPDs defaults - and break Ubuntus naming scheme
  • it expects a root certificate bundle at /etc/ssl/cert.pem
    so you probably want to symlink
    /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crtin order to be able to validate peer servers certificates
sudo ln -s /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt /etc/ssl/cert.pem

Why did you build it?

Now that you ask for it … my first own mailserver was build using standard sendmail in 2003. I used an old computer I had running as a router for my own brand new DSL those days.
When a virus started to use random peoples computers as SMTP server to spread itself (that was something new at that time) my whole internet connection broke down, because I found no way tho make sendmail reject mails to certain addresses.
It could only drop the mail after reading it in completely. My line was congested with traffic resulting from receiving mails which were never delivered.
That made me use postfix for a couple of years, because in postfix it pretty easy dropping an incoming connection right after reading a trigger in the header.
I stopped using my own servers for mail several years ago. The upcoming and omnipresent Gmail obsoleted my systems and even local providers caught up.

Unfortunately I never managed to get rid of having to set up and maintain mailservers. I always had customers who (for reasons unknown) insisted in having their own systems handling mails.
This recently became an issue, as more and more providers started do consider mails as spam, if it does not come from one of the big players, or the sending server did not implement some new technology.

To get to the point - postfix just might not be what you want to use nowadays when you have to deal with mail.

I had an eye on exim4, which promised to be simpler in configuration than sendmail and postfix and even more performant. I can not speak for the latter, but its configuration is definitely not simpler, even though (and maybe because) they invented a whole new configuration language.

When the configuration dialogue asked me if I want dozens of small files, or if I would rather like one big file of several hundred lines, I was like “Are you kidding me?”

So I thought it might be just the right time to try a new mailserver, promising to be simpler, more secure, more performant and so on. It sounds like I heard that stuff several times before, but you never know.

I decided to give OpenSMTP a try.

Before I did so, I heard the version shipped with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS was outdated and - even worse - unstable. There was no easy way of getting a recent version from PPAs or prebuild packages (unless you want to merge your package sources with debian testing and live in hell from that day on).

This is the version I am currently using and it works for me.

Will you provide newer builds?

Probably not. I do not expect any major bugs or new releases prior the launch of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS which will give us all a decent version (hopefully).

How did you build it?

Actually using docker. It took a few trials to set up a build environment that was capable of getting at least something as a result and I did not want to mess up my development machine.

I took that something and dropped it into the original binary package sources, using docker diff a lot. I know that’s far from how it’s meant to be done, but again: It works for my purpose and I expect this to be obsoleted within a few months.

OpenSMTP is BSD software and not developed with the objective to be build and easily used on several different Linux distributions.
I did not mean to do a backport from Ubuntu 15.10, so I did not try to. If you are looking for a backport, well … look somewhere else, or try it yourself.

Will you build for different architectures / distributions?

Unless you are willing to pay a reasonable amount of money - the answer is no.

Nevertheless I hope this is of some use for someone.