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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] free email

From: Ramana Kumar
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] free email
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2012 07:27:31 +0100

Thomas's reply (below) wasn't sent to the list originally.
It seems like in the right direction, but I feel the difficulty is
still quite high.

For context: I would like some resources and help with migrating all
aspects of my digital life to ones that promote a free society.
I already use a free operating system, and am happy with that part.
I disconnected from Facebook and Twitter and don't miss them.
The main non-free network services I use heavily are for email and calendar.
(Minor network services I use are for task list, akrasia-management,
and scheduling events, but I have a feeling it will be easy for me to
write my own simple replacements for these after changing the way I
approach email.)

So, I am looking for a guide for semi-technical users on how to escape
Gmail and Google Calendar.
Also, I want to know more about why I should even care about escaping from them.
I don't have anything to hide, I like the side-benefits of tracking
(it outweighs the cost for me), and I trust Google's privacy policy.
However, the main argument that does it for me is that such a large
and detailed repository of someone's life is inherently dangerous:
maybe one day the culture will change and it will turn out that I do
have something to hide, or maybe the company will turn out different
than I thought or change their policy.
Furthermore, by setting the example and paving the way to migrate out,
I make it easier for people who currently really do need to be using
free services only, and it helps me to make a point in discussion if I
practice what I preach.

Is there a wiki guide or an online community of people for helping
other people migrate to free network services?
I thought it would be made of a lot of the people also on LibrePlanet... :)

On Sat, Jun 2, 2012 at 11:34 AM, Thomas Harding <> wrote:
> On 02/06/2012 09:47, Ramana Kumar wrote:
>> I use Gmail and Google Calendar heavily, via the web interface.
> /your will/
>> I have been thinking about trying out Thunderbird and Lightning instead,
>> to slowly migrate my life to less dependence on non-free software and
>> services.
> There are numerous Libre mail clients, from text (terminal) to graphical
> interface.
>> However, I'm also interested in what a completely free life would look
>> like.
>> I have my own domain, <>, which doesn't point
>> anywhere.
>> I also have an email address,
>> <>, which currently forwards to Gmail.
>> If I wanted to use <> or
>> <> as my primary email
>> address, without using Google's mail services, how could I go about doing
>> that?
>> Is there a good free and libre mail server I could use?
>> Or what other options are there?
> I don't know of a Libre mail service, but I use my own, home hosted (with MX
> from my registrar as fallback, but there is no requirement on that (smtp
> error 450 is enough do the trick...)).
> The requirements are having a fixed IP and to set up your two DNS on that IP
> for MX record of your domain.
> Also, you cannot use dialup connection (or it must be up h24).
> You can also rent a (virtual private) server (or 2+ if you are a large
> organization) in a farm.
> A "polite" registrar is (there are many scam artists claiming to
> be registrar).
> You have full control on yours (2 mandatory) DNS (your own, your zone hosted
> by registrar, or mixed).
> Also it relies and promotes  Free Software (and this is relatively cheap).
> My ADSL ISP offers  fixed IP as default, but generally this is a contracted
> option (or if not offered at all, change for a good ISP). This annoying
> thing will end up while IPv4 goes down.
> It also offers control on reverse-DNS record for your IP
> ( This can impacts on mail filtering.
> My home server is a home made, built on a low consumption and low-cost
> pico-ITX board and a 2.5" disc, and offers also other services than mail,
> both ADSL box and server are plugged on an UPS (even if modern file systems
> resists, a too large amount of fs errors could occurs).
> Regarding mail, software is:
>   * smtp server : Postfix (with SSL, and submission port enabled, as a lot
> of ISPs blocks outgoing tcp 25)
>   * imap server : cyrus (with SSL)
>   * filtering : SpamAssassin (with RBLs), ClamAV (having problems these days
> with signatures download). Greylists are also good and the only option for
> mail filtering on small memory micro systems -- such as an NSLU2 (5w
> consumption) I used before.
>   * Os: Debian GNU/Linux (main)
>   * SSL : openSSL "home generated" CA and certificates (imaps, mail
> submission through unsafe networks). The only trusted CA is mine.
> Other known mail and imap servers: sendmail (<troll>if you can write your
> own m4 macros or have a finite state machine brain hosted</troll>), courier
> (complete), dovecot (imap), exim (smtp), gmail-notify (notification. there
> are also notification -- and sieve -- services built in cyrus), gnu mail
> utilities also offers some services, etc.
> There are plenty of HowTos around Internet on that, also Usenet comp.mail.*
> (fr.comp.mail.serveurs in French)...
>> Similarly, where could I host my calendar so I could update it from any
>> computer on the internet (including, say, my office computer and my phone),
>> and also (less important) share it with certain other people?
> Apache web server do that. There is a module (webdav?) to enable.
> HTH,
> TH.

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