How to Set up a Free Local Email Server

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Download the Opera: a fast, efficient, feature-packed, secure, personalizable web browser. Today I want to share how to set up a local mail server for completely free in a few simple steps. This tutorial will use hMailServer and Opera Mail. Download those two programs and we'll get started.

Installing and Configuring hMailServer

The installation of hMailServer is fairly straightforward. Open the installation package and proceed to step through the setup pages. All of the default options are fine. When prompted, enter an administrator's password that you will remember. Finish the installation and the hMailServer administration login panel will open. Select the “Administrator” account and click “Connect”. You will be prompted to enter your password: login to hmailserver After you submit your password, hMailServer Administrator will open. Click the “Add Domain...” button. Add new domain Enter the domain name “localhost.localdomain” in the Domain text box and hit “Save”. Mail server domain name You will see the new domain added on the sidebar. Right click the “Accounts” sub-menu and click “Add...”. Add new account Enter the name for your email account and then give a password for it as well. Specify and save the account settings After the new account is saved, go (in the sidebar) to Settings > Protocols > SMTP and click on the Delivery of email tab. Enter “localhost” into the Local host name field and save. hMailServer SMTP Local Host Name Next, go to Settings > Advanced > IP Ranges and select “Internet” and click “Remove”. Remove Internet IP Range This will make your email server strictly local.

Configuring the Email Client

If you haven't already, download and install Opera. Other mail clients like Mozilla Thunderbird, Outlook Express, and possibly Microsoft Outlook should work, but I like Opera because it is has a good balance of features and simplicity, not to mention that it is embedded in a superb web browser! Open Opera and select “Mail and Chat Accounts...” from the Opera menu: Select Mail and Chat Accounts from the program menu Choose “Email” from list of account options. Add email account in Opera Enter your credentials into the appropriate text boxes. Make sure your email address matches the one you added in hMailServer. Email address/name Enter your full email address for the “login name” and type in your email account's password. Email account login credentials Next, change the incoming/outgoing server names to “localhost”. And hit “Finish”. Modify incoming/outgoing server names Close the “Manage Accounts” window and open the mail panel on Opera's sidebar. Click the icon to compose an email (or use the shortcut, “Ctrl + M”). Compose new message in Opera Mail Now let's try it all out by sending a test email message to ourselves. In the “To” field, enter your local email address. When you are ready, hit “Send”. Send test message in Opera Mail Click the button to check for new mail at the top left corner of the Mail panel. If your setup works, you will see a new message arrive in your Inbox! Modify incoming/outgoing server names If your setup did not work, let me know so that I can assist you in solving the problem. Having a local email server is particularly useful when you want to test the PHP mail() function during development.

Posted October 3, 2011 at 9:25AM by Eli Mitchell in PHP, Opera, Email, hMailServer with 12 responses

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