[Pkg-exim4-users] GMail, smarterhost, etc

Chris 'Xenon' Hanson xenon at alphapixel.com
Tue Aug 10 01:19:58 UTC 2010

  I run Exim as part of Ubuntu that I installed on my community's web site (Pinecam.com).
It's a volunterr-run site for our local mountain community. I'm the server and sysadmin
guy. I normally run qmail (no rotten fruit, please, it's what I'm familiar with from long
ago) but I felt it was best to stick with the distro's preferred MTA to try to keep the
system clean and 'stock' for any future admins who come after me.

  We have a forum (phpBB) and a bulk-email notifier that is used in times of emergency to
blast weather alerts to users who have signed up for them.

  For simplicity, during the most recent server rebuild (over a year ago), I set them up
using Google Apps Standard GMail. This way, non-tech admin types can create and manage
email accounts, and everybody has access the webmail interface. It works great. GMail's
SMTP servers are the listed MX records for the domain.

  But, herein lies my trouble. The forum still sends out e-mails, and sometimes the emails
go to email accounts @pinecam.com. If I setup Exim using the basic template for a
conventional MTA, then it delivers outbound messages for most users just fine. But, any
messages generated locally for @pinecam.com addresses it tries to deliver locally, instead
of forwarding them to GMail.

  As a work-around, I setup Exim as a dumb "smarterhost" forwarder, dumping every outbound
email onto GMail's SMTP servers (they use authentication to decide if they will relay for
you). This too works fine, to a point. However, GMail has statistical limits on outbound
mail. If we get a busy day with lots of forum traffic triggering Watched Thread and
Private Message notifications, GMail will suspend delivering outbound mail for us for a
period. Exactly what their metrics are, I don't know. I do know that we can't use the
email blaster because it would totally trigger the quota limit.

  I'd like to setup Exim properly as a real full-fledged MTA. I have plenty of CPU power
and bandwidth to deliver our own mail, thanks. But, I know basically ZERO about Exim
configuration, and even less about Debian's style of managing Exim's config files.

  If anyone could point me to a template example of how I would accomplish this, I'd be
very grateful, and so would the ten thousand or so members of our local community.

  Thanks in advance.

Chris 'Xenon' Hanson, omo sanza lettere                  Xenon AlphaPixel.com
PixelSense Landsat processing now available! http://www.alphapixel.com/demos/
"There is no Truth. There is only Perception. To Perceive is to Exist." - Xen

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