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I'm about to setup a Linode running a Centos server with a rails apps. The rails app has a contact us form. That justs send enquirys to the site owner. No other email functionality is needed

The site owner just uses his gmail email account, so no email is currently configured for the domain hosting rails app.

My question is, do I have to setup postfix on server hosting the rails app so it can send emails to the site owner or is there some other way ?

If I have to do it, am I correct in assuming I'll have to setup MX records, Sender frameworks SSL certs,etc ? :(

I'm looking for an easy way out :)

The server will have a static IP and a valid DNS entry.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

there is NO need for anything installed as mailx - send and receive Internet mail IS already installed on your system, this is part of any Linux distro out there, but just in case if it doesn't you can always install it separately UNLESS you're planning to receive emails as well and in that case you DO need to install SMTP MTA (such as: sendmail/postfix/etc).

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Is that right ? Whats the difference between me sending emails from Linux server and a spammer doing it ? I thought for me to send emails the receiver mail server has to do MX lookups/ reverse lookups plus other verification before it will accept the email I've sent. This server is a VPS on the internet not a VM at home using my isp domain. – AndyM Jan 16 '13 at 20:38
MX is only needed for incoming emails and not for outgoing. – alexus Jan 16 '13 at 21:07
mailx is fine, but there is great value in installing a local MTA that can queue mails locally before relaying them out to a smarthost. This protects you from transient issues that would otherwise cause mailx (and it's "fire and forget" stance) to lose mail. – EEAA Jan 16 '13 at 22:33
Thanks @EEAA. I understand, but this server would be the smarthost :) – AndyM Jan 16 '13 at 23:27
@AndyM - well then you definitely don't want to use mailx. A smarthost needs to run a real MTA. – EEAA Jan 17 '13 at 0:21

I would suggest that you check out Postmark if you're not comfortable with setting up your own SMTP server.

You can SPF and DKIM verify your emails as well to reduce your risk of having your email blocked.


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All you'll have to do is enter the connection information for an existing MTA. You can send email to a gmail account from a gmail account. Google's SMTP settings can be found here.

To see the SMTP settings in the link above, click on "I want to enable POP" and then select "Other" for your mail client.

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he's looking for SMTP and your link is for POP/IMAP – alexus Jan 16 '13 at 17:41
You have to select POP and then select other. – Edwin Jan 16 '13 at 17:43
How is this getting a minus? You need to send email through an MTA, or you'll get blocked by spam filters. Google is a valid MTA. What am I missing? – Edwin Jan 16 '13 at 17:57
At the end of the day it's up to @AndyM, but for me personally that wouldn't be a solution as I'd prefer have my own SMTP server instead of using 3rd party and as I mentioned in mine answer most likely there is something already installed that sends out email, so this is just not needed at the first place. – alexus Jan 16 '13 at 18:04
If you send out email from an IP address that is from a shared hosting provider or from a dynamic IP, you'll get blocked by spam filters, sometimes they don't even make it to the Spam folder. For a reliable solution, a trusted MTA is needed. It doesn't have to be Gmail, but creating your own is much harder than it sounds. – Edwin Jan 16 '13 at 18:10

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