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I want to switch to Gmail from Google apps to handle my email. I have some internal programs that send emails to me like cronjobs, logwatch, and php applications.

Is there a way to sill have the internal programs send email. The emails will be sent to account from gmail.

I will close all incoming email ports on my system, and only have the outgoing ports open.

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I had a similar question here the other day and solved it using this. It looks simple and it is and it works, I can send email from my VPS only and receive mail at my Google apps address. just make you setup you MX records (setting an SPF record is also a good idea to help with anti spam measures), set a hostname in postfix (main.cf) , make the changes suggested in the link and your good to go. You dont need any firewall rules because you dont need an open port to send mail (at least i dont seem to need anyway) (I think and wait to be corrected by someone more knowledgeable if wrong)

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Either direct the apps to send mail to the Gmail account, or set up an alias in your local MTA that points to the Gmail account.

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Sure. Its a fairly common setup for linux distros to configure sendmail by default to only listen to the loopback interface. Then its just a matter of either configuring your apps to email the gmail address, or use something like /etc/aliases to redirect local delivery addresses to the gmail account you desire.

Without details its hard to be much more specific.

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Another simple method would be to setup Simple SMTP (SSMTP). It can impersonate sendmail and relay mail to any other valid SMTP server including Gmail's servers.

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