It started with me moving most of my written content from big platforms. Hence this website. The second, and lot more important for me, was liberating my e-mail. I have been a GMail user for a very long time. It’s an amazing product, making a lot of the hard stuff seem easy and natural. But unfortunately, it’s run by Google and it’s just scary how much of our online life is controlled by them nowdays. Long gone are the days of “Don’t be evil”.
At first, I tried to find a suitable cloud replacement. Free services were off the table, because remember: If you don’t pay for it, you are the product. I tried Protonmail, which seemed to be just right. Hosted in Switzerland, out of direct reach of EU and US. It provided encrypted e-mail. Unfortunately, after using it for few months for one of my less used e-mail addresses, it turned out not so great for various reasons: There is no calendar (yet), the integration for desktop clients such as Apple’s Mail.app is awful, you cannot forward the e-mails to external addresses, you cannot use external aliases as From addresses and so on. It made me appreciate how amazing Google’s product really is.
But then I realized - e-mail is the good old stuff. It was made to be decentralized. I can run it myself. So I did.
On my VPS, I already had Postfix running. I just had to:
- install and configure Dovecot
- install and configure Submission
- configure SPF for my domain
- install OpenDKIM and configure DKIM signatures
- install and configure Spamassassin
- configure DMARC
Yes. It’s a bit of work. It took me about a day in total and I can imagine I will have to maintain it from time to time. But nobody said independence was free. And I definitely learned something about how e-mail works these days. A lot of the stuff I learned in a detailed guide on Root (a czech Linux website).
Next up - calendar and contacts.