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Re: Domain and Server How To

Ivan Shmakov
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>>>>> Andrew Batty <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

[Cross-posting to news:alt.html and news:comp.mail.misc, for
there're both a few issues with the HTML itself, and with the
email "server" configuration described. Excluding news:alt.html
from Followup-To:, though.]

> Hi, a brief but straightforward step by step guide to serving your
> resources to the wider world. Email, web service and domain setup.


> Enjoy!

Three questions regarding the HTML code:

* did you consider using the <p /> element [1] for the
paragraphs? despite how it may look, <br /> is /not/ a proper
element for such;

* did you consider splitting your document into sections? (using
<h2 />, and possibly <h3 />, ...);

* did you consider checking your HTML against the W3C Markup
Validation Service [2]?


> Domain and Server How-To

> The main prerequisite for running a domain with a server on it is a
> proper cable connection which is DSL rather than ADSL. The latter is
> fine for a client network where most traffic flows downstream to you,
> whereas with a server you need the more symetrically rated
> bidrectional flow of DSL rather than Asymetric DSL.

Also, one may consider renting a "virtual" server, which may
cost some extra 10 USD per month (although there're offerings as
cheap as 3 USD per month), but will have almost perfect
connectivity, and only very infrequent downtime. (Per my
experience, a virtual server continuously running for a year is
more of a rule than an exception.)

> The next step to having a domain is checking it's availability with a
> search engine. If your choice of domain name isn't listed then move
> quickly to park it. There are a few reputable companies that will do
> this for you and it's their only role on the internet. The likes of
> GoDaddy and Freeparking are known to be good in the UK.

I don't quite understand what "parking" is (and what it's for),
but I'd prefer for the domain registrar to support /both/ DNSSEC
and IPv6. Which makes the list quite short. Consider, e. g.:

> To check your STATIC Ip address and make a note of it on your DSL
> connection, on which the modem must never be switched off now, click
> here [3]. This is the Wide Area Network (Internet) side address of your
> connection that needs registration with DNS (domain parking).

Note, however, that now that the world is running short of IPv4
addresses, there're quite a few ISP's that only provide NAT'ed
Internet access. (Which means that the IP address obtained via
[3] may be shared among a number of ISP's clients, and thus
utterly useless for the purposes described.)

BTW, [3] doesn't seem to support IPv6.


> A minimum period for domain parking is usually two years, this is a
> sensible initial investment. If you do end up running a successful
> concern renewal is something that the DNS company will remind you
> needs attention before your domain name is snatched up by some other
> DNS company to be auctioned or held to ransom in other words.

The "absolute" minimum domain registration period is one year,

> When your domain is up and running with DNS test it with a ping in a
> DOS Window or at the linux command line on a LAN side PC. This will
> tell you soon after DNS registration when your domain name has
> propagated throughout DNS on the Internet and actually resolves name
> to Ip address. This brings us to the subject of setting static
> addresses on the LAN side of your router for your PCs. Routers use
> one of two address ranges to give each client device (such as a PC)
> an address each with DHCP. One of these ranges is [10.x.x.x] and the
> other is [192.168.x.x].

These are ranges defined in RFC 1918 [4]. And there's actually
one more of them: (Or, using "x-notation",


> To see which range a router is using on your LAN in Windows at the
> DOS prompt type "winipcfg" or later versions "ipconfig". In linux
> that translates to "ifconfig" on the command line.

Alternatively, one may use $ ip addr list, or just $ ip a, at
the GNU/Linux command line. (OTOH, $ ifconfig would probably
also work on other Unix-like systems, such as, e. g., FreeBSD.)

> We are now going to set those addresses permanently on your client
> devices using manual config rather than letting DHCP give varying
> addresses at switch on of each client. This enables the server on
> the LAN to have a permanent LAN address to route it's Internet
> traffic to.

There should be some information, or a pointer to such, on how
one does that.

> To route traffic from the Internet incoming direction needs bit of
> setup at the router. This is variously known as port-forwarding or
> NATting (Network Address Translation). The webserver port is HTTP
> which is port 80 usually. You should know your router (gateway)
> address from "ipconfig" on a linux client

"ipconfig" is an obvious typo here.

> or "ipconfig" in Windows. Enter your router address into a client
> machine browser and look for the port-forwarding or NAT feature and
> route Internet side HTTP or port 80 to the server address on the LAN
> port 80. You could be running Apache in linux on your server or
> perhaps IIS or Aprelium Abyss in Windows.

Or Lighttpd, or Nginx, or... There're a lot of HTTP servers to
choose from, and most of the free software ones are
cross-platform, and available for almost whatever "general
purpose" system one may find running at one's home.

> These HTTP server softwares are documented elsewhere. I would say
> that if you are using Windows 7/8 Pro or such that you need to turn
> IIS on in Windows Features (Control Panel/Programs and Features).
> All webservers require at least an index page in the wwwroot
> directory to start a site with.

... And at least Apache comes with a "default" page.

> The rest is web coding work beyond the scope of this article.
> Described next is setting up Google Webmasters and Analytics
> accounts. Your webserver possibly hosts more than one site. All
> your sites need to be listed in the root directory of the server in a
> sitemap for Google. This is a plain text file called "sitemap.txt"
> with a list of the urls for each site. As follows:-

I don't quite understand it. What if my HTTP server hosts and; do I need to
mention all of the virtual hosts in a single sitemap?


> This next section deals with mail server setup using the Exim 4 SMTP
> and Dovecot POP3

Note that Dovecot also supports IMAP4, which is a much more
featureful protocol to access one's mailbox. Personally, I've
scrapped the last POP3 server I've had under my control
something like a decade ago.

> softwares and applies only to linux systems. The type of mail server
> described here will service a LAN subnet and send and recieve mail
> for the domain to other mail servers on the Internet.

Please note that this may not be possible while using a "general
purpose" ISP, as their customers' address ranges are typically
blacklisted at major email "hubs" (such as, e. g., Google Mail.)
For this, one'd almost certainly need a "virtual" (or perhaps a
collocated real one, for those having money for such) server.

> If using a debian or ubuntu OS the server softwares should be
> installed with Synaptic or "apt-get", that's Exim and Dovecot. Exim
> is the SMTP server which is the actual Mail Transfer Agent accepting
> incoming mail from both LAN and Internet via SMTP and sending
> outgoing mail using the same protocol. Mail client software on LAN
> workstations needs to collect incoming mail from the server with Post
> Office Protocol 3 (POP3) and Dovecot serves this protocol to clients
> from the server. For Exim configuration see here [5] but where the
> article specifies the listen on "" address (localhost) use
> the LAN Ip address of the server, in other words the server's
> interface Ip address.

To quote [5]:

> if you want to allow remote connections then specify, then
> a semi-colon and then the IP address of the server itself.

thus, both 127.x.x.x /and/ the server's LAN IP address(es)
should be entered there.


> For "machines to relay mail for" addresses enter your LAN series of
> addresses. All that remains for SMTP incoming and outoimng mail
> transmission from the server to the wide area network is the NATting
> (port-forwarding) of port 25 to the server machine at the router.

My long-time recommendation would be to also configure SSL/TLS
at both the MTA and the mailbox server; and the latter to /only/
accept secure connections.

Sure, it's possible to use a self-signed server X.509
certificate here (and even some bigger folks use that; consider,
e. g., some of the Debian MX'es), but it seems much better to
use one that's properly signed by a "trusted party." Such as

> The domain should now accept and be able to service SMTP connections.
> POP3 server software Dovecot should be configured as here with
> "mail_location" usually taking the "mbox" option with default
> settings used in Exim 4 configuration.

Depending on how the mailboxes are to be actually used, using
Maildir may be a considerably better solution.

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