Digital Ocean

Sending mail from a droplet

As stated earlier this site is now running on a DigitalOcean droplet. A droplet is basically the same as having a “real server”, and when running a bare bones machine, it isn’t born with the ability to handle email - receiving nor sending. As a number of web apps require the ability to handle mail, I had to setup facilities on the server (or droplet) to handle mail. The “default” way to do this would probably be to install sendmail or postfix, as they are full-featured mail server, but configuring a mail-server, keeping it secure and updated is a nightmare I’d like to avoid.

Server setup: A user account

So, I’ve been moving the site to a VPS - a Virtual Private Server. A VPS is basically the same as a physical server to which you can’t have physical access. When you get your virtual server, most likely it will be setup with a basic disk image with an Operating System and a root account. In my case at DigitalOcean I choose to setup an Ubuntu Linux image and here are the first moves you should take after creating the VPS to get the basic security in place.

Server setup: Setting up a firewall

A firewall is a basic filter that can provide an efficient protection to your server by only allowing the traffic in and out as the rules of the firewall allows it. Setting up a firewall on a Ubuntu Linux server does not need to be complicated - in fact the one used in this example is called “uncomplicated firewall”. To get the firewall up and running make sure it’s installed through the package manager.

Moving the site

This site (and my other site in Danish) have been hosted on a cheap shared hosting site a few years. As shared hosting platforms go, the service and features at GigaHost was quite reasonable, but their servers seemed continuously overloaded and the site had a few issues from time to time. I’ve been moving everything from the shared hosting platform to the smallest available VPS server at DigitalOcean. Why the move?