I feel like I’ve just wasted a day of my life.

Setting up a mailserver is incredibly hard work. I settled on Courier, and with a lot of help from a kind person on IRC, got it working. I went through a lot of frustration getting there, though.

The reason for this is that I’ve decided to get my own server. I’m now renting a User-Mode Linux server from Bytemark Hosting. It’s not a physical machine; instead, it runs as a process on a host computer. It’s much cheaper than a dedicated machine, yet gives me many of the same advantages—root access, in particular, which allows me to configure my machine to my specifications.

Although I’ve been happy with my current hosting (apart from a period about a year ago when they didn’t respond to any support requests), it’s quite restricted, and that has in turn limited what I could do.

The first site that I’ve set up on my new machine is rlml.org, for a simple but flexible markup language that I have been working on along with a few other people. Being able to install whatever I want has been a pleasure. I used Instiki, a self-contained Ruby program, to run the wiki, piped it through Apache with mod_proxy to fit in with the static content, and installed mod_gzip to compress everything transparently on the way to the browser. I’m very happy with the results.

I’m going to move this website over there, too.