I'm running Dovecot to have an imap server that's running on hardware I physically control. It kind of feels like overkill though, since this imap server only has a single user (me).
Check. My son uses some of his email through this system, but it's mostly just me.
I've also got Postfix configured to deliver incoming mail to Dovecot.
The only reason I run Postfix at all is because I want to use Fetchmail. Running Postfix for the sole purpose of passing incoming emails between Fetchmail and Dovecot, all for just one user, feels like even worse overkill.
... in my setup incoming email comes through Postfix over both SMTP and Fetchmail. Fetchmail is only for an old email address from an ISP (uklinux.net) that appears to be in a coma. (Judging by uncontactability over the last few years, and by continuing to forward my email even though I've stopped paying them.)
This all works great for receiving messages - Fetchmail funnels everything into a single IMAP server which I can configure all my devices to access.
Check with s/Fetchmail/Fetchmail and SMTP/.
Problem comes when I want to send messages. I can not find any possible way to make Postfix do what I want so instead I have to configure every email client I use on each device for every SMTP server I want to use.
I don't want to run a "real" SMTP server from my own domain. That's too much work, probably won't work anyway since modern SMTP servers are very picky about who they talk too, and won't work because some of the messaging protocols I use aren't really email.
That is surprising. I didn't think this was hard at all; I'm sure it's only a few lines in the Postfix config files to set up an SMTP server, and I have no experience that corroborates what you say about other SMTP servers being overly picky.
You need a domain name with A and MX records; I get mine from dyn.com.
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