Haraka - a Node.js Mail Server
Haraka can be used either as an inbound SMTP server, and is designed with good anti-spam protections in mind (see the plugins directory), or it can be used as an outbound mail server (run it on port 587 with an "auth" plugin to authenticate your users). Or of course it can function as both.
What Haraka doesn't do is fully replace your mail system (yet). It currently has no built-in facilities for mapping email addresses to user accounts and delivering them to said accounts. For that we expect you to keep something like postfix, exim or any other user-based mail system, and have Haraka deliver mail to those systems for inbound email. However nothing is stopping someone writing a plugin which replicates that facility - it just has yet to be done.
Haraka does have a scalable outbound mail delivery engine built in. Any mail
relaying (such as via an
auth plugin) will automatically be
queued for outbound delivery.
Why Use Haraka?
Haraka's primary purpose is to provide you with a much easier to extend mail server than most available SMTP servers out there such as Postfix, Exim or Microsoft Exchange, yet while still running those systems for their excellent ability to deliver mail to users.
The plugin system makes it trivial to code new features. A typical example
might be to provide qmail-like extended addresses to an Exchange system,
whereby you could receive mail as
firstname.lastname@example.org, and yet
still have it correctly routed to
email@example.com. This is a few lines of
code in Haraka, or maybe someone has already written this plugin.
Plugins are already provided for running mail through SpamAssassin, checking for known bad HELO patterns, checking DNS Blocklists, and watching for violators of the SMTP protocol via the "early_talker" plugin.
Furthermore Haraka comes with a simple plugin called "graph" which shows you real-time charts of which plugins rejected the most mail, allowing you to easily fine-tune your list of plugins to more effectively stop spam.
Installation is very simple via npm:
$ npm install -g Haraka
That will provide you with a
haraka binary which allows you to setup the
Setting up Haraka is simple. Firstly we need to create the service:
$ haraka -i /path/to/haraka_test
That creates the directory
haraka_test and creates
directories in there, and automatically sets the host name used by Haraka
to the output of the
This assumes that
hostname gives you the correct host you want to receive
mail for. If not, edit the
config/host_list file. For example if you want
to receive mail addressed to
domain.com to the
Finally just start Haraka:
$ haraka -c /path/to/haraka_test
And it will run.
However the big thing you want to do next is to edit the
file. This determines what plugins run in Haraka, and controls the overall
behaviour of the server. By default the server is setup to receive mails for
host_list and deliver them via
qmail-queue. Queueing to
qmail is likely not what you need unless you have qmail installed, so this is
likely the first thing you want to change.
Each plugin has documentation available via
haraka -h plugins/<name>.
Look there for information about how each plugin is configured, edit your
config/plugins file, restart Haraka and enjoy!
Feel free to email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Or use github
Running from git
If you are unable to use npm to install Haraka, you can run from git by following these steps:
First clone the repository:
$ git clone https://github.com/baudehlo/Haraka.git $ cd Haraka
config/smtp.ini to specify the plugins and
config you want.
Finally run Haraka:
$ node haraka.js
I welcome other performance evaluations.
License and Author
Haraka is MIT licensed - see the LICENSE file for details.