GMail is Not Working Tonight

GMail has been down for the past two hours. Occasionally I can get an email list, once in a while an email from the inbox, but never any that I've filed in a folder.

UM still can't provide me with reliable mail service…the email server went down last week for a while and no one knows why. I fear I will have to roll my own on the server that runs the blog. Do I wait for Dreamhost to finish beta-testing spamassasin? Install and configure my own? I have better things to do, darn it.

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9 Responses to GMail is Not Working Tonight

  1. Pat says:

    SpamAssassin is shockingly easy to use on a personal account. I found these doc while going through the DreamHost KB. I was curious since I just put a client site on Dreamhost…

  2. Pat says:

    Oh, I should also not that running your own server is a huge PITA. I’m speaking directly from personal experience. Hosting. A lot of places sell you a box which you get root on, but they aren’t cheap enough usually. Nobody wants to colo a cheap tower box either. System maintenance. No matter what OS you install, you have to keep up with updates or you will get owned. For somebody with so little time, I’m positive that you don’t want to take this aspect on. I’ve had my own server for a while now, and I couldn’t have done it without help from a lot of friends to share hosting costs and maintenance time.

    Wanting to have e-mail that works reliably is quite reasonable though and I’ll admit that it shouldn’t be this hard.

  3. paperwight says:

    Gmail’s been rock solid for me all day and has been consistently solid from day one, with only occasional 5 minute unavailability, so I’m not sure what’s going on in your world. Different server, maybe?

  4. I haven’t noticed a problem.

  5. Michael says:

    I’ve been afraid to install SpamAsassin on Dreamhost because I run multiple domain names off one account, and the help available doesn’t seem to speak to that. One of those domain names provides email for family members, and they are happy with it as it is. I don’t want to mess with their emai, but as noted in this thread at, it’s unclear how one ensures that the install of SpamAssisin on, say, doesn’t in any way muck up what’s going on at, say, privatedomain.tld.

    Plus, do I install 3.0 which just came out, or wait?

    Or do I do my job?

  6. Pat says:

    As Giblets would say, “Nuts to your work! Giblets demands mighty spam filterin for his tasty e-mail!”

    With an install on Dreamhost, since you don’t have the privs to install it system wide, you can only use it via procmail. This means that it’s fully opt-in, and only works on mailboxes that you want it to.

    So it doesn’t really matter too much which version you want to install. Basically you can download and expand it in your account and follow the procmail instructions and just point it to where SA lives in your account.

    That being said, I’m sure your students would rather you graded their last quiz, or paper, or test of whatever 😉

  7. Michael says:

    I don’t follow. I have full privileges for all the TLDs I manage. And (perhaps foolishly?) I manage them all under one account. If I have three domains under one user account, and pipe all mail to procmail, that becomes the only way to deliver it.

    For TLD1 I want all mail that isn’t sorted to go to a default mailbox on my user account. But for TLD2 and TLD3 I have dozens of places mail to various addresses goes via the DH mail management tools, including other users I set up in my account. In your scenario, those instructions are superceeded by procmail, aren’t they?

    Perhaps the problem is that I don’t understand the relevant .forward.postfix commands. If there’s a way to say to here, “pipe all email for TLD1 to procmail, and treat the rest as you currently do” then I’m ok. But the DH knowledgebase article doesn’t tell me anything about that.

    I suppose I could create separate user-accounts for each TLD, and ask DH to shift things around, but wouldn’t that mean I would need separate installs of MT for each domain that has a blog, instead of running them all off one? Ugly.

  8. I recommend a low-tech fix.

    Find a research assistant slave to de-spam you daily.

    Better than getting blamed for plagiarism, after all.

  9. I don’t know what you’re paying Dreamhost, but you seem sufficiently unix-geeky to make use of one of the relatively cheap new generation of virtual private servers, which are usually either Linux VMs on a mainframe or BSD “jails”. Either way, with a few very narrow exceptions (like no way to act as a VPN server on BSD) it feels 100% like your own server. You get a generic, barebones OS install as if you’d just thrown minimally configured Linux on a machine on your desk and you do whatever you want with it.

    I pay $65/mo. for mine via these folks which gives me a fresh versionn of FreeBSD, a couple of gigs’ disk space and a pretty big transfer quota. For $10 they’ll give you a modern Linux (Fedora I think) with double the disk space and extra IP addresses. I run a few business sites off it as well as a few personal things. I’ve never had too little memory to compile anything and nothing has to be modified to make it compile and work because it behaves just like a standalone machine. No limits on email accounts, domains handled, aliases, database connections, whatever. Yes, you’re responsible for your own security and updates but they backup whatever you want nightly and the staff seems to be made up of knowledgeable sysadmins.

    So you don’t have to wait for a hosting provider to start offering SpamAssassin and you don’t have to settle for the MTA they use. Enable and disable whatever services you want, etc. And I think there are companies doing it for even less now.

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