Do I need in my LAN any mailserver?

Hi folks. After reading the whole weenkend docs from ciphermail, I just realised that I clearly don’t understand the concept properly. Is it possible, that I need a local mailserver in order to get ciphermail to run? For a long time I have this dream about the following setup:

Local client sending:
Local client → SMTP → ciphermail (LAN) → SMTP to smarthost of my provider (the home of

Receiving e-mail:
Local client → IMAP/POP ciphermail (LAN) → ciphermail via fetchmail → POP/IMAIL

Is this even possible?


Hi Hansli,

well, Ciphermail is an SMTP-Gateway, which means that there must be an SMTP endpoint behind and infront of Ciphermail. Therefore the answer to you question is YES, you need an internal mailserver to which Ciphermail can forward emails.
But although it is not the idea of a gateway and probably not support by Martijn - you could install Dovecot as an IMAP/POP3 server on the Ciphermail gateway. By doing so, you would have your internal mailserver. But this configuration is out of the scope of the official Ciphermail documentation and you would have especially configure Postfix on your own.

Best wishes,


1 Like

Hello Stefan,
Thanks a lot, this clarifies a lot. I will try it.

To add some additional info, the email can also be external, for example some system in the cloud. Nowadays the terms internal, external, on-premises no longer says something about the physical presence of a system :slight_smile:

You can install everything on one system, Dovecot, ant-spam/virus etc. The CipherMail back-end is more or less similar to any other mail filter like for example an anti-spam filter. The main reason we do not advise this is that it complicates the setup.

Hello Martijn
Thank you for clarification. In this case, I cerntaily need to read all again and try again, because I think Ciphermail is sooo cool.
Thanks a bunch.