I moved off of Gmail back to my own servers. Why self-host my email again after all these years?

Surely it wasn’t the technical challenge. It will only be a headache when something breaks. Gmail never broke. Nowadays Docker makes it a lot easier to maintain the virtual server software than when it was all living on a physical server.

Perhaps I get more features on my own server than Google’s? A little bit. I’ll admit I missed sieve, but Gmail has their own server-side filters.

Really it’s about surveillance, privacy, and taking back control. It’s about exercising the right to run your own server. Email is an old protocol that was designed from the beginning to be decentralized and distributed. You’re kinda supposed to run your own server if you can. It’s your responsibility to exercise those skills, if you have them.

Google and Microsoft and the big email providers don’t get to control all of the email. Nothing’s truly free. I didn’t want to be a product anymore, sold to the highest bidder. Once the emails enter our server, they’re ours. We don’t mine them for advertizing revenue. They’re safe and secure. And backed up, of course.

So if it goes down for a little bit, it goes down. Retries are built into the protocol. In fact, it can take days for an email server to give up trying to deliver email. I’ll trade a little down time for my dignity.

P.S. I’ve decided to use mailu. It’s a little rough around the edges but hey, it’s email.