Google apps, jabber.

As very few of you know, (maybe i should actually put something in the about me section) i started this little website as a project to learn linux better and to learn to manage a webserver. Since then, this little project has turned into something i actually care about and take a measure of pride in. This is due in no small part to the miracle that is google apps for your domain.

I like managing a webserver. I like manually managing bind and apache from the command line. I like the sense of control i feel when i am able to make any changes i want any time i want. What i don’t like though, is email. Email is evil. Go ahead, take a look at the configuration files for sendmail sometime. Try postfix, not much better. I don’t want to do email but i want to get email. So what did i do? I went with google apps for your domain.

Google apps for your domain is a godsend. I make a few small changed to my dns, which i can easily do; specifying google as my mail exchanger (mx) and i’m done. Below i’ve included the records required for email.

@           IN    MX 1     aspmx.l.google.com.
@           IN    MX 5     alt1.aspmx.l.google.com.
@           IN    MX 5     alt2.aspmx.l.google.com.
@           IN    MX 10    ASPMX2.GOOGLEMAIL.COM.
@           IN    MX 10    ASPMX3.GOOGLEMAIL.COM.
@           IN    MX 10    ASPMX4.GOOGLEMAIL.COM.
@           IN    MX 10    ASPMX5.GOOGLEMAIL.COM.

Google handles all my email for me. I can use their nice, friendly-ish web interface to add up to 100 users for email. I can add mailing lists so that an email sent to, for example, lists@jessecole.org would go to whoever i added to that list. I can tie in my other domains with it so that jesse@jessecole.info works just as well as jesse@jessecole.org and it gets delivered to the same mailbox. On top of all of this, i get google’s fantastic! email filtering. I never get a single spam message through and very rarely do i see a false positive. Google even provides pop, smtp, and imap access to my email.

Another feature that isn’t talked about so much is google talk. Thats right, every user i make can log in to google talk with user@domain.com. The can also use any jabber client to log in. Also, i recently implemented XMPP server dialback as per section 14.4 of RFC 3920 allowing virtually all jabber clients to talk to anyone logged in. Ok, fine. All that is accurate but i just followed google’s instructions here. Incidently, its perfectly legal in dns-ese to paste the following into your zone file or include it globally.

_xmpp-server._tcp   IN SRV  5 0 5269 xmpp-server.l.google.com.
_xmpp-server._tcp   IN SRV 20 0 5269 xmpp-server1.l.google.com.
_xmpp-server._tcp   IN SRV 20 0 5269 xmpp-server2.l.google.com.
_xmpp-server._tcp   IN SRV 20 0 5269 xmpp-server3.l.google.com.
_xmpp-server._tcp   IN SRV 20 0 5269 xmpp-server4.l.google.com.

_jabber._tcp        IN SRV  5 0 5269 xmpp-server.l.google.com.
_jabber._tcp        IN SRV 20 0 5269 xmpp-server1.l.google.com.
_jabber._tcp        IN SRV 20 0 5269 xmpp-server2.l.google.com.
_jabber._tcp        IN SRV 20 0 5269 xmpp-server3.l.google.com.
_jabber._tcp        IN SRV 20 0 5269 xmpp-server4.l.google.com.

Fully qualified domain names are for quitters.

With google apps for your domain you get all this and all of the google apps. Thats right. Your <employee>@jessecole.org account also gets its own google docs, google calendar, google everything!. Its no wonder some businesses are using for their site. The best part about all of this is that its free! You can pay extra and get more users, features, support, etc. Not necessary. This is a great thing for little websites like me.

I hope you enjoyed my little post (post? this is an article!) on google apps. Please, leave me a comment if you liked it/disagree/hate me/whatever.

*Update* I am officially declaring the whitespace stripping in pre text a wordpress bug. I think i’ll actually file one later today. It won’t do it if you step just right through the posting process though so it should look good now.

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