While it runs on Windows, it can run on an old’ hopefully-more-private Windows 7. Does anyone have any comments on the privacy of the hMilServer email server?

I guess the two main questions are:

  1. What does it do better than the already suggested self-hosting options
  2. Why would you run a web service off of an OS that stopped getting security updates almost 4 years ago rather than using a modern and up-to-date linux host (yes technically the ESM patches were a thing until this year. Regular consumers do not have official access to these.)
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Well, when things go wrong, I’d rather be dealing with an OS I’m most comfortable. Linux despite it’s reputation’ seems to break for me whenever I breathe too heavily on it. I don’t have any Linux VM’s older than a few years. I’ve run hMailserver on the same OS install for about 10 years without a second thought. Also, while I could be wrong, I’m assuming the security patches are only relevant to a computer that someone, likely inexperienced, will browse the web or otherwise use the computer. The only open ports go directly to hMailserver.

After doing some more digging, it seems like hMailServer itself is not being actively developed either, with one of the devs recommending moving to a different mail server. And security patches are relevant to any user, it’s not just a matter of downloading a dodgy file or visiting a bad website. Being open to the internet in any way with outdated software is problematic – especially if the service exposed to the internet is no longer being actively developed.


YOU MUST NOT RUN WIN7 CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET IN 2023 (caps intentional). It’s a security nightmare.
By now Win7 has thousands (!) of unpatched bugs and exploits and can be taken over by basically any script kiddy. Being connected to the InterNet is enough to take it over in a multitude of ways.


It would be foolish to run a server on Windows 7. My suggestion would be learn how to set up a Linux server or just use a service provided by a privacy-minded company

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Ouch, looks like you’re right. OK, looking at Mailcow now. Any recommendations for a server-oriented distro (That has a GUI of couse)?

I’m just curious. I’ve had my share of tasks in the past that put me beyond a script kiddie, but I have no idea how I could attack a Win7 system remotely where the only open ports are to an application. Attack that application? Of course, but it wouldn’t matter much what OS it’s installed on. No open ports = no attack vector.

No, that’s not the case. The Internet protocol stack can and does have the occasional CVE, too. In the most extreme case it’s enough to send one malformed TCP/IP packet to an IP address to execute any code you want.

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A good point, but suspecting that, especially with a decent firewall in front, that will be rare.

Use Linux Mint. It’s better and your P.C will be updated for a long time. Hosting a mail server on an outdated Windows is begging for being pwned.


Yes, Linux Mint Cinnamon pretty much looks and feels like a Win7 successor and is a very good choice for Linux beginners (it “just works”).