Host admin announcements

Messages by the sysadmin (Mastodon, Writefreely, Lemmy, Nextcloud & mail servers) to local users

Hello there! Nice to meet you!

You are likely reading this because you attempted to deliver some emails to and failed miserably. Assuming you are not a spammer or a hacker, and that is a big assumption, let's go with it: I have some recommended reading for you:

It's a jungle out there! Unfortunately, email is the most abused Internet service, so you must be careful about what mail you accept on your server and what you discard. However, there are some basic rules I have set on this server that you must follow; otherwise, I will not accept your messages:

Your DNS name must point to your IP. Your reverse DNS must point to your name. Easy pizzi, right?

DNS lookup and reverse

If you can write to me, I must be able to respond, meaning I will try to call you back (send you an email), and if you are using an open relay or refuse my email, I will not accept any of your messages. I will look up your DNS MX records for the domain you are using to message me and try to message you. It is only fair; after all, you contacted me first.

This should not bother you if you are a legitimate email sender. However, if you are a spammer, it forces you to set up at least an account that receives mail to the address you are using to spam people.

Your DNS must have a valid DMARC, SPF, and/or DKIM. Head to and test your domain name. The report should look similar to the image below.

MX Supertool

While you are at it, check your status on blacklists for the domain. You see, people talk to each other, and some friendly folks compile and maintain lists of email servers that distribute spam/malware.

If all of this is too much for you to handle, set up an account with some professionally administered mail provider. Mail administration can be a pain; it is not for everyone.

Have fun, happy emailing, and take care.

Paulo Laureano

The virtual machines

Both Mastodon (short-form blogs) and Writefreely (long-form blogs) servers are virtual machines (VMWare) running on my home network. Bandwidth is limited (1000/200Mbits), and I use Cloudflare Argo tunnels to expose the servers.

The virtual machines have plenty of memory (8Gb each), CPU (4 cores, 8 threads), and disk space (1Tb) to spare.

This should be fine (and faster than most Mastodon servers) for a few users. The servers are primarily for my personal use, so I will not let an excessive amount of guests fill them to capacity.


VMWare snapshots are used daily (this allows me to roll back to a previous machine state easily if something goes wrong during upgrades). Databases and server configurations are backed up daily. Every other day they are copied to another machine on my network. I make an offline copy of the backups monthly. There are no offsite backups.

This is enough for my personal data; I will give your account data the same level of protection I use for myself. If I die, become unable/unwilling to administrate the server, the house burns down, or something along those lines, you will lose your account. There is an obviously awesome solution to achieve different/better data security: host your own server!


The only non-visible publically data is your e-mail address. I'll try my best (effort) to keep the servers updated and patched to the latest versions; however, I give no warranty of any kind against someone eventually getting to it.

You should use a unique password on these servers and (if supported) two-factor authentication. At the time I am writing this, Mastodon supports 2FA, Writefreely does not. It's your call to use two-factor authentication, but identity theft (of these social media accounts) is the most severe risk you are taking here.

it is essential you understand the risks as I have presented them to you. While I care about this, bad things beyond my control may happen. A terrific strategy to avoid/mitigate these risks is to delete your account or set up your own server to protect your personal data/identity.

My commitment to keep these servers running

I will keep them running for as long as I want or can do so. I do not plan to shut them down without notice, but shit happens. You will have the servers running for as long as I have them for myself. You can always run the servers yourself; if reliability and longevity are essential to you, that is the way to go.

Sometimes stuff will happen that I do not control, like electricity failing, computer components dying, etc. That's life. Again, you can achieve a different result if you host your own servers.

Being perfectly blunt: you are a guest, and the party may end at any time. There are no warranties of any kind that you will find a working server the next second after you read this.