Free Mail Server on OCI

Free Mail Server on OCI – Oracle Cloud Account

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This is the series of articles about how to setup free own mailserver on OCI.

If you were struggling, like me, to find some free Mail Server for email addresses on your own domain names without any limits – you found a solution here.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) provides enough Always Free resources for you to be able to build your own Mail Server with no limits. We will use the following OCI resources for our Mail Server:

  • Compute. Arm-based Ampere A1 2 cores (OCPU), 12GB of memory, it is a half of what is available in Always Free and it should be more than enough for our Mail Server, if not – feel free to use all capacity of the Always Free – 4 cores of Ampere A1 (OCPU) and 24GB of memory.
  • Networking. Oracle gives you 2 free VCNs (Virtual Cloud Network) within Always Free program, but we will create only 1 VCN. 10TB of outbound traffic per month is also included in Always Free, which should be more than enough for small Mail Server like ours. We will also create 1 reserved Public IPv4.
  • Storage. Oracle provides up to 200GB of free Block Volume Storage within Always Free, we will use 100GB for our Mail Server, 50GB for Boot Volume and additional 50GB for attached Block Volume (data).

To manage the OCI resources we will use OCI Console, local Linux machine (PC or laptop) to connect to the OCI VM and Linux command line to manage the configuration and settings in VM instance.

Oracle Free Tier or Always Free

Create an account in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure following the instruction on this page.

I won’t describe the creating an account, it is a straightforward process, however few advices would not be superfluous.

When you will be creating your OCI account use your real (physical) Debit/Credit card, Oracle does not accept virtual or disposable cards. Oracle won’t charge you for creating an account, however it can charge small amount (in my case it was £0.80) to verify your payment method.

Wait until Oracle confirms your Free Tier account. Only once it is confirmed you will get an access to your OCI Console and be able to manage your OCI resources.

Paid Account

Although Oracle declares on their website that you will be able to use any resources you’d like within the Free Tier, I was not able. In my case Oracle was always telling me that the resource is not available, try later. You can keep trying though, maybe someday you will be able to create a VM instance with Arm-based Ampere A1 OCPU.

However, if you’ll upgrade to the Paid Account – all resources becomes available immediately for you, and you still have Always Free resources + more, so I’ve decided to upgrade to the Paid Account.

Paid Account gives you a number of advantages but be careful with the over budgeting. To make sure you won’t use any unexpected costly resources over your budget you can try to predict your costs using the Oracle’s Cost Estimator.

All the steps in this article should be working exact the same way in Free Tier program (or Always Free).

Let’s link our own Domain Name to Mail Server and allow Oracle to verify the ownership, follow this article.