Install YAMN as a Remailer Server on a VPS

YAMN can be run as a remailer client or a publically available remailer server. In this tutorial we are interested in setting it up as a remailer server.

This tutorial assumes a working VPS with Debian or Ubuntu and a working email server (follow Part 1 of this excellent tutorial.)

Before installing a remailer it's very important that you can already send email to an outside source from your VPS with an address like, and that you can receive email at your VPS at that same address. This will mean purchasing a domain name and, at a minimum, setting up an MX record for that domain.

Our first step here is to download the source code for YAMN, and then build a yamn binary using Go to compile it. If you would like to skip the compiling process and just grab a pre-compiled YAMN binary I offer this ZIP file containing Yamn binaries for various architectures.

  • If you haven't already done so install the Go language by following the tutorial HERE.

  • Now, as root or as a sudo, install these two programs. Procmail and Unzip:

    root@vps:~$ apt install procmail
    root@vps:~$ apt install unzip 

  • Logout of root. Login as regular user 'yamn' or whichever user in whose home directory you installed Go.

  • Download the YAMN source code:

    yamn@vps:~$ mkdir tmp && cd tmp
    yamn@vps:~/tmp$ wget
    yamn@vps:~/tmp$ unzip

  • If you encounter an error trying to use unzip then you probably don't have the Unzip program installed. As root or as sudo user do "apt install unzip" and try again.)

  • Now move into the folder with the source code files and build the YAMN binary:

    yamn@vps:~/tmp$ cd yamn-master
    yamn@vps:~/tmp/yamn-master$ go build

  • Now, let's create a proper yamn folder for our configuration file (yamn.yml) and other files.

    yamn@vps:~/tmp/yamn-master$ mkdir -p ~/yamn/Maildir/{cur,new,tmp}

    Copy your new Yamn binary into your new Yamn folder:

    yamn@vps:~/tmp/yamn-master$ cp yamn ~/yamn

  • You also want a .procmailrc file in the root of yamn user's home directory. Download this one. It should work for you:

    yamn@vps:~/tmp/yamn-master$ cd /home/yamn
    yamn@vps:~$ wget
    yamn@vps:~$ mv dot-procmailrc .procmailrc

  • Also, create the necessary folder and log file for Procmail:

    yamn@vps:~$ mkdir ~/procmail && touch ~/procmail/procmail.log
  • Create your remailer's yamn.yml file in your yamn folder. Here is a sample yamn.yml file for you to start with. Download it and place it in your yamn directory.

    yamn@vps:~$ cd ~/yamn
    yamn@vps:~/yamn$ wget

    Certain lines in this yamn.yml need to be changed to match your remailer's information. Specifically, in the remailer: section, "name" (your remailer's shortname, like paranoyamn or victor) and "address", your remailer's email address. It's customary to name it

  • As root or sudo user let's create a Systemd service so that YAMN will start up automatically after a crash or a reboot of your VPS. Follow these instructions - create-yamn-service.txt - and then return to this tutorial.

  • Login as user 'yamn' and take a look at your yamn folder. If you created a Systemd service as per the above instructions your Yamn remailer should now be fully operating.

    A remailer key will have been generated (key.txt and secring.mix), stats and keys should have been downloaded and some system folders like idlog, chunkdb and pool will have been generated.

  • To test that your new remailer is processing incoming mail you can send a remailer-key request (Subject: remailer-key) to your new remailer from an outside email account, just like you would for a Mixmaster remailer. You should get a reply in a minute or two.

  • Your new YAMN remailer will not receive any traffic until it is publically announced. The two most common ways of announcing your new remailer is to post a message to the Usenet discussion group alt.privacy.anon-server and/or to post a message to the Remops Mailing List.

  • After your announcement the YAMN pinger services (a pinger service is like a directory of all public remailers) will add your remailer address to their lists. Soon after that your YAMN remailer will begin receiving real traffic from the public.

    Before you receive any traffic your remailer will not do very much and may appear to be not working. If you got a remailer-key returned to you then it's likely working okay. But it will require some incoming traffic to kick start it and keep it functioning. Have a look at ADDENDUM: New Remailers Will Need To Generate Some Dummy Traffic.

    YAMN Pinger Services:
    Mixmin Yamn Pinger
    Tincture Yamn Pinger
    Haph Yamn Pinger
    Victor Yamn Pinger
    Frell Yamn Pinger

  • It's now safe to clean up some leftovers from the installation:

    yamn@vps:~$ rm -rf ~/tmp
    yamn@vps:~$ rm -rf ~/golang-tools-install-script-master

  • Done!

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