For good practice, one should receive root mail from your Linux server. Linux typically sends all sorts of important cron messages, alerts, logwatch emails, and other info to root@localhost.
I’ll show you how to use Postfix to relay this local mail to your own external email account such as a gmail account!
First, the VPS or server must have a valid PTR in DNS (reverse DNS) or email will be rejected by many systems including gmail. You can set this up from the hosting or VPS provider.
I would suggest making the PTR the hostname of your Linux server, though it can technically be most anything.
To check if a PTR record is in place, perform a host command against the IP address of your VPS:
$ host 188.8.131.52 252.219.241.192.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer sanfran.stmiller.org.
1. Install postfix
(This example below uses Debian Wheezy)
$ sudo apt-get install postfix
When prompted, select: Internet Site
2. Edit /etc/aliases
Add line at bottom to send root mail to your email address.
$ sudo vim /etc/aliases
# /etc/aliases mailer-daemon: postmaster postmaster: root nobody: root hostmaster: root usenet: root news: root webmaster: root www: root ftp: root abuse: root noc: root security: root root: email@example.com
You can also add multiple destinations:
root: username, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
It is somewhat common practice to send all root mail to a mailing list that admins subscribe to, as one example.
And finally run this to apply those changes and create aliases.db:
$ sudo newaliases