Can an instance be set up without a domain name and mail server?

Hi folks, first time poster. I’m trying to set up Mastodon on a Digital Ocean droplet just to get to grips with the process of installing it and getting it more or less functional, but the installation guide on the Github assumes that you already have certain things ready to go, like a mail server and a domain name. I don’t have either of those things right now, so, is there a way to sidestep those things and just set it up for self-contained testing?

Of course, eventually, I plan to have a domain name and all the fixings for this instance, but I want to make sure I understand the software before I start investing money in the project.

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Sure, you can use your hostname of your droplet as the domain name. Please be aware that changing domain name on the running instance is difficult due to the way links are stored, but if you are prepared to start fresh on a new name this should not be a problem.

For development I am not having SMTP configured; setting up a simple outgoing-only SMTP server is pretty easy - many systems like FreeBSD have something like that installed by default.