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Qmail install and set up on Debian

Posted on 2006-07-10
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I am looking to install and setup Qmail on a Debian machine.  I would like to also install some type of webmail interface, virus scanning, admin options, spamassasin, etc.  I guess a complete email system.  I currently have Debian installed and configured.  I had previously looked into using postfix but have read that the qmail is more secure.  I would like intuitive and informative way to install these packages.  Which ones need to be downloaded with aptituded, or downloaded via wget.  Ways to secure my email server (if necessary) and best practices.  Links are nice, but often are vague and seldom address all installation needs.
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Question by:orestyle1
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flashwebhost earned 200 total points
ID: 17077184
You can find easy to follow install instruction to setup qmail mail server at

http://qmailrocks.org/install_db.htm

Qmail is great. But you can try postfix also. Postfix is more open source mail server, still active developement is going on.

I am now installing a new mail server for my own use with LDAP to store user account details. I am studying postfix, may be going with postfix as it seems more active.
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by:pjedmond
pjedmond earned 150 total points
ID: 17077195
I know that you said that you don't like links, but I consider that Qmail does have a reasonable amount of documentation:

http://www.pantz.org/email/qmail/qmailondebian.shtml

gives a good step by step approach to installing QMail. For webmail, you need to make a choice as to what you prefer. You can start with virtually a single file:

http://nullwebmail.sourceforge.net/webmail/             (Null webmail)

through to the likes of squirrelmail which is a fairly comprehensive webmail with bells and whistles:

http://www.squirrelmail.org/

Spam assassin is detailed quite well here:

http://sylvestre.ledru.info/howto/howto_qmail_spamassassin.php

For antivirus, the leading 'free' antivirus is clamav:

http://www.rauros.net/projects/qmail/

This gives a combined system, documented almost completely:

http://sylvestre.ledru.info/howto/howto_qmail_vpopmail.php

What you are trying do is make a fairly complex system. As a result, there is a lot of information and steps to do what you require. All of the above links have been selected as the most appropriate and detailed to help you achieve this.

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by:orestyle1
ID: 17077300
I have looking into Postfix and it seems a much better solution than SendMail (as far as ease of install and configuration)  QMail seemed to pop up everywhere on this site as a option for email other than PostFix.  I have also looked into postfix and seemed like a nice solution.  I just want to install something once, that works, is free, secure, and is realatively easy to install and maintain.  If postfix is the solution, please let me know.  I know the other interfaces will also plug into postfix, just not sure how.  Guess topic should have been great email server, and how to configure...
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by:pjedmond
ID: 17077356
Qmail is better documented, and I believe has a wider 'mainstream' use - hence better community support than postfix. Yahoo springs to mind, 1and1, and indeed many ISPs include Qmail. I don't knwo for certain, but I'd guess from my experience that Qmail is the second most common MTA after sendmail.

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by:slyong
slyong earned 150 total points
ID: 17078300
the author qmail and some of the tools  like ucspi-tcp does not allow binary distribution, so you cannot apt-get the binary for Debian.  However, the "proper" (it is not politically correct to use the word proper) or my preferred way to install qmail on Debian is getting the qmail-src and ucspi-tcp-src then build it.  The steps are outlined here:

http://www.pantz.org/email/qmail/qmailondebian.shtml
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by:flashwebhost
ID: 17080029
If you just need a secure email, i will suggest qmailrocks setup. qmail and postfix are almost equal.

qmail setup, you can do in different way, you will see several guides, which use different startup scripts and patches. I found following qmailrocks instruction easy, you get fully featured email server.

Postfix, you will not find such an easy to follow guide as qmailrocks for a complete email server setup with web mail, antispam, antivirus. With postfix, you can avoid the patching step, but this is not difficult with qmailrocks guide as they make it easy with simple shell scripts.
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by:orestyle1
ID: 17082877
Should my Debian server basically be set up as a LAMP server in order to use some of the qmail utilities?  Also, I currently have a email server running for two domains.  Both locations use the web interface to access their email, one is local to the email server the other users are at another location.  I was looking at trying to make this transition as easy as possible.  What is the best way to go about this?  Forwarding?  
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by:orestyle1
ID: 17082904
Also, when I run aptitude search qmail I get a list that includes qmail.  Is this not what i am looking for?  It also lists some other packages as well for qmail...
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by:orestyle1
ID: 17082947
I also notice that there are some perl modules that need to be added.  I have never used or installed Perl.  Do these modules need to be downloaded, or just uncommented, or ?
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by:orestyle1
ID: 17082968
And also, should I use the qmailrocks tar.gz?  
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by:orestyle1
ID: 17083113
Scratch the second and the fourth question...

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by:pjedmond
ID: 17083397
>Should my Debian server basically be set up as a LAMP server in order to use some of the qmail utilities?

Doesn't need to be, but Apache and php are required if you use squirrel mail. The mySQL element is required for some of the squirrelmail 'extras'. As a result, a basic LAMP configuration to start with will make things easier for you.

>Also, I currently have a email server running for two domains.

QMail can cope with this.

>I also notice that there are some perl modules that need to be added.

Try uncommenting them - The most used Perl modules are normally installed by default. If a problem becomes highlighted, then we can deal with that when it occurs.


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by:slyong
ID: 17084585
> Should my Debian server basically be set up as a LAMP server in order to use some of the qmail utilities?
If you want to run webmail, generally yes.  Not all webmail packages uses PHP, some are using Perl/CGI.  But generally speaking, you need Apache and php.  Not so much with MySQL.

> What is the best way to go about this?
Install your qmail, test the installation.  Put the Webmail for both websites on your new qmail server.  Change your MX record and then redirect both the websites to your new webmail.

>I also notice that there are some perl modules that need to be added.
It really depends on what are you installing.  If you could tell what are the perl modules being added, the experts here should be able to tell you why or why not they are needed.
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by:orestyle1
ID: 17085107
Here is the list of Perl modules from the Qmailrocks doc:

This list may vary depending on your setup, but here goes:

Digest::SHA1
Digest::HMAC
Net::DNS
Time::HiRes
HTML::Tagset
HTML::Parser

Not completely sure if all or any of these are needed..
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by:slyong
ID: 17085150
Hi,

qmailrocks uses some Perl for things like QmailAdmin.  They are some pretty standard Perl modules that you have to install if you use qmailrocks installation.
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by:orestyle1
ID: 17085659
Ok, I am getting alittle confused.  I see the QmailRocks install, and the other link.  The one link that I am also looking at :

http://smarden.org/pape/Debian/

shows some other packages too.  This is a link from the Qmail site for the .deb packages.  Is this old info on the smarden site?

Just checking...
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by:orestyle1
ID: 17086267
So, now I am into the qmailrocks install.  I am at a point where it's asking me for the location of my cgi-bin and html folders.  I think I found the cgi-bin under /usr/lib/cgi-bin  but am not sure on the html folder.  Seems everything is installing as planned.  (easiest so far)

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by:orestyle1
ID: 17086312
Also it seems it wants to find the cgi-bin and the html folders under the /var/www/ folders.  Seems this is where I am stuck.
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by:flashwebhost
ID: 17088969
The Folders, You can use any two folders, but you need to configure it in your httpd.conf (Apache configuration file). If you have no idea, just use

/var/www/html and /var/www/cgi-bin

Leter, we need this configured.

This is for vqadmin and QmailAdmin, but these are not important, you can even avoid installing these if you don't need to manage domains through web. You can always add domains and email with command line.

For example, to add a domain, do

/home/vpopmail/bin/vadddomain DOMAIN.EXTN PASSWD

For creating email do

/home/vpopmail/bin/vadduser USER@DOMAIN.EXTN  PASSWD
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by:flashwebhost
ID: 17088977
You need to install a Web Server (LAMP) on mail server only if you need webbased management (vqadmin, qmailAdmin) or a web mail.
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by:orestyle1
ID: 17125306
OK, at this point I am configuring the apache2.conf file (per the qmailrocks documentation)  

1st: The documentation states: In addition, within the Apache master config file you will want to set the "AllowOveride" option to "All". Example: AllowOverride All"  

I'm not sure what exactly this means, but seems this needs to be configured in order for the htaccess to be read by Apache2.  So, does this directive need to be added, or an existing one modified?  Currently there are two locations for this AllowOveride option and the second I just added.

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by:slyong
ID: 17125345
I believe you just need to change the original AllowOverride directive to All
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by:flashwebhost
ID: 17126650
Change both "AllowOverride" to All
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