Before you get into the qmailrocks.org qmail installation, it's
important to know what your are getting yourself into. This page is
intended to explain to you what you are about to do, what you need to
know, what to expect from this guide and (more importantly) what not to
expect from this guide. I sincerely hope everyone who follows the QMR
install guide reads this section first. It may help you make the
correct and logical decisions when the time comes.
Understanding what you are about to do
Though I really hope you know this by now, you are about to install a
complete mail server solution on whatever server you have chosen. You
will be replacing whatever mail server software is currently on your
server with qmail and a lot of extra software to enhance qmail's
The qmailrocks.org qmail installation is NOT a special version of
qmail. The version of qmail you find on this site is the exact same
version available from Dan Bernstein's website (the creator of qmail)
and it's the same version that is documented on Life With Qmail. The
only difference is that this site details the installation of many
additional software packages that enhance qmail's performance. But the
core of this install is plain old qmail-1.03. Any notions that you are
installing the "qmailrocks.org version of qmail" are wrong. You're not.
Rather, you are simply installing qmail according to one person's
advice and preferences.
What you need to know before beginning the installation
The installation and setup of a qmail based mail server, whether
through this site or any other site, is not easy. I would not recommend
this installation to anyone who is a newcomer to the Linux/Unix world.
If you are such a person, I would STRONLY recommend that you take step
back and familiarize yourself with general Linux/Unix knowledge before
diving into this installation. In other words, if you are a newbie you
WILL have a hard time with this installation. That's a fact.
What to expect from this installation guide
First and foremost, know this: The QMR installation of qmail DOES WORK.
It's been tested time and time again. But don't get me wrong, the guide
is not a work of perfection. I'm sure there are a few minor mistakes or
typos here and there, but the install does work as a whole and any
MAJOR problems you encounter are typically going to be due to something
you've done wrong or something you're system isn't doing right.
It is completely normal for most everyone to experience some problems
during the install. That's life. Get used to it. While I make all
efforts to make this guide easy and error free, the ease of the
installation process really depends on the skill of the individual
person attempting the install. As I said, most everyone experiences a
problem or 2 along the way. If you are a newbie, these problems can be
very difficult to overcome without help. If you are a seasoned
sysadmin, you should be able to use common sense to fix most problems
as they come up. It is for this reason that experieced Linux/Unix
people find this guide to be excellent while newbies have a more hit or
miss experience. Some love it, some get frustrated. So goes the life of
the newbie. But the frustration that newbies feel at time arises out of
that person's own inabilities and NOT out of some huge flaw in the
guide. I've used this installtion guide myself countless times
verbatim, and it DOES work. To ensure a positive experience, make sure
your system is properly prepared and make sure you have the appropriate
A word to the newbie
Newbies have a habit of getting so frustrated that they start to hate
qmail. This is normal newbie behavior and is not restricted to just
qmail. Newbies get mad at everything because they are newbies. They are
confused and freightened animals caught in the headlights of software
that is over their head. However, there is hope. Be persistent and seek
out the advise of more seasoned geeks. Qmailrocks.org has it's own
mailing list, it's own mailing list archive, a chat forum and an IRC
channel. Use them. Qmail is badass and once you get past the learning
curve, you'll agree. If you want some proof, just check out the current
uptime from one of my first qmail servers I ever set up (and quite a
busy one at that)...
9:50PM up 248 days, 13:56, 1 user, load averages: 0.05, 0.04, 0.01
Need I say more? I'm sure there are people out there with even higher
uptimes, but you get the point.
What NOT to expect from this installation guide
While the QMR guide does work, you SHOULD NOT expect it to be a
seamless and flawless experience. System environments and server setups
vary, so portions of the installation guide may be more difficult for
This guide is also NOT absolutely perfect. As I said, it DOES work for most people, but I am always finding areas for improvement, clarification and correction. If you ever find an area of the install
process that you feel needs improvement, clarification or correction,
by all means let me know. The install guide is written by a human, so
mistakes do happen and I don't always catch them. I am constantly
working to improve the guide and make it as uiniversal as possible, but
there will always be somebody out there who doesn't understand a step
or whose system doesn't like some part of the install process. That's
normal, so don't give up.
And now, the most important piece of advice before you begin the installation:
READ EVERY WORD ON EVERY STEP OF THE INSTALL! READ, READ, READ, READ!