Part 13 - Installing Squirrelmail
Now that we have Qmail running with IMAP, we can install a webmail
client to make mail accessible via a web browser. My choice for this
Squirrelmail is both easy to install and it has lots of nice plugins to
broaden its abilities. I know that a lot of people out there like to
I like Horde myself and I've installed it on my Qmail server alongside
Squirrelmail. However, Horde is a major pain in the ass to install.
Anyone who's ever intalled it will tell you that. I just don't want to
take the responsibility for it on this site. Some people also like to
use SQwebmail. No offense, but I don't like SQwebmail.
Anyway, let's install Squirrelmail...
The first order of business to make sure PHP is installed and correctly
configured. So let's get that out of the way...
In order for Squirrelmail to work correctly, you'll need to check a
couple things about your PHP installation:
1. First of all, make sure some rendition of PHP 4 is installed. If
it's not, kick yourself in the ass and then go install it. Sorry, I'm
not going to give a PHP installation tutorial. To be safe, you will
want the following config options to be active in your PHP installation.
If you're running Redhat, however, PHP can be easily installed as an
RPM either manually or with "up2date". A default RPM installation of
PHP will usually cover you. The only extra RPMs you'll want to install
2. Make sure you have PHP uploads turned ON. This is done by editing a
line in your php.ini file. The location of the php.ini file can vary,
but it's usually located at /etc/php.ini. If it's not, don't panic.
Just run the old "locate php.ini" command. ;) Here's the line you will
want to check/edit:
file_uploads = On
That's it for the PHP setup. Now let's download Squirrelmail...
You can download the latest stable version of Squirrelmail from: http://www.squirrelmail.org/download.php
I recommend downloading the .tar.gz version of the latest release.
Now change directories to the web directory of the website you want to
serve Squirrelmail off of. In my case, I used /var/www/html
(enter whatever version you downloaded)
Now rename the untarred folder to something more friendly...
And now let's configure Squirrelmail...
-R apache:apache /var/sqattachements
(or whatever user apache runs as)
-R apache:apache data (or
whatever user apache runs as)
This will run the Squirrelmail setup script which will allow you to
customize the installation as well as set your server settings. Most of
the important settings are in area #2, which is dubbed "Server
Settings". Here are the specs I recommend:
1. Domain : 126.96.36.199 (Enter the IP of your server here. Don't be an idiot and actually use 188.8.131.52)
2. Invert Time : false
3. Sendmail or SMTP : SMTP
4. IMAP Server : localhost
5. IMAP Port : 143
6. Authentication type : login
7. Secure IMAP (TLS) : false
8. Server software : other
9. Delimiter : detect
4. SMTP Server : localhost
5. SMTP Port : 25
6. POP before SMTP : false
7. SMTP Authentication : login
8. Secure SMTP (TLS) : false
Depending on what version of Squirrelmail you are installing, the setup
menu may differ slightly. But you get the idea. If you like, there a
several other features of Squirrelmail you can customize that, while
not critical, are sometimes fun. Also, check out Squirrelmail's
site for tons of cool plugins.
Make sure you save all settings before exiting the configuration menu.
Once you've configured Squirrelmail to your liking, it's time to
configure Apache to serve our new webmail interface...
Notice: The following Apache configuration entry below will show you
what I MYSELF have for my server's Apache configuration. Apache
configurations will vary, so this may or may not work for you. Also,
this is not meant to be a lesson in how to configure Apache. If you are
confused about configuring Apache, I would reccomend that you STOP here
and go find a tutorial on Apache. Please do not email me asking me to
explain Apache configuration methods to you. I am currently working on
a comprehensive Apache tutorial site (apacherocks.org), but until it's
complete, you will need to seek Apache help and advice elsewhere.
There are probably about a million ways to do this, but here's what I
do. I edit the httpd.conf Apache configuration file and add the
Here's a breakdown of what's above:
<VirtualHost 184.108.40.206:80> - This indicates I'm setting up
my mail interface as a virtual host, rather than IP based. Obviously,
you're going to want to replace 220.127.116.11 with the IP address of your web
server. Additionally, what you have here may vary from server to server
and is dependent on how you have your Apache configured. Be cautious!
ServerName mail.mydomain.com - The official name of the webmail server
ServerAlias mail.* - This line establishes a wildcard serveralias
called mail.*. With this setup, any domain that is pointed to your
server and that has an A record called "mail", will be able to get to
the webmail interface by simply going to
http://mail.whateverdomain.com. This is a pretty cool little feature
and makes accessing the webmail interface easy for all of your users.
ServerAdmin email@example.com - The server administrative
contact. This is not required, but I like to include it.
DocumentRoot /var/www/webmail - The document root of your webmail
interface. This will vary, depending on where you chose to install
Squirrelmai. In this example, you can see that I installed it at
</VirtualHost> - The closing tag to the virtualhost.
Make sure you restart Apache after making the above changes.
Ok, now that Apache is all configured, let's test the new webmail
We'll sign in with the postmaster account under the domain you should
have created earlier using Vqadmin...
If all has gone well, Squirrelmail should log your right into your
account! From here you will be able to both send and receive mail as
well as a host of other additional functions. Again, Squirrelmail has
tons of really cool plugins, and you can check them out at
Squirrelmail's plugins page. Installing the plugins is pretty easy and
their site can help you out. Now that was nice and painless, wasn't it?
If I had tried to explain installing Horde instead, you would probably
be holding a gun to your head right now, wishing for quick end to the
misery. OK, I'm only kidding. :)
Now, I'm going to cover the addition of 1 Squirrelmail plugin. Keep in
mind, there are tons of other plugins available. We're going to install
the "change_pass" plugin which will allow our mail users to change
their passwords from the Squirrelmail interface. This is made possible
by the installation of Courierpassd that we did when we installed
Courier-imap in the previous step.
So here goes...
(example: cd /var/www/webmail/plugins)
Download the module...
Unpack the module...
Remove the tarball of the module...
Now let's go and add the module into Squirrelmail...
Run the Squirrelmail configuration tool...
Choose the option for "plugins". On my version of Squirrelmail, this
was option 8. Once you are in the modules menu you should see the
"change_pass" module on the list of available, but inactive, modules.
You can add the "change_pass" module by simply typing the number
associated with the module and then hitting enter. Once the module
appears on the active module list, go ahead and save the configuration
changes and then exit out of the configuration tool.
Alright! You should be all set now. All that's left to do log into
Squirrelmail and try out the password change tool!
That's it for Squirrelmail. Now let's move on to the next step.