Mail Server

In this tutorial I’ll explain how to install and configure RAINLOOP webmail interface with Apache.

  • Modern user interface.
  • Complete support of IMAP and SMTP protocols including SSL and STARTTLS.
  • Sieve scripts (Filters and vacation message).
  • Minimalistic resources requirements.
  • Direct access to mail server is used (mails are not stored locally on web server).
  • Allows for adding multiple accounts to primary one, simultaneous access to different accounts in different browser tabs is supported. Additional identities.
  • Administrative panel for configuring main options.
  • Really simple installation and update (the product is updated from admin panel).
  • Integration with Facebook, Google, Twitter and Dropbox.
  • Managing folders list.
  • Simple look’n’feel customization.
  • Configurable multi-level caching system.
  • Extending functionality with plugins installed through admin panel.
  • Perfect rendering of complex HTML mails.
  • Drag’n’drop for mails and attachments.
  • Keyboard shortcuts support.
  • Autocompletion of e-mail addresses.


I. Installation 

Download the package, extract files from it and upload it to a directory intended for use by the application, for example, /var/www/rainloop, subsequent examples assume you’re using that directory, supply your actual directory path if you use a different one.

mkdir /var/www/rainloop && cd /var/www/rainloop
Grant read/write permissions required by the application:
find . -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;
find . -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;chown -R www-data:www-data .

Setup a new site with apache with this similar configuration:


DocumentRoot /var/www/rainloop


ErrorLog "/var/log/rainloop-error_log"
TransferLog "/var/log/rainloop-access_log"

<Directory />
Options +Indexes +FollowSymLinks +ExecCGI
AllowOverride All
Order deny,allow
Allow from all
Require all granted


*Enable module rewrite for Apache, if it’s not enabled.


II. Configuration

To configure the product, use admin panel found at:

1.There are two ways to configure the product – with admin panel, or by modifying application.ini file manually.

Web interface allows for configuring basic options only, and that should suffice in most cases. But when modifying configuration manually, you’ll get access to all configuration options including experimental ones.

To access admin panel, use URL of the following kind:

Default login is “admin”, password is “12345”.


2.Configuration file application.ini is found within directory structure of a special kind, like this:

_default_ – is a subdirectory in a single domain installation, in case of multiple domain installaton, your web domain is placed instead of “_default_”.

The “application.ini” file is composed using typical structure of INI files, its configuration options are described inline in full.




That’s it, enjoy !!!


In this tutorial I’ll guide you how to install and configure a mail system(Dovecot and Postfix) on Ubuntu 16.04 with ViMbAdmin as front-end for managing your domains.

At the end of this process, you’ll have:

  • ViMbAdmin installed and managing your virtual domains, mailboxes and aliases;
  • Postfix installed and configured for: Email delivery / acceptance to your virtual mailboxes and aliases;
  • TLS available on port 25;
  • SSL on port 465;
  • Email relay to authenticated users only.
  • Dovecot installed and configured for: IMAP over SSL;
  • POP3 over SSL;
  • ManageSieve with TLS support;
  • LMTP for local mail delivery to your virtual mailboxes.


Install required packages and dependancies:

apt-get install --yes php7.0-cgi php7.0-mcrypt php-memcache php7.0-mysql \
php7.0-json libapache2-mod-php7.0 php-gettext memcached git mysql-server \

PHP composer can be installed via:

php -r "readfile('');" | php
mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

Set your timezone in /etc/php/7.0/apache2/php.ini and /etc/php/7.0/cli/php.ini , such as:

date.timezone = "UTC"


I. ViMbAdmin

export INSTALL_PATH=/srv/vimbadmin
git clone $INSTALL_PATH
composer install --dev

If you plan to run under Apache / other web server, ensure you set the ownership on the var/ directory appropriately:

chown -R www-data: $INSTALL_PATH/var

Database Setup

Log into your MySQL (or other) database and create a new user and database:

CREATE DATABASE `vimbadmin`;
GRANT ALL ON `vimbadmin`.* TO `vimbadmin`@`localhost` IDENTIFIED BY 'password';


cp $INSTALL_PATH/application/configs/application.ini.dist $INSTALL_PATH/application/configs/application.ini

You now need to set your database parameters from above in this file. You’ll find these near the top and here is an example:

resources.doctrine2.connection.options.driver = 'pdo_mysql'
resources.doctrine2.connection.options.dbname = 'vimbadmin'
resources.doctrine2.connection.options.user = 'vimbadmin'
resources.doctrine2.connection.options.password = 'password' = 'localhost'
cp $INSTALL_PATH/public/.htaccess.dist $INSTALL_PATH/public/.htaccess

Database Creation

./bin/doctrine2-cli.php orm:schema-tool:create

If all goes well, you should see:

$ ./bin/doctrine2-cli.php orm:schema-tool:create
ATTENTION: This operation should not be executed in a production environment.

Creating database schema...
Database schema created successfully!


You need to tell Apache where to find ViMbAdmin and what URL it should be served under. In this example, we’re going to serve it from /vimbadmin (e.g. As such, we create an Apache configuration block as follows on our web server:

Alias /vimbadmin /srv/vimbadmin/public

<Directory /srv/vimbadmin/public>
Options FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride FileInfo

# For Apache <= 2.3:
Order allow,deny
allow from all

# For Apache >= 2.4
# Require all granted 

Ensure mod_rewrite is enabled:

a2enmod rewrite

Restart Apache and you can now browse to your new installation.

Welcome to Your New ViMbAdmin Installation
You should now be greeted with a page welcoming you. If you didn’t set the security salt above, then the installer will provide random strings for these. Place this in vimbadmin/application/configs/application.ini as instructed before continuing. If you did set it, then enter it in the Security Salt input box.

This is a security step to ensure that only the person performing the installation can create a super administrator.

Now enter a username (which must be an email address) and a password.

Once you click save, you’re done! Log in and work away.



Dovecot will provide support for:

  • IMAP mail access;
  • POP3 mail access;
  • the manage sieved service;
  • the local delivery protocol (LMTP) – Postfix passes emails it accepts for local delivery off to this process to be stored on the filesystem.

Install the Dovecot related packages via:

apt-get install --yes dovecot-core dovecot-imapd dovecot-managesieved \
dovecot-pop3d dovecot-sieve dovecot-mysql \
dovecot-lmtpd mail-stack-delivery

We will store all emails under /srv/vmail and we need to create a user with the appropriate uid and gid used in this example:

groupadd -g 2000 vmail
useradd -c 'Virtual Mailboxes' -d /srv/vmail -g 2000 -u 2000 -s /usr/sbin/nologin -m vmail

Configuring Dovecot

Remove (clear) an unnecessary file which will interfere with our configuration:

echo "" >/etc/dovecot/conf.d/99-mail-stack-delivery.conf

Go to /etc/dovecot/conf.d and replace the contents of these files:

*don’t forget to replace with your domain


auth_mechanisms = plain login
!include auth-sql.conf.ext
mail_location = maildir:/srv/vmail/%d/%n

namespace inbox {
inbox = yes

mail_uid = 2000
mail_gid = 2000

mail_privileged_group = vmail

first_valid_uid = 2000
last_valid_uid = 2000

maildir_copy_with_hardlinks = yes


service imap-login {
inet_listener imap {
port = 143
inet_listener imaps {
port = 993
ssl = yes

service_count = 0

service pop3-login {
inet_listener pop3 {
port = 110
inet_listener pop3s {
port = 995
ssl = yes

service lmtp {
unix_listener /var/spool/postfix/private/dovecot-lmtp {
group = postfix
mode = 0666
user = postfix

service imap {

service pop3 {

service auth {
unix_listener auth-userdb {
mode = 0666
user = vmail
group = vmail

# Postfix smtp-auth
unix_listener /var/spool/postfix/private/auth {
mode = 0660
user = postfix
group = postfix

service auth-worker {

service dict {
unix_listener dict {


ssl = yes

ssl_cert = </etc/postfix/ssl/
ssl_key = </etc/postfix/ssl/

ssl_require_crl = no


postmaster_address =
hostname =
quota_full_tempfail = yes
recipient_delimiter = +
lda_mailbox_autocreate = yes
lda_mailbox_autosubscribe = yes

protocol lda {
mail_plugins = $mail_plugins sieve quota


protocol imap {
mail_plugins = $mail_plugins quota imap_quota


protocol lmtp {
postmaster_address =
mail_plugins = quota sieve


service managesieve-login {
inet_listener sieve {
port = 4190

service_count = 1

service managesieve {

protocol sieve {


protocol pop3 {
mail_plugins = $mail_plugins quota


passdb {
driver = sql
args = /etc/dovecot/dovecot-sql.conf.ext

userdb {
driver = prefetch

userdb {
driver = sql
args = /etc/dovecot/dovecot-sql.conf.ext


driver = mysql

connect = host=localhost user=vimbadmin password=password dbname=vimbadmin
default_pass_scheme = MD5

password_query = SELECT username as user, password as password, \
homedir AS userdb_home, maildir AS userdb_mail, \
concat('*:bytes=', quota) as userdb_quota_rule, uid AS userdb_uid, gid AS userdb_gid \
FROM mailbox \
WHERE username = '%Lu' AND active = '1' \
AND ( access_restriction = 'ALL' OR LOCATE( '%Us', access_restriction ) > 0 )

user_query = SELECT homedir AS home, maildir AS mail, \
concat('*:bytes=', quota) as quota_rule, uid, gid \
FROM mailbox WHERE username = '%u'


!include_try /usr/share/dovecot/protocols.d/*.protocol
!include conf.d/*.conf
!include_try local.conf



We will configure Postfix for the following purposes here:

  • accept mail for the domains / mailboxes / aliases configured in ViMbAdmin;
  • hand these messages off to Dovecot’s deliver – a local delivery agent;
  • allow mailboxes configured in ViMbAdmin to log into Postfix to relay mail.

First, we need to install the following packages:

apt-get install postfix postfix-mysql

When you are asked to choose a general type of mail configuration, choose No configuration. This should hopefully make these instructions reasonably generic.

Configuring Postfix

Replace /etc/postfix/ with:

*don’t forget to replace with your domain

# Sample Postfix configuration for use with ViMbAdmin :: Virtual Mailbox Administration
 # See:
 # By Barry O'Donovan - 2014-02 -

# See /usr/share/postfix/ for a commented, more complete version

smtpd_banner = $myhostname ESMTP $mail_name (Ubuntu)
 biff = no

# appending .domain is the MUA's job.
 append_dot_mydomain = no

# Uncomment the next line to generate "delayed mail" warnings
 delay_warning_time = 4h

readme_directory = no

# TLS parameters
 smtpd_tls_cert_file = /etc/postfix/ssl/
 smtpd_tls_key_file = /etc/postfix/ssl/
 smtpd_use_tls = yes
 smtpd_tls_session_cache_database = btree:/var/lib/postfix/smtpd_scache
 smtp_tls_session_cache_database = btree:/var/lib/postfix/smtp_scache
 smtpd_tls_loglevel = 1
 smtpd_tls_auth_only = yes
 smtpd_tls_dh1024_param_file = /etc/postfix/dh_1024.pem
 smtpd_tls_dh512_param_file = /etc/postfix/dh_512.pem
 smtpd_tls_eecdh_grade = strong

myhostname =

myorigin =

mydestination = localhost localhost.$mydomain

mynetworks = [::ffff:]/104 [::1]/128

mailbox_size_limit = 0
 recipient_delimiter = +

inet_protocols = all
 inet_interfaces = all

notify_classes = resource, software
 error_notice_recipient =

# relay_domains =
 # transport_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/transport
 virtual_alias_maps = mysql:/etc/postfix/mysql/
 virtual_gid_maps = static:2000
 virtual_mailbox_base = /srv/vmail
 virtual_mailbox_domains = mysql:/etc/postfix/mysql/
 virtual_mailbox_maps = mysql:/etc/postfix/mysql/
 virtual_minimum_uid = 2000
 virtual_uid_maps = static:2000
 #dovecot_destination_recipient_limit = 1
 virtual_transport = lmtp:unix:private/dovecot-lmtp

smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes
 smtpd_sasl_type = dovecot
 smtpd_sasl_path = private/auth
 broken_sasl_auth_clients = yes
 message_size_limit = 40000000
 home_mailbox = Maildir/
 smtpd_sasl_authenticated_header = yes
 smtpd_sasl_security_options = noanonymous
 smtpd_sasl_local_domain = $myhostname
 #mailbox_command = /usr/lib/dovecot/deliver -c /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf -m "${EXTENSION}"

smtp_use_tls = yes
 smtpd_tls_received_header = yes
 smtpd_tls_mandatory_protocols = SSLv3, TLSv1
 smtpd_tls_mandatory_ciphers = medium
 tls_random_source = dev:/dev/urandom
 smtpd_recipient_restrictions =
 # reject_non_fqdn_hostname,
 # reject_invalid_hostname

#smtpd_helo_restrictions =
 # check_helo_access hash:/etc/postfix/ehlo_whitelist,
 # reject_non_fqdn_hostname,
 # reject_invalid_hostname
 # check_helo_access hash:/etc/postfix/ehlo_whitelist,
 # reject_unknown_helo_hostname

smtpd_helo_required = yes

smtpd_sender_restrictions =
 # check_sender_access hash:/etc/postfix/sender_access,

smtpd_data_restrictions =

smtpd_client_restrictions =
 # check_client_access hash:/etc/postfix/client_access,
 # reject_rbl_client

You need to edit /etc/postfix/master.conf to enable smtps (SMTP over SSL on port 465′ TLS is supported over port 25 as part of our configuration):

smtps inet n - - - - smtpd
  -o smtpd_tls_wrappermode=yes
  -o smtpd_sasl_auth_enable=yes
  -o smtpd_sasl_type=dovecot
  -o smtpd_sasl_path=private/auth
  -o smtpd_client_restrictions=permit_sasl_authenticated,reject
  -o milter_macro_daemon_name=ORIGINATING

ViMbAdmin Integration

Postfix integrates with our ViMbAdmin database via settings in the above Gist and by creating the following files form the samples provided (all under /etc/postfix/mysql):


user = vimbadmin
 password = password
 hosts =
 dbname = vimbadmin
 query = SELECT goto FROM alias WHERE address = '%s' AND active = '1'
 user = vimbadmin
 password = password
 hosts =
 dbname = vimbadmin
 query = SELECT domain FROM domain WHERE domain = '%s' AND backupmx = '0' AND active = '1'
 user = vimbadmin
 password = password
 hosts =
 dbname = vimbadmin
 table = mailbox
 select_field = maildir
 where_field = username
 user = vimbadmin
 password = password
 hosts =
 dbname = vimbadmin
 table = domain
 select_field = transport
 where_field = domain
 additional_conditions = and backupmx = '0' and active = '1'

Postfix with SSL
The above referenced Gist includes support for TLS/SSL (encrypted) support with Postfix. We can create a self-signed certificate for testing as follows.

When asked to enter Common Name (eg, YOUR name) []:, ensure you enter the fully qualified name of your mail server:

*don’t forget to replace with your domain

mkdir -p /etc/postfix/ssl
 openssl req -new -x509 -days 3650 -nodes \
  -out /etc/postfix/ssl/ \
  -keyout /etc/postfix/ssl/
 chmod 0600 /etc/postfix/ssl/

We also need to create the Diffe Hellman parameters:

for len in 512 1024; do
  openssl genpkey -genparam -algorithm DH -out /etc/postfix/dh_${len}.pem \
  -pkeyopt dh_paramgen_prime_len:${len}

Enjoy !!!