I may have read some threads here about a mail server appliance and it seems someone came up with Zimbra.

I would suggest iRedMail, see https://www.iredmail.org/download.html

had that thing up and running also in a matter of minutes. A drawback - IMHO - is the quite restricted admin backend in the free (non-pro) version.

An alternative to that would be modoboa, see https://modoboa.org/en/ which still seems fairly easy to set up and with a much more feature complete admin backend.


Now I know time is precious and capacity restricted, which is why I suggest these two after evaluating for about a week all possible alternatives. These two could be low hanging fruits and are IMHO a missing valuable complement to current TKL portfolio.


Jeremy Davis's picture

I agree that a "webmail server" is a significant gap in the current appliance library.

As you've possibly gathered, we did previously have a Zimbra appliance (many years ago) but they stopped supporting 32 bit (back when we were 32 bit only). We had always intended to re-implement the Zimbra appliance once we had 64 bit base. However, during that process, we also moved to a Debian base (originally TurnKey was Ubuntu based). And Zimbra only "supports" Ubuntu.

I'm sure we could get it working, but it means that users may hit issues in the future (trying to update) and also won't get any support from upstream because Debian is an "unsupported" OS (despite how close they are, plus Debian being the superior OS IMO).

I was aware of "iredmail" and was quite keen on using that, but you raise a good point re restrictions/limitations of the "free" version (which I was unaware of - so thanks).

modoboa is completely new to me and from a glance it looks awesome! So thanks so much for sharing info on that.

Regardless, I'm not really sure when we might get a chance to look into building new appliances. If you have any insight into installation, please feel free to share (e.g. any install notes you have) as that will help a bit. If you'd really like to push a TurnKey "webmail server" appliance ahead and am interested in getting a greater understanding of how TurnKey appliances are built, then I'm happy to provide coaching on developing some build code. And actually the timing would be quite good as we're doing some work on the TKLDev docs at the moment.

If you are interested in that, please get yourself a copy of TKLDev and have at least a glance at the docs (that's sort of like a "meta" docs page with links to more specific docs).

If you have other suggestion, feedback and/or questions please ask. I try to respond here in the forums daily (at least on work days). Sometimes I do that more often, sometimes a bit less (when I'm super busy).

Jeremy Davis's picture

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on a good mailserver. I can't offer any promises, but it'd be great to add a mailserver to the lineup...

The way they have mail setup in PLesk is pretty good. You have a choice of postfix, Qmail, courier/imap and dovecot. Plus spam assasin and Horde or roundcube for webmail. If you were able to create something similar that would work as you have webmail and imap for outlook users.


Jeremy Davis's picture

I was going to ask which one, but I just had a quick look at the iRedMail source code and I think tht may be the one you mean? It appears that whilst very little of iRedMail is written in Python, the bits that are, are indeed still Python2 (the 'print "something"' statements are a giveaway). So I assume that's the one you are referring to?!

Although, I'm still not clear why that's an issue for you? If your mailserver is running on a "stable" Linux distro (e.g. Debian - and I'm not sure why you would run a self hosted mailserver on anything other than a stable Linux distro?!) then why does it matter? AFAIK all stable Linux distros should still be providing Python2. Whilst it is due to be EOL this year, "stable" Linux distros usually have their own support for software (e.g. Debian is for 5 years from release), so Python2 (and apps installed from the repos using Python2) would be supported until the distro's EOL (e.g. in the case of Debian Buster: mid 2024).

Or do you just have a philosophical aversion to software that is still only written in Python2?

By the way: After more trials and real world requirements check, I came to use modoboa.

So while I managed to use that without TKL, I believe if you have to do an either-or decision, it should be modoboa to invest your time in.


Philipp's picture

Two and a half years later and after crippling three weeks of installing and deleting various mail servers I also picked up Modoboa. Are there any news for a Turnkey-Mailserver? Because I want to avoid migrating twice :-)  
Jeremy Davis's picture

No firm news yet, but I'd love to include a mailserver in the library! Don't hold your breath, but I hope we might find time soonish to do a mailserver appliance...

So for 2 years or so. I think it would be a good addition to the TKL family.

I ended up using Zentyal. This is great option if You need the mail server to also operate as a file server in a Windows network. It's been rock solid for a year and includes samba, domain controller and integrates with active directory. The project itself moves quite slowly but the software works very well.



Add new comment