PaulM47's picture

I've downloaded the Turnkey Linux core files to build a simple mail server (I'm surprised you don't have a mail server app available ?). The webmin version supplied is 1.63, clicking 'update webmin' indicates this is the latest version, whereas in fact the latest Webmin release is 1.71. Is there any reason not to manually update Webmin to Vn 1.71 as I've installed Fetchmail, which only has a Webmin module for Vn1.71 ? I don't want to spend time building this mail server only to have problems as I have a later version of Webmin installed.



Jeremy Davis's picture

No issue with installing a newer version, but the version that is included with TurnKey is installed via package management (it's provided by the TurnKey repo). So if you manually upgrade it, it will automatically downgrade again next time you run apt-get upgrade.

So uninstall it with apt-get before you manually install a newer version yourself.

As for an email server appliance, you are right it is a gaping hole in our lineup. Ideally we need to resolve that, but we are a small team and have tons going on behind the scenes... Often it seems like we are running flat out just to stay in the same place!

If you'd like to have a go at creating a mail appliance, that would be super awesome! TKLDev; the TurnKey build environment is available for download... Otherwise, even if you want to share your documentation and experience of installing and configuring a mail server that would be awesome.

PaulM47's picture

Thanks for the quick response. Webmin 1.71 works fine in place of 1.63.

I know exactly what you mean when you say you're a small team, you're doing a great job so far :-) I'm already running two FileServer VMs with MiniDLNA added to provide media streaming.  These are running in VirtualBox, sharing a BTRFS raid file system mounted in the Xubuntu host.

I'm looking for an 'off-the-shelf' email solution to serve an extended family and small farming business, everything I've found so far is 'enterprise ready' and way too complex !! I've managed to build a Ubuntu/Fetchmail/Postfix/Dovecot system that works with Webmin, but have struggled a bit with the detail as I'm no expert, so have been looking at Turnkey Linux with Xeams installed on top. I have it working, Xeams has a nice GUI management interface but unfortunately is a bit lacking on the mail management side. vPostMaster looks like it may have done the job, but has recently been deprecated and no longer works, so I'm still hunting for an easy to manage solution. I'll certainly take a look at TKLDev, building a system from scratch is something I'm willing to have a go at if it achieves what I need :-)

Keep up the good work.


Jeremy Davis's picture

But it helps us out as then we can add it to our library easily!

The TKLDev docs are pretty good, but a big read... So I just bashed out a 'quick and dirty' simplified TKLDev 'getting started' type doc for creating a new appliance. I'm not sure how I went... Please feel free to have a quick look and provide feedback.

One other thing to mention re Webmin that I forgot to mention before: You will need to maintain the current Webmin version if you want to use the TKLBAM (TKL backup and migration) Webmin module. Obviously it will still work fine from the commandline (and once it's set up it doesn't really need tweaking...).

As for your specific Webmail desires; there are a couple of popular ones in the Debian repos. Installing from the repos has pros and cons; on the upside they're an easy install (with apt-get install) and you'll get security patches backported and auto installed; on the down side the version will often be a little old.

Generally if they are available in the repos we prefer them (for our appliances) unless they broken in some way, or have fundamentally important feature missing. Obviously for your personal purposes you don't need to follow that and can build from the latest upstream if you'd rather (but then you also have the maintenance and security concerns to take care of into the future).

Some Webmail options that spring to mind are SquirrelMail (Debian | upstream) and RoundCube (Debian | upstream). There is also one called CiderMail (Debian | upstream) which I've never heard of... I have also heard good things about iRedMail (upstream only) although never used it. No doubt there are plenty of others...

PaulM47's picture

No worries with TKLDev, I'm always willing to contribute if I can, although I'm very much a Linux novice !

I'm not planning on using TKLBAM. I'm not a great believer in trusting A.N.Other and their cloud servers with my personal data !

If you add the Webmin ppa to the repositories list then Webmin 1.71 can update itself quite happily.

You're right, there are quite a few webmail server apps available, I've been focusing on finding an IMAP server as we use the excellent ClawsMail client here, I hadn't really considered using a local webmail server instead. The whole point of it is it needs to store the local mail on the server and be accesible from anywhere on our local networks, which IMAP achieves, but so would a local webmail server :-)

I found CiderWebMail (rather than CiderMail), which requires an IMAP server (Dovecot) to connect to anyway, and iRedMail, which is only configurable from the command line unless you pay for the web management app.

Thanks again for your replies, I'll certainly upload the details when (if) I get this sorted and working.


Jeremy Davis's picture

So you don't need to store your backups in the cloud. You can store backups wherever you like; local storage, local server (e.g. NAS), etc.

Also FWIW if you want the convienience (available anywhere there is internet with 99.99% availability) and reliability (99.999999999% durability - much more reliable than a physical harddrive or USB stick) offered by AWS. But you're concerned about your personal data being 'in the cloud' then rest assured that TKLBAM backups are encrypted and can be protected with a passphrase and an escrow key too. The only downside of that is that if you lose your key, you've lost your backup.

The full TKLBAM docs are here; in particular I draw your attention to the full FAQ and the man pages (i.e. manual pages). I know that I'm biased, but it's such an awesome backup and migration tool...!

Anyway, I'll stop spruking TKLBAM... It's just that we're pretty proud of it! :)

And remember: data loss is a matter of when, not if! So if you value your data, make sure you have backups (even if you don't want to use TKLBAM use something!)

But back to your IMAP mail server...

If you're just after an IMAP server then Dovecot is one of the most popular Linux ones that I know of... It's in the repos (Dovecot-core 2.1, and 2.2 is in wheezy-backports plus there are a number of popular modules) so installation should be very easy... You should also be able to find tons of tutorials on configuring it! (Just remember TurnKey v13 = Debian Wheezy)

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