Squirrelmail On Your ISPConfig Server Within 10 Easy Steps


Version 1.0
Author: <hans> [at] bb-hosting [dot] org>

This how to will help you to setup Squirrelmail on your ISPConfig server. My how to is only a basic setup for Squirrelmail. With this how to, you can run Squirrelmail in the webspace of your choice and it will run on port 80. It is a nice alternative for the Squirrelmail package which you can download at http://www.ispconfig.org and which will run on port 81 after installing it.

Squirrelmail comes with a lot of plugins, but I will not mention these plugins in this how to.
When you’re finished with this basic setup for Squirrelmail and if you like to extend it with the plugins of your needs I recommend to visit: http://www.squirrelmail.org/
Note some plugins require a MySQL database. If required, create the MySQL database first.

I will use as an example:

- Squirrelmail version 1.4.8
- sqmattachments as a name for the required Squirrelmail attachments directory
- web1 our webspace for Squirrelmail
- webmail.myhostingcompany as a domain name
- your webs are stored under /var/www

Here we go:

Step 1 - Create a website:

In ISPConfig, create a website via “New site” in the main menu. On the tab called “Basis” use webmail for the hostname and myhostingcompany.tld for the domain name. Enable MySQL and PHP scripts for this website but disable PHP Safe Mode. (Enabling MySQL for the site can be necessary for future plugins you might need).

Step 2 – Create a Administator user for the website:

In ISPConfig, create a Administrator user, so you can upload the website later via FTP:
In the main menu select “ISP Manager”, select your new website called webmail.myhostingcompany.tld in the structure tree and press the tab “User and Email”.
Press “new” and define a new user and its email address. Give this user administrator rights and press “Save”.

Step 3 – Download and extract the package, delete the tar.gz files:

Logon to your server as root and give the commands:

cd /var/www/web1/web/

Download the latest stable version of Squirrelmail:

wget http://surfnet.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/squirrelmail/squirrelmail-1.4.8.tar.gz

(At Sourceforge, choose your nearest download location).

Extract the package:

tar xvfz squirrelmail-1.4.8.tar.gz

Remove the tar.gz files:

rm *.tar.gz

Step 4 – Move the extracted files to your web and remove the empty directory:

cd squirrelmail-1.4.8
mv * ../
cd ../
rmdir squirrelmail-1.4.8

Step 5 – Create a attachments directory for Squirrelmail:

Squirrelmail requires a directory for data and attachments.
The data directory is already there, we only need to create a directory for the attachments:

mkdir sqmattachments

Step 6 – Define the permissions:

The data and attachments directory must be writable for Apache.
We can do this with the commands:

chown -R www-data:www-data data
chown -R www-data:www-data sqmattachments

Step 7 – Configure Squirrelmail:

Now it is time to configure Squirrelmail.
First navigate to Squirrelmails configuration directory:

cd config

Startup the Configuration program:


The main menu appears.

You can configure a lot of items around here, I will only mention the most important ones:

In the main menu select 1
Enter your company information you want.
If you like to add a organisation logo (menu item 2), you can upload another picture to your webspace via FTP using the user account as defined in STEP 2.
Important: the picture dimensions in pixels must be the same as defined in menu item 3.
Return to the main menu by pressing R.

In the main menu select 2
Select 1 and enter your domain name
Select 3 and define your smtp server (Sendmail or SMTP)
Return to the main menu by pressing R.

In the main menu select 4 (General options)
Select 1 and define the data directory for Squirrelmail: ../data/
Select 2 and define the attachments directory for Squirrelmail: ../sqmattachments/

Return to the main menu by pressing R
After configuring the most important items save your Squirrelmail configuration by pressing S.
Press Q to quit.

STEP 8 – access your new webmailclient:

Now you can point to your new webmail client with your favourite browser.
The address according my how to is:

You can login with any valid e-mailaccount (username/password) combination.
Note: do not use [email protected] as in the Uebimiau package provided by ISPConfig.
Only use the username and password.

STEP 9 – Define personal information in Squirrelmail:

After your first login you should make some settings before you start using Squirrelmail.
Here, the first thing you have to do is define personal information.
You can enter this information by pressing Options in the horizontal main menu followed by pressing Personal Information. When you’re finished with this you can press submit.

STEP 10 – Customizing Squirrelmail:

Squirrelmail provides a lot of colour themes.
You can change the default colour theme:
Press Options in the horizontal main menu, followed by pressing Display Preferences.
Choose the colour theme you like.
Press Submit to save your changes.

More information about Squirrelmail:

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2 Comment(s)

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Most distributions come with their properly preconfigured squirrelmail. Three advatages: * Security updates come for free (squirrelmail had quite some security holes) * Config files are preconfigured and placed in the proper places: cleaner, more consistend, better documented. * (De-)Installation is done with tools you know, instead of following along with copypaste commands.

By: Loris

This is not applicable to Debian 10 and ISPCONFIG 3.2