How to Quickly Set Up a Mail Server on Ubuntu 20.04 with Modoboa

This tutorial is going to show you how to quickly set up your own email server on Ubuntu 20.04 with Modoboa, which is a free and open-source mail hosting and management platform designed to work with Postfix SMTP server and Dovecot IMAP/POP3 server.

Modoboa is written in Python, released under the terms of ISC license. The latest version is v1.16.0, released on October 5, 2020. Main features of Modoboa are as follows:

  • Modoboa by default uses Nginx web server to serve the webmail client and web-based admin panel.
  • Compatible with Postfix and Dovecot.
  • Support MySQL/MariaDB, or PostgreSQL database.
  • Easily create unlimited mailboxes and unlimited mail domains in a web-based admin panel.
  • Easily create email alias in the web-based admin panel.
  • The webmail client provides an easy-to-use message filter to help you organize messages to different folders.
  • It can help you protect your domain reputation by monitoring email blacklists and generating DMARC reports, so your emails have a better chance to land in the inbox instead of the spam folder.
  • Includes amavis frontend to block spam and detect viruses in email.
  • Calendar and address book.
  • Integration with Let’s Encrypt.
  • A policy daemon for Postfix that allows you to define daily sending limits for domains and individual accounts.
  • Includes AutoMX to allow end-users to easily configure mail account in a desktop or mobile mail client.

Step 1: Choose the Right Hosting Provider and Buy a Domain Name

To set up a complete email server with Modoboa, you need a server with at least 2GB RAM, because after the installation, your server will use more than 1GB of RAM. This tutorial is done on a $8.99/month Hostwinds VPS (virtual private server). I recommend Hostwinds because it does not block port 25, so you can send unlimited emails (transactional email and newsletters) without spending money on SMTP relay. Hostwinds doesn’t have any SMTP limits. You can send a million emails per day.

Other VPS providers like DigitalOcean blocks port 25. DigitalOcean would not unblock port 25, so you will need to set up SMTP relay to bypass blocking, which can cost you additional money. If you use Vultr VPS, then port 25 is blocked by default. They can unblock it if you open a support ticket, but they may block it again at any time if they decide your email sending activity is not allowed. Vultr actually may re-block it if you use their servers to send newsletters.

Go to Hostwinds website to create an account. Choose the 2GB unmanaged Linux VPS plan.

hostwinds mail server

Once you created an account, Hostwinds will send you an email with the server SSH login details. To log into your server, you use an SSH client. If you are using Linux or MacOS on your computer, then simply open up a terminal window and run the following command to log into your server. Replace 12.34.56.78 with your server’s IP address.

ssh root@12.34.56.78

You will be asked to enter the password. If you are using Windows, please read the following article on how to use SSH client.

It is highly recommended that you follow the instructions below on a clean install of Ubuntu 20.04 system. Installing a piece of complex server software like Modoboa on a non-LTS Ubuntu is discouraged as you will probably encounter problems when upgrading your OS every 9 months. The software author doesn’t have time to support every Ubuntu release. It is far better for your mail server to stay stable for 2 or 5 years.

You also need a domain name. I registered my domain name from NameCheap because the price is low and they give whois privacy protection free for life.

Step 2: Creating DNS MX Record

The MX record specifies which host or hosts handle emails for a particular domain name. For example, the host that handles emails for linuxbabe.com is mail.linuxbabe.com. If someone with a Gmail account sends an email to somebody@linuxbabe.com, then Gmail server will query the MX record of linuxbabe.com. When it finds out that mail.linuxbabe.com is responsible for accepting email, it then query the A record of mail.linuxbabe.com to get the IP address, thus the email can be delivered.

In your DNS manager, create a MX record for your domain name. Enter @ in the Name field to represent the main domain name, then enter mail.your-domain.com in the Value field.

modoboa web interface

Note: The hostname for MX record can not be an alias to another name. Also, It’s highly recommended that you use hostnames, rather than bare IP addresses for MX record.

Your DNS manager may require you to enter a preference value (aka priority value). It can be any number between 0 and 65,356. A small number has higher priority than a big number. You can enter 0 for your email server, or accept the default value.

After creating MX record, you also need to create an A record for mail.your-domain.com , so that it can be resolved to an IP address. If your server uses IPv6 address, be sure to add AAAA record.

If you use Cloudflare DNS service, you should not enable the proxy feature when creating A record for your mail server. Cloudflare doesn’t support SMTP/IMAP proxy.

Step 3: Set up Mail Server on Ubuntu 20.04 with Modoboa Installer

Log into your server via SSH, then run the following command to update software packages.

sudo apt update; sudo apt upgrade -y

Download modoboa installer from Github.

git clone https://github.com/modoboa/modoboa-installer

Modoboa is written in Python. Run the following command to install the necessary Python software.

sudo apt-get install python3-virtualenv python3-pip

Then navigate to the modoboa-installer directory and create a configuration file. Replace example.com with your own domain name.

cd modoboa-installer

sudo python3 ./run.py --stop-after-configfile-check example.com

modoboa installer ubuntu 20.04

Edit the configuration file installer.cfg with a command-line text editor like Nano.

sudo nano installer.cfg

To obtain a valid TLS certificate from Let’s Encrypt for your mail server, in [certificate] section, change the value of type from self-signed to letsencrypt.

type = letsencrypt

And change the email address from admin@example.com to your real email address, which will be used for account recovery and important notifications. You will not be able to obtain and install Let’s Encrypt certificate if you use the default email address.

modoboa-installer-letsencrypt-tls-certificate

By default, Modoboa installer will install PostgreSQL database server, as indicated by the following lines in the config file.

[database]
engine = postgres
host = 127.0.0.1
install = true

If you would like to use MariaDB database server, then change the engine from postgres to mysql. (Modoboa will install MariaDB instead of MySQL.)

modoboa mariadb database

Save and close the file. (To save a file in Nano text editor, press Ctrl+O, then press Enter to confirm. To exit, press Ctrl+X.)

Next, you should use a fully-qualified domain name (FQDN) as the hostname for your mail server, such as mail.example.com. Run the following command to set the hostname.

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname mail.example.com

Now we need to verify if the DNS records are propagated to the Internet. Depending on the domain registrar you use, your DNS record might be propagated instantly, or it might take up to 24 hours to propagate. You can go to https://dnsmap.io, enter your mail server’s hostname (mail.example.com) to check DNS propagation.

If your DNS record is propagated, run the following command to start the installation.

sudo python3 ./run.py --interactive example.com

install modoboa ubuntu 20.04 python3

The installation process can take a while. It took 10 minutes on my Hostwinds server. If you see an error during the installation, you can use the --debug option to see more detailed output.

sudo python3 ./run.py --interactive --debug example.com

After Modoboa finishes the installation, you can log into the admin panel with username admin and password password. (If your browser can’t connect to the admin panel, it could be that Nginx is not running. Start it with sudo systemctl restart nginx.)

modoboa-mail-server-ubuntu-20.04

Once you are logged in, you should go to Admin -> Settings -> Profile to change the password.

modoboa install

Step 4: Adding Mailboxes in Modoboa Admin Panel

Go to Domains tab and click Add button to add a new domain.

modoboa review

Then enter your main domain name in the Name field. It is highly recommended that you enable DKIM signing, which can help with your domain reputation. In Key selector field, you can enter a random word like modoboa. Choose 2048 as the key length.

adding domain name in modoboa

In the next screen, you can choose to create an admin account for your domain. The SMTP protocol requires that a mail server should have a postmaster@example.com address.

modoboa postmaster account

Click the Submit button and your domain name will be added in Modoboa.

Note that the default admin account created during installation isn’t an email account. To add email addresses, go to Domains tab and click your domain name.

add mailboxes in modoboa

Then click mailboxes.

adding email addresses in modoboa

Click Add button and choose Account.

modoboa alias

Then choose Simple user as the role. Enter an email address in Username field and enter a password.

qucikly set up an email server modoboa

In the next screen, you can optionally create an alias for this email address.

create alias in modoboa

After clicking the submit button, the email address is created.

Step 5: Sending Test Emails

To login to the webmail, you need to log out the admin account first and then enter the user credentials.

modoboa login

Once you are logged into Modoboa webmail, you can send a test email from your private email server to your other email address and vice versa.

modoboa webmail

Inbound emails will be delayed for a few minutes, because by default Modoboa enables greylisting, which tells other sending SMTP server to try again in a few minutes. This is useful to block spam. The following message in /var/log/mail.log indicates greylisting is enabled.

postfix/postscreen[20995]: NOQUEUE: reject: RCPT from [34.209.113.130]:36980: 450 4.3.2 Service currently unavailable;

However, greylisting can be rather annoying. You can disable it by editing the Postfix main configuration file.

sudo nano /etc/postfix/main.cf

Find the following lines at the end of the file and comment them out. (Add a # character at the beginning of each line.)

postscreen_pipelining_enable = yes
postscreen_pipelining_action = enforce

postscreen_non_smtp_command_enable = yes
postscreen_non_smtp_command_action = enforce

postscreen_bare_newline_enable = yes
postscreen_bare_newline_action = enforce

Save and close the file. Then restart Postfix for the changes to take effect.

sudo systemctl restart postfix

Now you should be able to receive emails without waiting several minutes.

Adding Swap Space

ClamAV is used to scan viruses in email messages. ClamAV can use a fair amount of RAM. If there’s not enough RAM on your server, ClamAV won’t work properly, which will prevent your mail server from sending emails. You can add a swap file to your server to increase the total RAM on your server. (Note that using swap space on the server will degrade server performance. If you want better performance, you should upgrade the physical RAM instead of using swap space.)

To add swap space on the server, first, use the fallocate command to create a file. For example, create a file named swapfile with 1G capacity in root file system:

sudo fallocate -l 1G /swapfile

Then make sure only root can read and write to it.

sudo chmod 600 /swapfile

Format it to swap:

sudo mkswap /swapfile

Output:

Setting up swapspace version 1, size = 1024 MiB (1073737728 bytes)
no label, UUID=0aab5886-4dfb-40d4-920d-fb1115c67433

Enable the swap file

sudo swapon /swapfile

To mount the swap space at system boot time, edit the /etc/fstab file.

sudo nano /etc/fstab

Add the following line at the bottom of this file.

/swapfile    swap    swap     defaults    0   0

Save and close the file. Then reload systemd.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Step 6: Checking If Port 25 (outbound) is blocked

Your ISP or hosting provider won’t block incoming connection to port 25 of your server, which means you can receive emails from other mail servers. However, many ISP/hosting providers block outgoing connection to port 25 of other mail servers, which means you can’t send emails.

If your email didn’t arrive at your other email address such as Gmail, then run the following command on your mail server to check if port 25 (outbound) is blocked.

telnet gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com 25

If it’s not blocked, you would see messages like below, which indicates a connection is successfully established. (Hint: Type in quit and press Enter to close the connection.)

Trying 74.125.68.26...
Connected to gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
220 mx.google.com ESMTP y22si1641751pll.208 - gsmtp

If port 25 (outbound) is blocked, you would see something like:

Trying 2607:f8b0:400e:c06::1a...
Trying 74.125.195.27...
telnet: Unable to connect to remote host: Connection timed out

In this case, your Postfix can’t send emails to other SMTP servers. Ask your ISP/hosting provider to open it for you. If they refuse your request, you need to set up SMTP relay to bypass port 25 blocking.

Still Can’t Send Email?

If port 25 (outbound) is not blocked, but you still can’t send emails from your own mail server to your other email address like Gmail, then you should check the mail log (/var/log/mail.log).

sudo nano /var/log/mail.log

For example, some folks might see the following lines in the file.

host gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com[2404:6800:4003:c03::1b] said: 550-5.7.1 [2a0d:7c40:3000:b8b::2] Our system has detected that 550-5.7.1 this message does not meet IPv6 sending guidelines regarding PTR 550-5.7.1 records and authentication. Please review 550-5.7.1 https://support.google.com/mail/?p=IPv6AuthError for more information

This means your mail server is using IPv6 to send the email, but you didn’t set up IPv6 records. You should go to your DNS manager, set AAAA record for mail.your-domain.com, then you should set PTR record for your IPv6 address, which is discussed in step 8.

Step 7: Using Mail Clients on Your Computer or Mobile Device

Fire up your desktop email client such as Mozilla Thunderbird and add a mail account.

  • In the incoming server section, select IMAP protocol, enter mail.your-domain.com as the server name, choose port 993 and SSL/TLS. Choose normal password as the authentication method.
  • In the outgoing section, select SMTP protocol, enter mail.your-domain.com as the server name, choose port 587 and STARTTLS. Choose normal password as the authentication method.

modoboa mail server desktop mail client configuration

You can also use IMAP on port 143 with STARTTLS encryption.

Step 8: Improving Email Deliverability

To prevent your emails from being flagged as spam, you should set PTR, SPF, DKIM and DMARC records.

PTR record

A pointer record, or PTR record, maps an IP address to a FQDN (fully qualified domain name). It’s the counterpart to the A record and is used for reverse DNS lookup, which can help with blocking spammers. Many SMTP servers reject emails if no PTR record is found for the sending server.

To check the PTR record for an IP address, run this command:

dig -x IP-address +short

or

host IP-address

Because you get IP address from your hosting provider or ISP, not from your domain registrar, so you must set PTR record for your IP in the control panel of your hosting provider or ask your ISP. Its value should be your mail server’s hostname: mail.your-domain.com. If your server uses IPv6 address, be sure to add a PTR record for your IPv6 address as well.

To edit the reverse DNS record for your Hostwinds VPS, log into Hostwinds client area, select Domains -> Manage rDNS, Then you can edit the reverse DNS record for both IPv4 and IPv6 address.

mail server reverse DNS record

SPF Record

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record specifies which hosts or IP address are allowed to send emails on behalf of a domain. You should allow only your own email server or your ISP’s server to send emails for your domain. In your DNS management interface, create a new TXT record like below.

modoboa spf record

Explanation:

  • TXT indicates this is a TXT record.
  • Enter @ in the name field to represent the main domain name.
  • v=spf1 indicates this is a SPF record and the version is SPF1.
  • mx means all hosts listed in the MX records are allowed to send emails for your domain and all other hosts are disallowed.
  • ~all indicates that emails from your domain should only come from hosts specified in the SPF record. Emails that are from other hosts will be flagged as forged.

To check if your SPF record is propagated to the public Internet, you can use the dig utility on your Linux machine like below:

dig your-domain.com txt

The txt option tells dig that we only want to query TXT records.

DKIM Record

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) uses a private key to digitally sign emails sent from your domain. Receiving SMTP servers verify the signature by using the public key, which is published in the DNS DKIM record.

When we were adding domain name in Moboboa admin panel earlier, we enabled DKIM signing, so the signing part is taken care of. The only thing left to do is creating DKIM record in DNS manager. First go to Modoboa admin panel and select your domain name. In the DNS section, click Show key button.

modoboa dkim signing

The public key will be revealed. There are two formats. We only need the Bind/named format.

modoboa dkim public key

Go to your DNS manager, create a TXT record, enter modoboa._domainkey in the Name field. (Recall that we used modoboa as the selector when adding domain name in the admin panel.) Copy everything in the parentheses and paste into the value field. Delete all double quotes. Your DNS manager may require you to delete other invalid characters, such as carriage return.

modoboa dkim format

For those who are interested, Modoboa uses OpenDKIM to generate private key for your domainkey and verify signatures of inbound emails.

DMARC Record

DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance. DMARC can help receiving email servers to identify legitimate emails and prevent your domain name from being used by email spoofing.

To create a DMARC record, go to your DNS manager and add a TXT record. In the name field, enter _dmarc. In the value field, enter the following:

v=DMARC1; p=none; pct=100; rua=mailto:dmarc-reports@your-domain.com

create dmarc record txt

The above DMARC record is a safe starting point. To see the full explanation of DMARC, please check the following article.

Step 7: Testing Email Score and Placement

After creating PTR, SPF, DKIM record, go to https://www.mail-tester.com. You will see a unique email address. Send an email from your domain to this address and then check your score. As you can see, I got a perfect score.

Testing-Email-Score-and-Placement

Mail-tester.com can only show you a sender score. There’s another service called GlockApps that allow you to check if your email is placed in the recipient’s inbox or spam folder, or rejected outright. It supports many popular email providers like Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, YahooMail, iCloud mail, etc

glockapps-email-placement-testing

What if Your Emails Are Still Being Marked as Spam?

I have more tips for you in this article: How to stop your emails from being marked as spam. Although it will take some time and effort, your emails will eventually be placed in the inbox after applying these tips.

What if Your Email is Rejected by Microsoft Mailbox?

Microsoft seems to be using an internal blacklist that blocks many legitimate IP addresses. If your emails are rejected by Outlook or Hotmail, you need to submit the sender information form. After that, your email will be accepted by Outlook/Hotmail.

Auto-Renew Let’s Encrypt TLS Certificate

Let’s Encrypt TLS certificate is valid for 90 days. To automatically renew the certificate, edit root user’s crontab file.

sudo crontab -e

Add the following line at the end of this file.

@daily /usr/bin/certbot renew -q && systemctl reload nginx postfix dovecot

Save and close the file. This tells Cron to run the certbot renew command every day. If the certificate has 30 days left, certbot will renew it. It’s necessary to reload Nginx web server, Postfix SMTP server and Dovecot IMAP server so they can pick up the new certificate.

Enabling SMTPS Port 465

If you are going to use Microsoft Outlook client, then you need to enable SMTPS port 465 in Postfix SMTP server.

Troubleshooting

First, please use a VPS with at least 2GB RAM. Running Modoboa on a 1GB RAM VPS will cause the database, SpamAssassin, or ClamAV to be killed because of out-of-memory problem. If you really want to use a 1GB RAM VPS, you are going to lose incoming emails and have other undesirable outcomes.

If the Modoboa web interface isn’t accessible, like a 502 gateway error, you should check the Nginx logs in /var/log/nginx/ directory to find clues. You may also want to check the mail log /var/log/mail.log.

Check if the various services are running.

systemctl status postfix

systemctl status dovecot

systemctl status nginx

systemctl status mariadb

systemctl status clamav-daemon

systemctl status amavis

systemctl status uwsgi 

systemctl status supervisor

If you enabled the firewall, you should open the following ports in the firewall.

HTTP port:  80
HTTPS port: 443
SMTP port:  25
Submission port: 587 (and 465 if you are going to use Microsoft Outlook mail client)
IMAP port:  143 and 993

If you would like to use the UFW firewall, check my guide here: Getting started with UFW firewall on Debian and Ubuntu.

I found that the clamav-daemon service has a tendency to stop without clear reason even when there’s enough RAM. This will delay emails for 1 minute. We can configure it to automatically restart if it stops via the systemd service unit. Copy the original service unit file to the /etc/systemd/system/ directory.

sudo cp /lib/systemd/system/clamav-daemon.service /etc/systemd/system/clamav-daemon.service

Then edit the service unit file.

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/clamav-daemon.service

Add the following two lines in the [service] section.

Restart=always
RestartSec=3

Like this:

[Service]
ExecStart=/usr/sbin/clamd --foreground=true
# Reload the database
ExecReload=/bin/kill -USR2 $MAINPID
StandardOutput=syslog
Restart=always
RestartSec=3

Save and close the file. Then reload systemd and restart clamav-daemon.service.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl restart clamav-daemon

(Optional) Set Up Autodiscover and AutoConfig to Automate Mail Client Configuration

Autodiscover and AutoConfig make it easy to configure a desktop or mobile mail client. The end-user just needs to enter a name, email address and password to set up his/her mail account, without having to enter the SMTP or IMAP server details. Autodiscover is supported by Microsoft Outlook mail client and AutoConfig is supported by Mozilla Thunderbird mail client.

Modoboa uses AutoMX to implement this feature on your mail server. All we need to do now is add CNAME records in DNS. In your DNS manager, create two CNAME records.

autoconfig.yourdomain.com       CNAME         mail.yourdomain.com
autodiscover.yourdomain.com     CNAME         mail.yourdomain.com

Go to the Domains tab in your Modoboa admin panel, if the autoconfig is in green, that means your CNAME records are correct. (Modoboa checks DNS records for your mail server every 30 minutes, so you might need to wait some time for autoconfig to turn green.)

modoboa automx

Once the CNAME records are propagated to the Internet, you don’t have to enter the SMTP or IMAP server details when setting up a mail account in Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird.

Host Multiple Domains in Modoboa

See the following article:

Setting Up Backup Mail Server

Your primary mail server could be down sometimes. If you host your mail server in a data center, then the downtime is very minimal, so you shouldn’t be worried about losing inbound emails. If you host your mail server at home, the downtime can’t be predicted so it’s a good practice for you to run a backup mail server in a data center to prevent losing inbound emails. The backup mail server needs just 512MB RAM to run. Please check the full detail in the following article.

I hope this tutorial helped you set up a mail server on Ubuntu 20.04 with Modoboa. As always, if you found this post useful, then subscribe to our free newsletter to get more tips and tricks. Take care 🙂

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20 Responses to “How to Quickly Set Up a Mail Server on Ubuntu 20.04 with Modoboa

  • I mentioned this in the article, but I want to say it again: The best practice to run Modoboa is using a clean fresh OS.

    Generally speaking, if there’s a script that will install lots of software, it’s a good practice to install it on a clean freash OS. Otherwise, the install script might mess up the existing configurations of your software, making it unusable. Or maybe a component of the softwar stack needs to bind to a port, but it’s already been taken by an existing process on the server, resulting in installation failure.

    Unless you are very knowledgeable about every piece of software on the server and can spead lots of time debugging, it’s not recommended to install Modoboa on a server that has other applications running.

    I have seen many folks who didn’t follow this advice bork the applications on their servers.

  • Thank you so much for your work Xiao!!!
    BTW, I noticed that you skipped over a part of the MySQL area. You should recommend people who are following your tutorial to change the mysql password to the root user. If they don’t change it, then they won’t be able to easily do it later after the installation because Modoboa generates their own long key that isn’t easy to keep track of.

    Also, if a user wants to create another database or add other users because they plan on installing other applications on this same server, they won’t be able to easily access the mysql database since Modoboa won’t allow for root access. So you should include this in the steps to change the root password of the mysql. Anyhow, thanks again for your awesome BLOG! I plan on donating soon! God bless you, brother!

    • The MariaDB package in Ubuntu repository allows you to use the following command to log into MariaDB server without entering the MariaDB root password.

      sudo mysql -u root

      It seems Modoboa disabled Unix_socket authentication in MaraiDB, so we have to use password authentication.

      mysql -u root -p
      • Well, what I did was installed Modoboa, and then I installed Mautic on top of that. It was then that I realized I couldn’t set up a database or a user for Mautic after installing Modoboa. I couldn’t log in even with ‘mysql -u root’, if that’s what you’re asking. Sometimes I notice that you aren’t always detailed on your posts, but over, I still give you 4.5 stars outta 5 because I’m still able to resolve these little parts that you skip over. But anyhow, thanks again my brother.

    • Ok, I just reinstalled Modoboa with MariaDB database this time. (I was using PostgreSQL database.)
      The default MariaDB root password is specified in the installer.cfg file.

      [mysql]
      user = root
      password = B1kjdXEVs3cVS81x
      charset = utf8
      collation = utf8_general_ci
      

      So you can easily log into MariaDB with:

      mysql -u root -p

      If you need to change the MariaDB root password, it can also be easily done with:

      sudo mysql_secure_installation
      • Right, but even after I found that file and tried to use that password, it still wouldn’t let me access the root user. What I had to do was just re-install from the beginning, then set my own password during the beginning of installation when choosing the database, Let’s Encrypt, etc.. If you set it then, that’s when it’s much easier to continue accessing your MariaDB in the future when you need to do additional databases and users for other applications or for whichever reason. I highly recommend setting your own password early on or during installation.

      • Also, after installing Mautic on top of this Modoboa, I am no longer able to receive any email for any of the email accounts that I’ve created in Modoboa. What do you think that I should try to do to fix this? Any ideas on what could be stopping the messages from coming in? I’m still able to send email through Modoboa, but not able to receive after the Mautic installation. Thanks again.

    • Muatic is an PHP application. I don’t think it would interfere with receving emails. You can always check the mail log file (/var/log/mail.log) and dovecot log (sudo journalctl -eu dovecot) to troubleshoot mail server problems.

      • Right, and that’s why I wanted to install these two together because I figured that the Mautic’s PHP wouldn’t clash with Modoboa and vice versa.

        Here is what’s showing with the amavis log & ClamAV :

        root@mail:~# systemctl status amavis
        ● amavis.service - LSB: Starts amavisd-new mailfilter
             Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/amavis; generated)
             Active: active (running) since Thu 2020-10-29 15:52:01 UTC; 24min ago
               Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
            Process: 401005 ExecStart=/etc/init.d/amavis start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
              Tasks: 2 (limit: 2345)
             Memory: 192.4M
             CGroup: /system.slice/amavis.service
                     ├─401035 /usr/sbin/amavisd-new (master)
                     └─401234 /usr/sbin/amavisd-new (ch1-avail)
        
        Oct 29 15:52:01 mail amavis[401035]: Found secondary av scanner ClamAV-clamscan at /usr/bin/cla
        Oct 29 16:05:13 mail amavis[401234]: (401234-01) (!)connect to /var/run/clamav/clamd.ctl failed
        Oct 29 16:05:14 mail amavis[401234]: (401234-01) (!)connect to /var/run/clamav/clamd.ctl failed
        Oct 29 16:05:14 mail amavis[401234]: (401234-01) (!)ClamAV-clamd: All attempts (1) failed conne
        Oct 29 16:05:20 mail amavis[401234]: (401234-01) (!)connect to /var/run/clamav/clamd.ctl failed
        Oct 29 16:05:20 mail amavis[401234]: (401234-01) (!)ClamAV-clamd av-scanner FAILED: run_av erro
        Oct 29 16:05:20 mail amavis[401234]: (401234-01) (!)WARN: all primary virus scanners failed, co
        Oct 29 16:05:44 mail amavis[401234]: (401234-01) (!)ClamAV-clamscan av-scanner FAILED: /usr/bin
        Oct 29 16:05:44 mail amavis[401234]: (401234-01) (!!)AV: ALL VIRUS SCANNERS FAILED
        Oct 29 16:05:44 mail amavis[401234]: (401234-01) Passed UNCHECKED {RelayedOpenRelay}, [127.0.0.
        lines 1-21/21 (END)
        

        Any idea if this is part of the problem?

    • It’s probabaly because your server is running out of RAM and ClamAV is killed. To check ClamAV status:

      systemctl status clamav-daemon

      You can add swap space on your server, but if you need better performance, upgrade the phsycial RAM.

    • Amavis and ClamAV use about 1.3GB RAM. If your server doesn’t have enough RAM, you might not be able to receive emails. If you don’t need AntiVirus on your mail server, you can disable Amavis and ClamAV. This will save you 1.3GB RAM.

      Edit Postfix master configuration file.

      sudo nano /etc/postfix/master.cf

      Find the following lines in this file and comment them out.

      -o smtpd_proxy_filter=inet:[127.0.0.1]:10024
      -o smtpd_proxy_options=speed_adjust
      
      -o milter_macro_daemon_name=ORIGINATING
      -o smtpd_proxy_filter=inet:[127.0.0.1]:10026
      

      Save and close the file. Then restart Postfix.

      sudo systemctl restart postfix

      Now you can stop Amavis and ClamAV.

      sudo systemctl stop amavis clamav-daemon

      And disable auto-start at boot time.

      sudo systemctl disable amavis clamav-daemon
      • Hi Xiao,

        What do you think would be better than running something resource heavy (eating up all my RAM & space) like Modoboa or Zimbra so that I’m not taking up so much space, which costs more money on Digital Ocean?

        I was thinking Postfix, Dovecot, & maybe SquirrelMail or Roundcube as my MUA.

        I really only wanted an MUA with an Administrator creating business email accounts/users or aliases, to receive email messages and respond through the MUA. But I finally realized that Postfix already created aliases and user accounts, you just need to find a way to display the messages in some MUA. I wouldn’t want to use a terminal to look at and respond to messages (eww!).

        So trying to keep the space down on the server, do you think that Postfix, Dovecot & Roundcube would be good enough and sufficient or do you recommend some other MUA? I wasn’t too crazy about iRedMail, especially since it is outdated looking and not mobile responsive.

        What do you think would be the most efficient set up to save space, or what would you do in this type of scenario?

        BTW, thanks again for your support, my friend!

        – Aaron E.

    • Modoboa uses Postfix SMTP server and Dovecot IMAP/POP server. It doesn’t invent its own wheel if there’s already a tried and true open-source solution.

      If you disable Amavis and ClamAV on Modoboa, the RAM usage goes down to about 500MB, and you will get pretty much what you want.

  • Everything is working as expected, however, any emails sent to an iCloud account from the new mail server are not being delivered. Other email services receive the email no problem.
    Any suggestions?

  • Hi there Xiao!!!
    First of all, congrats for the great series that you’ve put up to about modoboa an linux.
    I have a request for you.
    I’ve followed your tutorial so setting up Modoboa in Ubuntu 19.10, at the time Modoboa’s was at v1.14.0
    I would like to update it to the recent version, v1.17.0!
    I read the documentation but I found it a bit overwhealming as I’m not familiar with python!
    Could you give a little help!
    Thanx!!!

  • Calendars are not working. Just a white screen, no error messages. I can click new calendar and create one but it does not display. I followed this guide exactly and used the modoboa installer on a fresh Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system. I’m not sure what has changed since the last time I installed this but it used to work great and calendars were working. Now for some reason they don’t.

    See screenshot showing what my calendars look like. Not sure where to begin looking since it was not a manual install. Google searches for this issue are not coming up with any helpful results either.

  • Getting some errors when running the installer in debug mode on a fresh Ubuntu 20.04LTS system. I am wondering if this is what is causing the issues with my calendars as mentioned in my previous comment. I’m not sure how to fix this.

    
    Getting requirements to build wheel ... error
      ERROR: Command errored out with exit status 1:
       command: /srv/modoboa/env/bin/python3 /srv/modoboa/env/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pip/_vendor/pep517/_in_process.py get_requires_for_build_wheel /tmp/tmp1a8b8a15
           cwd: /tmp/pip-install-ediyhhaa/django-braces
      Complete output (16 lines):
      Traceback (most recent call last):
        File "/srv/modoboa/env/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pip/_vendor/pep517/_in_process.py", line 280, in 
          main()
        File "/srv/modoboa/env/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pip/_vendor/pep517/_in_process.py", line 263, in main
          json_out['return_val'] = hook(**hook_input['kwargs'])
        File "/srv/modoboa/env/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pip/_vendor/pep517/_in_process.py", line 114, in get_requires_for_build_wheel
          return hook(config_settings)
        File "/tmp/pip-build-env-2jzvjhlr/overlay/lib/python3.8/site-packages/setuptools/build_meta.py", line 149, in get_requires_for_build_wheel
          return self._get_build_requires(
        File "/tmp/pip-build-env-2jzvjhlr/overlay/lib/python3.8/site-packages/setuptools/build_meta.py", line 130, in _get_build_requires
          self.run_setup()
        File "/tmp/pip-build-env-2jzvjhlr/overlay/lib/python3.8/site-packages/setuptools/build_meta.py", line 145, in run_setup
          exec(compile(code, __file__, 'exec'), locals())
        File "setup.py", line 3, in 
          import braces
      ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'braces'
      ----------------------------------------
    ERROR: Command errored out with exit status 1: /srv/modoboa/env/bin/python3 /srv/modoboa/env/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pip/_vendor/pep517/_in_process.py get_requires_for_build_wheel /tmp/tmp1a8b8a15 Check the logs for full command output.
    
    
    
    ERROR: After October 2020 you may experience errors when installing or updating packages. This is because pip will change the way that it resolves dependency conflicts.
    
    We recommend you use --use-feature=2020-resolver to test your packages with the new resolver before it becomes the default.
    
    modoboa-radicale 1.5.0 requires caldav==0.7.1, but you'll have caldav 0.6.2 which is incompatible.
    modoboa-radicale 1.5.0 requires django-filter==2.4.0, but you'll have django-filter 2.2.0 which is incompatible.
    
    
  • Looking further into this. It appears that the module django_braces is not installed with the installer. I decided to try and install it using pip3 install django_braces then rerun the modoboa installer. Calendars are now working.

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