modern life with qmail

Cheatsheet for setting up qmail with modern requirements in less than 60min.

With special instructions for CentOS 6 (on DigitalOcean).

The name of the article and many contents refer to [0]

For those knowing Uberspace [19]: In it's core you'll get the same setup, but without the space limit / disk quota. (Uberspace additionally has SpamAssassin, DSPAM and automx).

While searching for sources and patches, I stumbled upon a lot of dead links. Therefore I set up a mirror for everything I'm using in this tutorial [22].


Some words first

We will use three variables very often: $domain, $mail_domain and $address. Depending on what you want to achieve, you should make a choice now.
Three scenarios:

  • The FQDN is EXAMPLE.COM, webmail is served on EXAMPLE.COM, mails go to @EXAMPLE.COM.
  • The FQDN is EXAMPLE.COM, webmail is served on e.g. mail.EXAMPLE.COM, mails go to @EXAMPLE.COM.
  • The FQDN is e.g. mail.EXAMPLE.COM, webmail is served on the _same_ URL, mails go to @EXAMPLE.COM.

Set the variables accordingly. If you need something else, you can easily customize this:


cd $HOME

# 1
echo "
mail_domain='${domain}'" > .domain-vars.txt

# 2
echo "
mail_domain='mail.${domain}'" > .domain-vars.txt

# 3
echo "
address='$(echo ${fqdn} | cut -d '.' -f 2-)'
mail_domain='${fqdn}'" > .domain-vars.txt

Remember to source those variables every time you start a new shell:

. $HOME/.domain-vars.txt

(reverse) DNS

For Reverse DNS to work, you have to name the Droplet like your host. Don't forget to set the DNS records soon enough. E.g.:

  • mail.DOMAIN
  • imap.DOMAIN
  • smtp.DOMAIN
  • send.DOMAIN

general preparation

Adapt to your time zone:


\cp /etc/localtime /root/old.timezone
\rm /etc/localtime
ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/${timezone} /etc/localtime

You might want to restrict SSH login to public key authentication. Only do this, if you can sign in via public key:

echo '
PasswordAuthentication no
' >> /etc/ssh/sshd_config
sed -i -e '/^PasswordAuthentication [yY][eE][sS]/s/^/#/g' /etc/ssh/sshd_config
/etc/init.d/sshd restart

Update and install essentials:

yum -y update
yum -y install mksh bind-utils wget rsync telnet man
. $HOME/.domain-vars.txt

Set your hostname:

sed -i -e 's/^HOSTNAME/#HOSTNAME/' $file
echo "HOSTNAME=${domain}" >> $file
#ip="$(ifconfig eth0 | grep 'inet addr' | cut -d: -f2 | awk '{print $1}')"
#sed -i -e "s/^${ip}/#${ip}/" /etc/hosts
#printf "${ip}\t%s\n" "${domain}" >> /etc/hosts
hostname ${domain}
hostname --fqdn

The last line should now give you your hostname.

get a cert from Let's Encrypt

/Adapted from: / [16], [26]

First we need python 2.7 in a way that dosn't break CentOS 6:

yum install centos-release-SCL
yum install python27

Now certbot:

yum -y install epel-release
cd $HOME
dir='src/letsencrypt'; mkdir -p $dir ; cd $dir
wget -N
gpg2 -k
gpg2 --recv-key A2CFB51FA275A7286234E7B24D17C995CD9775F2
gpg2 --trusted-key 4D17C995CD9775F2 --verify certbot-auto.asc certbot-auto
chmod a+x certbot-auto

/Use the second line to agree to their TOS without user input./ You might need to adapt the domains to your needs.
scl provides python 2.7 to certbot.

scl enable python27 "./certbot-auto -n --email admin@${address} certonly --standalone \
-d ${domain} -d imap.${address} -d smtp.${address} -d send.${address}"

# scl enable python27 "./certbot-auto --agree-tos --email admin@${address} -n certonly --standalone \
-d ${domain} -d imap.${address} -d smtp.${address} -d send.${address}"

This may fail occasionally (e.g. with '[Errno 111] Connection refused'. It's fine to just try again.

Add cronjob for renewal:

cat > $HOME/src/letsencrypt/ <<__EOF__

. $HOME/.domain-vars.txt

sha256sum /etc/letsencrypt/live/\${domain}/fullchain.pem \
> $HOME/src/letsencrypt/fullchain_shasum.txt

/usr/local/bin/svc -d /service/lighttpd
sleep 2
scl enable python27 "$HOME/src/letsencrypt/certbot-auto renew -q"
/usr/local/bin/svc -u /service/lighttpd

sha256sum -c $HOME/src/letsencrypt/fullchain_shasum.txt > /dev/null 2>&1

if [[ \$? -eq 0 ]]; then
  exit 1


(crontab -l 2>/dev/null; echo "$(expr $RANDOM % 60) */12 * * * mksh $HOME/src/letsencrypt/") | crontab -

Some directories we may need:

mkdir -p /etc/ssl/certs/ /etc/ssl/private/

In case you used certbot with python 2.6 before use this to get rid of the old dependencies:

rm -Rf /root/.local/share/letsencrypt


"qmail is a secure, reliable, efficient, simple message transfer agent. It is designed for typical Internet-connected UNIX hosts." [1]

qmail has not been changed much since 1998 lacking reasons to do so. It has a most convincible record of 0 known security holes.
netqmail is a distribution of qmail from 2007, bringing small and sensible changes for contemporary systems. New features like TLS and SMTP AUTH to adapt to the modern web are provided through patches.


yum -y install gcc gcc-c++ make patch openssl-devel mailx

/Remember to take snapshots throughout the process./

Get the sources:

cd $HOME
dir='src/netqmail'; mkdir -p $dir ; cd $dir

echo '
74300364b6be26be08e34f768532e911789827179e680bc89db3525fe415762f  checkpassword-0.90.tar.gz
a55535012b2be7a52dcd9eccabb9a198b13be50d0384143bd3b32b8710df4c1f  daemontools-0.76.tar.gz
4ddea56c7cbf6c64a052d98c79392d0fd72767b3440b70ad18c5def63205eda3  fake-smtp-1.0-1.noarch.rpm
08f1677785022174603c5b82a3b736615c07215d0d3f42b6e397766be8a32099  large-dns-response.patch
8e7d98d15211fc9f9c28109e942e2268f42a6672d68df92a42f2afa90ff00532  netqmail-1.06.tar.gz
2d6f3494e516d0dfbe6c1a5aecb4362771fcbd238b426ce597318835d1623dd2  netqmail-1.06-tls+auth-20151215_20160609.patch
b3b82f60ed388fad213d52e68049ed8983c029394d6bbaceaeee656c16c42867  qmailctl-script
cae4f0c4b360cc342d611e860879204a11060ce42cc7b2e2e25106dcb6d4abbf  qmail-smtpd-auth-0510_tgz.bin
9478c55496df2154bb0bf6ec947ca3e8567f928ce495d09b885ac0450666f04c  qmail-smtpd-run
eb1b9dc83e1fa515e77b8f6ff5b089400a4fe89b205f7078bef0dd1a56fea219  qmail-smtpd-run-checkpassword.patch
dd232e227ae9544aea37ef1ec9db7db805e8d9f41baa2924d23b53d2a9745770  qmail-smtpd-run-checkvpw.patch
4a0615cab74886f5b4f7e8fd32933a07b955536a3476d74ea087a3ea66a23e9c  ucspi-tcp-0.88.tar.gz
' > SHA256SUM.txt


sha256sum -c SHA256SUM.txt

The last line must give you 'OK' for every file, otherwise, the downloads are corrupted.

/The following heavily borrows from [0]

Bring the sources to the right places.

umask 022
mkdir -p /usr/local/src
cp netqmail-1.06.tar.gz ucspi-tcp-0.88.tar.gz \
checkpassword-0.90.tar.gz \
netqmail-1.06-tls+auth-20151215_20160609.patch \
large-dns-response.patch \
qmail-smtpd-auth-0510_tgz.bin /usr/local/src
mkdir -p /package
cp daemontools-0.76.tar.gz /package
chmod 1755 /package


cd /package
gunzip daemontools-0.76.tar.gz
tar xpf daemontools-0.76.tar
rm -f *.tar      # optional, again
cd /usr/local/src
gunzip netqmail-1.06.tar.gz
tar xpf netqmail-1.06.tar
gunzip ucspi-tcp-0.88.tar.gz
tar xpf ucspi-tcp-0.88.tar
gunzip checkpassword-0.90.tar
tar -xf checkpassword-0.90.tar
#rm -f *.tar      # optional, unless space is very tight


ucspi-tcp makes the TCP server part of qmail.

cd /usr/local/src/ucspi-tcp-0.88
patch < /usr/local/src/netqmail-1.06/other-patches/ucspi-tcp-0.88.errno.patch
make setup check

Now qmail. Patch. Auth first:

cd /usr/local/src/
tar xf qmail-smtpd-auth-0510_tgz.bin -C netqmail-1.06
cd netqmail-1.06 && ./ && cd ../

then TLS:

patch -d netqmail-1.06/ < netqmail-1.06-tls+auth-20151215_20160609.patch
patch -d netqmail-1.06/ < large-dns-response.patch

Here we will disable CRAM_MD5:

sed -i -e 's/^#define\ CRAM_MD5/\/\*#define\ CRAM_MD5\*\//' netqmail-1.06/qmail-smtpd.c

This is where qmail will go:

mkdir /var/qmail

"The easiest way to create the necessary users and groups is to create a little script file to do it for you. In the source directory you'll find a file called INSTALL.ids. It contains the command lines for many platforms, so copying the file to another name and editing that is quick and easy." [0]

Except we know we are on Linux and let sed do the work:

cd /usr/local/src/netqmail-1.06

echo '#!/bin/sh' >
grep -A8 '# groupadd nofiles' IDS | sed -e 's/^   # //g' >>


Compile, install and set the domain.

make setup check && make tmprsadh && ./config-fast ${address}

DH parameters will be generated now. Grab some drink and do a short workout.

We choose a mode of delivery and will follow Dan J. Bernsteins advice to use Maildir over mbox or other solutions:

./maildirmake /etc/skel/Maildir
cp /var/qmail/boot/home /var/qmail/rc
sed -i -e 's/\/Mailbox/\/Maildir\//g' /var/qmail/rc
chmod 755 /var/qmail/rc
mkdir /var/log/qmail
echo './Maildir/' > /var/qmail/control/defaultdelivery

Make qmail start up and shut down cleanly with the system. Copy a startup/shutdown script to the right place and make it executable:

cp $HOME/src/netqmail/qmailctl-script /var/qmail/bin/qmailctl
chmod 755 /var/qmail/bin/qmailctl
ln -s /var/qmail/bin/qmailctl /usr/local/bin

More stuff to do:

mkdir -p /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-send/log
mkdir -p /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-smtpd/log
mkdir -p /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-submission/log

echo '#!/bin/sh
exec /var/qmail/rc' > /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-send/run

echo '#!/bin/sh
exec /usr/local/bin/setuidgid qmaill /usr/local/bin/multilog t /var/log/qmail' > /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-send/log/run

cp $HOME/src/netqmail/qmail-smtpd-run /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-smtpd/run
cp $HOME/src/netqmail/qmail-smtpd-run /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-submission/run
sed -i 's/\ smtp\ /\ submission\ /' /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-submission/run

echo 20 > /var/qmail/control/concurrencyincoming
chmod 644 /var/qmail/control/concurrencyincoming
echo "${domain}" > /var/qmail/control/smtpgreeting
chmod 644 /var/qmail/control/smtpgreeting

echo '#!/bin/sh
exec /usr/local/bin/setuidgid qmaill /usr/local/bin/multilog t /var/log/qmail/smtpd' > /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-smtpd/log/run
echo '#!/bin/sh
exec /usr/local/bin/setuidgid qmaill /usr/local/bin/multilog t /var/log/qmail/submission' > /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-submission/log/run

chmod 755 /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-send/run
chmod 755 /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-send/log/run
chmod 755 /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-smtpd/run
chmod 755 /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-smtpd/log/run
chmod 755 /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-submission/run
chmod 755 /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-submission/log/run

mkdir -p /var/log/qmail/smtpd /var/log/qmail/submission
chown qmaill /var/log/qmail /var/log/qmail/smtpd /var/log/qmail/submission

echo '127.:allow,RELAYCLIENT=""' >> /etc/tcp.smtp
qmailctl cdb

Get rid of Sendmail:

/etc/init.d/sendmail stop
rpm -ivh $HOME/src/netqmail/fake-smtp-1.0-1.noarch.rpm
yum -y erase postfix
mv /usr/lib/sendmail /usr/lib/sendmail.old                  # ignore errors
mv /usr/sbin/sendmail /usr/sbin/sendmail.old                # ignore errors
chmod 0 /usr/lib/sendmail.old /usr/sbin/sendmail.old        # ignore errors
ln -s /var/qmail/bin/sendmail /usr/lib
ln -s /var/qmail/bin/sendmail /usr/sbin

Add aliases. Either put an actual account instead of 'postmaster', or create the user postmaster for real:

echo postmaster > /var/qmail/alias/.qmail-root
echo postmaster > /var/qmail/alias/.qmail-postmaster
ln -s .qmail-postmaster /var/qmail/alias/.qmail-mailer-daemon
ln -s .qmail-postmaster /var/qmail/alias/.qmail-abuse
chmod 644 /var/qmail/alias/.qmail-root /var/qmail/alias/.qmail-postmaster

useradd postmaster

Set a maximum size for mails in bytes. This would be 100MB:

echo 104857600 > /var/qmail/control/databytes


We will use haveged to increase the available entropy:

yum install haveged

Add service:

cmd='/usr/sbin/haveged -F -v -1'

mkdir -m 0755 -p /var/service/"${service}"/log
mkdir -m 0750 -p /var/log/"${service}"

cat >> /var/service/"${service}"/run <<__EOF__
exec ${cmd} 2>&1

cat >> /var/service/"${service}"/log/run <<__EOF__
exec /usr/local/bin/setuidgid ${usr} /usr/local/bin/multilog t /var/log/${service}

chmod +x /var/service/"${service}"/run /var/service/"${service}"/log/run
chown "${usr}":"${usr}" /var/log/"${service}"

ln -s /var/service/"${service}" /service/

Put our certs to the right places and renew automatically:

cat /etc/letsencrypt/live/${domain}/privkey.pem > ${dest}
cat /etc/letsencrypt/live/${domain}/fullchain.pem >> ${dest}
chown qmaild:root ${dest}
chmod 400 ${dest}
ln -s ${dest} /var/qmail/control/clientcert.pem

cat >> $HOME/src/letsencrypt/ <<__EOF__

### renew qmail

mv ${dest} ${dest}.old
cat /etc/letsencrypt/live/\${domain}/privkey.pem > ${dest}
cat /etc/letsencrypt/live/\${domain}/fullchain.pem >> ${dest}
chown qmaild:root ${dest}
chmod 400 ${dest}

/usr/local/bin/qmailctl restart


Renew RSA and DH daily per cronjob (and be nice while doing so):

(crontab -l 2>/dev/null; echo "01 01 * * * nice -n 19 /var/qmail/bin/update_tmprsadh > /dev/null 2>&1") | crontab -


"checkpassword provides a simple, uniform password-checking interface to all root applications." You can use this and have a fully working MTA. Later on though this guide will use VMailMgr for virtual users and to integrate qmail to dovecot. It is then possible to replace checkpassword with checkvpw for smtp auth as well, if you like.

cd /usr/local/src/checkpassword-0.90
patch -d . < ../netqmail-1.06/other-patches/checkpassword-0.90.errno.patch
make setup check

Now we need not only root but also the user qmaild to be able to check for correct passwords via checkpassword. Normally only root can do that.
For this, we have to allow qmaild's group to run checkpassword successfully:

chown root:$(id -g qmaild) /bin/checkpassword
chmod 4750 /bin/checkpassword

Now we modify /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-submission/run so that qmail-submission uses checkpassword for authentication:

patch /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-submission/run < $HOME/src/netqmail/qmail-smtpd-run-checkpassword.patch


daemontools will start and stop qmail.

cd /package/admin/daemontools-0.76
cd src
patch < /usr/local/src/netqmail-1.06/other-patches/daemontools-0.76.errno.patch
cd ..

Some trickery for CentOS to start daemontools itself on boot:

echo 'start on runlevel [12345]
exec /command/svscanboot' > /etc/init/svscan.conf

initctl reload-configuration
initctl start svscan

Now we can link qmail to /service, which will make it start:

ln -s /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-send /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-smtpd /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-submission /service

adding users


useradd ${user}
echo "${user}:${passwd}" | chpasswd

Now check, whether qmaild can authenticate the user correctly:

su - qmaild -c 'printf "%s\0%s\0%s\0" "'${user}'" "'${passwd}'" Y123456 | /bin/checkpassword id 3<&0'


"VMailMgr (short for Virtual MAIL ManaGeR) is a package of programs designed to manage multiple domains of mail addresses and mailboxes on a single host. It co-operates with qmail for mail delivery and program control." [7]

Get sources:

cd $HOME
dir='src/vmailmgr'; mkdir -p $dir ; cd $dir
echo '
6266873db29991bf74c912e8423cee5ebf11b3b944ea413682d6b75634c399c2  vmailmgr-0.97.tar.gz
0289f47727575b3a069ee3f85b2c8530109a17f522d1383fc43330e5872f1ed2  vmailmgr-glibc-2.10+.patch
' > SHA256SUM.txt
sha256sum -c SHA256SUM.txt

When fetching was alright, put it to the right places to compile:

cp vmailmgr-0.97.tar.gz vmailmgr-glibc-2.10+.patch /usr/local/src/
cd /usr/local/src/
tar -xf vmailmgr-0.97.tar.gz
patch -d vmailmgr-0.97/authenticate/ < vmailmgr-glibc-2.10+.patch
cd vmailmgr-0.97
make install

Now, vdeliver shall manage new deliveries:

echo '|/usr/local/bin/vdeliver' > /var/qmail/control/defaultdelivery

To give virtual users the ability to authenticate for smtp too, we need to replace checkpassword by checkvpw:

\cp $HOME/src/netqmail/qmail-smtpd-run /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-submission/run
sed -i 's/\ smtp\ /\ submission\ /' /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-submission/run
patch /var/qmail/supervise/qmail-submission/run < $HOME/src/netqmail/qmail-smtpd-run-checkvpw.patch
chmod u+s /usr/local/bin/checkvpw
svc -du /service/qmail-submission

More information for configuration can be found here: [8] But for now we can move on.


Get the source [4]:

cd $HOME
dir='src/dovecot'; mkdir -p $dir ; cd $dir
echo '
93b2acfc75da633e03d52e868755e996a377e468f0ff315060c4b8bfa21df168  checkvpw-dovecot-wrapper.c
cce15db2fc5233386b63a3cf21c465c09e6e55014ed66c4f184b7d221a47180c  dovecot-2.2.35.tar.gz
' > SHA256SUM.txt
sha256sum -c SHA256SUM.txt

When fetching was alright, put it to the right places to compile:

cp dovecot-2.2.35.tar.gz checkvpw-dovecot-wrapper.c /usr/local/src/
cd /usr/local/src/
tar -xf dovecot-2.2.35.tar.gz
cd dovecot-2.2.35
make install

Dovecot needs some while. Grab a drink and do a short workout.

Create unix users [5]:

groupadd dovenull
useradd -r -g dovenull dovenull
groupadd dovecot
useradd -r -g dovecot dovecot

Later on, for integrating with VMailMgr, we need a wrapper [9]:

cd /usr/local/src/
cc -Wall -O2 -o checkvpw-dovecot-wrapper checkvpw-dovecot-wrapper.c
install -s -o root checkvpw-dovecot-wrapper /usr/local/bin

Configure dovecot [6].

First, get the example configuration files to the right place:

mkdir /usr/local/etc/dovecot/
cp -r /usr/local/share/doc/dovecot/example-config/* /usr/local/etc/dovecot/
cd /usr/local/etc/dovecot/conf.d/

Then, use checkvpw for authentication [10] [11]:

cp auth-checkpassword.conf.ext auth-checkvpw.conf.ext
sed -i -e 's/\/usr\/bin\/checkpassword/\/usr\/local\/bin\/checkvpw-dovecot-wrapper/g' auth-checkvpw.conf.ext
echo 'auth_mechanisms = plain
service auth {
  user = root
}' >> auth-checkvpw.conf.ext
echo '!include auth-checkvpw.conf.ext' >> 10-auth.conf
sed -i -e 's/^!include\ auth-system.conf.ext/#!include\ auth-system.conf.ext/' 10-auth.conf
chgrp dovecot /usr/local/libexec/dovecot/checkpassword-reply; chmod g+s /usr/local/libexec/dovecot/checkpassword-reply

And set mail location:

sed -i -e 's/#mail_location\ =/mail_location\ =\ maildir:\%h/' 10-mail.conf

Touch local.conf for some more stuff:

cd ../
touch local.conf

To only serve IMAP:

echo 'protocols = imap' >> local.conf

For POP also do instead:

echo 'protocols = imap pop3
# to disable non-ssl pop3
service pop3-login {
  inet_listener pop3 {
    port = 0
}' >> local.conf

Harden the encryption:

echo 'ssl = required
ssl_protocols = !SSLv2 !SSLv3
ssl_dh_parameters_length = 2048' >> local.conf

A good idea might be to go through some checks [12].

We want dovecot to also use our Let's Encrypt certificate and it should also be renewed automatically:


cp /etc/letsencrypt/live/${domain}/privkey.pem ${ssl_priv}
cp /etc/letsencrypt/live/${domain}/fullchain.pem ${ssl_cert}
chown root:root ${ssl_priv}
chown root:root ${ssl_cert}
chmod 0400 ${ssl_priv}
chmod 0444 ${ssl_cert}

cat >> $HOME/src/letsencrypt/ <<__EOF__

### renew dovecot

mv ${ssl_priv} ${ssl_priv}.old
mv ${ssl_cert} ${ssl_cert}.old
cp /etc/letsencrypt/live/\${domain}/privkey.pem ${ssl_priv}
cp /etc/letsencrypt/live/\${domain}/fullchain.pem ${ssl_cert}
chown root:root ${ssl_priv}
chown root:root ${ssl_cert}
chmod 0400 ${ssl_priv}
chmod 0444 ${ssl_cert}

/usr/local/bin/svc -du /service/dovecot


Now, make it start on boot and log:

mkdir -m 0755 -p /var/service/dovecot/
echo '#!/bin/sh

cmd="/usr/local/sbin/dovecot -F"

exec ${cmd} 2>&1
' > /var/service/dovecot/run
chmod +x /var/service/dovecot/run
chmod -R 0755 /var/service/dovecot
ln -s /var/service/dovecot /service/


HMPF. This is were huge dependencies start. For webmail we of course need a webserver, for this particular one PHP and MySQL as well.

But we are lucky: Roundcube can run on lighttpd!

First, get all the dependencies and roundcube itself (which will also install apache as an dependency...):

yum -y install roundcubemail



yum -y install lighttpd lighttpd-fastcgi

Pretty much all we have to configure is TLS.
I will go with TLS for the whole server, again using our Let's Encrypt certificate:

cd /etc/lighttpd/

sed -i \
-e 's/^#server\.max-fds/server.max-fds/' \
-e 's/^server\.use-ipv6/#server.use-ipv6/' lighttpd.conf

echo 'ssl.engine = "enable"
ssl.pemfile = "/etc/ssl/private/lighttpd.pem" = "/etc/ssl/certs/CA.pem"
ssl.dh-file = "/etc/lighttpd/ssl/dh2048.pem"
ssl.cipher-list = "HIGH !aNULL !3DES +kEDH +kRSA !kSRP !kPSK"
ssl.honor-cipher-order = "enable"
ssl.use-sslv2 = "disable"
ssl.use-sslv3 = "disable"
server.port = 443
' > conf.d/TLS-global.conf

sed -i -e 's/^.*server.port.*=\ 80/#\ server.port\ =\ 80/' lighttpd.conf

echo 'include "conf.d/TLS-global.conf"' >> lighttpd.conf

sed -i -e 's/#\ *"mod_redirect",/\ \ "mod_redirect",/' modules.conf

echo '$SERVER["socket"] == ":80" {
  $HTTP["host"] =~ "(.*)" {
    url.redirect = ( "^/(.*)" => "https://%1/$1" )
}' > conf.d/HTTP-to-HTTPS.conf

echo 'include "conf.d/HTTP-to-HTTPS.conf"' >> lighttpd.conf

This is for simple virtual hosts:

sed -i -e 's/#include\ "conf\.d\/simple_vhost\.conf"/include\ "conf\.d\/simple_vhost\.conf"/' modules.conf

This way, we can just do:

mkdir -p /var/www/vhosts/${mail_domain}/htdocs/

which will be the root of https://${mail_domain}/.

For fastcgi:

sed -i \
-e 's/#include\ "conf\.d\/fastcgi\.conf"/include\ "conf\.d\/fastcgi\.conf"/' \

sed -i \
-e 's/;cgi.fix_pathinfo=1/cgi.fix_pathinfo=1/' \
-e "s/;date\.timezone\ =/date\.timezone\ =\ "${timezone}"/" \

echo 'fastcgi.server = ( ".php" => ((
  "bin-path" => "/usr/bin/php-cgi",
  "socket" => "/tmp/php.socket",
  "max-procs" => 1,
  "bin-environment" => (
    "PHP_FCGI_CHILDREN" => "16",
    "PHP_FCGI_MAX_REQUESTS" => "10000"
  "broken-scriptfilename" => "enable"
' > conf.d/fastcgi-server.conf

echo 'include "conf.d/fastcgi-server.conf"' >> lighttpd.conf

chown :lighttpd /var/lib/php/session/

For more options, see lighttpd.conf.

Put the certificate to the right place and renew automatically:

cat /etc/letsencrypt/live/${domain}/privkey.pem > ${ssl_priv}
cat /etc/letsencrypt/live/${domain}/cert.pem >> ${ssl_priv}
cp /etc/letsencrypt/live/${domain}/chain.pem ${ssl_CA}
chown lighttpd:root ${ssl_priv}
chmod 400 ${ssl_priv}
chmod 444 ${ssl_CA}

cat >> $HOME/src/letsencrypt/ <<__EOF__

### renew lighttpd

mv ${ssl_priv} ${ssl_priv}.old
mv ${ssl_CA} ${ssl_CA}.old
cat /etc/letsencrypt/live/\${domain}/privkey.pem > ${ssl_priv}
cat /etc/letsencrypt/live/\${domain}/cert.pem >> ${ssl_priv}
cp /etc/letsencrypt/live/\${domain}/chain.pem ${ssl_CA}
chown lighttpd:root ${ssl_priv}
chmod 400 ${ssl_priv}
chmod 444 ${ssl_CA}

/usr/local/bin/svc -du /service/lighttpd


Also generate own and strong DH-Parameters and renew automatically:

mkdir /etc/lighttpd/ssl/ $HOME/src/lighttpd/

openssl dhparam -2 -out /etc/lighttpd/ssl/ 2048 &&
chmod 600 /etc/lighttpd/ssl/ &&
chown lighttpd:lighttpd /etc/lighttpd/ssl/ &&
mv -f /etc/lighttpd/ssl/ /etc/lighttpd/ssl/dh2048.pem

echo '#!/bin/sh
openssl dhparam -2 -out /etc/lighttpd/ssl/ 2048 &&
chmod 600 /etc/lighttpd/ssl/ &&
chown lighttpd:lighttpd /etc/lighttpd/ssl/ &&
mv -f /etc/lighttpd/ssl/ /etc/lighttpd/ssl/dh2048.pem
' > $HOME/src/lighttpd/
chmod +x $HOME/src/lighttpd/

(crontab -l 2>/dev/null; echo "02 02 * * * nice -n 19 $HOME/src/lighttpd/ > /dev/null 2>&1") | crontab -

Again, we are generating DH parameters. Grab a drink and do a short workout.

Run on startup:

mkdir -m 0755 -p /var/service/lighttpd
echo '#!/bin/sh

cmd="/usr/sbin/lighttpd -D -f /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf"

exec ${cmd} 2>&1
' > /var/service/lighttpd/run
chmod -R 0755 /var/service/lighttpd
ln -s /var/service/lighttpd /service/

And don't forget to check security. Maybe on [13].

You can test setup in general and virtual hosts by putting some files to ${mail_domain}:

cp -r /var/www/lighttpd/* /var/www/vhosts/${mail_domain}/htdocs/

You should see logos of lighttpd at https://${mail_domain}.


Following [14].


yum -y install mysql-server php-mysql


service mysqld start

You might want to generate a root password and a password for roundcube for later:

cd $HOME

if [ -z "${mysql_roundcube_password}" ]; then
  mysql_roundcube_password=$(</dev/urandom tr -dc A-Za-z0-9 | head -c40)
  echo "mysql_roundcube_password=${mysql_roundcube_password}" >> .mysql-passwords

if [ -z "${mysql_root_password}" ]; then
  mysql_root_password=$(</dev/urandom tr -dc A-Za-z0-9 | head -c40)
  echo "mysql_root_password=${mysql_root_password}" >> .mysql-passwords

cat .mysql-passwords

Configure. This requires manual input. Put in the root password, otherwise, just say 'y':


Start on boot:

chkconfig mysqld on

The rest

Configure Roundcube.
Get a sample config:

cd /etc/roundcubemail/
wget -O

echo '
' > SHA256SUM.txt
sha256sum -c SHA256SUM.txt

OK? Now change to your needs:


sed -i \
-e "s/YOURADDRESS/${address}/" \
-e "s/YOURDOMAIN/${domain}/" \
-e "s/YOURSERVICE/${service_name}/"

Setup the database and also put the credentials right into the config (borrowed from [15]):


sed -e "s|mypassword|${mysql_roundcube_password}|" <<'EOF' | mysql -u root -p"${mysql_root_password}"
USE mysql;
CREATE USER 'roundcube'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'mypassword';
GRANT USAGE ON * . * TO 'roundcube'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'mypassword';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `roundcubemail` . * TO 'roundcube'@'localhost';

mysql -u root -p"${mysql_root_password}" 'roundcubemail' < ${roundcube_src}/SQL/mysql.initial.sql

sed -i -e "s|^\(\$config\['db_dsnw'\] =\).*$|\1 \'mysql://roundcube:${mysql_roundcube_password}@localhost/roundcubemail\';|" \

deskey="$(</dev/urandom tr -dc 'a-zA-Z0-9-_#\!*%?' | head -c24)"
sed -i "s|^\(\$config\['des_key'\] =\).*$|\1 \'${deskey}\';|" /etc/roundcubemail/

\mv /etc/roundcubemail/ /etc/roundcubemail/

Add dictionaries for the spell checking. More can be found here [18]:

yum -y install aspell-en
cd /usr/local/src
echo '
ba6c94e11bc2e0e6e43ce0f7822c5bba5ca5ac77129ef90c190b33632416e906  aspell6-de-20030222-1.tar.bz2
' >> SHA256SUM.txt
sha256sum -c SHA256SUM.txt


tar -xf aspell6-de-20030222-1.tar.bz2
cd aspell6-de-20030222-1
make install

increase the maximum size for attachements

sed -i -e '/upload_max_filesize/s/2M/34M/' \
-e '/post_max_size/s/8M/34M/' /etc/php.ini

last steps

Now put roundcube to our vhost directory and give our webserver permissions to the right places:


rsync -aPh --del ${roundcube_src}/ ${vhost_dir}/
rm -rf ${vhost_dir}/installer
chown -R :lighttpd /etc/roundcubemail
chown -R :lighttpd /var/lib/roundcubemail/
chown -R :lighttpd /var/log/roundcubemail/
svc -du /service/lighttpd


It might be a good idea to have a caching DNS server around [24] [25]:

cd $HOME
dir="src/djbdns"; mkdir -p ${dir}; cd ${dir}
echo '
3ccd826a02f3cde39be088e1fc6aed9fd57756b8f970de5dc99fcd2d92536b48  djbdns-1.05.tar.gz
' > SHA256SUM.txt
sha256sum -c SHA256SUM.txt


cp djbdns-1.05.tar.gz /usr/local/src
cd /usr/local/src/
tar -xf djbdns-1.05.tar.gz
#patch -d djbdns-1.05/ < netqmail-1.06/other-patches/djbdns-1.05.errno.patch
cd djbdns-1.05
echo gcc -O2 -include /usr/include/errno.h > conf-cc
make setup check

DJB (and I) like(s) you to report your success:

your_name="First M. Last" # <- Change to your name!

( echo "${your_name} - sent me here."; cat $(cat SYSDEPS) ) \
| mail
( echo "${your_name}"; cat $(cat SYSDEPS) ) \
| mail -s 'djbdns'

Create unix users:

useradd -r -g nofiles Gdnscache
useradd -r -g nofiles Gdnslog

Create a service directory:

dnscache-conf Gdnscache Gdnslog /etc/dnscache

Make it run by daemontools:

ln -s /etc/dnscache /service/dnscache
sleep 5
svstat /service/dnscache

Now, replace any existing nameserver entries by our own DNS server:

sed -i -e 's/^nameserver/#nameserver/g' /etc/resolv.conf
echo 'nameserver' >> /etc/resolv.conf

Check whether you can still look up addresses:


To use the most recent DNS root servers, run this

wget -O $HOME/src/


(crontab -l 2>/dev/null; echo "*/59 * * * * mksh $HOME/src/") | crontab -


ezmlm-idx [20] adds more features to ezmlm [21], a mailing list manager by DJB.

cd $HOME
dir="src/ezmlm-idx"; mkdir -p ${dir}; cd ${dir}
echo '
5d8840678ad8c2b84350564a065149c055ace3d3e21b169590ebd5abca30c2a8  ezmlm-idx-7.2.2.tar.gz
' > SHA256SUM.txt
sha256sum -c SHA256SUM.txt


cp ezmlm-idx-7.2.2.tar.gz /usr/local/src/
cd /usr/local/src/
tar -xf ezmlm-idx-7.2.2.tar.gz
cd ezmlm-idx-7.2.2
make clean
make man
cd lang && ln -s en_US default && cd -


make install
sed -i -e 's/PATH:/PATH:\/usr\/local\/bin\/ezmlm:/' $HOME/.bash_profile
. $HOME/.bash_profile
export PATH

Allow mails to a list without having it in 'To' or 'CC'

AKA circumventing 'ezmlm-reject: fatal: List address must be in To: or Cc: (#5.7.0)'

sed -i 's/ezmlm-reject/ezmlm-reject\ -T/' /var/qmail/alias/.qmail-"${list}"


Check and update your system regularly of course. Something to watch after are the permissions, especially for lighttpd. Keep in might that in this example apache is on the system as well and it might happen that by updating apache it might overwrite permissions. To find files and directories owned by apache:

find / -type f \( -group apache -o -user apache \) -not -path "/proc/*"


Probably the only packages used here requiring regular updates are

  • dovecot
  • roundcube


version_major="$( echo "${version}" | cut -d '.' -f -2  )"

cd /usr/local/src
wget "${version_major}/dovecot-${version}.tar.gz"
wget "${version_major}/dovecot-${version}.tar.gz.sig"

gpg2 --verify dovecot-${version}.tar.gz.sig  dovecot-${version}.tar.gz


tar -xf "dovecot-${version}.tar.gz"
cd "dovecot-${version}"
nice -n 15 make

This will take some time.
Next comes the installation. Because of make install taking some time, this will produce some downtime.

svc -d /service/dovecot/
make install
chgrp dovecot /usr/local/libexec/dovecot/checkpassword-reply
chmod g+s /usr/local/libexec/dovecot/checkpassword-reply
svc -u /service/dovecot/
tail -f /var/log/maillog


More perhaps useful things are covered here: [23]