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GNU/Linux Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
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Email Quick Start


A quick and easy installation will have you up and running with a Maildir-based mail system, supplemented with IMAP access, and a web-based email client.

Configure exim4 to deliver email to a user's Maildir folder in their home directory. This requires reconfiguring the exim4-config package which will take care of writing the correct configuration files (e.g. /etc/exim4/update-exim4.conf.conf). The aim is to set:

  LOCAL_DELIVERY=maildir_home

Exim4 creates the approriate Maildir folder and structure under the user's accounts as required. See Section 30.2.1 for more details on using exim.

Next, install courier-imap. This will then set up a server (on port 143) to deliver IMAP and any user in the password file can connect. Using mutt the server is imap://localhost/. For a secure IMAP server install courier-imap-ssl (which then uses port 993) and to access from mutt use imaps://localhost:993/inbox. If the IMAP server is only being used on a small local network (like at home) with access to it provided through a web mail tool (like squirrelmail) through a secure web server (using https, such as apache-ssl), then courier-imap-ssl is probably not required (since you would access the squirrelmail server through https, not your imap server)!

Now install squirrelmail and you can then log in to your IMAP server from any web browser (https://localhost/squirrelmail). Be sure that your apache-ssl server has index.php on it's list of DirectoryIndex files in /etc/apache-ssl/httpd.conf. You may also need to have some PHP packages installed, in particular php4-cgi. If the INBOX link of the SuirrelMail page is not active, edit /etc/squirrelmail/config.php to set:

  $oldway = true;

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