The Mail application is split into four main parts:

  • Postfix, an SMTP server for sending and receiving mail messages.

  • Dovecot, an IMAP and POP3 server to read email, with Sieve language to organize it.

  • Rspamd, an antispam filter, antivirus and attachments blocker.

  • ClamAV, an antivirus engine.

Benefits are:

  • complete autonomy in electronic mail management

  • avoid problems due to the Internet Service Provider

  • ability to track the route of messages in order to detect errors

  • optimized antivirus and antispam scan


Even if Software Center allows to install multiple instances of Mail on the same node, you can configure and start only one mail server instance per node, otherwise a TCP port conflict error occurs.

The optional Imapsync application can be connected to Mail. It allows scheduling periodical fetch jobs or migrating emails from external IMAP servers to local user mailboxes.


Mail requires at least one user domain already configured.

The first configuration wizard will require the following information:

  • Mail server hostname: insert the mail server name, this should be the same name configured inside your MX DNS record.

  • Primary mail domain: insert the mail domain, like; you will be able to add more domains later.

Then, select the user domain to be connected to the mail server. An email address will be created for every user in the selected domain.


Mail can handle an unlimited number of mail domains, configurable from the Domains page.


If a domain is deleted, email will not be deleted; any message already received is preserved.

You can add a new domain by clicking on the Create domain button and fill the Name field with the mail domain, like

If the Add user addresses from user domain option is disabled, you can enable the Accept unknown recipients switch and select a mailbox that will catch all messages sent to non-existing addresses.

Mail allows storing a hidden copy of all messages directed to a particular domain: they will be delivered to the final recipient and also to a custom email address. The hidden copy is enabled by the Copy inbound messages switch.


On some countries, enabling the Copy inbound messages switch can be against privacy laws.

If the final recipient cannot be reached (i.e. the recipient address does not exist), the message is normally rejected. Sometimes (i.e. when a mail domain is migrated) it could be useful to accept it and silently deliver the message to a catch-all mailbox. This behavior can be achieved by enabling the Accept unknown recipients option. This configuration is available only if Add user address from user domain option is disabled.

DKIM signature#

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) provides a way to validate the sending MTA, which adds a cryptographic signature to the outbound message MIME headers.

In the Domains page, click on the three-dots menu near the domain card and select the Configure DKIM action, to enable or disable the message DKIM signature.

The DKIM signature headers are added only to messages sent through TCP ports 587 (submission) and 465 (smtps).

To work effectively, the public DNS must be configured properly. Refer to the instructions of your DNS provider to run the following steps:

  1. Add a TXT record to your public DNS service provider with key default._domainKey.

  2. Copy and paste the given key text in the DNS record data (RDATA) section.


Each user has a personal mailbox and any user name in the form <username>@<domain> is also a valid email address to deliver messages into it.

The list of mailboxes is shown on the Mailboxes page. There are two types of mailboxes: users and public mailboxes.

Users mailboxes#

You can disable each mailbox by selecting the Disable item from the three-dots menu on the mailbox line.

By clicking the Edit item from the three-dots menu it’s possible to setup the following options:

  • Forward messages: forward all messages to another email address

  • Custom mailbox quota: override the quota configured from the Settings

  • Custom spam retention: override the retention configured from the Settings

Public mailboxes#

Public mailboxes can be shared among groups of users. The Create public mailbox button allows creating a new public mailbox and defining one or more owning groups and users. Public mailboxes can also be created by any IMAP client supporting IMAP ACL protocol extension (RFC 4314).

When a new public mailbox is created, the mail server will automatically add a new address for all existing mail domains.


In addition to the users, groups and public mailboxes addresses, described in the previous section, the system enables the creation of an unlimited number of email addresses, from the Addresses page. Each mail address is associated with one or more destinations. A destination can be of the following types:

  • user mailbox

  • public mailbox

  • external email address

A mail address can be specific to one mail domain, or generic to all configured mail domains. In the latter case, we call it a “wildcard address”. For example:

  • Two domains are configured, and

  • A specific email address goofy for domain corresponds to

  • A wildcard email address info is bound to all domains: it is equivalent to both and

Sometimes a company forbids communications from outside the organization using personal email addresses. To change the visibility of an address, click on the three-dots menu and select the Set as internal action shortcut, or select Edit and enable the Internal check box under the Advanced section.

When an address is internal it cannot receive messages from the outside. Still an internal address can be used to exchange messages with other accounts of the system.


All transiting email messages are subjected to a list of checks that fall into two main categories, described in the following sections:

  • Antivirus

  • Antispam

Navigate to the Filter page to adjust their settings.


The ClamAV antivirus component finds email messages containing viruses. Infected messages are discarded. The virus signature database is checked for updates every hour.

The default ClamAV signatures database is normally disabled because it consumes a large amount of memory. Select the Enable ClamAV official signatures checkbox if desired.

ClamAV unofficial signatures are always active instead. It is possible to choose the desired signature rating level among Low, Medium, High. Bear in mind that higher ratings may lead to unwanted false positive matches, therefore good messages can be blocked.


The antispam component Rspamd analyzes emails by detecting and classifying spam messages using heuristic criteria, predetermined rules and statistical evaluations of the content of messages.

The filter can also check if the sending server is listed in one or more DNS-based block lists (or DNSBL). A score is associated with each rule.

Total spam score collected at the end of the analysis allows the server to decide what to do with a message.

Statistical (or Bayesian) filters, are special rules that evolve and quickly adapt analyzing messages marked as spam or ham.

The spam score thresholds can be configured under the Antispam section of the Filter page.

  • Spam flag threshold determines the score value where a message is marked as spam. When a message has the spam flag set the consequent delivery action depends on the general settings of mailboxes.

  • Deny message spam threshold instead regulates the score that is considered too high to accept a message. If the score exceeds this value, the filter rejects the message completely.

  • Under the Advanced section it is possible to enable the Greylist threshold. When the message score exceeds this limit the filter asks the sender to try again the message delivery at later time. The Greylist spam-fighting method assumes that spammers dislike delivery retries. It is disabled by default because it introduces delivery delays also for legitimate senders.

To access additional settings and review recent Rspamd activity, navigate to the web interface of Rspamd by selecting the Open Rspamd button located in the top-right corner of the Filter page. You’ll need to provide your cluster-admin credentials for authentication.

In some cases an email client, recipient, or sender must bypass the filter checks: the Bypass rules section allows to define a set of rules based on the follwing criteria:

  • Sender IP address or network (CIDR format).

  • Complete sender email address.

  • Sender email domain.

  • Complete recipient email address.

  • Recipient email domain.


The Queue page shows the status of the Postifx mail queue. Under normal conditions the queue should be empty because messages are immediately exchanged between mail servers.

If the mail queue contains some messages, try to click the Refresh button to quickly check if the condition is temporary.

As alternative, trigger an immediate new delivery attempt with the button Resend all, or remove all messages from the queue with Delete all.

The same actions can be selectively executed for each message in the queue, from its three-dots menu. The message delay reason, queue ID, arrival time, size, sender, and recipients can be inspected with the See details action.


The Message ID value can be used to search the message in both Rspamd web interface and System logs.

If the delay reason is not resolved, and the message is not deleted, the message is returned to the sender after a configurable amount of time. Click the Settings button to modify it. See Queue settings for details.


When a message is received from another mail server (MTA), or from a mail user agent (MUA), Postifx decides how to relay it towards its final destination. Typically the decision is based on the domain suffix of the recipient address.

  • If the domain is handled by Postfix (i.e. it is listed in Domains) the message is delivered locally.

  • Otherwise, if the domain is external, the message destination server (also known as “next-hop” server) is found with a MX DNS query.

The Relay page allows to configure a set of rules that overrides the external domain resolution based on DNS.

Rules priority#

Relay rules can be of three types:

  1. Sender rule.

  2. Recipient rule.

  3. Default rule. Only one default rule is allowed.

The rules evaluation order is Sender, Recipient, Default: the first matching rule is applied. A match occurs based on the message sender or recipient, or if a default rule (that one matching any sender and recipient) is defined.

Sender and Recipient matches can be an exact correspondence of the full email address, or match only the domain suffix. In the rules evaluation order, exact match is evaluated before the domain suffix match.

Managing rules#

Click on button Add relay rule to define a Sender or a Recipient rule. Specify the rule type and subject value (sender or recipient), then fill the remaining fields:

  • Hostname, the name or IP address of the server where the message is relayed if the rule match.

  • Port, the TCP port number used by the server.

  • Authentication. If the server requires SMTP authentication provide the necessary credentials here.

  • TLS. Enable this switch if the server expects TLS or STARTTLS encryption. It is recommended to enable it to encrypt both credentials and data during SMTP connections.

The Set default rule defines a rule that matches if none of the remaining rules do, or if no rule is defined at all. This type of rule is used to configure a smarthost, a mail server where mail messages for external domains is relayed.

Once created, a rule can be edited, disabled or deleted from the three-dots menu. When a rule is edited, the rule type and subject cannot be changed: delete it instead.

See also Relay settings for other configurations about the relay of messages towards other mail servers. In the Relay page, the Settings button leads to them.


Application settings are split up and accessible under the cards described by the following sections.

General settings#

The following values are set at application first configuration time. They should not be changed in production:

  • Mail server hostname configures how the MTA identifies itself with other MTAs. To successfully receive email messages, use this host name to configure the following DNS records:

    • A record, resolving the Mail server hostname to the public and static IP address of the server.

    • PTR record, resolving back the IP address to the Mail server hostname.

    • MX records, one for each mail domain handled by the Mail application instance.

    • TXT records, as specified by DKIM, SPF and DMARC.

  • User domain selects a LDAP database with user, groups and passwords. If the DB is changed existing mailboxes are not removed! A mailbox is still accessible if the same user name is present in both the old and the new database.


Under the Mailboxes card you can configure the Default mail quota.

If the general mailbox quota is enabled, the Mailboxes page summarizes the quota usage for each user. This summary is updated when a user logs in or a message is delivered.

Under the Shared mailboxes section, Shared seen selects if the IMAP seen flag is shared or not with other users. In general, the seen flag is used to mark if a message has been read or not. In a shared mailbox, each user can access the same message.

  • If users accessing the shared mailbox prefer to know if a mail has already been read by someone else, set Shared seen to enabled (default).

  • If users accessing the shared mailbox are not interested if a message has been already read by someone else, set Shared seen to disabled.

Messages marked as spam (see Filter) can be automatically moved into the Junk folder by enabling the option Move spam to junk folder. Spam messages can be expunged automatically after a period of time. You can configure it from the Default spam retention option.

Master users#

Under the Master users card, you can setup a user that can impersonate another user, gaining full rights to any mailbox contents and folder permissions.

Credentials are accepted by the IMAP server:

  • user name of the master user, e.g. master

  • master user password

For instance, to access as john with root password secr3t, use the following credentials:

  • user name: john*master

  • password: secr3t

Queue settings#

The Maximal queue lifetime parameter defines how many hours a message can remain in the mail queue before it is returned to the sender.

The default value, 120 hours (5 days), is the retry time suggested by RFC5321. Lower values might be set to warn the sender early if some error occurs. For example, if the remote mail server refuses a message because our IP address is in a public block list, the message sender will be notified after 5 days: it might be considered too late.

Relay settings#

This section controls the Mail application configuration for special scenarios, described in the following points.

  1. Some old mail clients, like scanners, which provide limited software capabilities, might not support SMTP authentication or encryption: in this case it is possible to authorize the relay of messages to external domains by looking at their IP address instead of the usual credentials check.

    List the IP address of such devices in the Allow relay from these IP addresses field. The address can be in IPv4 or IPv6 format. The IP based policy can be spread to a whole network, specifying it in CIDR format.

    For example, a value for the field can be

    The IP address (e.g. a document scanner) and the clients in the network subnet can send mail messages without providing SMTP authentication.

  2. To avoid the unauthorized use of email addresses and the sender address spoofing within the organization, enable the Enforce sender/login match switch.

    If the switch is enabled the sender address of a message must correspond to the login name used by the mail client to connect with the mail server. Search the login name in the Addresses page to see what are the addresses it can use.

    For example, with that switch enabled, if user john has email address he cannot write an email message with a different sender address, like

    If the switch is disabled, as per default Mail configuration, an authenticated mail client is allowed to send messages using any sender address, so back to our example john could write the message also as


    If you decide to enable the switch consider that public mailboxes and LDAP group addresses are not evaluated for the login/address correspondence.

Client configuration#

The server supports standard-compliant email clients using the following IANA ports:

  • imap/143

  • pop3/110

  • smtp/587

  • sieve/4190

Authentication requires the STARTTLS command and supports the following variants:



Also the following TLS-enabled ports are available for legacy software that still does not support STARTTLS:

  • imaps/993

  • pop3s/995

  • smtps/465


The standard SMTP port 25 is reserved for mail transfers between MTA servers. Mail user agents (MUA) must use the submission port.

If you’re looking for web email clients, take a look to: