New installations

Installing on Debian

The recommended installation method is to use the debian package. This will install SQmaiL and the support packages:

dpkg -i sqmail_*.deb
apt-get -f install

I'm afraid the only packaging system supported so far is Debian. If any Red Hat users are reading and are interested in doing a set of control files for RPMs, please get in touch --- as I don't do Red Hat, I can't do any of this myself.

The SQmaiL download site

This contains all the SQmaiL downloadables.

Installing on anything else

If you don't do Debian you'll have to install it manually. This is currently a pain. The first thing you need to do is to install the support software:

  • Python 1.5, available from the Python web page;
  • MySQL client (available from the MySQL page, and Python module for same (MySQLDB);
  • Gnome binaries (available from Ximian Gnome, and Python modules for same (there are two of them, PyGTK and gnome-python, both available here).
  • mail-lock and mail-unlock programs (which unfortunately I don't know where these live, but you can get the source from the Debian package).

You'll also, of course, need a MySQL server. This can run locally or remotely, SQmaiL will still work. Install this according to the documentation and create a user for yourself. Remember to set the permissions so that SQmaiL can access the database!

Now you're ready to install the SQmaiL package. Go to the Downloads page; you want the SQmaiL archive with the highest version number. Decompress this in a directory somewhere. Currently, SQmaiL doesn't install into your file system; I'm working on this. You'll have to run it from the directory you decompress it in to; the main executable is the SQmaiL file. (Use thise wherever sqmail is referenced below.)

Initial configuration

Before SQmaiL can run, you'll need to create a database for it to use. I'm assuming you've already created a user. This can be done with:

sqmail create-database

This is a simple command-line program that creates a new database. You'll need to give it your MySQL administrator password. (You did remember to set one, didn't you? Didn't you?). Follow the instructions. Warning: create-database has the ability to delete databases. Any database (you just gave it the root administrator password). Irrevocably. You may be about to delete hundreds of megabytes of crucial data. Think very carefully before giving it the go-ahead to delete the database.

(The root password is not stored anywhere, and is only used for the initial database creation. All other interactions with the MySQL server, including running SQmaiL proper, is done while logged in as the user.)

Now you can start up SQmaiL proper by doing:

sqmail gui

The first time you run it, it will ask you for details on how to contact the database server on the console. These are stored in a hidden file in your home directory. All other settings are stored in the database itself.


Install the new source in the normal way. You should then do:

sqmail upgrade upgrade your database from the old format to the new one (if necessary). If you don't do this, some very strange things may happen (including loss of data). This is important.

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