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My company is looking for an internal email (messaging) system to replace our current system. We are using an email server with a RoundCube front-end that only sends encrypted emails to itself. Emails never leave the server, and all the accounts are protected by user names and passwords, obviously.

We cannot move to a system like Jabber, Slack, or any other IM-based system since a lot of our users would consider something like that as having a steep learning curve.

Using email is not necessary, so we can use a database-based system. We'll be starting from fresh, so migration is not needed. We do not need anything more than a system that sends and receives emails/messages, and an admin panel to manage users.


Summary of needs:

  • Accounts secured by username/password
  • Messages do not leave system
  • System must be hostable on a web server
  • Email- or database-based system
  • Messages should be file-attachable
  • What is the problem with the current solution with RoundCube? – unor Dec 29 '15 at 11:50
  • We are moving to a larger office and figured this was a good time to try and revamp what we could. – jordan.t Dec 30 '15 at 21:33
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If you do not want a full-fledged mail suite like Kolab or iRedMail, you can setup a light-weight and flexible system yourself – which is what I did. Works fine with several domains and a few hand-full of users on a Banana Pi with SSD running Bananian Linux (all-in investment ~100 EUR). There are a few guides you could follow:

Components:

  • Postfix deals with mail delivery (accepting and sending mail via SMTP)
  • PostfixAdmin gives you a nice and light-weight web GUI to administrate your domains and users, including mail quotas etc.
  • Dovecot deals with the mail storage and access via IMAP. It also provides the authentication backend for other services (e.g. Postfix)
  • Roundcube offers you a very configurable and nice GUI for your users, so they can read and write their mail.
  • further MySQL serves as backend for Postfix and Roundcube configuration, a web server (Apache/NGinx) with PHP will be needed for Roundcube. SpamAssassin (and optionally ClamAV plus Greylist) are to keep the bad stuff out.

All components are well supported and known for their reliability. I'm pretty happy with my installation: it simply works great, I can access my mails from everywhere either using clients as K-9 Mail on Android, Evolution on Linux, or Thunderbird on any Desktop OS. Not to forget that thanks to the BananaPi the entire setup eats no more than 1.3W on average.

Summing up, I can only warmly recommend it.

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  • Looks indeed like an interesting light-weight alternative to Kolab! – Pierre.Vriens Feb 2 '17 at 11:15
  • @Pierre.Vriens Yupp. And other than Kolab (which I had planned initially), it's available on ARM from the main repos. Couldn't find a repository with reliable ARM packages on Kolab which also seemed to be maintained ;) Of course, that's only a restriction if you want to run it on an ARM device like the BananaPi or a RasPi. – Izzy Feb 2 '17 at 14:06
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Maybe you want to look at Kolab Groupware. From this link:

The Kolab.org Community is a Free Software initiative building a unified communication and collaboration system that you can install on your own server. If you don't want to run your own server, consider using hosted Kolab like offered by "Kolab Now".

Works great, and you only use the features you're interested in.

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