How to Install Mailtrain Newsletter Application on Debian 9

Published on: Fri, Feb 22, 2019 at 1:15 pm EST
Business Debian Email Linux Guides Server Apps

Mailtrain is an open-source self hosted newsletter app built on Node.js and MySQL/MariaDB. Mailtrain's source is on GitHub. This guide will show you how to install Mailtrain on a fresh Debian 9 Vultr instance.

Requirements

Software Requirements:

  • Node.js version 7 or greater
  • MySQL version 5.5
  • Nginx
  • Redis (optional)

Hardware Requirements:

  • 1 vCPU
  • 1024 MB RAM

Check the Debian version.

lsb_release -ds
# Debian GNU/Linux 9.5 (stretch)

Ensure that your system is up to date.

apt update && apt upgrade -y

Install required packages.

apt install -y sudo dirmngr build-essential unzip git

Create a new non-root user account with sudo access and switch to it.

adduser johndoe --gecos "John Doe"
usermod -aG sudo johndoe
su - johndoe

NOTE: Replace johndoe with your username.

Set up the timezone.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Install Node.js and NPM

Install Node.js by utilizing the NodeSource APT repository.

curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_8.x | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt install -y nodejs

Check the Node.js and npm versions.

node -v && npm -v
# v8.11.3
# 5.6.0

Install MariaDB

Install MariaDB.

sudo apt install -y mariadb-server

Check the version.

mysql --version

Run the mysql_secure installation script to improve MariaDB security.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Connect to the MariaDB shell as the root user.

sudo mysql -u root -p
# Enter password:

Create an empty MariaDB database and user, and remember the credentials.

CREATE DATABASE dbname;
GRANT ALL ON dbname.* TO 'username' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Install Nginx

Install Nginx.

sudo apt install -y nginx

Check the version.

sudo nginx -v

Configure Nginx as an HTTP or HTTPS (if you use SSL) reverse proxy for Mailtrain application. Run sudo vim /etc/nginx/sites-available/mailtrain.conf and add the following configuration.

server {

  listen [::]:80;
  listen 80;

  server_name example.com;

  charset utf-8;
  client_max_body_size 50M;


  location / {
    proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
    proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
    proxy_pass http://127.0.0.1:3000;
    proxy_http_version 1.1;
    proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
    proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
    proxy_next_upstream error timeout http_502 http_503 http_504;
  }

}

Activate the new mailtrain.conf configuration by linking the file to the sites-enabled directory.

sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/mailtrain.conf /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

Test the configuration.

sudo nginx -t

Reload Nginx.

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

Install Mailtrain

Create an empty document root folder where Mailtrain should be installed.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/mailtrain

Navigate to the document root folder.

cd /var/www/mailtrain

Change ownership of the /var/www/mailtrain folder to user johndoe.

sudo chown -R johndoe:johndoe /var/www/mailtrain

Download and unzip Mailtrain.

wget https://github.com/Mailtrain-org/mailtrain/archive/master.zip
unzip master.zip
rm master.zip
mv mailtrain-master/* . && mv mailtrain-master/.* .
rmdir mailtrain-master

Run npm install --production in the Mailtrain folder to install required dependencies.

Copy config/default.toml as config/production.toml and update MySQL and any other settings in it.

cp config/default.toml config/production.toml
vim config/production.toml

Run the server.

NODE_ENV=production npm start

Installation is complete. Login with the username admin and the password test. Once logged in, update the user information and password via the Mailtrain web interface.

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